Hospital Food Industry Failed on my Report Card

Melbourne Hospital Food Industry  15 10 2014 NoFructose_372I spoke to the Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare National Conference yesterday in Melbourne.

I ‘think’ the talk was a success and some inroads were made.

There were some open minds present and productive discussions with some hospital food industry leaders was made. This is not to say change will occur quickly but steps in the right direction did occur.

I survived in the ‘den of lions’ and the person who had put up the complaint of me speaking before the conference was not met. Just maybe, my presentation was rational, measured and justified with current literature.

The audience of Hospital and Aged Care Food Service managers were largely receptive and seemed from discussions that followed to have open minds.

I have been invited back next year to speak again at the National Conference so my presentation did achieve a milestone to consider ‘change’.

One of my important points was to create the OPTION and CHOICE of Low Carbohydrate (and preferably High natural Fat) meals based around CURRENT science.

I pointed out that you can have Halal and Kosher meal options, Vegan and Vegetarian choices and a whole variety of ‘Sensitivity’ meals with flawed guidelines that are based on ‘opinion and belief’ rather than science.

I want the hospitals to start providing the option of Low Carbohydrate meals.

Next time you go to hospital start asking for LCHF. Start demanding it. Start writing to the hospital food service managers and make them aware that you want that CHOICE. That would be my recommendation.

Two hospital based Dietitians (not from Tasmania) spoke with me positively about the change to a lower carbohydrate option.

A few Food Service managers spoke to me about the obstruction of change by their Dietitians and their concerns of the stand of the Dietitians Association of Australia. So Chef Pete Evans and I are not alone in stating my concerns of this parent body.

My talk finished with looking at current Australian and Hospital Food Guidelines and how they were flawed to begin with and not followed by the institutions anyway.

You cannot state as a hospital or aged care facility that you adhere to guidelines and then not follow that path. The fact that these institutions are failing on several fronts was detailed in the presentation.

I quote this from one of the delegates who I met afterwards and she posted this yesterday.

“You needn’t have worried about closed minds. It was very informative and is the very spark we need in our healthcare systems.

I can’t wait to get back to work and start developing menus,that firstly our residents enjoy (I work in Aged Care) and secondly will be beneficial to them health wise.

Feeling inspired. Thank you.”

That sort of feed back gets me inspired.

I have to thank Dale Anderson as Head of Food Services at the Launceston General Hospital for putting me forward as a ‘controversial’ speaker for the National Conference. It was a brave move on his behalf and together, with open minds, change just might occur.

PS. I did accept that invitation to speak again next year. There will be a few discussions before then though.