Balsamic Vinegar Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/11/22 •  9 min read

What are balsamic vinegar benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are balsamic vinegar pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

balsamic vinegar benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on balsamic vinegar benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about balsamic vinegar benefits and side effects. This will include balsamic vinegar benefits for your health and potential risks, balsamic vinegar water footprint and balsamic vinegar carbon footprint, balsamic vinegar sustainability, if balsamic vinegar is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if balsamic vinegar is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about balsamic vinegar benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Balsamic Vinegar Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Energy: balsamic vinegar is good for / helps aid digestion, longer feelings of fullness

Longevity: balsamic vinegar is good for / helps heart health, improve blood circulation, improve hypertension, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, promote healthy gut bacteria

Appearance: balsamic vinegar is good for / helps clear skin, glowing complexion, weight loss

Balsamic vinegar is…

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ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: likely low, 608 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of grapes / 73 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of grapes

Carbon footprint: likely low, 0.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of grapes, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers

Destruction: low, balsamic vinegar production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Balsamic vinegar is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, balsamic vinegar production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, balsamic vinegar production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from balsamic vinegar production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Balsamic vinegar is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Balsamic vinegar…

Where does most balsamic vinegar come from?

Italy is the world’s top balsamic producing country and exporter.

Is balsamic vinegar nutritious?

Balsamic vinegar is high in antioxidants and contains acetic acid which contains strains of probiotic bacteria.

balsamic vinegar is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Is balsamic vinegar alkaline or acidic?

Balsamic vinegar is acidic.

What is the pH level of balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar has a 5.0 pH level, once digested.

However, not all vinegars are acidic. Apple cider vinegar, for example, is extremely alkaline. Distilled vinegar and rice vinegar are mildly acidic.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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balsamic vinegar is gluten free.

balsamic vinegar benefits include being gluten free

Is balsamic vinegar gluten free?

Yes, balsamic vinegar is naturally gluten free. Balsamic vinegar does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

balsamic vinegar is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is balsamic vinegar a common food allergen?

No, balsamic vinegar is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to balsamic vinegar but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

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balsamic vinegar is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is balsamic vinegar eco friendly? Is balsamic vinegar sustainable?

Balsamic vinegar production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

balsamic vinegar is vegan.

balsamic vinegar benefits include being vegan

Is balsamic vinegar vegan?

Yes, balsamic vinegar is vegan. Balsamic vinegar is a vinegar made from grapes and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

balsamic vinegar may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is balsamic vinegar a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with balsamic vinegar production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about balsamic vinegar benefits and side effects.

Sources:

[historical record]: balsamic vinegar – FoodData Central

traditional balsamic vinegar: Topics by Science.gov

Varieties, production, composition and health benefits of vinegars: A review

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer. I organize ethical info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers planet. Use HEALabel to go vegan, live sustainably and optimize your health!