Monday, January 3, 2011


by Kate Collins

Because of severe health problems involving partial paralysis and balance, my friend’s 83-yr-old mother recently entered a nursing/rehab facility where she is currently receiving therapy and wonderful care. Well, almost wonderful, because when it comes to nutrition, they get a D-.

“You are what you eat” is an old saying with a lot of value. Your diet reflects your general state of health. Eat lots of greens, fresh fruits, low fat meats, and go light on bad fats, processed food, white flour, and sugar, and you are miles above the general populace. It’s Nutrition 101.

So why is a facility whose main goal is to rehabilitate and care for the elderly serving meals such as this: hush puppies (fried, processed cornmeal) tater tots (fried processed white potatoes) and fried fish (trans fat laden flesh from various fish parts)?

Or this for Mexican night: tacos (consisting of 3 tortilla chips and 1 scoop of ground something) refried bean paste, and 3 pieces of lettuce? I could go on, but you may be getting ready to eat, and I don’t want you to lose your appetite.

From what I hear, hospitals aren’t much better, and many school lunch programs are abysmal. My daughter was complaining about the poor quality of food in schools and asked, “Where do we start to get it changed?” My answer was that it has to come from a grass roots movement. We all have to demand it, otherwise the big food companies and their lobbyists rule.

My question is: Why do the above examples of meals pass as good nutrition? There is so much information in the news about how to stay healthy by eating healthy, why hasn’t that reached the people who are dedicated to helping people GET healthy? Why aren’t nutritionists being taught this?

I find this terribly frustrating. Do you?