Friday, May 10, 2013

Hospital food

So I spent most of the day at the hospital with my mom yesterday and I'm preparing to head back today. Don't anyone start worrying, she will be just fine. It's just going to take some time. But yesterday we joked a lot about the food they are feeding her there because overall it is not very appetizing. I mean, most of it sounds good, even kind of looks good....but the taste is not that great! When you get right down to it a lot of the food is highly processed and we all know that eating a lot of processed food is not healthy.

This is what was brought for lunch today (she didn't get a choice). So you have milk, canned asparagus, and a sloppy joe. Oh, don't forget the wheat roll on the side. Appetizing isn't it? Healthy? Well, I guess you can say a wheat roll might be healthier than a white roll. Asparagus is a vegetable, but I do believe it loses a lot of nutritional value when canned and then "re-heated". The sloppy joe? I'm not sure what to tell you with that one. I was told it tasted like left over meatloaf that was thrown on a hamburger bun. Doesn't sound or look very healthy to me.

We looked at the menu options for tomorrow and there is literally no option for something "light", even as a side dish. Meaning, there is no choice of a fresh fruit bowl or fresh fruit salad. There is no option for any kind of a deli-type sandwich. Most things on the menu are high carb, highly processed and highly likely to promote constipation. In order to make them more palatable they often need high fat condiments added, like the asparagus needed tons of butter added, you know that's not good. Now, granted when I went down to the cafeteria there were other, better options, but not many of them. But most patients aren't headed down to the cafeteria to eat!

Does this seem wrong to anyone else? I mean you go to the hospital because you are sick or hurt. Their job is to help you get healthy...but the food is working against that goal! Most hospitals even boast about how many dieticians they have on staff just waiting to help you make healthy choices...but how do you make the healthy choices when you don't have the options while in the hospital? Yesterday the nurse even joked around about how bad the food is. Not to mention the fact that the cafeteria closes at 2pm! What? So anyone there at the hospital visiting, or staying with a patient, has a very, very small choice in getting something to eat after 2pm unless they can leave the hospital (which just might be the better choice for food anyhow!)

This just seems ironic to me. I know it's difficult to provide good healthy food for 100's of people, but I honestly think there is a better way than this! If you ever watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution where he worked on replacing the processed foods in school cafeterias with fresh foods and meals made from scratch, then you know it IS possible to cook for hundreds of people and be healthy at the same time! Not only is it possible but Jamie Oliver was also able to show schools how to provide those meals at the same cost or less than the processed foods! If you haven't seen this particular program then how about Rachael vs Guy or Food Network Star? The contestants on these programs are often challenged to provide meals for large groups. Granted they are not always the healthiest meals, but they are not processed meals either. It can be done!
What's that saying about "An apple a day will keep the Doctor away?" hahahaha

What do you think? Should our hospitals provide fresher, healthier meals for the patients, visitors and workers?

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