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Plant Based Hospitalization Proposed
Please don’t share this article with your bacon eating friends

No one wants to be in the hospital unless it is for a happy occasion like the birth of a child, but if HB 2348 is enacted the hospital will get just a little more uncomfortable for some.

HB 2348, sponsored by Representative Marty Wilde (D-Eugene), would “Prohibits hospitals from offering processed meats”. What is included in the definition of processed meats? “Processed meat” means meat and poultry that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or any other process, other than cooking, to enhance flavor or improve preservation, including but not limited to hot dogs, sausages, bacon and turkey bacon”. So, no bacon next to those powdered eggs the morning after you have your baby.

Long Term care facilities are also subject to this bill, but at least they get to keep their bacon and hotdogs, for now. Long term care facilities are facilities that provide medical services, including nursing services but not surgical for two or more patients. In exchange they are required to offer to patients, residents, staff and visitors 100% plant-based meals and 100% plant-based beverages that are low in fat, sodium and added sugars.

While it is nice to have variety, requiring these facilities to have this available to basically everyone all the time could pose several problems. Many of the plant-based products are not recommended for freezing giving them a short shelf life which could lead to increased food waste. They are often more expensive, but the bill clearly states that “100 percent plant-based meals shall be offered at no additional cost beyond the cost charged for a comparable meal that is not plant-based”. This will lead to increased costs for all meals to make up for the additional cost of a few. As the health care industry continues to struggle with cost, the last thing they need is boutique regulations.

Finally, there are not currently plant based alternatives for all food categories. Yes, there actually is plant-based lobster, but no plant-based scallops, clams, mussels or oysters don’t yet exist. Many people think that food choices should be left up the individual and when the government starts dictating what goes on the menu at Hospitals and long term care facilities, it is opening up the door to move into other areas of private and public businesses.

--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-01-20 15:21:16Last Update: 2021-01-20 16:28:16

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