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Hospital Gives Cancer Patient Meat After Operation

The following article was written by Carissa Leventis-Cox of Mama in the Kitchen, and she ain’t cookin’!

What’s wrong with animal-based foods? Well, if you’ve seen the recent documentary Forks Over Knives, you know that the message from highly respected doctors is clear and simple:

  • The quantity of animal-based foods consumed is directly correlated to degenerative diseases—especially heart disease, cancer, and diabetes—as well as obesity and erectile dysfunction.
  • Research has shown that adding animal protein to or eliminating it from the diet can turn cancer cells on and off.
  • A whole-foods, plant-based diet has the power to prevent and cure many diseases.

And yet there is a very obvious disconnect between the research and the food that many medical institutions serve their patients. Would you give an alcoholic a bottle of wine? Would you tempt someone who just quit smoking with a cigarette? Then why do hospitals serve their patients, who are struggling for health and possibly life itself, animal products—the very foods that have been shown to cause many diseases in the first place?

A few weeks ago, someone very close to my heart had surgery to remove cancer cells from her lung. While I was undoubtedly saddened by the news, I was appalled by what kind of food was served to her at a highly reputable hospital. Her very first meal was breakfast: oatmeal (the healthiest choice on the tray), French toast (dairy and eggs), two pieces of greasy bacon (after lung cancer surgery … really?!), and canned fruit. Lunch was turkey and gravy with mashed potatoes (dairy again), green beans (on the side), and grapes (at least!). Dinner was beef stew and broccoli (on the side). For snacks, family and friends were offered ice cream, which was full of artificial ingredients, except for the first ingredient: cow’s milk.

The total ignorance revealed by the choices offered by the hospital’s food service is appalling but not really surprising. I remind myself that this is how many people eat. This is considered normal food. But it is wrong on so many levels, especially in a hospital. While many of us are unable to make drastic changes to hospital food services, we can make our choices known: Take better food to your loved ones in the hospital, and ask the hospital staff for vegan options!

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  • Marc says:

    Nothing a hospital serves tastes good.

  • Andrea says:

    I’m a nutritionist and unfortunately most of the population isn’t vegetarian. But it is my dutty as a professional to bring the patients the most properly food for them, and that’s why it’s so important to make a clinical history… and sadly we fight against a system whose main concern is money…

  • Denise says:

    I had a lump removed from my breast in march this year and I am a veggie, I was told I would have a meal put by for the evening after my surgery bearing in mind you don’t eat the night before the surgery you are hungry, when the time came they bought me steak and kidney pie….yummy for a veggie, when I told them they said there is nothing else so I ate a packet of crisps, nice and healthy. I am in the uk.

  • Tina says:

    The patient should have some input as to what they will eat or not eat. If that were me I would have refused the offered food(?) and asked for a vegan meal, can’t go wrong!

  • n says:

    Let’s be honest, for many hospitals the food budget isn’t the first priority, and it’s likely a place they scrimp and save as much as possible. My mother is a doctor and her hospital recently hired out all their food production. Also, as we’ve noted, this is the way a majority of Americans eat, and who wouldn’t want if not expect familiar if not comfort food during a hospital stay? Hospitals also have to produce high volumes of rather simple-to-prepare (or reheat) foods quickly. That being said, what can we do to encourage more conscientious choices for patients and even doctors? Perhaps a form letter we can modify and send to local hospitals, a script for calls, especially if they include facts (and sources) like the above about the connections between the food they serve and illness. Perhaps recommend that the hospital dietitians devise simple, low-cost food choices that the average patient will find appealing, and that every patient gets a visit and information from one? Just some suggestions I thought of on the fly.

  • Giga says:

    ditto nikki

  • NIkki C says:

    Excellent article! I have often thought about this myself, and have always been appalled at food I’ve seen hospitals serve to patients – full of artificial, chemically injected, unhealthy foods. Don’t they get it!?! It’s so sad that that type of “food” (if you can even call it that) is considered the norm and not enough people find anything wrong with it. I feel like the “healthcare” system often seems like it’s designed to keep people sick – it’s a vicious cycle!!!

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