Sick Patients Are Pumped Full of Feed-Tube Formula of
Corn Syrup That’s Produced by … Nestle?
One concerned daughter created the first ever self-stable feeding tube formula
free of chemicals and processed foods.
Ensure is produced by Abbott Nutrition, a company that competes with the multinational conglomerate company, Nestle to produce most of the feeding tube products available.
To give an example of what Ensure is made of, the first six ingredients—i.e. the most highly concentrated ingredients—of 36 items listed in the Ensure “Powder Vanilla” product are, in order:
“Corn Syrup, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar (Sucrose), Corn Oil, Sodium & Calcium Caseinates, Soy Protein Isolate and Artificial Flavor.”
“[Ensure is] a very traditional way the medical system addresses getting calories into people because they can’t swallow or because they need more calories from some disease problem,” says Lavelle, noting that when she worked in hospitals Ensure was the only feeding tube formula she remembers them using.
She continues, “The problem is it’s loaded with sugar. It’s got refined sugar in it, like corn syrup. It’s got the concentrated milk protein casenite. … It’s processed food. Basically, it’s not real food.”
Nestle and Abbott Nutrition produce a majority of feeding tube formulas on the market, and Lavelle says hospitals and care facilities typically recommend Ensure and similar products to feeding tube patients.
Lavelle is an instructor through the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s “Food For Life” program, and an advocate of unprocessed, whole foods as a means of promoting health. She says she has found it discouraging that the medical system addresses most issues from a pharmacological or procedural standpoint, with little-to-no emphasis on lifestyle interventions like nutrition.
“When I talk to people [about health], I start with food because I think it makes the biggest difference and gets to the root of the problem,” she says.
So, when Lavelle’s neighbor was told to drink Ensure, she asked around the medical and nutrition communities in search of a feeding tube formula that was made up of whole, non-processed foods.
“Everyone said, ‘We can’t help you,” she says.
It was not until this year that Lavelle discovered the first ever shelf-stable, organic, whole foods feeding tube formula on the market. It is called Liquid Hope.
The Story of Liquid Hope
Robin Gentry McGee, a health and lifestyle coach and chef, faced a dilemma when her father suffered a brain injury and coma in 2005. The feeding tube food her father was consuming consisted of what McGee calls “essentially sugar water.”
McGee says very early on in her father’s treatment she picked up the feeding tube formula can he was using at the doctor’s recommendation, read the ingredients list, and realized it was “garbage.” She calls it, “the can that changed her life,” adding that to this day she has kept the can as a reminder.
That can began McGee’s search for a clean, whole foods-based formula to feed her father. After scouring the Internet, health food stores, supermarkets, and everywhere else she could think to look, she couldn’t find anything of the sort. So, McGee, then a chef with a background in whole foods nutrition, decided to create the formula herself.
“I basically created it because I had to,” she says. “I was trying to save my dad’s life, and to me giving him the high fructose corn syrup sugar water was not an option—unless I couldn’t do it myself—but I had to try. And, I was able to successfully create it with the oversight of a doctor who was an internist.
Thank you alternet.org
By: April M. Short