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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hospital Food

12th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

One of the points I failed to bring up about my trip to the hospital was that I had three hours to kill between appointments and as long as it feels like I spent in the pharmacy it just wasn’t that long. So, my doctor mentioned that there was a cafeteria on the same floor as her office and as I had not eaten it decided to take my laptop out and spend some time there. I walked in to see what reminded me of a high school cafeteria with the registers well out of site.
I walked around for a few seconds wondering where the plates and trays were until I saw that small stacks of disposables sat around the place. The trays were cleverly hidden behind the door so it took me a minute to find them.
There was a small selection of reheated food and baked goods. I grabbed a cinnamon role and what looked like a long photograph of pizza. It was the thinnest pizza I have ever had and it had the consistency of beef jerky.

The next disappointment came when I found that they only had diet soft drinks. They really are no better for you then their calorie ridden cousins. Some would even say they are worse but whatever they are their chemical foulness has never passed with me.

Turtle Nose, if you recall, had a thing for diet soda and so in supplementing he was always eating ice cream. It turns out that diet sweeteners make you want sweet even more and drive you wait up. A diet high in diet sweeteners is often one high in sugar because of the craving. That and they make me ill.

I sat eating what was food only in name and hammering on keys working of a report for school. The place was empty, can’t imagine why.

Eat natural, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

1 comment:

  1. I'll have a big mac, fries supersized, an ice cream cone.... Oh and a diet coke. ;) A balanced diet there, right?

    I digress... My husband was the director of food services in two hospitals. Being a trained chef, you can imagine why the arrangement never lasted long. They claim they want better food, but don't afford the kitchen staff with the budget, nor the resources to do it. Therefore, you get a lot of processed, prepackaged, frozen crap. Three years ago, when our youngest was born, my husband ordered that the dietary department stay out of my room. As coming in and handing out a menu and asking me what I wanted was merely a formality, as I not once got what I ordered. Last June, we had a repeat occurrence when our 12 year old spent two nights in the hospital. Evidently the word "vegetarian" was not in their vocabulary. And once again, we were on our own for providing food. Whether you are there for for the birth of a baby, visiting a friend or sick, food is a basic necessity that you shouldn't have to worry about when you are in the hospital. Heaven knows, they charge you enough for it. In the end, my husband could not take being handcuffed by administration, got tired of fighting them on it because he refused to serve garbage to the patients and in the cafe and ended his tenure in hospitals. We always assume we will be responsible for feeding ourselves...