greygarious was recently, uh, privileged to sample his local hospital food—and his Chowhound sensibilities were scarred for life. “I ordered a side salad [and] it was a tiny bowl with perhaps a half cup of lettuce and a slice each of cucumber and tomato,” he says. “I could understand small servings of the less healthy items but you’d think they’d size in such a way as to promote the healthier foods.”

Pei finds the same to be true of her local hospitals. Expect such delights as “chicken broth that tastes like it was made from powder, gummy oatmeal, ultra-pasteurized juice and Jell-O that taste like they’ve been cooked to death and yet are still chock full of chemicals, bleh,” says Pei. “I feel sad just thinking about it.” taos was served “Jell-O (essentially sugar water), super salty chicken broth, white toast, and tons of butter”—on a cardiac ward, no less.

There is a trend, however, toward hospitals providing tasty food that might be healthy enough not to undermine their healthcare mission. shaogo has had experience with good, made-from-scratch food at a hospital, which contributed to patients gaining much-needed weight. Pia has also had a great experience with hospital food: “delicious salad with spinach and strawberries, and really good cheesecake” were among her selections. This is a hot trend. “Hospital food-service operations all over the country are starting to serve very good quality food,” says shaogo. “It’s in all of the industry magazines. Slowly but surely, the days when hospital entrees were flavorless rubber, and hospital veggies were sulfurous gray gack, are ending.”

Board Link: How is the hospital food where you live?

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