Are you a beer lover? Do you ever think about the ingredients that go into your tasty brew?
According to a recent report by the Alliance for Natural Health Association, your favorite beverage just might be loaded with both toxic and genetically modified ingredients, including GMO corn syrup, GMO coloring and fish bladder.
If you take a look at your beer’s label, you’ll likely see the familiar ingredients listed – barley, hops, water and yeast – but generally nothing more. So how would something like “fish bladder” be lurking in there without being listed on the label?
You might find it surprising that listing ingredients on beer labels is voluntary. That’s right — beer producers are not legally required to tell you what’s inside that beer you’re drinking. That’s because beer is regulated by the Department of Treasury and not the Food and Drug Administration, which has stricter labeling guidelines for food and non-alcoholic beverages. The alcohol industry lobbies hard to make sure it stays that way.
Some of the legal additives include: HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and other GMO sugars, caramel coloring that is made from ammonia and considered carcinogenic, insect-based dyes, calcium disodium EDTA (which contains formaldehyde) MSG (monosodium glutamate), propylene glycol (which is also found in anti-freeze), petroleum-based food colors, and isinglass made from fish bladder used as a clarifying agent. … Still thirsty?
What’s a health-conscious brew lover to do? First, you might want to find out which beers contain the offending ingredients (if a beer contains corn, it’s most likely GMO) and avoid them. Here’s a short list: Anheuser-Busch has corn; Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra all use dextrose, which is also made from corn; Coors, Corona, Foster’s, Miller Light, and Pabst use corn syrup; and Newcastle contains artificial caramel color.
Instead, choose beers that do not have any of these ingredients, such as Amstel Light, Heineken, and Sierra Nevada, which according to the Food Babe, all use non-GMO grains and avoid artificial stabilizers or ingredients.
Another good choice is to buy locally made beer from microbreweries. Small, local producers — of both food and beer — are often less likely to use nasty ingredients and more likely to use sustainable and local ingredients. In my experience, most local breweries will be happy to give you a list of what goes into their brews because they are proud to boast.
There’s also the option of buying a certified organic beer. Certification means that by law the producer cannot use GMOs and other unsafe ingredients.