Taking my food writing lumps

Today I was glad I didn’t have a byline on what I was writing, having to boast about food products I would personally never purchase or use because of the health issues associated with them.

I was tasked to write about a fruit juice product geared toward diabetics, using artificial sweeteners to keep the carbs and glycemic index low. The company, a sponsor in an in-store food magazine I’m writing, claims to produce dozens of flavors that are all natural with no artificial ingredients, which I think is wonderful and admirable, if true. But as I started reading the ingredient lists on their products, I learned they were just like most other processed food companies pulling the wool over consumers’ eyes with tricky marketing and clever phrasing — all of which I have major issues with.

With the help of some new information published by the American Dietetic Association, managed to talk the publisher of the magazine into only using a side bar to focus on the juice, rather than an entire article. It wasn’t the most ideal situation, but it was at least a step in the right direction.

I walked a fine line today, risking my freelance job for the sake of real food. I struggled with wanting to walk out the door, wanting to call the juice company and tell them how much they stink, and wanting to shake some nutritional sense into every pre-diabetic and diabetic person out there who will buy this juice.

I finally settled on just taking the lumps and writing the article, but I definitely didn’t do it quietly.

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