In my adventures around hospital cafeteria food I found myself exploring the Compass Group's website (world's leading provider of retail food service delivery) and I also enlisted some folks from my office to do so. Lorne, our director of operations, came across something they call, "Steamplicity".
Basically it's a vending machine that cooks meals using steam, and where I see great promise for a system like this is in those hospitals where their cafeterias close at 2pm and aren't open on weekends.
If you've ever worked a night shift in a hospital you'll know that pretty much every night there's a group of docs and nurses ponying together to order something from takeout and I'd be willing to wager there's not a nursing station in North America that doesn't have a dedicated drawer of take out/delivery menus.
How great would it be to actually be able to instead go downstairs and order a hot, healthy meal? Meals like Oriental Rice with BBQ Chicken, Mediterranean Chicken & Ratatouille Vegetables, Mild Vegetable Curry and Rice, Haddock with a Penne Pasta Mornay, Broccoli and Cauliflower Mornay, Mediterranean Vegetables with Olives & Mozzarella and of course Salmon with Julienne of Vegetables & Chive Sauce? That's the promise of Steamplicity.
Now of course I don't have any nutritional breakdowns to look at, and the photograph on the menu has a big steaming pile of white refined rice, but certainly I can't imagine it would be that difficult to have Steamplicity make some truly healthy options.
I'm not sure if Steamplicity is set up as a standard vending machine or if it's more for institutional meal preparation, but given the existence of the unit itself, how hard could it be to set it up for vending machine style use?
See, even good news from Big Food!
So that rounds out good news week....maybe I'll do another one someday, but not next week. Next week I've got a bunch of angry posts planned.
Thursday, June 26, 2008