What are wine benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are wine pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day. 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 wine benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about wine benefits and side effects. This will include wine benefits for your health and potential risks, wine water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if wine is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if wine is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about wine benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Top Wine Benefits And Side Effects
Wine side effects may include:
- alcohol dependence
- impaired decisions
- death and disease
- liver damage
- weight gain
Wine health benefits may include:
- combat macular degeneration
- reduce cholesterol
- reduce inflammation
- slow aging
- reduce risk of heart disease
- *if consumed moderately
Additionally, wine is…
- Acidic 5.0 pH level (most wine) once digested
- Gluten Free
- May contain a common Food Allergen: FISH, CRUSTACEANS, and/or EGG
- Note: Wine contains sulfites and tannins
Water footprint: unknown
Carbon footprint: high, 3.5-3.3 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of alcoholic beverages, a car driving equivalent of 8.75 miles or 14 kilometers
Destruction: high, alcohol production negatively impacts the planet with the process of growing the ingredients necessary to produce alcohol, grains, potatoes, rice, botanicals, sugar cane, and agave are all significant ingredients in the alcohol industry, which require a significant amount of fertilizer, land and use of machinery to produce beverages that aren’t necessary for human survival, resources could provide food and beverage aid for those in need
Kills: none, wine production does not require any animals to die
Harms: none, wine production does require any animals to be used
Indirectly kills or harms: potentially cows, fish, crustaceans unless wine is labeled “unfined’“ or “unfiltered”, which indicates no animal products, ecosystems and wildlife unless labeled “unfined” or “unfiltered”
Wine is typically…
- Not Vegan, unless label states “unfined” or “unfiltered”
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems
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 exploitation is common, 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, 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
Where does most wine come from?
The world’s top wine exporting country is France, followed by Italy, Spain, USA, New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, Australia, Chile and UK.
wine is acidic.
Is wine alkaline or acidic?
Wine is acidic.
What is the pH level of wine? Most wine has a 5.0 pH level, once digested.
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
wine is gluten free.
Is wine gluten free?
Yes, wine is gluten free. Wine 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:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
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
wine may contain a common food allergen: fish or egg.
Is wine a common food allergen?
Yes, wine may contain a common food allergen: fish or egg. Many people experience allergic reactions to wine.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
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
wine has a high carbon footprint.
Does wine have a high or low carbon footprint?
Wine has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods and beverages.
What is the carbon footprint of wine?
It takes around 3.5-3.3 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of alcoholic beverages, a car driving equivalent of 8.75 miles or 14 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
wine is unsustainable.
Overall, is wine eco friendly? Is wine sustainable?
Wine production is relatively unsustainable. Alcohol production negatively impacts the planet with the process of growing the ingredients necessary to produce alcohol, grains, potatoes, rice, botanicals, sugar cane, and agave are all significant ingredients in the alcohol industry, which require a significant amount of fertilizer, land and use of machinery to produce beverages that aren’t necessary for human survival. Resources could provide food and beverage aid for those in need.
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.
Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’
wine is typically not vegan unless label states “unfined” or “unfiltered” .
Is wine vegan?
Typically, wine is not vegan.
Wine is an alcoholic beverage from grapes and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it vegan but during processing wine often uses animal ingredients such as gelatin and protein from animals, fish, milk and eggs.
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
wine often has laborer issues and human rights concerns.
Is wine a product with laborer concerns?
Yes. There are major concerns with wine production throughout the world when it comes to laborer mistreatment and exploitation.
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.
Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. 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 food we buy fair trade.
Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade‘
This post was all about wine benefits and side effects.
Wine, Beer and Spirits | USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Wine Statistics – TTBGov
Importing and exporting wine – GOV.UK
Alcoholic beverage, wine, table, red – FoodData Central
Adriane MarieGrocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.
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