Bacon

D.C. Bill Would Ban Hospitals From Serving Bacon to Dying Patients

And to everyone else, too.

|

People will want to stock up on comfort food and snacks before visiting their loved ones in D.C. hospitals, should a new bill from City Councilmember Mary Cheh become law.

Cheh's Healthy Hospitals Amendment Act of 2022 would prohibit hospitals in the city from serving bacon, sausage, and other processed meats, and mandate that they expand their offerings of plant-based meals and healthy beverages.

"Research shows that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, can help fight heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer," wrote Cheh in a letter Friday letter introducing her bill, noting that less than 10 percent of D.C. adults are getting the recommended number of vegetables in their diet. "With this bill, we can help to increase those numbers by ensuring that everyone at hospitals has access to healthy meals."

It's not a new idea. WAMU reporter Martin Austermuhle notes on Twitter that Cheh first introduced this bill in 2019, but it stalled in the city council.

The legislation is based on a 2017 resolution from the American Medical Association calling for hospitals to eliminate processed meats, promote healthy beverages, and provide healthy food at reasonable prices.

The outright ban on processed meats—defined as meats that have been "been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation"—is complemented by a number of regulations to nudge people into picking healthier drinks.

Cheh's bill would require that 75 percent of drinks in hospital vending machines, cafeterias, and cafes be non-sugar-sweetened beverages. Waters and sparkling waters would also have to be placed at eye-level in vending machines, or in the highest-selling position in the vending machine. Sodas would have to be placed farthest from eye level or in the lowest-selling position.

Hospitals would also be prohibited from providing sugar-sweetened beverages as part of patients' meals unless necessary for therapeutic purposes.

One can see a certain logic to Cheh's bill; hospitals are institutions of healing, so they shouldn't be selling food that contributes to poor health.

The most immediate objection is that it's really none of the D.C. government's business how hospitals stock their vending machines or organize their cafeteria menus.

More practically, it seems unlikely that tighter regulations of hospital menus will do much to improve patient health. People typically (and hopefully) aren't in hospitals for very long, so any health gains they reap from cutting out hot dogs will be pretty fleeting. People that are in hospitals for extended periods of time probably have a more serious condition that won't be fixed by drinking fewer Cokes.

There's also an unintentional cruelty to Cheh's bill: Hospitals don't have a reputation as fun places for a reason. If you're a hospital patient, something is probably seriously wrong with you. If you're a visitor, there's probably something seriously wrong with someone you care about.

People in physically and emotionally taxing circumstances could probably use some comfort. Ready access to a side of bacon could provide that comfort, even if it's not exactly the meal the surgeon general would recommend. And people dying of cancer should probably get to pick their own beverage of choice, even when not strictly "therapeutically necessary."

NEXT: Canadian Government Uses 'Terrorist Financing Act' To Target Financial Support for Freedom Convoy Truckers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Grains.
    What do you think they give to cows to fatten them up?

    1. I make 85 dollars each hour for working an online job at home. KLA I never thought I could do it but my best friend makes 10000 bucks every month working this job and she recommended me to learn more about it. The potential with this is endless.
      For more detail …. http://rb.gy/u603ti

    2. Lord forbid we let people make their own life choices and let the free market decide, so Thank goodness for uber eats and grub hub who will probably make a fortune bring people food in hospitals if this passes.

      1. Not if their management isnt at least 85% female, 20% BIPOC, 12.5% LGBTQAARP they won’t!

      2. Lord forbid we let terminally ill patients enjoy a last few meals. Reminds me of when terminally ill patients were denied pain drugs so they didn't become addicted. They died in pain instead.

      3. How many democrats have to go before this ends?

    3. Other politicians? It’s the circle of life…

  2. Note to self: Don't get sick or have an accident in D.C.

    1. have friend who is ICU nurse I tell everyone to stay outside the diameter of where his hospital is the first choice if one is injured

      1. I think every ICU nurse says that.

        1. I think every ICU nurse that says that is a RACIST!

          1. I am certain that you do.

    2. Don't have an accident in D.C.

      It's not up to you. - The Clintons

    3. "Research shows that City Councilmember Mary Cheh is a noxious busybody who should shut her fucking piehole."

      Gods, seriously. Denying bacon to the dying. What a fucking monster.

  3. They came after free speech.
    They came after fair elections.
    They came after our guns.
    But when they fucked with our bacon—that's when we rose up.

  4. He's just trying to get back at turdeau for not shooting the truckers.

    #uscanadatradewar

    1. Nicely put.

  5. Anything for power over others.

  6. My mother still sings the praises of the children's hospital I was in as a kid, because they let me have bacon and lucky charms for breakfast, while I was recovering from my spinal surgery. Shocking to busybodies I know, but when your loved ones are in literal agony, the miniscule health benefits of a handful of healthy meals they'll barely eat is far outweighed by the comfort of giving them something to enjoy in a terrible situation.

    1. My mother was a cafeteria lady at the local hospital in the 80's; They were locally famous for the quality of their food, even put out a cook book. (I have a treasured copy.)

      I don't think any of it was designed to be healthy, just to make the patients a bit happier.

      I should get it out and make mom's goulash recipe. It was superb.

      1. Heh, the girlie actually has goulash currently in the crock pot. Not using my mother/grandmother's recipe, but it's still always excellent.

        The food is one of many reasons I'm considering retiring in Hungary.

        1. How has Chumby not responded to this obvious pun-troll yet?!?

        2. It’s a ghoulish story, but I believe it’s a crock.

      2. Oh, do share. TBH, I didn't like a lot of the things my mom cooked but have fond memories of goulash.

    2. Of course there's a certain type of person who enjoys lording it over someone when they're down.

      Then there's a different but overlapping group that views denial of small gratifications as an end in itself, a primitive idea that sacrifice magically leads to good results. They even pushed some school curriculum in which they misled toddlers, telling them that marshmellows multiply if you don't eat them, and then making it happen. Those toddlers will have to learn the hard way in adulthood that that's not where stuff comes from.

      1. Teaching kids about the loaves and fishes while substituting Big Brother for Jesus. I do so appreciate it when their propaganda is so obvious.

    3. I had surgery just before the covid BS and the food was awful it was not edible nor healthy, it was disgusting. I could not eat it, hard to recover when you can't eat the crap. i don't know why doctors there allowed such crap. I do see they hired a new chef now so i hope they change. Same thing when my mother had heart surgery at a well know California hospital the food was crap, ever try eating oily soggy fish sticks, just garbage.

    4. Amen. When I was recovering from my own spinal surgery last year, enjoyed a soda with lunch and dinner. Anyway, if this crazy twat stops people from being served sodas, friends and family will bring them. My wife brought soda and corn chips. I had some, shared some with the nurses. Much appreciated.

  7. Hospital food is notoriously awful and they want to ban the only items on the menu that don't already suck?

    This might be the strongest argument yet for keeping government out of healthcare.

    1. I don't think this will do anything for the quality of the food served in hospitals.

  8. Because government dietary recommendations have such a great track record of accuracy and impact on public health?

    1. About the same as their covid counter measures.

  9. Being that nearly half of all men prefer bacon to sex, I'm guessing that Mary here was scorned by a bacon lover.

    1. It is more reliably good.

      1. Reliably and conveniently good.

        So far, zero kids as the result of ingesting bacon without protection.

        Also, I have gotten halfway through making a plate of bacon and discovered that, at that point in my life, I wasn't responsible enough or ready for a plate of bacon, and put it in the fridge for later.

    2. Given a choice between a lifetime of bacon and a lifetime of sex, well... it depends. Who is the lifetime of sex with?

      1. Bacon is always skinny.

        1. Not if you buy the thick cut.

  10. This is about the staff who eat there every day.

    1. Wrong, jackass. Try reading next time you apologize for statists.

      .@marycheh is introducing a bill that would ban "processed meats" (like hot dogs and bacon) from hospitals meals, limit the serving of sodas to patients

      1. Yeah, the employees will still be able to walk into the Starbucks just off the side of the cafeteria and get their 20 oz. double-shot of sucrose with extra frappe and a scone. Patients will just have to beg someone to bring them bacon and a coke.

        1. A lot of the food in hospital cafeterias is actually pretty good. My mom was in the hospital recently. Although the food they brought her for her meals was often an unrecognizable pile of mush, she enjoyed the food I brought to her from the cafeteria downstairs. She usually trashed what they delivered to her room and ate what I brought her instead. Eating the Shrimp and Brussels sprouts, chicken stir fry, sweet potatoes, and other such tasty foods is what helped her regain her strength enough to come home.

      2. Most of the meals are served to staff. And it’s staff that eat there all year.

        A patient’s health isn’t going to impacted by a handful of hospital meals but a career employee’s might.

  11. Pedantic fucks, well played. When we asked for you to cut the pork, this is not what we meant.

  12. Hospital food: Terrible, but not so terrible that politicians can't make it worse.

  13. Stupid, stupid law, as are most like these intended to protect health. First of all, what’s to stop a patient’s friends or family from bringing them whatever junk food they want? I still remember my mom bringing my uncle a Big Mac when he was recovering from a heart attack. This was 30 years ago, so what are they going to do now, search visitors’ bags ? (Wouldnt put it past DC) . Second, hospitals make lots of money off concessions and vending machines, if that dries up, they’ll have to find another way to make money, sure they’ll raise patient fees and then the retarded DC government will complain about that.

    1. When I was stuck in a hospital after having no food for 3 days, and they thought serving turkey sausage and egg whites was more important to my health than restoring my stamina so I could recover, I dealt with that by using doordash and Amazon prime. Problem solved, although it did earn me a note in my record that I was not being compliant. I wear that as a badge of honor.

    2. during Covid families were not allowed to visit patience so no help there if you want food

  14. Is uncured bacon white processed adjacent?

    1. Yes! Just like beyond burgers are meat-adjacent. What part of “against the spirit of the rule” do you not understand?

  15. My lack of bacon protects you, your lack of bacon protects me...

    1. Trust me; my lack of bacon would make you severely at risk.
      When the revolution starts, no prisoners.

  16. Going to keep pushing it:

    We need a constitutional amendment protecting meat eating. Another 20 years and it'll be too late.

    1. Then there will be no need for the 2nd amendment. Which we all know was to protect the right to hunt.

      1. Mah right to own a flintlock!

        1. Actually it wouldn't be a bad line for the 2nd amendment: anything that could plausibly be used by an individual to harvest animals for their flesh without harming others. Note: not "is usually" but "could plausibly".

          So fully automatic weapons OK. Saturday Night Special OK. Possession of dynamite or a hand grenade OK (just in case you wanted to fish on a private pond). Motor vehicles with outrageous headlights OK.

          Nuclear weapon not OK. MOAB not OK. Most poison gases or WMDs not OK.

          Seems about right. Zero textual justification but when's that ever stopped a good idea.

          1. Dynamite is an excellent fishing tool.

  17. If you need a smoke, simply walk across the street from any supposedly “tobacco-free” hospital. You’ll find dozens of nurses, employees and patients puffing away you can bum one from them maybe, or just breathe in the equivalent of a cigarette in a few seconds.

    1. Deterring you from doing that is the whole reason the gowns don't close fully in back.

    2. Of course, it is difficult to smoke through a N95 mask

  18. That is the wrong kind of pork gubment should be getting rid of!

  19. And people dying of cancer should probably get to pick their own beverage of choice, even when not strictly "therapeutically necessary."

    If you're unable to eat and wasting away because of chemo-induced nausea, it's harder to conceptualize a more nutritive, calorie-dense, and broadly appealing meal than bacon.

    1. My ex-wife kept a friend of ours alive through chemo for stage IV brain cancer with cheesecakes, basically.

      1. Bacon cheesecake?

        1. I know you probably wrote that in jest. It's a crazy idea but crazy enough it just might work.

          I thought chocolate covered bacon sounded horrible until I tried it.

          Bacon. Is there anything it can't do?

          1. Make your meal kosher.

            Salami in a hoppel poppel is a nice alternative.

    2. Good point.

    3. When my wife was in for surgery, she was taken to her overnight hospital room too late for the hospital "dinner", so they offered her some wimpy jelly "dessert". She texted me and I brought her an onion and pepperoni pizza, which we shared. Talk about "healthy"! And no armed guards to stop me either.

  20. While I can accept the general concept that a hospital ought to serve wholesome foods to its patients, I find the idea that the details ought to be decided by politicians to be completely ludicrous.

    Politicians are not knowledgeable about any subject, although in some cases they would make passable prostitutes.

    1. One could also make the point that doctors receive little or no training in nutrition. What they think they know they got from watching Oprah Winfrey's show

  21. "The most immediate objection is that it's really none of the D.C. government's business how hospitals stock their vending machines or organize their cafeteria menus." The heart of the matter given just one sentence. The rest of the article is quibbling.

  22. BACON!!???
    THEY ARE GOING AFTER BACON!!???
    Well, at least they will learn what insurrection really looks like.

    I am going to research how to make a mask out of bacon.

    1. It is similar to making a mask out of human skin. Not that I have any experience with that kind of thing...

  23. Name your leftist excuse supporting mandates and there is your rationale for this.

    Also, she can salve her conscience that she did something but with this fig leaf proposal. If it causes one person to change their ways or live one more day, she probably believes that it is worth it.

  24. So the government's goal is make damn sure when you die in a hospital, you die unhappy?

    1. you will be happy to die sooner rather than later than cost the government more money for your care. see there is a cost cutting plan here

  25. People in physically and emotionally taxing circumstances could probably use some comfort. Ready access to a side of bacon could provide that comfort, even if it's not exactly the meal the surgeon general would recommend. And people dying of cancer should probably get to pick their own beverage of choice, even when not strictly "therapeutically necessary."

    Perfectly phrased!

    Even a condemned man (supposedly) gets his choice for a last meal. If steak isn't on my menu, there damned well better be bacon!

  26. 'Bacon is proof that there is a god, and that he loves us!'

    1. The god of Islam doesn’t like it.

  27. Good to know the DC government has solved all it's other important problems, e.g. homelessness, drug use, violence, police brutality, and a partially closed subway system, that this is at the top of the agenda.

    Such a well-run city ought to be paradise on Earth.

  28. Yes, I've always said if I'm dying in the hospital and in excruciating pain, I want the doctors to withhold pain meds and bacon. For I would hate to become addicted to pain meds or to have my arteries clogged by all that Cholesterol. Just let me die in pain and hungry, said no one!

  29. Presumably if it really is as healthy as bureaucrats say customers would be lining up to demand that. Those pesky people just don't know what's good for them I guess. Thank god we have politicians to help!

  30. Someone should sue on the basis that banning bacon is 'establishing' either Judaism, or Islam, and therefore unconstitutional.

  31. Congress wants to be the only ones serving up pork in DC.

  32. There's good news in the Washington City Paper for February 11:

    "Mary Cheh Will Not Seek Fifth Term As Ward 3 Councilmember"

    She cites re-evaluating her life in light of the pandemic. One hopes the real reason is pushback over this and her other attempts to tell people what to eat.

  33. The Damn Nanny-State is Back.

    Fuck Joe Biden.

  34. As the crime rate surges in DC this is what they legislate! Brilliant! Fucking bunch of retards.

  35. "With this bill, we can help to increase those numbers by ensuring that everyone at hospitals has access to healthy meals."

    And by "access" Cheh means she will determine the only choice.

    I wonder what this cunt means by "conversation".

    1. “Conversation” means shut up, and do as you’re told.

  36. *Everyone* in a hospital, staff included, is in the process of dying; kinda' comes with being born.

  37. Isn't all meat processed?

  38. These are the worst foods for your health, experts say
    Turkey bacon isn’t a healthy choice either

    Turkey bacon isn’t a healthy choice either.

    "If I can convince my patients to give up bacon, the next question I get is usually whether they can have alternatives to bacon, like turkey bacon. I explain that it's the processing that makes the meat harmful. So replacing bacon with turkey bacon to make it healthier is misguided," says Shali.

    "All types of bacon are processed to become bacon, so changing the type of bacon does not change the fact that it’s processed meat" she says, noting that this is a difficult diet change to make, especially if someone has been eating processed food all their lives.

    With that said, Shali urges people to remember when they reach for turkey bacon at the grocery store that "it’s processed meat that has nitrates. And according to a study in the Meat Science Journal, in the stomach, nitrite can eventually form carcinogenic nitrosamines in the acidic environment."

    https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/experts-the-worst-foods-for-your-health | 29 Jan 2022 - Perri Ormont Blumberg | Fox News

    I've been eating processed turkey products rather than processed pork for years because it's lower in fat. Uncured, no nitrate turkey dogs are as pricey as quality all-beef franks. Hell with it, I'll roast or broil some chicken drumsticks.

  39. Politicians do not have the competence to make these types of decisions in any way, and no one should have the authority to make such decisions under threat of legal sanctions. The puritanical hubris of government officials is really a trait the current crop need to be punished for.

  40. Hospitals have dieticians and shouldn't these be the people to assign what people can and cannot have in their hospital diets. I don't think we need to have politicians deciding this matter.

    1. Yet you’re a democrat. Your party doesn’t believe in limits on legislating it’s whims and lame ideas.

      1. First, I am a moderate and there are moderates in both major parties. Second both parties like legislating on bad ideas, just different ideas. Most of that legislating comes not from the middle but from the extremes of each party.

        1. Your comments say otherwise. If you were truly ‘moderate’ you would be trashing most of the democrat agenda on a daily basis. Yet you’re their cheerleader.

    2. How about letting the patient decide what they want to eat?

  41. In a related story...Death Row Inmates Not Allowed Bacon As Last Meal. "It's never too late to improve your health" claims executioner.

  42. Sorry, but this absolutely makes sense and we should expect more of it.

    The government currently provides health insurance for slightly over 40% of the population and controls the rest of healthcare. When we put the government in charge of our lives we should expect them to do what is "best" for us. By implementing these kinds of changes they're doing exactly what we've asked - - - they're lowering the costs of healthcare.

    Every U.S. citizen reading this expects to be on Medicare eventually. The government is simply making sure you're as healthy as possible when you enter Medicare or some other public health program (Medicaid, VA, etc.) so you don't become an undue burden.

    There will be more of this because we have voluntarily and happily ceded control of our lives to the bureaucracy.

    Seriously, what did you expect?

  43. Processed food is bad for you, unless it is fake meat.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.