Vinegar is so versatile and a staple in the cupboards of anyone trying to reduce toxins in their home. But have you ever stopped to look at the label? Chances are that there isn't much on there and if there is a list of ingredients it may not provide any information on what went in to making the vinegar but instead just list the type of vinegar that is in the bottle.
Vinegar is acetic acid and water and is made through the fermentation of ethanol. Ethanol is a grain alcohol that can take many different forms and uses. The most common grains used to make ethanol that goes into making vinegar are corn and malt but it has been reported that natural gas and petroleum derivatives are also being used.
You want to see that it is made from a grain, if it does not indicate this on the label then you can not trust that it is not made from petroleum.
If you want to avoid GMO's then look for organic vinegar as corn is almost always GMO. Organic vinegar can be expensive so to save some money you can buy the non organic for cleaning and the organic for food.
You can't just look at the company that makes the vinegar either. These 2 brands are made by the same company (Loblaws Inc.) yet one is clearly labeled and the other is not.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar should always be made from apples. One would think with the name apple that it would be, but this is not always the case. While some labels contain pictures of nice looking apples they do not anywhere say that they actually use apples in the process of making the vinegar. In fact, earlier this year there was talk in the green living blogger world that some apple cider vinegar's are made from petroleum bases with a caramel colour added to make it look like apple cider vinegar made from apples.
Since apple cider vinegar is typically used in food or natural remedies it is best to buy organic to ensure you are getting GMO free and pesticide free (apples are very high in pesticides).
Photos sent by Karen Lee
Balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes and is aged for a very long time giving it a dark colour. Unfortunately this process makes it very expensive to buy and thus the majority of balsamic vinegar for sale in grocery stores is of a cheaper grade. Those brands make their vinegar from grape juice and then add sugars and caramel in to give it its dark colour.
To ensure your vinegar is safe and healthy for your family ensure you read labels carefully each and every time you buy it. You never know when a company may change their manufacturing processes.
What kind of vinegar do you buy? Is it clearly labelled?
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