I thought I knew but now I really know: Hospital food

Has anyone ever told you that hospital food is really crap?

I mean, we have all heard about how disgusting hospital food is, but I’ve always thought of it as one of those generalisations that people take as truths, whether or not anyone has actually experienced them. Sort of like how I’d nod my head when people say American cars are crap eventhough I’ve never driven an American car before, and Obama seems to be doing pretty well with his Cadillac.

Plus, one of my uncles was a cook in a hospital and he is brilliant in the kitchen and everyone in the family loves his food, so it can’t be THAT bad right?

But no, it was worst.

The very next day after my appendectomy, the nurse was pushing me to get off my arse, “move around”, and to start eating.

But dude, the food was so disgusting I’m sure even if you’re in prime health on a bright sunny summer day, you still wouldn’t touch the food.

It was bland, colourless, tasteless. If I could describe a taste and texture as an old lady with a catheter with pale mushy skin – that was the food.

If they want patients to start eating and working towards some semblance of a normal routine, giving us crappy food really doesn’t help. Has anyone not thought of that? Understandably, they want us up and out asap to free up bed space, but you don’t give people crap food and at the same time hope that they will regain their appetite right?

Jamie Oliver’s revolutionised school dinners, so maybe it’s time someone does something to hospital dinners.

Speaking of which, while half-awake one night, I heard a nurse making a call: “Yes, can we please request a security officer to stand outside the door of T9-40? ….yes, it’s Gordon Ramsay….”

I wonder if he got fed the same food.

5 thoughts on “I thought I knew but now I really know: Hospital food

  1. Hey, so sorry that you were well earlier (was wondering why you haven’t been writing…), I hope you are feeling better now and that things have improved…

    I once worked (summer volunteer type thing) in a kitchen in a hospital in HK. At that time, the main concern is to get the diet/ portion right; I guess the difficulty with hospital is, a lot of patients require special diet, and there aren’t enough people behind the stove. It’ll be interesting to see how the master chef will feed patients with loads of food allergies/restrictions…

    btw, and this is totally irrelevant, I am seriously thinking about buying a bike and learn cycling (I knew how, but am not sure I still do). Am very scared but excited about the idea…

  2. Hey.. just stumbled across your blog this evening and I have pretty much read the entire thing. Love it, and wish I had read it earlier. I arrived in London from New Zealand in January this year and am just at that “I need a proper job” and “how does this city actually work?” stage. Having read your blog, 1) you are so right about the shower heads and 2) it is really hard to meet friends over here and 3) I now really want to go to Whistable and eat oysters and 4) I want to go to Bestival. So thanks for the new ideas :-) Samantha

  3. Mag, yes, I guess that’s why hospital food is so bland. Low sodium…low this, no that….low everything!

    Funnily enough, the food lady comes by everyday to hand out the menu for the next day. As long as you’re conscious enough, she’ll hand it to you and you can tick what you fancy for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow. I thought that was quite neat, that we actually do have some choices. But for some reason, because of that, I thought we can also tick whether we need restricted this or that or not…..but I suppose that is too detailed and no one seriously wants to make 3 versions of each dish: low this, no that, and tasty normal!

    It’s great that you’re thinking about cycling! I’ve sent you an email about it. Hopefully you’ll find it of (some) help and I really hope you do hop on a bike!

  4. Hi Samantha,

    Awww…thanks! That’s really flattering!

    Yeah, nothing’s really changed in a year: my shower head is still pretty much shit; I still don’t have many to call friends; I am still very fond of oysters in Whitstable (although I haven’t been back since); and YES, GO TO BESTIVAL if it’s one thing you do here!

    I hear the Big Chill is very good too. These two appeal to me as they are not as massive as the likes of Glastonbury which I think is a little too…overblown for my tastes. People who’s been to Glastonbury tells me that due to the sheer number of people there, your tent ends up being a few miles away from the events ground and it’s just a real chore walking to and from the shows!

    • Oh I just saw your reply – sorry! Yeah I haven’t really had a satisfying shower since I got here.. the water sort of dribbles out and it takes about an hour to wash my hair :( Annoying! Definitely gonna try and get to Bestival though – I had a look at the website and it looks like a lot of fun! I think a lot of people feel like Glastonbury is the festival you have to go to, but it doesn’t appeal to me that much.. mud and thousands of people.. I’d rather go somewhere less popular! Hope you’re out of hospital now and on the mend. I am (meant to be) a speech pathologist and we are responsible for assessing people’s swallow in hospitals and then putting them on awful puree diets to increase safety. If there’s anything worse than hospital food, surely it’s mashed up pureed hospital food!

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