Nursing Home Food Should Be Illegal

November 22, 2011 · 60 comments

Do you have a loved one who can no longer be cared for at home?  If so, you probably already know how bad nursing home food is.  Although it’s really no different than school food or hospital food.  All of it should be illegal.  We shouldn’t be able to feed our pets this stuff, let alone those we love.  Maybe you know of some refreshing exceptions, I’m sure they’re out there somewhere, and if so, I’d like to hear about them.

I should’ve been paying better attention…

Morning Mass on Wednesdays alternates between two nursing homes right by our church.  The other day when I should’ve been paying attention to the readings, instead my eyes kept drifting to what was on the table in front of me (pictured above) and it got me all riled up.  Not at the people who work there, they don’t decide what to feed the patients, and most probably don’t know any different anyway, but I was angry at how those in our government (and various other greedy or ignorant people) have gotten us so far away from REAL food, that the crap I saw there is actually “normal”.  Not just in nursing homes, but in most everyone’s homes nowadays.  It’s easy to forget that as I wander through life in my little Real Food bubble, until I go anywhere that is.

So what was the big deal with the junk in that picture above?

  • Non-dairy creamer – Loaded with trans fat and high fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives, it’s not even FOOD it’s so fake, it’s one big chemical cocktail!  Just as bad as what is in it, is what’s not in there.  Real cream, especially when raw, is full of healthy fats with all those fat soluble vitamins and other nutrients that our bodies need.  The elderly need whole foods as much, or more, than the rest of us!
  • Jam in the little packets has HFCS, chemical preservatives, and NO nutrients left from the fruit, if there ever even was fruit in there at all.
  • Syrup packets have more HFCS and chemical preservatives, and NONE of the nutrients that are found in real maple syrup.  (Read more about real maple syrup.)
  • Artificial sugars are full of scary fake sweeteners and again, more preservatives.  They’re probably for the diabetics no doubt, which probably includes 75% of nursing home patients. (Find sources for real, natural sugars.)
  • Super refined white table salt has NO minerals like you’ll find in real sea salt, but it does have some lovely anti-caking agents.  Whatever the heck those are.  (Read more about real sea salt and its benefits.)

And these are just their condiments. 

Why do I just know that they’re also eating butter substitutes, CAFO meat, blah supermarket produce, lots of refined starches, sugary juices, and baked goods made with vegetable oils and refined sweeteners?

Do you think this is upsetting, too, or am I just freaking out too much about stuff like this?  Did I forget any other horrifying facts about this junk?

By the way, as I was taking the picture above after Mass, a friend who I only met earlier this fall walked up, trying to figure out what I was doing.  I said, “If you haven’t already, now you’ll find out just how weird I am.”  :)

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  • { 60 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Susan November 22, 2011 at 4:09 am

    hi kelly,

    be sure and check your email from me, please. i want to buy the travel berkey w/ the black filters, and fluoride and arsenic filters, and a shower filter, and a bottle of the potassium iodate in case of radiation fallout. i want to make sure i buy items you sponsor, and anything i buy from amazon.com thru your website, as a thank you for all the research you save me from doing!!!

    Reply

    2 heather b November 22, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Kelly –
    I am happy you are “weird”! Great article. My son’s university has been posting pictures of its meals on fb, and I cringe to see their “healthy” offerings. One comment from a student claimed the 2% milk was just water with white color added.
    Thank you for all of your informative posts. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply

    3 Adrienne @ Whole New Mom November 22, 2011 at 7:37 am

    You are not the only one freaking out, Kelly. My father-in-law is in a retirement village and has lots of health issues. I so wish he would move in with us. I am so pained every time we visit to see what he and the other residents are eating. Tons of refined carbs and sugar and anemic eggs. I have often joked with my friends that if I ever end up in a place like that, I’ll be dead within a week due to how sensitive I am now and how I thrive on a whole foods diet (w special needs thrown in there too).

    We can only hope that our children are learning well and that we won’t be too much of a burden on them in our old age. It really bothers me how many elderly are in these places when in Japan, for example, the majority of older people live with their families. It’s hard, but helps build a proper society where elders are respected instead of hidden away.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    4 Jill November 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

    You’ve hit on one of my pet peeves! I don’t even know where to start! I remember when my father in law was hospitalized with Guillian Barre Syndrome and at the same time diagnosed with diabetes (he was unaware that he had it before). While we were visiting him his dinner was brought to him and the entree was MACARONI AND CHEESE! For a newly diagnosed diabetic! Of course he was on insulin, right? Like you said, hospital and nursing home food is incredible devoid of nutrition and loaded with toxins for patient’s already stressed bodies to try to deal with, but I’ve also always marveled at how CONSTIPATING the food is–for people who are stuck in bed and many who are on pain killers or other constipating medications. But of course, that’s why most of them end up on laxatives or stool softeners. It’s all about the drugs while the most obviously essential element to healing, food, is completely overlooked. And this is usually under the guidance of dieticians… Complicating the situation is budgeting issues that squeeze down so tightly on every department (my husband works at a hospital and deals with this daily), so to overhaul the cafeteria to use real food instead of cheap crap would require financial resources that are not usually available. But if our healthcare paradigm were to turn around so that healthy lifestyle/real food was foundational, far fewer people would even need medical services.

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    5 Beth November 22, 2011 at 8:25 am

    The sad thing is that my mom eats that type of food by choice now, so it wouldn’t mean any difference to her if she were in an assisted living environment eating the same. She does eat fruit and vegetables but entrees are mostly microwaved freezer boxes that are “low fat” with fake ingredients. I’m convince that what has helped her beat 2 types of cancer is how she ate as a child and growing up, not as an adult.

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    6 Beth November 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

    The sad thing is that my mom eats that type of food by choice now, so it wouldn’t mean any difference to her if she were in an assisted living environment eating the same. She does eat fruit and vegetables but entrees are mostly microwaved freezer boxes that are “low fat” with fake ingredients.

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    7 Amanda November 22, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I have to agree with Beth. While it upsets me that there is no choice to eat real food if one wants it, most of the people in the nursing homes I’ve been too have eaten processed foods since the 50s and 60s. My great aunt, a self-proclaimed farm girl who grew up drinking raw milk, eating organic produce and grassfed meat (what else was there?), she had a kitchen full of white processed sugar, low-fat dairy, vegetable oils and shortening, and butter substitutes. Switching to nursing home fare would have been no shock to her (although she lived on her own until she passed away in her late 90s). My grandmother was the same way, with skim milk, vegetable oils (I don’t think she’d used olive oil ever) and processed cereals and crackers.

    SAD is so ingrained in our culture, and has been for so long, that most folks don’t notice the fakeness of food in nursing homes, hospitals or universities. While institutional chefs really should be made aware of better options for those they are serving, if people don’t demand real food – I doubt it will ever be served. It is more time consuming and expensive to make – so no institution will switch until they start feeling the repercussions of NOT switching.

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    8 Cathy Raymond November 22, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Thank you for writing a post on this Kelly. When I worked at ManorCare corp offices, they were so proud that they could feed a nursing home resident for $2.50/day. It made my stomach churn. That’s no way to honor our elderly. But the problem exists that many of these folks now have taste-buds for this kind of food, and have you ever tried to change your grandmother, or even mother’s mind? Stubborn! Only a doctor’s white coat will make them listen. My mom just told me that WAPF was brainwashing me about butter, all in the context of having an anxiety attack. What to do?

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    9 Julie November 22, 2011 at 9:17 am

    My grandmother in-law is in a local assisted care facility. We’ve visited during supper a few times, and it is truly horrifying… it breaks my heart every time I read about how food can be SO healing… and I think of the reverse. That “food” or whatever chemical concoction they’re serving can be life-taking. How I wish people in authority could just give real food a try! See the changes! Nope, you’re not the only one. And I’m so thankful you’re out there, so I know I’m not the only one! Keep up the encouraging work, friend. :)

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    10 Stanley Fishman November 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Nursing homes are a national disgrace. They are all about money.
    Crap factory food is much cheaper than real food. To make a bad situation even worse, the government will pay when nursing homes use artificial food like ensure, but will not pay a penny for real food.

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    11 Susan November 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Stanley- You are so right. It’s scary how our government plays. And I fear it will only become worse now that campaign donation caps have been lifted. Now huge corporations will be able to donate unheard of amounts of money to the politicians. In turn, they will expect that politician to repay them by protecting their company. Soon our country will be run by Big Pharma and processed food companies while utilizing the highly compensated politician as their puppet.

    Is that a frightening concept, or what?

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    12 Stanley Fishman November 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Susan, I think it is already here. Big Pharma and the corporations do run our country. and control both parties. Their executives move between top government positions and top corporate positions. Here are a few examples:

    Monsanto lawyer Micheal Taylor is appointed to the FDA by President Clinton. He plays a leading part in getting FDA clearance for GMOs, and preventing the labeling of GMOs. He then leaves the FDA and becomes a Monsanto Vice President.
    President Obama then appoints the same Micheal Taylor as his food safety adviser, despite great protest by the organic and natural food movement. Taylor is once again in a high position at the FDA, and was quoted in the newspapers when he defended the farm raids.

    Dr Julie Geberding, appointed head of the CDC by President Bush, pushes through the approval of the vaccine Gardasil, and puts it on the recommended vaccine list. After President Obama is elected, she goes to work for Merck, the maker of Gardasil, and is now the head of their vaccines division.

    There are many other examples, but this is not the time or place to write a book.

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    13 KitchenKop November 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    This crap makes my blood boil. I notice that it’s bipartisan. Are ALL our leaders idiots, for REAL?????? Not just about food, either, as if you didn’t know. Kent and my brother and I were also just talking about what they’re doing to the financial markets around the country. I can’t think about all of this or I go crazy.

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    14 Stanley Fishman November 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Kelly, I think they are ALL idiots, for real. Yes, it is bi partisan.
    What they are doing to the financial markets is an outrage. Of Course, Obamas treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, comes from the huge Wall Street firm of Goldman Sachs, which got a huge bailout from taxpayers. The previous treasury secretary, appointed by Bush, also came from Wall Street.

    You are right, you cannot think about this too much or it can drive you wild.

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    15 Angie D November 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you (again) for noting these are huge, interconnected bipartisan issues! Really, this post & all the commenters’ great points have made me feel so much less alone today. You all rock!

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    16 jami December 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

    This stuff makes me irritated beyond belief. I think Ron Paul is the only candidate that supports our real food issues. He’s for Raw milk! Not sure about vaccines though…
    In pertaining to your above post, I was utterly appalled with the hospital food they served me after having my baby (non medicated of course) there was absolutely nothing I could stomach. I promptly had someone bring me food. How could they even call it nourishing? ? Lesson learned …

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    17 Linda November 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I have a 94 year old friend living in a home and I agree. I hate to see what she’s eating. Every time I come visit her and see the other residents I keep thinking that the crap food they were eating to begin with deteriorated their bodies and minds to the point that they have to now live in these places. My friend is very frail now, but not bedridden. She’s gotten very forgetful since she moved in there. I talked her daughter into bringing some coconut oil in for her. I’m just not sure she remembers to take it everyday.

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    18 ValerieH November 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

    In some ways, we can’t blame the previous generation. They were sold the “saturated fat is bad” story for 30 years straight. It was in every magazine, newspaper and tv show or ad. If anyone was the tiniest bit heath conscious, it would have been a no brainer. My grandmother grew up on a farm in Iowa. She was an educated woman in the 1930’s. She married a surgeon. Of course she didn’t breastfeed because she was doing what the modern experts said.

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    19 Angie D November 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I feel so much less “weird” now! Thank you, Kelly, thank you, fellow commenters. I work with seniors & I see this every single day. It’s simply criminal. The food, the massive amounts of pills to counteract the effects of the food, the side effects of the pills, which require more pills…sometimes I can barely sleep at night. You’re absolutely right that our government approves all this junk. I would just add that the producers of this junk (corporate “farms”) should bear responsibility as well for creating massive environmental (poisoned soil/water/air) as well as human damage. Can’t imagine how they sleep at night.

    Thank you again, everyone! I’ll feel a little better going into work today!

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    20 Katie @ Mexican WIldflower November 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I feel the same. I remeber visting my grandma in a nursing home and watching my dad help feed her her “smoothie” which was really a blended up bolony sandwhich and macaroni salad that everyone else was could was eating.

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    21 EllaJac November 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I agree that the ‘food’ here is deplorable.

    But I can’t go with you on the “should be illegal” aspect. After all, it was the GOVERNMENT who promoted it’s (various) food pyramids, the vegetable-oil nonsense, the vilification of butter. It was the GOVERNMENT who decided cattle would thrive as cannibals, that grain should be subsidized so we can pen everyone in CAFOs, that corn syrup is just like sugar… I could go on… Putting the GOVERNMENT in charge of our food hasn’t worked anywhere else, why should it work in a nursing home? Good change will come about when WE make the changes, when WE take care of our elders, when WE take responsibility for our family’s nutrition… :)

    [I realize the illegal thing may have been rhetorical, but to many it's not. Just thought I'd put my perspective in there! ]

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    22 Linda November 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    This is why I blame our govt for allowing this to happen.

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    23 Tarrant November 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    My younger sister is in a nursing home and I can totally make her week by taking fresh fruit or baby carrots and salad to her. She has numerous health problems that aren’t made any better by the food in the nursing home. She can’t eat pork because of a health issue and so they often substitute yet another chicken patty or chicken with goo as she calls it. The only “fruit” served is applesauce. I know part of the diet issue in nursing homes is choke hazard issues but surely they can do better.

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    24 Jill November 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I wonder what would be a good homemade substitute for Ensure or Pediasure. Would you consider posting a recipe (s) that is based on WAPF principles sometime, Kelly? Or, maybe some of the readers would be interested in submitting ideas and we can have a bunch of recipes to choose from. My neighbor’s toddler is underweight and her Dr. put him on Pediasure. All that stuff makes me cringe, and I know that if forward thinking individuals can come up with excellent baby formula alternatives, we can come up with some great alternatives for older children and the elderly.

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    25 Linda November 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I think soup made with homemade broth would be better.

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    26 KitchenKop November 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm
    27 Margaret November 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I have seen an improvement in hospital food, and at some hospitals, they have a menu you can order from, so you can choose healthy foods, and there are gluten-free and dairy-free options for those with allergies (my husband and I don’t tolerate wheat and dairy, except goat dairy). Nursing home food, on the other hand, is probably still crap everywhere. When my father was in a nursing home for 2 weeks to rehab after surgery, I noticed the food was much worse than when he was in the hospital, even though he was in a top-notch nursing home (and at this “top-notch” home, there was an intestinal bug going around that he got and I even got, just from visiting). Yes, nursing home food is appalling and it’s a shame that we can’t have the elderly living with extended families, but since there are few extended families anymore, it’s not always practical to have the elderly living with one of their children (if there is just one child or the children are scattered around the country). We need to create communities of people again that have all ages of people, instead of segregating people by age.

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    28 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook November 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    The food I used to feed my patients…you don’t even want to know. The “heart healthy” diets were insane along with the diabetes diets. And the salt free seasoning packets? Also, I wondered why soda was even an option. All the purees (for patients with swallowing issues) were thickened with weird powder and loaded with table salt and sugar. So glad I don’t work in a hospital anymore! I have seen things that no young woman should ever have to see.

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    29 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook November 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Horrifying. Of all of the people out there, those in nursing homes (and hospitals) are some of the ones most desperately needing nutritious, real foods.

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    30 Hannah November 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I’m not as far along on my journey to eating whole real foods, yet. But this post reminded me of the fact that our congress just passed something today stating that spaghetti sauce (mostly chemically engineered, I suspect) counts as a vegetable in our kids school lunches. So sad!

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    31 Heather November 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Aside from the nasty additives in most commercial versions of such things, I am having trouble understanding why people are upset about this, & would love it if someone would explain. Tomato sauce is cooked-down (i.e. concentrated) tomatoes. Tomatoes are used as a veggie, even if they are botanically a fruit, & they are very nutritious. Also, the average serving of spaghetti sauce is likely to include at least as much tomato as would be considered a serving, if they were being eaten whole. And tomatoes retain nutrition through the canning process better than most veggies. When I make spaghetti at home, with my own homemade sauce, each person is getting at least a couple of servings of tomato, plus onions and bell peppers and mushrooms. So what is the big deal?

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    32 Catherine H. November 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I believe few institutions prepare tomato sauce as healthfully as it sounds like you do. Typical prepared canned sauces contain preservatives, corn syrup, and soybean oil, not to mention the pesticides on the original plant. Plus, what is tomato sauce usually served with? Pizza, spaghetti, sloppy joes (all made with the worst quality ingredients); for institutions to be able to check the daily “vegetable” box by serving the above is rather disgusting.

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    33 Melanie, One Wellness November 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I have worked as a manager for a small group home for the developmentally disabled, and one of my main campaigns as manager was to improve the food quality for the residents. My supervisors all rolled their eyes as I revamped the pantry to include real foods and they cringed when I threw out the margarine and loaded the ladies up with real fats. Sadly I had to leave very detailed instructions for the care givers so that they would know how to prepare fresh vegetables and whole grains. But there was no mistaking the truth in Real Food when each of the residents lost weight and some were able to stop taking their stool softeners.

    Small changes like these may someday add up to a complete revamp of the “system.” I can only hope anyway…

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    34 Michelle January 6, 2012 at 8:51 am

    So encouraging! Good for you

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    35 Mary November 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Hubby’s grandma moved into one of those “retirement villages” nearly two years ago. She is now 91. Prior to moving in, she was healthy, active, etc. Now, she she gained about 40 lbs, and is always sick. The food they serve in that place is horrid. The only veg is canned and then boiled beyond recognition. I can’t even describe the meat. The tables look like the pic above. It’s seriously disturbing, and I wish that I could do something. I give her gift baskets of real food every holiday.

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    36 Lori @ Laurel of Leaves November 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    You’re definitely not off-point to freak out over this. It breaks my heart to see my husband’s grandfather eating that way with so, so many health problems. A long life doesn’t honestly mean much if you’re suffering through the last half of it with ailments! :(

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    37 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook November 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I’m with you on the junk part of the story but NOTHING that we chose to eat should be made illegal. The government should not be allowed to tell us what we can and can’t eat!

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    38 EllaJac November 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Bingo. :)

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    39 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook November 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Joy, you’re right, but that word made it a better post title. :)

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    40 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook November 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Seen it many times….your statement is true, for the most part.

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    41 Georgia Brinkley November 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    I have just been thinking exactly the same thing! These elderly folks NEED real food. The junk they are fed is only making their conditions worse, it’s a crime! I’ve been wondering what should be done to change this. Real nutrition classes for those managing the nursing homes? Or, are they mandated by the gov. to provide gov. approved food?

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    42 Butterpoweredbike November 23, 2011 at 12:14 am

    This is a sore spot for me. My Gran, the most loving and wonderful and adventurous woman I’ve ever known, ended up in a nursing home with Alzheimers. She was 4’8″, and gained 4 dress sizes in her time there because they weren’t allowed, by law, to not offer her food -endless meals and snacks, pretzels, fat-free puddings, Boost and Ensure shakes. The worst. And at that point, she ate by instinct, never refused food. To me, it felt like it was compounding the tragedy of her situation. All of that nutritional nonsense that may have contributed to her disease to begin with (all of those years with the doctors hounding her about her cholesterol, and the drugs, the endless drugs…).

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    43 Sheila November 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Ugh, I know what you mean. My husband’s grandpa has horrible heart problems — such that we’ve been told he was on his death bed several times, and the paramedics know him by name. Then I go into the kitchen at their house, and there’s Grandma, pouring “100% vegetable oil” (what vegetable, I wonder? kale?) into his salad. His other favorite food is instant oatmeal (“reduces risk of heart disease!”) with Smart Balance on it. Yikes. And they wonder where he got so many heart problems.

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    44 Barbara Harrington November 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I have a dear friend who has been in a nursing home for 11 years now. She is 85 and had a serious stroke 14 years ago. She lived in my home for 3 years.
    I agree that nursing home food is terrible! Once in a while, they manage to present something that sort of tastes good, but not often enough.
    As to my friend, the percentage of people who actually live that long in a nursing home is minuscule.
    I attribute her longevity to the fact that I provide her with fresh fruit daily and once in a while something home cooked.. Plus nearly daily visits.
    It is the government & the corporations. All about the bottom line. The folks I deal directly with in the nursing home are sympathetic, but feel quite powerless.

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    45 Sandy November 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I was an activity assistant at an assisted care facility in 2006 – 2007. I too was appalled at the enormous amount of canned and convenience foods the residents were fed. High sodium content, full of carbs and other sugars and more sodium, no fresh fruits, and the only fresh vegetable being the occasional iceberg lettuce salad. Sadly, many of the residents had dementia or Alzheimer’s disease – they just ate what was put in front of them.
    My own mother had Alzheimer’s – developed after a lifetime of absorption issues, surgeries, and eventually a colostomy. I’m convinced that her awful eating habits greatly contributed to her conditions. Why are there no reasonably-priced alternative care facilities that offer real food nutrition for their residents? It is a crime what we are doing to these precious elder members of our society.

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    46 Shirley Rosenberry August 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with you 100% I know what you are saying is true. as I am a resident in a Nurseing home. There food is like a fast food menu.A lot of fat and fake food I call it. I always was a person that liked my vegetables and fresh fruit.I will say that this summer we did have some watermelon which was pretty decent but canaloupe and honeydew served was not ripe and to hard for elderly people to eat.What can we do about it the Doctors who come to the home don’t seem to care about the resident’s diet.Here where I am at the diabetic gets the same diet as we all do. Just give them more insulin if their sugar is high.It’s a terrible health system we have no wonder we have the Medicare system going broke. But the federal government don’t seem to care about the elderly and the diets they are being servered just recently they are changing the menus at the schools but what about the elderly.Maybe if we complain to our Senators & Repesentives by letters that we wanted something done about the fake food being served in Nurseing homes maybe they would do something.I don’t believe that’s the way to treat our elders.We are to have respect for them.It is no wonder our debt and Medicare is soaring out of control.Just a few little simple things would help

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    47 DavetteB November 27, 2011 at 7:05 am

    So is the food they give to low income seniors and families. When I saw it I thought, “maybe they want to kill them off and get out of paying Social Security”. Peanut butter with hydrogenated oil, soups with HFCS, UHT Milk, frequently past date. The only good thing they do is the seniors and families with WIC get vouchers for the Farmers’ Market in the summer, but families not on WIC don’t get them. very sad.

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    48 WordVixen November 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    This has been bothering me for a long time. My mother, brother, and sister in law worked in nursing homes for several years, and during one conversation with my brother, he pointed out that the only reason that nursing (and assisted living facilities) homes cost SO much is because they’re so poorly run. He pointed out that all inclusive resorts often have much higher expenses, but actually manage to make a good profit while providing the customers with a wonderful experience. His idea was to build an assisted living/nursing home and run it on a hospitality industry plan with medical care provided. His idea became my dream. I want to see this happen SO bad. And while it would be nice to provide only wholly Real Foods, I suspect that the residents might put up as much of a fight as their misguided doctors. So my plan would be to offer choice (based on the Disney World hotel food courts). Grilled selections here, good home style food here, treats over here, and then try to keep the quality of the ingredients as high as possible. Honestly, I think having a large garden (herbs and veggies) and a small-ish animal farm would help to keep quality high and costs low.

    I’ll stop babbling- I have a LOT of plans involved for something like this to work out well, but for the scale that I’m looking at, it would take about $30 million in today’s economy to start, and I just don’t see investors going for a business model that actually puts its customers first. :-/ If only I could find a wealthy philanthropist…

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    49 KitchenKop November 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    What a noble dream, I’ll say a prayer that just the right wealthy philanthropist finds you! :)

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    50 WordVixen November 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    :-) Thank you! Seriously- my sister in law’s new boss is a hearing doctor and he wants to train her to become one as well. Maybe I’m just really narcissistic, but it almost seems to me like God’s pushing all the key people into the key positions to actually do this. Everything but the $, anyway. :-)

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    51 WordVixen November 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Oh! I wanted to tell you, too, about an onion pie that my mother absolutely raved about. She said that it was almost entirely onions and BUTTER. Apparently, the nutritionist at the nursing home that mom worked at was experimenting with recipes to try to convince them to use more real foods. Sadly, I think mom said that nutritionist got pushed out or left soon after. :-(

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    52 KitchenKop November 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve never had anything like that pie before but would sure love to try it!

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    53 WordVixen November 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I’ll see if she still has the recipe (I think she had it at one point? ) and try to pass it along. :-)

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    54 WordVixen December 11, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Kelly- I just got the recipe from mom! She says it’s actually more of a casserole than a pie.

    Onion (Cheese) Casserole
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 C. Ritz and Saltine crackers in about equal amounts, crushed (obviously we wouldn’t use those brands)
    1/2 C. butter, melted
    2 1/2 C. onions, thinly sliced
    2 TBSP butter
    1 1/2 C. milk, scalded
    3 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 lb of your favorite cheese, shredded

    Procedure:
    Mix crackers with 1st amount of butter. Place in bottom of casserole dish.

    Fry onions until lightly browned in 2nd amount of butter. Layer on top of crackers.

    Add eggs to scalded milk. Add seasonings, mix well.

    Add cheese to milk and eggs. Pour over ingredients in dish.

    Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes

    Reply

    55 KitchenKop December 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. I’m going to make some sprouted crackers just so I can try this recipe, thank you Lori!

    Kel

    Reply

    56 Felecia Berg November 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    You wanted to know if there were any nursing homes that fed their clients decent food? I think where my son works tries. Al is a great cook. He tries hard to create nutritious and tasty meals. They could use more tweaking, but old people are also hard to please and used to home cooked ways. Not all elderly have survived on the most nutritious diets. They are the pickiest eaters, often time going on self-inflicted hunger strikes. So… yes many of these homes have deplorable food habits, but in the end it is about money first, and pleasing the client second. Neither of these options is easy.

    Reply

    57 KitchenKop November 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I think you’re right, that the elderly are usually super picky, probably worse than toddlers!

    Reply

    58 Michelle January 6, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I just pulled up this post because my hubby just had emergency appendectomy. He’s still on clear fluids, which in their definition is rainbow jello, sugared juices, broth from a mix and coffee. yesterday we brought in some homemade stock and were told he wasn’t allowed to eat it but could have some ginger ale or the above items. I am furious and hope he will disobey their orders but he is scared. The other thing i thought i’d bring today is some herbal teas, even if he takes a weak one it will be more nourishing than just plain water which is all else he’s interested in right now. I have also brought some gelatin to add to his drinks. Anyone have any recommendations? I. May just have to wait until he’s home to give him good stuff. Oh ps….for others who are having surgery or healing, look into Silverlon patches. I just ordered them for hubby affer hearing amazing stories and research about their healing effects. Wish they were offered as a standard of care, because of course you’re not having them on hand when it’s an emergency!

    Reply

    59 KitchenKop January 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Wow, I’m in shock they won’t let him have homemade stock???????!!!!!!!

    And yes, silver is very healing. Colloidal silver can be applied topically, too. :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    60 Bee January 29, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    He is allowed to eat and take whatever food he wants. Nursing homes by law are not allowed restrict his food intact. I encourage families to bring in food. Sadly most food is regulated by the state and nursing home. Where I work, we make most of the stuff ourselves (thankfully.) I wish we could give real syrup and such. We sadly have to round the diet to meet everyone so not a lot of salt or sugar, means a lot of addictives. He can also request whatever food he wants, whenever he wants. Again, it is illegal to restrict the foods.

    Reply

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