Speaking of nutrition … Outliers has to admit we have a love-hate relationship with french fries. We know their faults and try to end our relationships with the spuds, but we always come crawling back. Who can say “no” to a tempting basket of crunchy, perfectly salted, deep-fried taters?
Outliers: Rex Healthcare says bye-bye to fries
But even with fries' flavorful lure, there's plenty of health-related reasons that tip the scales in favor of shunning the grease, and that's exactly what the food service providers at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., are doing.
Last year, Rex eliminated deep-fried foods from patient meals, but still served them at their two cafes. That accounted for 17 tons of fries and 4,666 gallons of oil in 2011. Seventeen tons.
But that's about to change. February marks Heart Month, and Rex officials say it's the ideal time to wave goodbye to fried foods. Fans of alliteration and healthy eating will love February's Fryerless Fridays, when food staff every Friday all through the month will depower the deep fryer to keep fried foods off its menus. This is another step in completely vanquishing fries, tater tots and other deep-fried items from the hospital.
The Fryless Fridays will extend into March, ridding chicken nuggets, chicken wings and fried chicken and fish from the menus. Rex officials plan on targeting vending machines as well.
“For now, the vending machines and Courtyard Cafe still have potato chips and other junk foods. Down the road, Jim McGrody, Rex's director of culinary and nutrition services, plans to look at other ways to replace unhealthy choices with healthier options,” Rex spokesman Alan Wolf wrote in an e-mail.
Rex officials plan on removing its fryers in April and replacing them with convection ovens to reproduce the crisp food while saving calories from fat and money from oil. Gourmet baked potato wedges are one of the menu's replacements. They'll come prepared in varieties including Thai chili with garlic and cilantro, and dill pickle with sea salt and fresh dill and malt vinegar. A mix of spice blends will be on hand to further enhance flavors.
Many public schools have already banished deep-fried foods from their cafeterias. Rex officials say they're the first hospital in North Carolina to ditch the deep fryer.
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