Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Whining About Wine - It Can Be Dangerous Stuff Y'know!

Are you one of those people who enjoys a glass of wine in the evening? While I don’t actually drink a great deal of it, I have been known to participate in the sharing of a bottle now and then and generally have a nice bottle of rose tucked away somewhere, as well as the couple of bottles of cooking wines that are in my food cupboard, ready to be sloshed into marinades, sauces, casseroles and whatever else takes my fancy.

What I didn’t realise is that wine - the non-organic, conventional type, that is - contains LOADS of pesticides! Being made from fruit, I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before, but doh… I didn’t. Having mentioned it to a couple of others, it turns out I’m not the only one either.

The European Pesticide Action Network (PAN) ran tests on conventional wine and discovered that 100 percent of those they tested contained dangerous chemicals from pesticides. The wine they tested didn’t just originate from Europe, though - they tested wine from Chile, South Africa and New Zealand too. And what’s more, some of the wine came from world famous vineyards.

Both the chemicals themselves and the amount found in the wines varied but while the average was four different pesticides, one was found to contain as many as ten and five of those most commonly occurring have been classified as either carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic or endocrine disrupting. Sounds like we’ve been swigging away at some nasty stuff.

The main reason for this problem is that grapes are one of most contaminated foods that are allowed to be sold in the European Union and can contain up to 15 different chemicals. Fifteen!! That’s certainly got me thinking twice about ever buying non-organic grapes again!

Of course, the clue as to what we can do to avoid this can be found in that last sentence - yes, we should buy organic wine instead.

Most supermarkets have some organic wine available but for a wider choice (or if you’re a bit of a connoisseur), it’s probably better to shop at specialist online organic wine stores like Vintage Roots or Vinceremos or even Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard, the UK’s original organic vineyard established as far back as in 1979.

I feel rather sad to be waving bye-bye to my favourite wine - Blossom Hill White Zinfandel Rose - but with a bit of trial and error, I’m sure I’ll find an organic wine that I’ll like. Rather that than drink myself silly on chemicals!

Sharon J

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Richard said...

Probably fair to say that most of us accept the trade off between the beneficial affects and the residuals from the nasties.

Jack said...

Yikes! Never even thought about that issue. Never once tried organic, but I guess I will now. But I have to confess that i may still partake in Pinot here in there!



Catz said...

This is possibly something I should be taking on board. I know that organic would be better for me as there is a link I think between pesticides and cfs/me. I do love a glass of a nice red wine in the evening though!

Anonymous said...

I'm another person who never considered this issue!

Pink Bunny Ears said...

you see...you just taught me something else...being a person who likes to have a glass or two with every supper...having wine with supper makes us feel fancy...aristocratic even....now we need to move to organic wine produced locally - not a hard move to make - so thank you again sharon...for your amazing blogs ...and for teaching us something with every one of your blogs...you are a true visionary, darlin....
(*god i love learning from your bolgs*)

Sharon J said...

@ Richard. The thing is though, we don't need to. By choosing organic there is no trade off.

@ Jack. Oh, I'll no doubt be swigging a glass of Blossom Hill now and then too. Nobody can be expected to give up everything they enjoy ;)

@ Catz. It wouldn't surprise me if there is a link. Do you know about the link between cfs and acidic foods?

@ Mylifemakeoverjourney. No doubt there are plenty of issues I haven't considered either.

@ Pink Bunny Ears. And there's me been saying my entire adult life that I'm crap at teaching stuff to others ;)

Pat said...

I do love a good swig of wine at weekends but my guess is that organic wine costs twice as much as the normal stuff and if that's the case I think i'll just take my chances because I couldnt justify the extra cost on a luxury like wine.

neimanmarxist said...

sad about the pesticides :( nothing is safe from the stuff!

Sharon J said...

@ Pat. The one's I found on the Sainsbury website weren't any more expensive that the conventional stuff although sadly, they had no rosé.

@ Neimanmarxist. You're right about that!

Anonymous said...

did they test any organic wines? i couldn't find some of the info you had posted on their site, their website seemed very biased and pretty much advertised lidl at one point in their review of grapes in eu, do you have any sources on scientific studies relating to this post?

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