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!