There are always days (and people) that have more knowledge then us or that have a different perspective. My goal is to make this a weekly post that allows me to share the change that I have been challenged with integrating into my human experience. These things can be of any topic but I suspect will often be food related as that's where my greatest interest lies. It's also an effort to get me to at least sit down and write something weekly.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl
If you would like to share your change challenge or experience for the week, please feel free to post it in the comments.
What's the deal with distilled spirits?
The other day I was speaking with a good (very knowledgeable) friend. A woman that I find myself able to talk for hours with and completely loose track of time. She has a lot of food issues and we were speaking on the subject of herbal tinctures. Our conversations often wander in the direction of food and herbs and this was no exception. In her tenure as a budding herbalist (I think we are all always budding) and nutrition aficionado she has attended many workshops. One of these workshops was offered by Urban Moonshine and was on the subject of bitters and spirits (if memory serves). Anyway, she pointed out that it wasn't necessary to get organic non-grain based alcohol to make tinctures. I was aghast! Why sure it is! I was sure. I was absolutely sure that you needed organic and definitely not a grain based. She went on to tell me that she cornered Guido and quizzed him about this because she has so many food issues and wanted to make sure that spirits wouldn't impede her healing if she was unable to afford organic grape vodka for instance.
The result of this conversation. Buying organic is ideal but alcohol derived from non-grain sources is not necessary especially if you are gluten free since gluten is a protein that is completely removed in the distillation process. I was flustered. But surely all the "Gluten Free" Vanilla's on the market weren't just making that claim. They were using alcohols that were not based in grains that were gluten containing. I myself have avoided organic tinctures because of the "grain" issue.
Turns out, it may not be an issue. I got onto a Celiac website and they stated point blank that any distilled spirits (hard alcohols) were gluten free.
Okay, but organic was important for the management practices, etc. You can still get organic grains that are grown in huge mono-crops which I tend not to want to support. The chemicals in conventional grains are to be avoided by choosing organic. But there is the GMO factor (corn is known to be cross contaminated so I would have to shy away from corn based alcohols).
There is always so much to learn. So what is one to do. For my friend, with her current budget requirements she opts to get the highest quality she can for price. This does not necessarily mean organic. She has noticed that it seems to still provide a good menstrum and the result for her has still been healing. For me, I have to make my own choices while also integrating all the facts. But the punch line, you do not need to buy non-grain based to get a gluten free spirit nor do you absolutely need to purchase organic to get a high quality end result (the tincture or vanilla) with no reactions (she has none). So is it marketing? You will pay more if you think it's going to cause less problems for your body. My guess. Yes. It's labeling, buzz words and marketing at it's finest. It seems to me that every company should be making these gluten free claims.
Currently I am purchasing Cap Rock Vodka when I can find it or a vodka made here in Vermont from Maple Sap. I love the maple sap one since the chance of huge mono-crops is less although many syrup producers do weed out all the other trees so it's hard to be sure. They are however right here, which I love. But the price is prohibitive. I was able to find wheat based vodka a while back that was organic and much less expensive. I guess my priorities from here on out is to make sure it's not being made from a GMO crop (potential cross contamination) and organic.
Hi there, Wysteria here. I will be writing as regularly as possible on behalf of my family and regarding our adventures in farming, food, health and things of the like. My interest range widely and my brain wanders far. Namaste.