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The Hidden Ingredients in Your Wine

The Hidden Ingredients in Your Wine

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While sipping a class of wine at dinner, you could unknowingly be putting more than just fermented grapes into your body. Are you taking in something dangerous with every swallow? Earlier this week, The New York Times published Eric Asimov’s article refuting the idea that wine matches up to its long associated “natural” and “pastoral" connotations.

There is a good chance that the bottle of wine you received as a gift, is a “manufactured product,” and laden with sulfites, caramel, enzymes, egg whites, and other chemicals and compounds not found on the eye-catching label. The addition of sulfites may serve to precent bacterial growth, it has also been the cause of respiratory problems, as well as 12 known deaths. Caramel, seemingly non-destructive, is linked to gastro-intestinal problems.

Although these chemicals might not be the healthiest or most natural for your body, a large percentage of wine drinkers probably won’t change their normal drinking habits or go-to bottle of wine. The cost of an alternative, a biodynamic or organic wine, could deter those who are not as health-conscious.

However, as Asimov discussed, without knowledge of ingredients in the beverage, those who have specific diets, should be cautious. The website for Franzia, an affordable drink option, provides no guarantee that their potential Vegan or Kosher consumers are safe, stating that “to the best of our knowledge none of these (animal) products remain in the wine after processing.”

If you are intent on knowing what you’re putting into your body as you pour another glass, look to products made by Bonny Doon Vineyard, Ridge Vineyards, or Shinn Estate Vineyards, all of whom have publicly declared the ingredients found in their wine.

The Best Cooking Tool Is Already in Your Kitchen and You're Not Using It Enough

Here are four simple, delicious uses for the broiler&mdashfrom blistered vegetables to three-minute desserts.

In Supper Club, Jonah Reider taps into the joys of do-it-yourself hospitality, sharing his essential tips, tools, and no-stress recipes to become a more creative, improvisational, and confident host. Dine with Jonah at his supper club Pith or follow along his culinary adventures on Instagram.

Take a peek inside your oven,ਊnd you’ll find a hidden gem: the broiler, easily the most underrated appliance in any kitchen.

While ovens maintain an evenly distributed and precise temperature, the broiler activates an intense direct flame that beats down on ingredients from above. It’s brute, analog, and gloriously visceral, and it&aposs my secret weapon for quick and elegant appetizers, desserts,ਊnd proteins.

I rely on my broiler to toast, roast, grill, char, melt, crisp, and warm—often all at the same time, with no preheating required, and with no sticky stovetop to wipe down when I’m finished.

To ensure consistent cooking, I either align my food directly beneath the broiler flame or rotate it frequently. If I see something about to burn, I simply shuffle it to a rack further away from the flame. Want to keep a side warm while the main course is sizzling inches away from the broiler’s flame? Just let it hang out at the very bottom of the oven where the heat is gentle.

This intuitive way of cooking can be unsettling compared to a temperature knob and a timer𠅋ut with practice, it yields far more delicious and exciting results, while making hosting a breeze.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use the broiler.

List of Ingredients That Are NOT Vegan


Castoreum is an anal secretion beavers use to mark their territories. What does this have to do with food? Well, it happens to smell like vanilla. Back in the day, it was sometimes used as food flavoring for vanilla (like in ice cream) and used to enhance raspberry or strawberry flavorings, as well as a perfume ingredient. The use of castoreum in common food products today is exceedingly rare, in large part because collecting the substance is difficult (and therefore expensive). However, If a vanilla extract or similar product says ‘artificial flavoring’, it could be anal secretion from beaver butts so try to opt for natural flavoring.


Casein is the chief protein in milk. It is found in the ingredient list of cream-based soups, sherbet, ice cream, margarine, puddings, also many products that are labeled “dairy-free” so be careful and always look at the ingredient list for this sneaky non-vegan ingredient.


Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein. Whey is such a common and inexpensive food additive and is commonly used in cheese-flavored crackers and snacks, margarine, hot dogs and sausages. It is frequently used in prepackaged desserts such as waffles, pancakes, muffins, pudding, chocolate candies, nougat, and caramel.


Many of you know lactose is not a vegan ingredient. Lactose is a sugar present in milk. However, it’s often found in margarine, some cereals, frozen potato products, instant mashed potato mixes, some prepared loaves of bread, muffins, biscuits, rolls, some pancake or waffle mixes.

Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is an ingredient that can be vegan or not vegan. Although there are many vegan forms of lactic acid, there are still lots of “animal-derived lactic acid” on the market. Lactic acid is used as a food preservative, curing agent, and flavoring agent. It is an ingredient in processed foods often found in pickles, olives, sauerkraut, candy, frozen desserts, some bread products, fruit preserves, and wine. Always look to see if products with lactic acid have “vegan” on the front to be absolutely sure it’s not animal-derived lactic acid.


Gelatin is the ruiner of all things sweet and chewy. Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs. Gelatin is used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (such as Jell-O) in candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, and yogurts on photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules, and it is sometimes used to assist in “clarifying” wines. Try looking for gelatin-free products instead.


Beeswax tends to sneak itself into everything. It’s often used to coat a protective layer on produce, like apples, to make things appear fresher for longer. It’s also found in candy and coatings of sweets. Beeswax is also found in natural and also not-so-natural cosmetics and skincare.

Confectioner’s Glaze

Confectioner’s Glaze is a non-vegan ingredient to avoid despite sounding like something on a glazed donut. This ingredient comes from crushed up bugs and is often used on candy and in baking products to create a smooth and shiny finish. Be careful as it’s also listed as resinous glaze, shellac, natural glaze, or pure food glaze.

Cochineal or carmine

Look out for this non-vegan ingredient! Cochineal & carmine is essentially made from crushed bugs and beetles, used in red coloring. This ingredient is used in red candies and other red-dyed foods.

Fun fact: Red dye number 40 is a vegan-friendly red dye that contains no bugs.


Watch out for isinglass, as it’s fish bladders used to filter and clarify beer, wine, and spirits. If you didn’t know already, a lot of beers, wines, and spirits use isinglass in the process of filtering the liquid. Google to see if your favourite drinks are vegan or don’t use isinglass in the process to filter your drink.


L.cysteine can be plant-derived, but it can also be animal-derived. It’s often made from human hair or bird feathers and sometimes used as a dough conditioner in some white or wheat bread. To see if L.cysteine in your products is vegan, I recommend contacting the company and asking them if their L.cysteine is plant-derived or if it comes from animals.

Oleic Acid or Oleinic Acid

Oleic acid and oleinic acid can be made from rendered animal fat. It’s often found in synthetic butter, vegetable fats, and oils, as well as many beverages and condiments. They are one of those sneaky ingredients to avoid.


As many of you may know, lard is the fat from a pig’s abdomen. It’s a non-vegan ingredient found in baked goods, particularly European-style baked goods, canned soups, and refried beans.


Vitamin D3 can be added to fortified foods, as well as multi-vitamins and is derived from lambswool. As mentioned, D3 vitamin is used to fortify food and drinks like orange juice. Make sure you are getting your vitamin D by consuming Vitamin D2 since it is plant-derived.

Animal-derived Ingredients

Animal-derived ingredients involve any material derived from the body of an animal. This term encompasses a lot of non-vegan ingredients. Examples are fat, flesh, blood, milk, eggs, and lesser-known products, such as isinglass and rennet. Animal by-products, as defined by the USDA, are “products harvested or manufactured from livestock other than muscle meat”.

This list may make it seem like a vegan lifestyle is hard to follow, or that there are unavoidable animal products in everything. But once you learn to identify these ingredients and avoid them in your weekly grocery shop, you will have a better understanding of a plant-based diet. I promise it gets easier with time. Eventually, following a vegan lifestyle becomes second nature, and you won’t even notice cutting out these sneaky non-vegan ingredients.

Looking for Vegan recipe inspiration? Check out my recipes:

Jalepeno Wine Recipes

Chipotle Jalapeno Wine Shrimp Save Print Ingredients 2 TB Butter ¼ - 1 cup Potter Wines Chipotle Jalapeno Wine 1 - 2 cups Shrimp Molly's Mills Chipotle Garlic Blend Jalapeno Wine Salt Instructions Add butter and Chipotle wine to a medium sauce pan and.

English Toffee with a kick

Kicked up English Toffee Save Print Prep time 3 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 18 mins This English toffee has a hint of heat that makes it mouth watering! Author: Chris Carlson Recipe type: Dessert Serves: Not enough! Ingredients 2 cups butter 2 cups.

Chipotle Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms

Chipotle Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 7 mins Total time 17 mins Author: Casey Andrews Ingredients Mushrooms Unsalted Butter Olive Oil Garlic Herbs - parsley, rosemary, basil, etc., to taste Salt & Pepper POTTER WINES.

Smoked Jalapeno Pizza Sauce

Smoked Jalapeno Pizza Sauce Save Print Cuisine: Italian Ingredients 1 jar of Trader Joe’s pizza sauce ⅔ c. Trader Joe’s Garlic spread 4 tbls. garlic, smashed and minced 1 c. freshly minced basil 2 tbls. red wine ***3 tbls. Potter’s Jalapeno Wine*** 1.

Sassy Smoked Bourbon Baked Beans

Sassy Smoked Bourbon Baked Beans Save Print Cook time 5 hours Total time 5 hours Author: Aimee Stephenson Ingredients 1 can dark kidney beans, rinsed 1 can light kidney beans, rinsed 1 can black beans, rinsed 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes 1 can.

Santa Maria Jalapeño Chipotle Tri-Tip

Santa Maria Jalapeño Chipotle Tri-Tip Save Print Author: Aimee Stephenson Ingredients 4 lb tri tip Trader Joes (trademark) coffee rub Potters Chipotle Jalapeño Wine (in a sprayer) Instructions Smoke tri-tip for (up to) 4 hours. Spray with Potter Wine's.

Smokin’ Chipotle Lime Jalapeno Wine Chicken

Smokin’ Chipotle Lime Jalapeno Wine Chicken Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 1 hour 20 mins Total time 1 hour 30 mins This chicken gets it's complexity and depth from the smoky chipotle and the sweet heat from the jalapeno wine, which perfectly.

Kicked Up Jalapeno Coconut Lemonade

This AMAZING Jalapeno Coconut Lemonade is seriously addicting. Using Potter Wine's Best-Selling Jalapeno Wine Lemonade, this drink is sweet, spicy, and easy to make. Kicked Up Jalapeno Coconut Lemonade Save Print * makes 1 gallon – ya know… enough to share with.

Potter Wines Signature Adult Slushy

Here's how to enter the Gates to Slushy Heaven: 1. Get your hands on a pouch or five of Jalapeño Wine Lemonade. 2. Freeze the pouch for 6-8 hours, just long enough that it gets slushy, not so long that it freezes solid (but if it.

Tacos Al Pastor

Tacos Al Pastor Save Print Author: Aimee Ingredients Marinade: 6 pounds boneless pork shoulder 3 tablespoons achiote paste 2 tablespoons guajillo chili powder 1 tablespoon Tajin seasoning 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon oregano 1 tablespoon cumin 1 ½.

Surly Camper

Surly Camper Save Print Pretty simple cocktail recipe Author: Chris Carlson Recipe type: Cocktail Ingredients Bourbon - Suggest: Tin Cup Bourbon (great camping bourbon, has its own tin cup!) Potter Wines Jalapeno Wine Lemonade Ice Instructions Mix to Taste.

Idaho Slow Roast

Idaho Slow Roast Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 8 hours Total time 8 hours 10 mins The resulting gravy in this recipe is also amazing on mashed spuds! Author: Chris Recipe type: Main Course Ingredients 3-5 lb Roast (beef, venison, etc.) 1 package.

Chipotle Sesame Salad Dressing

Chipotle Sesame Salad Dressing 1/2 cup Chipotle Jalapeno Wine 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar 1/4 cup Sesame Oil 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tsp Italian Seasoning Fresh Group Black Pepper 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules Squeeze of Lemon Shake well

Hot Blooded

Hot Blooded 1/2 cup Blood Orange Juice 2 oz Whiskey 1 oz Simple syrup or Agave 1 oz Original Jalapeno Wine Dash of Orange Bitters Shake and serve over ice

Burning Love Cocktail

Burning Love 2 oz Whiskey 3/4 oz Grapefruit Simple Syrup (Equal parts sugar and grapefruit juice) 3/4 oz Original Jalapeno Wine (Use Chipotle Jalapeno Wine for a Smoldering Burning Love) 2 drops of Angostura Bitters Lime Wedge Stir and serve on the rocks

Devil’s Julep

Devil's Julep Save Print Prep time 4 mins Total time 4 mins The jalapeno takes this classic cocktail to the next level. Author: Chris Carlson Recipe type: Cocktail Serves: 4 oz Ingredients 4 fresh mint leaves ¾ oz simple syrup Crushed Ice ½.

Pellet Smoker Triple-Threat Jalapeno Wine 3-2-1’s

(Recommend Hickory, Cherry or Apple) Ingredients 3 racks of pork ribs Canola oil Rib rub, your choice Jalapeno Chipotle Wine Tiger Sauce I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter BBQ sauce, optional Instructions Set grill temp to 225°. Rub ribs with oil, then generously cover.

Pellet Grill Roasted Chicken Breasts

8 Boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs) 1/3 Cup Potters Jalapeño Wine 1 1/2 Teaspoons Parsley Flakes 1 Fresh Garlic Clove (minced) 1 Table spoon chopped fresh Basil Seasoning salt and black pepper to taste Pre-heat pellet Grill to 375 degrees (we used.

Lemonade Chicken

Lemonade Chicken Save Print Prep time 5 mins Cook time 25 mins Total time 30 mins Easy and impressive and completely surprising! Author: Rae Recipe type: Chicken Entree Cuisine: American Serves: 4 servings Ingredients 4 chicken breast - butterflyed.

Blow Your Mind Bloody Mary

Blow Your Mind Bloody Mary Save Print Prep time 5 mins Total time 5 mins Author: Chris Carlson Recipe type: Cocktail Serves: 8 cups Ingredients 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice 3 1⁄2 teaspoons wasabi 6 cups tomato juice 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2.

Chipotle Mushroom Au Gratin

Chipotle Mushroom Au Gratin Save Print Prep time 5 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 20 mins A perfect creamy, earthy, slightly spicy side dish that pairs well with BBQ steaks or grilled chicken or on top of pork chops. Author: RaeAnna Recipe type: Side.

Chipotle Pasta Carbonara

Chipotle Pasta Carbonara Save Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 35 mins You can't stop! Play with this recipe to suit your taste, I like it hot so be warned! Author: Chris Carlson Recipe type: Pasta Cuisine: Italian Serves: 5.

Chipotle Lentils

I bought Trader Joe's small whole green lentils and decided to make a few changes to the recipe that was printed on the back of the package! 1 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed 2 cups + maybe a couple teaspoons veggie broth 1/4 cup Chipotle Wine 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp.

Jalapeno Wine Bee Sting

Jalapeno Wine Bee Sting Save Print Prep time 5 mins Total time 5 mins Add more or less jalapeno wine and/or honey syrup and/or tequila to your liking. Makes about 2 cocktails. Author: Crystal Recipe type: Cocktails Serves: 2 cocktails Ingredients 3.

Chipotle Cheese Fondue

Chipotle Fondue Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 30 mins This spicy fondue will be a hit. Watch your heat source so cheese does not break. You can substitute chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for the jalapenos. Author: Chris.

Chipotle Pizza / Pasta Sauce

Pizza/Pasta Sauce Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 10 mins This takes a little time and there are several steps but this sauce is insanely versatile and delicious. The bit of alcohol will release the hidden flavors of the.

Chicken with Chipotle and Kale Cream Sauce

Chicken with Chipotle, Mushroom, and Kale Cream Sauce Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 30 mins Creamy Chipotle, mushroom, and kale cream sauce is super easy, and super delicious. Author: Casey Recipe type: Dinner Serves: 2-3.

The Hidden Ingredients in Your Wine - Recipes

We were cold snow had been cleared and piled high around the edges of the town square for the Christmas market which was in full swing. Then we saw the stall selling Glühwein. Drinking the hot spicy wine soon warmed us for more shopping with the knowledge that we would call back for more as soon as we tired.

Glühwein is a warm winter German version of sangria it should taste like Christmas spices and every area has their own jealously guarded recipe. As long is it tastes good the exact ingredients don’t really matter and you could be starting a new tradition in your family.

The basics are red wine, spices, sweetening and fruit, heated to together to diffuse the flavours and served warm to bring relief to hands that cup it and bodies that drink it.

Ingredients: Makes around 8 servings

• 1 bottle of red wine. Use an inexpensive full bodied fruity wine. You definitely do not want to use an expensive bottle and try to avoid one with oak aging. I think a Gallo Ruby Cabernet would be ideal. Or a red Zinfandel or Syrah - Shiraz.

• 2 - Cinnamon sticks – Cinnamon is very traditional. Break the sticks into pieces 1 – 2 inches each

• 16 Whole Cloves – again a traditional ingredient

• 2 Tablespoons runny honey

• 1 heaped teaspoon mixed ground Christmas cake spices – or equivalent amount of any of ground allspice, nutmeg, coriander mixed together

1. Put water in large pan and place over medium heat.

2. Add cinnamon honey and spices.

3. While honey is dissolving cut the orange into quarter lengthways, then cut them in half so you have eight pieces. Push two of the cloves into the skin of each piece and add to the pan.

5. Bring the heat up. It should not boil so as when bubbles start rising turn the heat off.

6. As soon as it is cool enough to taste, test it for sweetness. If it is not sweet enough add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve.

7. Let the pan stand for an hour or longer so the flavours develop.

8. Warm gently before serving and spoon out into a heatproof glass, leaving the oranges and cinnamon behind. Optionally garnish with slice of lemon or fresh stick of cinnamon.

The wine has not been heated enough to evaporate all the alcohol, so be aware it is still an alcoholic drink.

The idea of pushing the cloves into the orange is so they are not loose in the drink. If you do not do this stage you should consider straining the drink so that people don’t get the surprise of a whole clove in their throats.

As mentioned, there are many variations to the basic recipe of warmed wine with spices

Some people like to add brandy to give the Glühwein more body, but of course that adds dramatically to the alcohol. Another way of adding body is to pour in a glass or two of Port.

Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape.

Content copyright © 2021 by Peter F May. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Peter F May. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Peter F May for details.

  • 1 1/2 ounces gold Virgin Islands rum
  • 1/2 ounce dark Demerara rum
  • 1 teaspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 ounce cinnamon-infused sugar syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla-infused sugar syrup**
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • Garnish: cinnamon stick
  • Garnish: thin strip of orange peel

Add all ingredients into a blender.

Flash-blend at high speed for no more than five seconds.

Pour into a tall glass and add ice to fill.

*Cinnamon-infused sugar syrup: Crush 3 cinnamon sticks and place in a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat, cover saucepan and simmer for two minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and, keeping it covered, let sit at least two hours before straining and bottling. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 1 month.

**Vanilla-Infused sugar syrup: Flatten two vanilla beans with the flat edge of a knife. Split beans in half lengthwise and scrape out the pulp. Place the split beans and the bean pulp in a saucepan with 1.5 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat, cover saucepan and simmer for two minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and, keeping it covered, let sit at least two hours before straining and bottling. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 1 month.

Cheers! Unless That Beer Is Making You Sick

Plenty of people are allergic to foods. But you can also be sensitive or have an intolerance to specific ingredients in what you’re eating or drinking.

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Beer is no exception. There are plenty of ingredients in beer that can make some people sick, even if they drink moderately, according to family medicine physician Mark Rood, MD.

Fortunately for the beer lovers, reactions to drinking beer are rarely life-threatening. Still, you should be aware that because beer is such a diverse food category with a wide variety of ingredients (depending on what kind of beer you’re drinking), chances are you can experience a variety of reactions to different kinds of beer.

Allergy vs. intolerance or sensitivity

If you get a reaction of any kind after you drink beer, it may be helpful to understand the difference between true food allergies and having an “intolerance” or “sensitivity” to the ingredients found in your beer.

What’s the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance or sensitivity? It’s based on how your body responds.

When you have a true food allergy, your immune system causes the reaction. True food allergies cause unpleasant symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, stomach cramps, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.

At their worst, allergies can also cause life-threatening emergencies such as loss of consciousness or anaphylaxis.

On the other hand, when you have a food sensitivity or food intolerance, your digestive system triggers the response. Symptoms are typically less serious and are often limited to digestive problems like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping and nausea.

In general, food sensitivities and intolerances are more common than food allergies.

Common reactions to beer sensitivity

When it comes to beer, people with sensitivities will typically experience a combination of symptoms. After drinking beer, they may experience a combination of hives, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, wheezing and abdominal pain.

You can see a few of these symptoms can be more in line with allergic reactions like hives, sneezing and wheezing (if you experience these, you should avoid that beer and talk with your doctor). But most symptoms are more commonly from the food sensitivity or intolerance category.

“With beer, people typically don’t have true allergies, but have more of a sensitivity or intolerance to one of the components that make up the beverage itself – for example, a basic ingredient, chemical or preservative. These can create a variety of symptoms that resemble either an allergy or a sensitivity,” says Dr. Rood.

“The most common reactions to beer are specific to types of grains, modified grain proteins, hops, yeast, molds or barleys,” he says. “Sensitivities are also possible to the additives that are present in some beers, including sulphites, sodium benzoate or tartrazine.”

Regardless of the reactions you experience, it’s always best to avoid beer or any other food product that causes your body to react negatively.

Do GMOs in beer cause sensitivity?

There’s been a lot of discussion on social media about the potential harmful effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They are found in many processed foods – and in some types of beer.

Many beers contain genetically modified corn. So some say people should stick to organic beer. But if you avoid beers with GMOs, will that reduce your chances of beer sensitivity?

Not necessarily, Dr. Rood says.

“It would be very difficult to prove that GMO-containing beers are more allergy- or sensitivity-inducing than GMO-free beers. Or that ‘organic’ beers are categorically superior just by being organic,” he says.

Is European beer safer?

Another rumor making its rounds online is that European beers are safer than beers from U.S. breweries. Dr. Rood says it’s not that simple.

“Staying with European beers will not prevent sensitivity in everyone,” he says. “As allergic tendencies vary from person to person, it’s best to find a brand or type of beer that doesn’t cause any problems for you personally. Then stick with that variety.

“Put simply, the best way to avoid sensitivity or alcohol intolerance to any beer is simply to not consume the product to which you are sensitive.”

What to do if you think you’re allergic to beer

If you do tend to experience allergy-like symptoms after drinking just one or two beers, it’s really a good idea to see your doctor.

“Your physician can help by obtaining a detailed history, performing a physical examination and conducting blood tests and other types of testing to rule out other causes for your symptoms,” Dr. Rood says. “Should you experience itching or hives, an over-the-counter, non-sedating antihistamine can also be helpful.”

When to seek immediate help

Get help right away for a reaction to your beer that involves any of these symptoms:

  • Swelling.
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Abdominal cramping or pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis — a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction — seek immediate medical attention. With anaphylaxis, severe itching of the eyes or face can progress within minutes to more serious symptoms.

In general, use common sense. “Don’t worry too much about what beer theories are hot online,” Dr. Rood says. “Sample away and find beers that you like. If you find some that don’t agree with you, steer clear of those in the future, and rest assured that there will plenty of others to choose from.”

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

15 Wine Slushies You Need to Drink Outside This Summer

Frosé (frozen rosé) received a lot of attention the last couple years, but that’s just the beginning of your frozen boozy adventure. It turns out that you slushy-fy any of your favorite wines. Throw some frozen fruit, your choice of wine, and maybe some ice cubes into a blender, and pour it into an icy glass. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Here’s a few of our favorites right now.

1. Strawberry Peach Wine Slushies from Hungry Happens

This colorful wine slushy requires a bottle of white wine (like sauvignon blanc) and some frozen strawberries and peaches.

2. Sangria Grania Sno Cones from Sugar and Charm

This boozy Sno Cone is incredibly twee, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to drink (or eat?) one if it was offered to me. This wine slushy is probably the fanciest of the bunch – there’s pomegranate juice, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks involved in this recipe.

3. Peach Wine Slushies from Dessert for Two

You only need two ingredients for this wine slushy: white wine and frozen peaches. I mean, why wouldn’t you make this with that bad bottle of white wine your friend brought over?

The Shocking Ingredients In Beer

I have to confess, I’m not a beer drinker, but there’s someone in my household that loves it, so I had to figure out the truth. Is beer really healthy? Why are the ingredients not listed on the label? Which brands can we trust? Which brands are trying to slowly poison us with cheap and harmful ingredients? All of these questions were going through my head at once at lightning speed. So a year ago, I started to research what was really in beer and after questioning several beer companies, reading books about food science, and talking to experts, the information I discovered was downright shocking.

I see it all the time. Someone who eats organic, makes the right choices at the grocery store, is fit and lives an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle but then drinks beer like it is going out of style.

Caring about what you eat doesn’t necessarily translate into caring about what you drink and this is a HUGE MISTAKE.

Before we get into what exactly is in beer that you should be worried about, let’s talk about how body reacts to alcohol in general.

Alcohol is metabolized by the body differently than all other calories you consume. Alcohol is one of the only substances that you consume that can permeate your digestive system and go straight into your bloodstream. It bypasses normal digestion and is absorbed into the body intact, where it goes straight into the liver.

Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies. The liver is going to metabolize alcohol first vs. the fat you want to get rid of – making weight loss even harder. Additionally, one of the primary functions of the liver is to remove environmental toxins from your body – if it is overtaxed with alcohol, the normal removal of these toxins becomes extremely diminished and can result in rapid aging, loss of libido, and other diseases.

The one thing that has gotten me before and I’m sure many of you – is the health marketing claims on alcohol products making drinking them seem like a good idea and an added “benefit” to your health. The low alcohol content of beer makes it appear as an innocuous beverage and something people throw back without even thinking about it. Who hasn’t seen those studies that say a beer a day is great for you (I want to ask who ever stops at just one beer?)?

So, inherently, alcohol by itself is not a healthy person’s best friend – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beer, especially American beer, is made with all sorts of ingredients beyond the basic hops, malt and yeast. There are numerous other ingredients used to clarify, stabilize, preserve, enhance the color and flavor of beer.

When you drink beer, there is almost a 100% chance that you don’t know what you are drinking (unless you quizzed the beer companies like I did). The ingredients in beer are not required by law to be listed anywhere on the label and manufacturers have no legal obligation to disclose the ingredients. For regular beer, calorie levels and percent alcohol are optional and for light beer calories are mandatory but alcohol levels are optional.

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer, author of Appetite for Profit, and president of Eat Drink Politics told me the reason that beer companies don’t disclose ingredients is simple: they don’t have to.

“Ingredient labeling on food products and non-alcoholic beverages is required by the Food and Drug Administration. But a whole other federal agency regulates beer, and not very well. The Department of Treasury – the same folks who collect your taxes – oversees alcoholic beverages. That probably explains why we know more about what’s in a can of Coke than a can of Bud. You can also thank the alcohol industry, which has lobbied for years against efforts to require ingredient labeling.”

I figured if the beer companies aren’t required to tell us the exact list of ingredients, I needed to investigate this for myself and asked them the pointed questions until I got the truth.

First of all, I was able to obtain a baseline list of “legal” additives allowed in beer from the book “Chemicals Additives in Beer” by the Center of Science and Public Interest. This list allowed me to ask specific questions about each beer I investigated. For example – beer sold here in America can contain several of the following ingredients:

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – alcohol is already addictive with some people, but with MSG?! Holy smokes.

Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze)

Calcium Disodium EDTA (made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine)

Many different types of sulfites and anti-microbial preservatives (linked to allergies and asthma)

Natural Flavors (can come from anything natural including a beavers anal gland)

Caramel Coloring (Class III or IV made from ammonia and classified as a carcinogen)

FD&C Blue 1 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

FD&C Red 40 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

FD&C Yellow 5 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

Insect-Based Dyes: carmine derived from cochineal insects to color their beer.

Animal Based Clarifiers: Findings include isinglass (dried fish bladder), gelatin (from skin, connective tissue, and bones), and casein (found in milk)

Foam Control: Used for head retention (glyceryl monostearate and pepsin are both potentially derived from animals)

BPA (Bisphenol A is a component in many can liners and it may leach into the beer. BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect sperm count, and other organ functions.)

Carrageenan (linked to inflammation in digestive system, IBS and considered a carcinogen in some circumstances)

During my investigation, I couldn’t get a single mainstream beer company to share the full list of ingredients contained in their beer. But I did get some of them to fess up to the use of these ingredients in writing so I’m going to share this information with you now.

Carcinogenic Caramel Coloring

Newcastle, a UK brand, confessed to using what I would consider one of the most controversial food additives. Toasted barley is usually what gives beer its golden or deep brown color, however in this case, Newcastle beer is also colored artificially with caramel color. This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creating carcinogenic compounds. If beer companies were required by law to list the ingredients, Newcastle would likely have to have a cancer warning label under California law because it is a carcinogen proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Many of the beers I questioned contained one or more possible GMO ingredients.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (Guinness – unable to provide an affidavit for non-GMO proof)
  • Corn syrup (Miller Light, Coors, Corona, Fosters, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Stripe)
  • Dextrose (Budweiser, Bud Light, Busch Light, Michelob Ultra)
  • Corn (Red Stripe, Miller Coors Brand, Anheuser-Busch Brands)

Most beers brewed commercially are made with more GMO corn than barley. Many of the companies I contacted dodged the GMO question – however Miller Coors had a very forthcoming and honest response. They stated “Corn syrup gives beer a milder and lighter-bodied flavor” and “Corn syrups may be derived from a mixture of corn (conventional and biotech.)”, admitting their use of GMOs.

Pabst Blue Ribbon responded saying their corn syrup was “special” and “made of carbohydrates and some simple sugars like dextrose and maltose. The sugars are fermented into alcohol and CO2, and the carbohydrates, both from the corn syrup and the malt, remain in the beers as flavor, color and body components.”

Dextrose and maltose can come from a variety of substances that are sweet, but likely are derived from GMO corn because it is super cheap for a company to use corn instead of fruit or other non-GMO sources. With cheap beer – you are not just getting a cheap buzz, you are getting the worst of the worst. Just like with cheap fast food – if you don’t invest in your beer – you will be drinking a lower quality product like Pabst Blue Ribbon that is made from GMO Corn and Corn Syrup.

In 2007, Greenpeace found unapproved and experimental GMO Rice strain in Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser, Bud Light) beer. Anheuser-Busch responded saying their US-grown long-grained rice “may have micro levels” of a genetically engineered protein called Liberty Link, but added that the protein is “substantially removed or destroyed” during the brewing of beer sold domestically. Don’t you think it’s hard to trust any beer company that gets caught using experimental food made in a laboratory? GMOs have not been tested long term on human beings and one of the main pesticides (Roundup) they spray on GMO crops are linked to inflammation, cancer and other diseases.

High Fructose Corn Syrup & Fish Bladders

Speaking of trusting companies, let’s get one thing straight, Guinness beer is no longer owned by the Irish, they are now owned by a large beer conglomerate called Diageo and manufactured in over 50 different countries. No matter how many St. Patty’s Day celebrations you’ve had with this dark stout, it’s time to stop because they use high fructose corn syrup in their beer (4/2/14 Update: Guinness Beer claims they do not use high fructose corn syrup any longer, but refuses to disclose ingredient affidavits or full of list of ingredients.) But, Guinness beer also contains isinglass, a gelatin-like substance produced from the swim bladder of a fish. This ingredient helps remove any “haziness,” solids, or yeast byproducts from the beer. Mmmmm… fish bladder sounds delicious, doesn’t? The sneaky thing this beer company does like many of the companies mentioned here today is create an illusion of using the best ingredients when in actuality what they tell you publicly on their websites is a complete farce. On Guinness FAQ’s – they have a question that states: “What are the key ingredients in Guinness” and the answer doesn’t reveal the whole picture – it only states “Our key ingredients – other than inspiration – are roasted, malted barley, hops, yeast and water.” What BS, right? You have to call, email, question and know the right things to ask to even have a chance at getting the truth. This is insanity.

So What Beers Are Additive and GMO Free?

If you enjoy the occasional beer and wish to maintain your healthy lifestyle, choosing one without GMOs and additives is ideal. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream beers available have additives, but luckily, there are a few that don’t. For example, Sierra Nevada, Heineken, and Amstel Light ( 7/31/13 UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Heinken USA has changed their formula to use GMOs – I called their customer service line 1-914-681-4100 to confirm and asked for the list of ingredients – the man told me “water, yeast, malted barley and hops” – then I asked if their beer contained any genetically engineered material and he confirmed “YES,” but wouldn’t tell me what ingredients are genetically engineered. They recently changed their formula after my initial research that started in late 2012. ) (8/1/13 Update: Heineken reached out to me personally to say their customer service department made an error in telling me and others who called their beer has GMOs. I met with a head brew master and have viewed affidavits from the company and confirmed Heinken and Amstel Light do not contain GMOs – they apologize for the confusion. ) appear to be pretty clean (but these companies still wouldn’t disclose the full list of ingredients to me. They did say they use non-GMO grains, no artificial ingredients, stabilizers or preservatives).

German Beers are also a good bet. The Germans are very serious about the purity of their beers and enacted a purity law called “Reinheitsgebot” that requires all German beers to be only produced with a core ingredient list of water, hops, yeast, malted barley or wheat. Advocates of German beers insist that they taste cleaner and some even claim they don’t suffer from hangovers as a result.

An obvious choice to consider is also Certified Organic Beers. They are required by law to not include GMOs and other harmful additives. Organic beers also support environmental friendly practices and reduce the amount of pesticides and toxins in our air, support organic farmers – which is a huge plus. (To this day, the beer drinkers in my family haven’t found one they love so if you have suggestions, please let us know in the comments!)

Craft & Microbrews Beers – For certain local craft and micro beers, you can ask those companies for a list of ingredients and many of them will be up front with you. However, companies like Miller Coors are slowly closing in on craft beers and buying them up one by one… like they did when they created the unique popular variety called Blue Moon (the beer you drink with an orange) and Anhesuer-Busch did this with Rolling Rock and Goose Island Brewery. Make sure your favorite craft and microbrew is still independently owned and controlled before taking a sip.

In the end – if you decide to drink beer, you are definitely drinking at your own risk for more reasons than just the crazy ingredients that could be in them. The key point to remember is – if you like to drink beer and want to be healthy, drink it infrequently and quiz the beer companies for the truth. Find a beer that you can trust and stick with it.

For your reference, here are some important questions to ask your favorite beer company:

What are the ingredients in your beer – all of them from start to finish?

Do you use any soy, corn, or rice processing ingredients? (Examples include: dextrose, corn syrup, etc.)

Do you add any natural, artificial flavors or colors to the beer? (Examples include: yellow #5, caramel coloring, red #40, MSG, natural flavors)

Are there any additional preservatives, stabilizers and/or clarifying agents added to your beer during processing? (Examples include: propylene glycol, Calcium Disodium EDTA, anything ending in “sulfite” like sodium metabisulfite, Heptylparaben, isinglass)

If you know someone who drinks beer – share this post with them.

These ingredients are no joke. We must inform and protect each other from these industrial chemicals, untested and potentially harmful ingredients and it starts by sharing your knowledge with the ones you love.

Hidden Phosphorus In Your Diet and How to Control It - High and Low Phosphorus Foods

As someone with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you faithfully take your phosphate binders as directed by your doctor, and you no longer drink milk, add cheese to your burgers or indulge in chocolate or chili. But still you see your phosphorus levels higher than you or your healthcare team wants them. Frustrated, you wonder what you&rsquore doing wrong.

The reason behind your high phosphorus may be due to hidden sources of dietary phosphorus.

Hidden phosphorus and the food industry

The food industry is adding more phosphate additives to foods that are traditionally considered low-phosphorus foods. The following are a few foods and beverages that now contain hidden phosphorus:

  • Flavored waters
  • Iced teas
  • Sodas and other bottled beverages
  • Enhanced meat and chicken products
  • Breakfast (cereal) bars
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Bottled coffee beverages

The number of products containing these additives grows weekly. This makes it virtually impossible for dietitians and those with CKD to know what&rsquos &ldquosafe&rdquo and what should be limited.

The food industry is adding additional dietary phosphorus to meet the demands of the American public for wholesome foods. We are now a grab-and-go society, looking for quick, healthy snacks and meals that take very little time to prepare.

Phosphates are added to foods for a variety of reasons. They are considered a Jack-of-all-trades because of their versatility and their low cost to the manufacturer. Phosphorus additives can be used to make foods creamier, allow foods that wouldn&rsquot normally melt to melt, maintain the juiciness of meat and prevent beverages from separating into individual ingredients. Phosphate additives also make food last longer. For example, phosphate salts are added to meats to extend the shelf life.

Locating hidden phosphorus in your diet

Locating hidden sources of phosphorus in your diet requires patience, diligence and a lot of label reading. However, it&rsquos worth the effort to help you reduce the amount of phosphorus in your diet. Looking for the following ingredients on food packages will help you identify foods that should either be eliminated or avoided:

  • Phosphoric acid
  • Sodium polyphosphate
  • Pyrophosphate
  • Sodium tripolyphosphate
  • Polyphosphate
  • Tricalcium phosphate
  • Hexametaphosphate
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Dicalcium phosphate
  • Sodium phosphate
  • Monocalcium phosphate
  • Tetrasodium phosphate
  • Aluminum phosphate

Strategies to help control hidden phosphorus in your diet

First, be mindful of where you shop. Because phosphate additives are inexpensive, budget markets and multipurpose mega centers tend to carry a lot of these products.

Second, look for alternative foods and beverages that are lower in phosphorus. For example, many plastic bottled orange-flavored and fruit punch flavored beverages contain phosphorus. However, most refrigerated orange drink and fruit punches don&rsquot have added phosphorus. Many premixed punches contain phosphorus, but a popular unsweetened mix does not. You just have to add sugar and water. And, the unsweetened powder is less expensive than the premixed products. Regular, old-fashioned oats, though a high-phosphorus food that should be limited, contains far less phosphorus and sodium than the instant oatmeal.

Third, let your dietitian know when you find a food or beverage that doesn&rsquot contain added phosphorus so he or she can pass along the information to other patients with CKD. Your dietitian will appreciate your help in keeping everyone up to date on what&rsquos new in the market. The more products you find that you and others on a low-phosphorus diet can have, the more dietitians can add to the food choices in your CKD diet.

Finally, limit phosphorus where you can. You may need to purchase meat products enhanced with phosphorus, but you can cut out additional phosphorus at your meal by using fresh rice instead of instant rice, and using fresh or frozen vegetables that do not contain additional sauce.


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