Tuesday 26 August 2014

The Scottish Vote: Should pie be served at a Hospital?

On a wet and miserable Bank Holiday Monday, a debate was rumbling North of the border. It captured the attention of the host and listeners of BBC Radio Scotland and hit the headlines in a number of newspapers and other news outlets. Oh, and I’m not talking about the Scottish Referendum, by the way. (Or the far more important Scottish debate – Should the Scotch Pie be independent?)

The question being debated was in fact a lot closer to our heart… or in fact all our hearts, if you believe this headline from The Telegraph:

Hospital canteen's 'fry-up' pie is 'heart attack on a plate'

Fry Up Breakfast Pie Review
The pie sparking this controversy - Photo: The Telegraph

But here at Pierate we want to look at the pros and cons of making a hospital a hosPIEtal, especially after a healthy(?!) debate on BBC Radio Scotland. We tried to phone in on but sadly weren’t given the op-pie-tunity to share our views, however they did read out our tweet live on air (they just didn't acknowledge it was us):

But first – it appears the most important two questions have not even been asked by anyone! Before we debate whether the product should be sold in the hospital, surely we need to ask:

Is it a pie? - While unfortunately not having had the chance to actually eat and rate this pie yet, having had a look at the photos this does not appear to be a fully encased in pastry product with clearly defined base, sides and lid. It certainly doesn’t meet our definition of a true pie! You can see the egg, bacon and other content – which shouldn’t be so if the pastry lid is doing its job – so I think this is really a tart.

How does the pie or ‘pie’ rate? – Before we discuss if it should be sold in a hospital, surely we should be discussing if it should be sold at all!!! If it doesn’t score strongly on the Pierateer’s 7 Cs of pie rating, then surely it is not worth selling ANYWHERE! And again looking at the photo, it is not fully encased, has a very pale pastry colour and boil out to spoil the condition, so this isn’t looking like a top scoring pie (though for just £1.50, it seems it could score well on cheapness!)

So with those two issues out of the way, we’re going to assume that it is at least worthy of being sold and briefly outline a few points regarding whether this pastry product (and pies in general) should be sold in a hospital. And thanks to some of the callers on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Morning Call” (available to listen back to until Monday 1st September) who helped me think through some of these views:

  1. Pie brings great joy and hap-pie-ness to all that eat them – so why would you deprive hospital patients, staff and visitors of this chance of a pastry treat as comfort food?!
  2. It’s up to the patient, staff or visitor to decide if they want to eat a pie or a nutritional salad – pie contains a lot of important food substances too, even if this ‘fry up’ pie is not a great example of this.
  3. Have they not read that you can eat 21 pie meals in a week and lose weight?! Incredible findings from Pierateer SJL query all this negativity about the pie being so unhealthy (and we are appalled at pie being labelled “junk food”)
  4. This particular pie was on offer in the hospital shop – not even the hospital canteen or being served up to the patients! So what’s all the fuss about?!

  1. Well, we’re hardly to going to find many reasons not to eat pie, are we! But what I would say is that it has to be a highly rated pie, well ranked on the 7 Cs of pie rating, otherwise the pie shouldn’t be sold anywhere, let alone in a hospital! But it must be said that breakfast ‘fry up’ pie – at a reported 600-800 calories – is certainly not the most appropriate pie they could offer in a hospital. (Though we know that eating pies as part of a healthy, balanced diet can mean you lose weight.)

We may be pie-ased, but ultimately our view is that pies SHOULD be sold in hospitals – and everywhere else, while we’re at it! – but the pies on sale should be highly rated on the 7 Cs of pie rating. It is ultimately the decision of the patient, staff or visitor to decide what they eat – pie or not! So here’s our 400+ pie rankings list to help you decide which pies you should be enjoying...


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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