It's a pregnant woman's prerogative to be a bit picky. To have food fads. It's entirely understandable, given the changes a woman's body goes through. Her sense of smell and taste can become highly sensitive. For me, it was the smell of instant coffee. Twenty-three years later, my stomach lurches just thinking about it.

So perhaps we can forgive Marise Murrie her outburst against the Manawatu District Health Board. Marise was pregnant with her third child when she was hospitalised for two weeks and lost 10kg because of what she described as inedible food.

She admits to being a picky eater and, wary of the quality of meat, chose the vegetarian meals. What was served to her, she said, was slop. In defence of Palmerston North Hospital, and all our hospitals, they're not there to provide exciting dishes.

Many patients are too ill to care what they're served and the food is, by necessity, bland albeit nutritious.


My friend was in hospital for a while and, as she gradually got her taste buds back, we brought food she enjoyed - and was permitted - to the hospital. Sushi. Pasta. Soups. I suggest if Murrie has to return to hospital, and I sincerely hope she doesn't, she takes up her friends' offers of help and orders her organic lamb tagines and fresh fish goujons through them rather than the overworked, underfunded catering staff.