Red Wine?

Recent “studies” purportedly showing that red wine contains antioxidants that reduce heart disease have been widely proclaimed by the media. In fact, anything of nutritive value in red wine is also in grape juice. However, in wine-making, some of the nutrients in the grapes are converted to ethyl alcohol, a poison, and absorbed by yeast, which is removed. Moreover, other poisons are added. The following is a a quantitative description of the toxicity of ethyl alcohol: “If ingested within a short period (e.g., a few minutes), the fatal dose, in the average adult is considered to be 1.5 to 2.25 pints of whiskey or gin (40 to 55 per cent alcohol).”* In smaller than fatal amounts, ethyl alcohol damages the liver and the cells of the nervous system.

The end product of grapes that are grown for wine-making is of much more monetary value than that of grapes grown for grape juice. Therefore, wine grapes are sprayed with pesticides at least as much as for grapes. Wine-making requires special cultures of yeast, so wild yeast on the skins of grapes must be killed by immersing the grapes in sodium metabisulfite, a poison the residue of which remains. If a batch of wine goes bad or turns to vinegar, a lot of money is lost, so chemicals are added to wine to inhibit the growth of bacteria. There is no reason to add sodium metabisulfite or bactericides to grape juice.

Could it be that the wine industry, knowing the guilt feelings that people have in poisoning themselves with wine, have found an ideal way to sell even more of their product? Could it also be that the media—whose members have little or no training in science, little or no critical skills, and little or no interest in checking the validity of studies they report—have been duped?

Tobacco, although poisonous, is very rich in vitamins and minerals. Why not eat tobacco? If you do, you will immediately vomit. You will also vomit if you drink enough red wine. If you are eating nutritious foods such as fruits, green vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and are taking vitamin and mineral supplements, any antioxidants in red wine are inconsequential, but its poisonous ingredients are not.

An interesting recent phenomenon is the appearance in health-food stores of red wine extract in pill form. The public is so taken in by the wine industry that it falls for a form of grape juice that has not only gone through all the stages that take grapes through the fermentation process but also another process of removing the alcohol and water. Then, what remains is formed into pills, bottled, and purchased and consumed by the well-meaning but unknowing public.

This article is adapted from Robert Chuckrow, The Intelligent Dieter’s Guide, Rising Mist Publications, Briarcliff Manor, NY, 1997.

*Gleason, Gosseln, and Hodge: Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, MD, 1963, pp. 70-71.

©Copyright 1997 by Robert Chuckrow

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