Have any of you read the fine print on the back of your balsamic vinegar bottle and found this Prop 65 warning: This product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
I discovered this warning a couple years back, and have checked labels on my vinegar ever since. I have looked at several brands in big chain stores and health food stores alike. I just could not seem to find a balsamic that does not contain lead.
When researching this a little, I found that some claim that the lead occurs because of the processing of the vinegar and some say that the grapes absorb it from the ground during the aging process. Either way, it seems that we are just supposed to accept the fact that there is lead in our balsamic vinegar. So what about red wine vinegar? I have seen some warnings on them as well. And what about red wine? How are we to trust that there aren't levels of lead found in more aged products? Are they being tested? We worry about lead in our children's toys. Must we now worry that we are tossing lead into our salads as well?
Some of my readers know, and some may not know that I am pregnant with our second child. Exciting! The last thing I want to do is jeopardize the health of this unborn baby. And studies show that there are no safe levels of lead. Even a small amount can cause birth defects and other problems. After searching the Internet for a bit last night, I came across a company that states that it's vinegars are guaranteed to be lead free. I have yet to try this brand, but I am certainly going to. I am always searching for the highest quality, most natural products out there, so I just had to share this with you all as well.
Now, Prop 65 was issued by the state of California, so only brands regulated in that state will have this warning. However, even if your vinegar does not have the warning, it likely contains lead.
Lucini Italia is the brand I just discovered. Go to www.lucini.com and check their store finder to see where you can pick up a bottle of their fine vinegars and other products.
Here's to your health!