Hospital ‘food’

My poor friend K was unlucky enough to be admitted to Cambridge’s Addenbrookes Hospital recently for an op, and this is what they fed her (she was lucky to escape with her life, quite frankly):

Cheese pie – note the luminosity of the radioactive cheese and powdery mash:

Strawberry jelly: or is it ectoplasm retrieved from a Victorian seance?

Ready brek oatmeal cereal: please Sir, I don’t want any more.

Tinned pear and custard: shoot me now…

Vegetable curry: Nurse, pass the sickbucket…

Note the complete absence of fresh food. Everything is processed, microwaved to within an inch of its life, suffocated in plastic wrap. If you’re recovering from any illness or op, the first thing you need is crisp, fresh fruit and veg bursting with minerals – my friend had to beg her boyfriend to bring fresh apples to the hospital. I know that none of these pictures will be news to anyone because hospital food has been crap for eternity: but not having been in hospital myself for a while, I didn’t remember just how brown and beige – and neon – it all is.

A hospital stay is usually made more bearable if you have relatives and friends who can bring you in supplies of fresh food so that you’re not relying on the hospital muck. But what if you’re on your own without visitors? I can imagine people getting much sicker eating this junk. It’s ludicrous: you’re ill, so why not eat something totally inedible, devoid of nutrition? It defies logic. So even though the NHS might think it’s cheaper to serve up this toxic muck, it would actually save money spending a little more on fresh ingredients and training people to cook, saving tonnes of money in the long run because people would get better faster. C’mon Jamie Oliver – what are you waiting for?



  1. I remember, during the heady dayze of Virgin Net, my ol' man had a sudden and unexpected heart attack. After dashing across London in a mad sobbing panic to see him, I found him sitting up in bed eating soggy hospital fish and chips. I could NOT BELIEVE they were feeding him more of the tragic oily deathmush that had put him in that condition in the first place.I had to take him something healthier to eat every night and make sure he had a ton of fruit and juice by his bed. Un. Bel. Ieve. Able.If someone offered me spacefood in hospital, they'd be in an operating theatre within 5 minutes having bits of broken plates and cutlery removed from their person.(But at least healthcare is free in the UK, here in Aussie it costs a fortune and is, well, shite.)


  2. That strawberry jelly is clearly made of pepto bismol.Which might just suppress the nausea you feel after eating it… geeeniuss!


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