The toxic, synthetic pesticide glyphosate has grabbed major news headlines across the world lately because of its causal effect in the cancer trials of at least two people, terminally ill groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson and fellow California resident Edwin Hardeman. But while the harsh effects of glyphosate exposure in farming and landscaping are well established, the true extent of the damage it does to the human body through food and drink is still being debated.
One of the most at-risk crops for pesticides are grapes, specifically those used in wine making, especially since grapes are soft with a thin skin that is easily capable of absorbing the chemical.
Recent lab results fund that 100% of wines tested (out of a sample of 10, including wine made with organic grapes) contained some level of Monsanto’s glyphosate, although brand names were not revealed.
It goes without saying that glyphosate contamination is a serious problem, but now one new brand hopes to change all that by positioning itself as the first glyphosate-free wine on the market.
Nutritionist Launches Glyphosate-Free Wine After Months of Experimentation
Seeking to tap into a growing market of health-conscious wine drinkers, 20-year nutritionist Christine Fitzgerald began producing wine through her new company SmartVine in 2018, with the first orders going out in October.
The wine is the first ever to be certified free from glyphosate, and it also includes an extra healthy kick by adding in specific herbs for extra health benefits.
As a nutritionist for the past 20 years, I quickly noticed that my clients loved their wine, and they couldn’t be told to give it up, no matter what,” she said in an interview with the website Sustainable Pulse. “The problem was that it was screwing up their diet.”
With the goal of producing a healthier, chemical-free wine, Fitzgerald began experimenting with different production and formulation ideas.
“Using my knowledge of nutrition science I began formulating wine combinations with herb infusions,” she said.
“My business partner Chrystal (Clifton) understood formulating wine without the use of herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides, and using more of a natural, old-world style to make wine.”
The wine is produce in Santa Barbara County, California, and is produced free from not only glyphosate, but dozens of other chemicals that are often found in today’s “modern” wine scene, which Fitzgerald says happens because of manufacturers cutting corners and sacrificing quality in the process.
Traditional winemaking never included added chemicals,” she said in the interview.
“Now, there are over 200 known chemicals found in wines. Unfortunately, this is the new normal. Winemakers have cut corners by adding chemicals to speed up the wine making process. Plus, more and more sugar is being added to increase alcohol content.
The wine has gone through the glyphosate residue free certification process, which has sprung up in light of recent lab tests finding high levels of glyphosate in many “healthy products,” including favorites like Quaker Oats, which is sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest, Cheerios, bread, and many others.
According to Fitzgerald, the U.S. wine industry has a big problem when it comes to producing healthy and truly natural wines in comparison with the rest of the world. Her new brand aims to change all that.
“We have a greater allowance of what we consider ok for consumption vs other places in the world,” she said in the Pulse interview.
Glyphosate is so pervasive in our water, air, and farmlands in this country that even her first choice of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards wasn’t enough to prevent it from being found.
But Fitzgerald pressed on, and the result is a product that is considered to be the first of its kind, a truly chemical-free wine in a country where toxic products have unfortunately become the norm.
“Our California grapes have been lab-tested, and hand picked and then infused with four botanical herbs that don’t change the flavor of the wine or leave a sediment,” she said about the product, which can be found on her website at SmartVine.com.
The wines are also low in sugar and have 30% more reservatrol, an antioxidant research has shown may protect people from cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments.
“We believe that you can have your wine and your health too,” Fitzgerald said about her company, which currently offers red and white varieties. “There’s no need to sacrifice taste, how you feel the morning after, or your workout routine.”