“Patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs – the very foods that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place”
On March 1, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve only vegan meals.
The menu change came after a transition period where Hayek offered patients a choice between animal-based and vegan meals, along with information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products.
The hospital announced the switch on Instagram with a poignant post.
A colorful falafel platter of vegetables. Bild: pixabay.com
“Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs … the very food [s] that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place,” Hayek Hospital posted.
The hospital went on to address “the elephant in the room” citing examples of why animal products do not belong on hospital menus.
“When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as Group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) – [the] same group as tobacco — and red meat as Group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in a hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital,” the hospital continued, pointing out that according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three out of four emerging infectious diseases come from animals.
“When adopting a plant-based diet has been scientifically proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them,” the hospital posted.
“We then have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions”.
Taking the courage to look at the elephant in the eye. “
Instead of animal products, Hayek Hospital is now offering a variety of plant-based meals such as a fajita sandwich, vegan burgers, pizzas, and croissants, along with vegan versions of traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as shawarma platters, shish Barak, and labneh sandwiches.
And I mean…The fact that the Hayek Clinic in Lebanon is apparently the first hospital in the world that only wants to offer vegan catering sounds like an exciting – but actually overdue – development to us!
After all, the WHO made its warnings on processed and red meat known to the public many years ago.
Several other international organizations have been warning of the consequences of meat consumption for many decades.
Last year, a survey showed a staggering 83 percent of patients favor hospitals banning processed meat to ‘reduce cancer risk’.
The data came from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) who surveyed 200 patients in two Washington D.C hospitals.
It also found that 69 percent of patients feel it is ‘not important’ that hospitals offer bacon or sausage.
It’s time to create a healthier food environment.
A wonderful initiative, we are very happy and congratulate the Hayek Hospital in Beirut!
My best regards to all, Venus