With wine there are some pretty compelling ethical issues to consider. From meaty manufacturing processes to pesticides in production.
It is probably best to reduce cheese and dairy in our diets to lessen the environmental degradation, animal cruelty and adverse health impacts.
Also, eating softer cheeses which are less energy intensive will improve greenness.
Dazzling discounts and obscene offers exist to motivate consumers to buy more wine, but the savings are passed down the chain through the supplier and onto the producers. So the grape pickers and packers for tthe big companies feel the pinch of our penny-saving.
Retailers, big supermarkets, even bribe and bully stockists into paying more for highest value positioning, dropping £100,000's to reach pole position, further reducing the pennies that are available to pay the producers.
In addition, supermarkets can pressure producers into entering exclusivity agreements, ensuring their products can only be sold in their stores and nowhere else. Once a supplier has agreed to such an arrangement, they can find themselves entirely dependent on just one supermarket.
The delicate weather patterns and climate changes that govern a good grape grow are progressively turbulent, and this causes companies to constrict the capital available for the workers at the bottom of the pie.
In South Africa especially, there is drastically lowered payment for labour This is a labour force that also, subsequently lacks sick pay or housing. A labour that can also be easily dismissed in the absence of formal, annual contracts. In many instances seasonal workers are only paid for the amount of grapes they pick, not for the hours they work.
Hang on, wine isn't vegan. what! It's not even vegetarian?!
It is not common knowledge that although derived from juicy grapes, wines have often been processed using animal products. 'Fining' is the act of adding a product to wine to remove suspended silty solids, and some fining agents also reduce astringency or bitterness, remove off-odors, and strip out browning caused by oxidation. So they're pretty popular.
But fining agents can include:
Albumen (egg white) – used for softening wines with a high tannin content and excess astringency
blood and bone marrow, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), casein (milk protein), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).
Casein (milk) – affects phenols by protecting them from oxidation which has a ‘refreshing’ effect on colour and flavour.
Isinglass (fish bladders) – a clarifying agent that enhances brilliance (no longer widely used)
Carbon (charcoal) - though it can remove colour, which is not commercially desirable.
Bentonite (clay) - is a heat stabilising agent. which removes proteins that can cause a haze, however it also strips out flavour. It is only used in white wines and red wines where it is commercially unacceptable for a haze to form.
Limestone and Kaolin clay are not permitted processing aids.
Plant casein is produced in an insufficient quantity for use, thus extremely expensive and not commercially used it seems - trials show it tainting the wine.
Silicone dioxide is a permitted additive however not used as it is difficult to handle and other processing aids out perform it.
Various processing aids and fining agents have the potential to introduce, what the industry deems as, unwanted taint or colour modification (such as browning). Costs associated with different methods is one part of the consideration, also the possible they will taint the wine, also their eddicacy, and whether they are legitimate in the country to origin.
Vegan, animal-friendly filtering alternatives used are carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, and vegetable plaques are all suitable alternatives. M&S, Co-Op, Waitrose, Tescos and Sainsburys all stock vegetarion and vegan bottles, just check the label to
vegan Friendly wines:
Check out www.barnivore.com to find out which of nearly 30,000 boozy beverages are benevolent and vegan. make sure. Research is key/
The UK is the world’s largest importer of wine, and research has estimated that wine consumption equates to about 0.4% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, thankfully it is often more economically viable to ship than fly, which of course proves more environmental. By shifting from roads to canals, Tesco claims to have reduced its CO2 emissions on bulk wine transportation in the UK by 80%. Which is great! But, still .... shop local. Tescos also still supplies ocean-ravaging John West tuna and does a pretty bad deal for Moroccan tomato farmers. They are not to be trusted.....
Dairy cows are the hardest working of all livestock, and though they can enjoy 20 years of life in the wild, dairy cows often die or are slaughtered after a lifetime of torment following about four lactations at 5 years old.
Due to advancements in artificial insemination and selective breeding, the average milk yield per cow has more than doubled in the last 40 years. Cows normally produce about 4-5 litres a day to feed calves, but in the industry they will do between 20-50 litres.
Calves are taken from their mothers within hours of birth to enter the dairy or meat industry system, leaving their highly intelligent, social and loving mothers pining desperately .
Grapes are one of most heavily sprayed crops in the world. This can cause health problems for the workers, degrade the land and lead to residues in final products leaving the soil saturated. In 2008 the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) released research into 40 bottles of conventional EU wine. The results were alarming: “100% of conventional wines included in the analysis were found to contain pesticides, with one bottle containing 10 different pesticides. On average each wine sample contained over four pesticides.