What comes to mind when you think of an average hospital meal? Likely something bland and processed and, if you’re lucky, a dessert resembling Jell-o.
Food is critical to health and recovery, yet many medical facilities fall short when it comes to nutritious options. The personnel at Beirut’s Hayek Hospital in Lebanon have given the food they provide a lot of thought and have ultimately decided to become the world’s first vegan hospital.
Hayek Hospital has been en route towards vegan meals for a while. They already give their patients a choice between plant-based or animal-based meals, as well as information about the nutritional benefits of plant-based foods.
After some deliberation, the staff decided to take matters into their own hands and only serve what’s best for their patients—and the environment. On March 1st, the hospital announced the official switch to a fully vegan menu.
The decision to go vegan was influenced by the World Health Organization’s classification of meat as a carcinogen and supported by staff who pointed out that “three out of four emerging infectious diseases come from animals.”
The personnel at Hayek recognize that they have the moral responsibility to align the practices and actions of the hospital with emerging nutritional research and are proud to follow through with their commitment to plant-based nutrition.
Lebanese cuisine features many vegan dishes already, and Hayek hopes that good meals that incorporate some of these traditional foods such as pita, hummus, falafel, and fava beans will ease their patients’ hospital stays and help them recover their health more quickly.