I’ll invite you to take 30 seconds to read this very interesting article about the last studies on pesticides in conventional wines. If you already eat organic, you should seriously think about switching to wine made with organic grapes and start drinking organic !
As of January, 2012, Approximately 5.1 billion pounds of pesticides were used per year in the United States alone. (1) Hold on … 5.1 billion pounds…. Can you even picture that in your head? I sure can’t. Of course, a lot is behind this increase. Round-up ready crop sales are steadily growing, that requires staggering new levels of pesticides and herbicides every year.
If you drink wine on a regular basis, you have made a conscious decision to do so (or at least I hope it is a conscious decision!). Regardless of how you try to spin it, prolonged exposure to alcohol is dangerous to our health. But I am not here to lecture. Resveratrol in red wine is not a reason enough to counter the deleterious effects of drinking. But that’s not the real problem.
Grapes are part of what is known as the “dirty dozen.” These twelve crops have repeatedly demonstrated to contain the highest levels of pesticide residues. In fact, several of these crops often contain multiple pesticides.
Little research has been done on the amount of pesticides present in wine sold by United States vendors. However, a report (2) by the Pesticide Action Network Europe group revealed a shocking discovery.
They examined 40 bottles of various wines from popular vineyards throughout Europe. Most bottles contained at least 4 different pesticide residues. Some wine bottles contained as many as 10 different pesticides. Of the 24 pesticides tested, 5 (including the notorious Atrazine) are known to contain carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting properties. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
We need to take into consideration some other factors. Pesticide standards are more lax than many nations throughout Europe. As mentioned earlier, the U.S. is continuing to require an ever-increasing amount of pesticides to help control various bugs in weakened, nutrient deficient crops. There are more plausible solutions. We could bring back crop rotation, and stop mono-culture planting, but this is not the current reality of the system.
This is why I urge consumers to consider purchasing organic alcohol products. Sure, we don’t KNOW the true level of pesticides and herbicides in our alcoholic products, but that is the point. Is it worth risk? Ask yourself if the gamble is worth it. Pay the few extra bucks and avoid the potential chemical cocktail.
To learn more about how pesticides can impact our health (and even the health of future children,) visit http://www.panna.org.
(1) EPA. (2012, January). Pesticides: Topical & chemical fact sheets. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/se
(2) Pesticide Action Network. (26, March 2008). European wines systematically contaminated with pesticide residues. Retrieved from http://www.pan-europe.info/Media/PR/080326.html