New York State Hospitals are joining the plant-based revolution. Last week, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill requiring all New York hospitals to offer plant-based meal options to their patients. This bill requires the hospital canteens to prepare the list of plant-based meals on the menu and a list of snacks with no animal products available upon request.
This is very good news for the inhabitants of the state of New York. Research shows that a diet rich in vegetables, grains, beans and fruits can help fight heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
Currently, many New Yorkers experience food related health problems. According to the New York State Department of Health, heart disease accounts for 40% of all deaths in the state, and 1.7 million New Yorkers have type 2 diabetes.
The new bill will also help the hospitals to save some money. The meatless options cost about half the price of meat entrees, according to a report done by St. Joseph Health System.
The bill was sponsored by a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advocates for improving health through plant-based diets and ethical research. The group wants to eliminate highly processed foods like bacon and hot dogs from hospital menus.
"By making plant-based meals the law in hospitals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put New York on the forefront of a growing movement to ensure that hospitals provide patients healthy, plant-based meals to fight heart disease, diabetes, and obesity" - says Susan Levin, director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Promoting healthy eating and normalising plant-based meals will have a positive effect on the local society and hopefully it will encourage other states to prepare similar legislation.