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San Diego Hospitals Working To Make Their Food Tasty

By Kenny Goldberg

When you think of hospitals, tasty food doesn’t usually come to mind — whether it's dining choices in the cafeteria or for patients — but hospitals throughout San Diego County are trying to change that reputation.

Take San Diego's Sharp Memorial Hospital, where chefs and cooks are working to dish out healthy and delicious food.

You won’t find fried chicken or a glazed donut in the hospital's cafeteria. Instead, you’ll find displays of fresh fruit and a big salad bar.

And the entrees? How about pot roast with seasoned vegetables, or citrus and herb crusted salmon?

“I hire executive chefs, just like restaurants and hotels," said Lauren Blacker, Sharp's district manager. "Why should our food not be amazing because we’re a hospital”

Blacker, a registered dietician, has helped transform the menus at Sharp through a partnership with Sodexo, a food service company.

It’s been a five-year journey.

Early on, Sharp decided to toss out the salt and sugar and bypass processed food. Now, it’s all about using fresh herbs and spices. Nearly 30 percent of the hospital's produce is from local growers.

A chef at Sharp Memorial Hospital prepares a salad to be served in the hospital's cafeteria in January 2015.

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