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By Marilyn Kennedy
We are all pretty conscientious about reading food labels, especially those of us who have or who are caretakers for loved ones who have serious illness, allergies and/or dietary restrictions.

I recently went to the outpatient lab at my local hospital to have a routine blood draw. About halfway through, I began to pass out and so the phlebotomist had me put my head between my knees, put a cold compress on the back of my neck, and offered me a juice box.

I had the presence of mind to ask if the juice contained sugar. The response was, “I don’t know.”
I took one or two sips of the “juice” but it tasted odd to me and so I didn’t finish it. When I got home, out of curiosity, I read the ingredients label … which took up an entire side of the juice container!

The first thing that struck me was the bolded statement: Contains no juice.

The first ingredients were water, sugar, corn syrup solids, whey protein isolates, artificial flavors … and a long list of additives and preservatives. This was just chemical soup!

I have a severe multi-glandular autoimmune disorder and I am in recovery from cancer. I have many food sensitivities and dietary restrictions including no sugar, dairy, or food additives. Unfortunately I thought I was safe in a medical care facility. I was really surprised that a medical professional working in a hospital lab would offer a food product to a patient without asking about their medical conditions or any food allergies, sensitivities or dietary restrictions they might have.

So … please read food labels not just at the grocery store but in hospitals, labs, outpatient care centers, and urgent care facilities.
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