4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Jell-O forever

Dear Matthew Alice:

When I had my tonsils taken out (a rite of passage in the 1930s), I was served a helping of Jell-O. With the birth of each of five children, the hospital tray had a glob of the jittery stuff. Last week I visited a sick friend, and there on the lunch tray was-- yep! A dish of Jell-O. Does Jell-O have some hidden nutritive value (other than the listed lots of sugar, minimal one gram of protein) that hospital nutritionists see fit to serve it so constantly?

-- Dolores Smith, San Diego

Jell-O. Grandma's favorite subject. Grandma is to Jell-O as Michelangelo is to marble. There's no shape she hasn't tried, nothing she can't suspend in molded lime. Grapes? Banana disks? Child's play. For Father's Day, she gave Pa Alice a Sunset Salad with orange Jell-O, carrot curls, pineapple chunks, argyle socks, and a tie. So we were sure she'd have the answer to your question, Dolores.

"Hospital Jell-O? And just why do you think I'd know anything about hospital Jell-O? After all my years of blending and crafting and perfecting my skills�the year I covered the Christmas tree in cherry Jell-O and tinsel? All the Jell-O jack-o-lanterns and birthday cakes? Why, I--"

"Okay, okay, Grandma�."

Jeez. Artists. Let's try somebody who just cuts 'em into cubes and throws 'em in a bowl.

Kraft Foods. That's Jell-O's parent company. We dialed them up. The corporate Jell-O word is, the stuff has been around since 1897, and they've never, ever called it a health food. It's been a fun food, especially for kids, for all it's jiggly life. Fancy molded Jell-O salad was the official side dish of the 1950s, and today they still sell nearly half a billion boxes a year. They've tried some questionable flavors like cola and chocolate, but don't look for spinach or ginseng any time soon.

So let's try the medical side. UCSD has lots of medical people. We dialed them up. Why, why is Jell-O a hospital staple, right up there with penicillin and gauze pads? Well, Dolores, turns out it has nothing to do with protein, as most people think. Jell-O is actually the anti-protein. It's a popular post-surgery food precisely because it helps keep blood sugar up and has almost none of that hard-to-digest protein. And you don�t even have to chew it if you don't want to. If a patient can tolerate Jell-O, the chef can move on to something more adventurous. Creamed beans. Bread in white sauce.

But when you consider the situation, Jell-O is also rampant in cafeterias, prisons, salad bars, all-you-can-eat buffets� It's everywhere. Know what the feds served immigrants who came through Ellis Island? Jell-O. It's always been a cheap, colorful, easy to make, easy to serve, easy to store, everybody likes it kind of eatable. This is most likely why it appeared on hospital menus in the first place; any health benefits were recognized later and just guarantee it will be around forever. One day someone will wake up from head transplant surgery and be staring at Jell-O.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Trattoria Etrusco: like eating a cloud

“This pasaje, I am in love with it. It brings the world.”
Next Article

San Diego live jazz bounces back

Madison on Park, Panama 66, Queen Bee's, Westgate Hotel, Athenaeum

Dear Matthew Alice:

When I had my tonsils taken out (a rite of passage in the 1930s), I was served a helping of Jell-O. With the birth of each of five children, the hospital tray had a glob of the jittery stuff. Last week I visited a sick friend, and there on the lunch tray was-- yep! A dish of Jell-O. Does Jell-O have some hidden nutritive value (other than the listed lots of sugar, minimal one gram of protein) that hospital nutritionists see fit to serve it so constantly?

-- Dolores Smith, San Diego

Jell-O. Grandma's favorite subject. Grandma is to Jell-O as Michelangelo is to marble. There's no shape she hasn't tried, nothing she can't suspend in molded lime. Grapes? Banana disks? Child's play. For Father's Day, she gave Pa Alice a Sunset Salad with orange Jell-O, carrot curls, pineapple chunks, argyle socks, and a tie. So we were sure she'd have the answer to your question, Dolores.

"Hospital Jell-O? And just why do you think I'd know anything about hospital Jell-O? After all my years of blending and crafting and perfecting my skills�the year I covered the Christmas tree in cherry Jell-O and tinsel? All the Jell-O jack-o-lanterns and birthday cakes? Why, I--"

"Okay, okay, Grandma�."

Jeez. Artists. Let's try somebody who just cuts 'em into cubes and throws 'em in a bowl.

Kraft Foods. That's Jell-O's parent company. We dialed them up. The corporate Jell-O word is, the stuff has been around since 1897, and they've never, ever called it a health food. It's been a fun food, especially for kids, for all it's jiggly life. Fancy molded Jell-O salad was the official side dish of the 1950s, and today they still sell nearly half a billion boxes a year. They've tried some questionable flavors like cola and chocolate, but don't look for spinach or ginseng any time soon.

So let's try the medical side. UCSD has lots of medical people. We dialed them up. Why, why is Jell-O a hospital staple, right up there with penicillin and gauze pads? Well, Dolores, turns out it has nothing to do with protein, as most people think. Jell-O is actually the anti-protein. It's a popular post-surgery food precisely because it helps keep blood sugar up and has almost none of that hard-to-digest protein. And you don�t even have to chew it if you don't want to. If a patient can tolerate Jell-O, the chef can move on to something more adventurous. Creamed beans. Bread in white sauce.

But when you consider the situation, Jell-O is also rampant in cafeterias, prisons, salad bars, all-you-can-eat buffets� It's everywhere. Know what the feds served immigrants who came through Ellis Island? Jell-O. It's always been a cheap, colorful, easy to make, easy to serve, easy to store, everybody likes it kind of eatable. This is most likely why it appeared on hospital menus in the first place; any health benefits were recognized later and just guarantee it will be around forever. One day someone will wake up from head transplant surgery and be staring at Jell-O.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Will Horton Plaza's office complex foreshadow the city's homeless housing?

Todd Gloria, Nora Vargas cheering on the subsidies
Next Article

Freaked out at dolphins

Sticks to friendly Tourmaline
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close