Vinegars

There are vinegars then there are

‘Our Vinegars’

There is the alcohol based vinegar that is mainly used in commercial production of pickles, ketchup and salad dressings. It also is used for cleaning purposes.

There are the fruit based vinegars, many are imported from China and other countries and are relative cheap.  Most are filtered and pasteurized.

And then there are our Apple Cider Vinegars, the REAL ones, non-pasteurized, non-filtered, and made with the ‘mother’.   Our Apple Cider Vinegars are made from apples harvested at our own orchards in the Snohomish Valley in Western Washington.  The apples are first pressed into Sweet Cider and then fermented for at least 6 months or longer until a 5% acidity is achieved.

What is the difference?

Filtering vinegar leaves clear amber-colored vinegar without any sediment or mother, while non-filtered vinegar is usually somewhat cloudy and contains particles of the ‘mother’ and some sediment!  This is where the real difference exists between filtered and non-filtered vinegars.   The ‘mother’ is a living organism that creates vinegar from alcohol and can be found in the vinegars as a wispy string of whitish material. This type of Vinegar is appreciated by people as the REAL thing, not only for the organic part and the tastier experience when sipping vinegar, but also for its reported positive effects on people’s health. Many people believe that by sipping a small amount every day is generally good for a healthy life style. It is known to prevent colds, to lower cholesterol, to prevent heartburn and to reduce weight.  Some people drink it because it is made from REAL fresh apple cider.

Two decades ago the United States had a healthy apple juice industry but due to the Chinese apple juice imports that have flooded the US markets this is no longer true. In the eighties the Chinese farmers were encouraged to diversity their incomes by planting lots of apple trees.  Soon the demand of the Chinese apple market was met because the apples grown were not the varieties that people liked and the prices dropped.  Foreign business in combination with the Chinese government began building a juice processing industry that absorbed the glut of apples and started the export of cheap apple juice.  Since apple juice is not a typical juice for the Chinese they had to rely on export.  More than 70 % of the apple juice consumed in the US has been imported from China and a lot has been written about the contamination of arsenic and lead in products that use apple juice imported from China.  The Chinese officials seem to have a hard time controlling the safe process of making cider and vinegars.

In 2014 the Consumer Report brought out the continuing concern of the high levels of arsenic in imported juices, as well as in rice and beer.  The Consumer Report had been advocating a three parts per billion arsenic levels as an acceptable risk.  Below are some excerpts of the report:

 The FDA stated that the 10 ppb guidance to industry “will help keep out of the food supply even the occasional lot of apple juice” containing arsenic above that level. But the fact that most of the apple-juice samples the FDA tested already had inorganic arsenic levels below 10 ppb is one reason Consumer Reports’ safety experts concluded that the agency’s proposed guidance doesn’t sufficiently protect public health. In written comments submitted to the FDA after thoroughly reviewing the rationale behind its proposal, they urged the agency to set a tougher level that “creates an incentive for the marketplace to reduce levels of inorganic arsenic in apple juice and thereby reduce risk—not simply maintain the status quo.”

and

“In calculating the risks of arsenic exposure from apple juice, the FDA also appears to have significantly underestimated how much juice children drink. A Consumer Reports survey of parents conducted in 2011 found that on the day before the survey, more than 25 percent of children under age 6 consumed more than 8 ounces of apple juice, which was the highest daily consumption estimate used by the FDA, and 12 percent drank 16 ounces or more”.

To make a long story short:                                                                                                 

Vinegars produced from apples grown in the US are a better choice for consumers and their children as well as for the US farmers!