If you've been following my Tweets over the weekend, you know that I was at the hospital up North with my Mom. She was taken there by ambulance Friday night with a few different problems. Thankfully, she is much better, but this post, however, is basically a get-it-off-my-chest post…
It wasn't easy for me to let it go when I saw what was coming up on her meal tray, or the food choices on her list to pick from. First of all, she's diabetic, you'd think her food options might look a little better. Maybe they were better than the average patient's choices, and that is a scary thought, indeed.
Here are some examples of what got me all riled up:
- Margarine comes up routinely on the trays. When I asked if they had any real butter, the dietary aide looked at me like I had 3 heads and said, “Well, I don't know. People so rarely ask for it…we might have some in the freezer.” Thank God she found some, so we could keep it nearby and promptly toss the “Promise” packets in the trash when they showed up. But what about all those patients who don't know to ask for it?
- The “SF” option was all over the menu list. “Sugar free yogurt”, “Diet Jelly”, “Sugar free syrup”, “Sugar free jello”, “Sugar substitute” for her coffee, “Sugar free ketchup”. Yes, since she has diabetes, she can't have much sugar, but why not only a small amount of real sugar, and that's it? Or a natural sugar substitute, like Stevia? All those chemicals in her system can't be good. (She uses these at home, too. That's what the dietitians tell her to use! And as an update, guess what? She died of cancer a few years after I wrote this post…)
- There were no healthy fats in sight. How can patients heal without healthy fats? As I said, margarine is all you see, and there's also plenty of 2% milk offered, along with low-fat yogurt, and non-dairy creamer. (Find out why low-fat dairy is terrible for us.)
- Mom said the scrambled eggs tasted like “egg beaters”, and if not, they were barely yellow and made with more egg white than egg yolk, the most nutritious part! (Eggs are a superfood! SO good for us!)
- The one that really got me going: an option for breakfast was (of course Mom didn't choose it), are you ready for this? CORN POPS cereal!!! Oh, what's a little high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, super processed corn, & chemical preservatives to help a diabetic patient recover?! Check out this Corn Pops ingredient label.
It's an uphill battle, but we'll win for sure!
Some days when writing this blog and interacting with all of you, my awesome informed readers who are open to the truth about nutrition, it's easy to think that we're getting there! The truth is getting out! Then I sit up at the hospital a few days with Mom and I'm head-first back into the realization of how far we have yet to go.
It's not their fault
Believe me, I get it that the dietitians putting the junk on the hospital trays are A. stuck within their budget, and B. only doing what the “higher ups” tell them to do and what they have taught as “healthy food gospel”. Before we can change what the registered dietitians are feeding hospital patients (and school kids), first we need to reach the doctors, but before we reach them, I believe we'll have to teach them. I suppose the only way to do that is to continue teaching each other and hope it trickles up. One thing that comes to mind is how my doc didn't have a real high regard for organic foods when I first brought it up to him a few years ago, but now that it's all over the stores due to consumer demand, I'll bet he's thinking more about it these days. Also, it's encouraging to see that the WAPF is gaining ground and spreading the word far and wide.
What are your ideas? Where do you see the important battles taking place?