Does anyone go to a hospital for gourmet plant-based meals? Well, not intentionally, but let me tell you what I discovered in a recent unplanned visit to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes, Delaware. After requesting a plant-based breakfast, I ended up with a bowl of hot oatmeal and a glorious fruit salad. Then the executive chef of the hospital, Fred Lee, (https://www.capegazette.com/blog-entry/vegetarian-sushi/126608) made a personal visit to my bedside to discuss my menu request for plant-based meals. He outdid himself at lunch with a beautiful hummus veggie wrap and for dinner, an amazing creation of stuffed cabbage with a rosemary spiced tomato sauce.
Every patient should be so lucky. But it is more than luck, for Beebe Is providing high-quality, low fat, plant-based meals for heart patients in the Ornish program. Thank goodness I had the option to request this service. Other patients may not know they have the same opportunity.
According to a recent study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hospitals are ideal venues for modeling healthy eating – a healthful foods environment reinforces clinical recommendations and complements hospitals’ missions to support community health.”
Hospitals that choose to ban processed meats—and instead offer plant-based options that help prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes—model healthy eating and better support the health of patients, staff, visitors, and the surrounding community.
A hospital is supposed to be a place of healing and a pillar of health. Yet, many still serve the foods that may have helped land patients in the hospital in the first place. Congratulations to those hospitals that are making important dietary changes for health and healing like Beebe in Delaware and Midland in Texas. And congratulations to those hospitals that are ending their fast food contracts at the urging of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.