Lebanon hospital becomes ‘world’s first’ to serve only vegan meals to patients – Totally Vegan Buzz
Lebanon hospital becomes 'world's first' to serve only vegan meals to patients
Image: Roman Zaiets/Shutterstock

“Adopting a plant-based exclusive diet has been scientifically proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them.”

This month, a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the very first hospital to start serving exclusively plant-based food to its patients.

According to Hayek Hospital, it overhauled its menu to ‘tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics not just treat symptoms’.

Plant-based benefits

Taking to Instagram, the hospital management announced: “There’s an elephant in the room that no one wants to see.

“When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in a hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital.

“When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals.

“When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been scientifically proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them.

“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.”

Hospital authorities said that they introduced vegan meals last year giving patients the choice to choose between an animal-based meal and a plant-based one.

The team added that during the transition phase, patients were educated on the benefits of an exclusive plant-based whole-food diet versus the dangers of animal-based food consumption and from 1st March,2021, patients are no longer being served “ ham, cheese, milk, and eggs … the very food[s] that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”

The hospital menu now includes a variety of plant-based meals such as a fajita sandwich, pizzas, vegan burgers, and croissants, as well as vegan versions of traditional Middle Eastern dishes.

Vegan meals at hospitals

While Hayek Hospital boasts of being the first in the world to ditch animal products for a 100% vegan menu, a new law passed in December has made it compulsory for all New York hospitals to provide a vegan option at every mealtime

According to the bill, all plant-based meals must be nutritionally comparable to its non-vegan counterparts.

Welcoming the law, Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., Director of Nutrition Education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) told LIVEKINDLY: “Offering plant-based options give doctors a teachable moment.

“To discuss why nutrition is a powerful tool to fight disease.”

She added: “Research shows that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans can help us prevent, and in some cases reverse these diseases.”

Similarly, Oregon House Representative Marty Wilde introduced House Bill 2348 in January to help residents in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and prisons have access to plant-based meals. 

In 2019, the American Medical Association passed its Healthy Food Options in Hospitals resolution, which included providing plant-based meal alternatives to patients, staff, and visitors.

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