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KRS

Organic distilled spirits means exactly what?

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You can die from any number reasons, accident, bee stings, peanuts, wheat, stupidity. If you are truly celiac, then I would have lots of sympathy, but the vast, vast majority of G.F. claimants I've dealt with are into the fad of it not the medical reality. In essence they have hijacked the concept from real sufferers. Both in my past food life and my current booze life I've had to put up with a shitload of this kind of whining. Fundamentally, distillates are inherently G.F. and if you don't want the wheat based spirit - choose corn/honey/fruit. No big deal.

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3 hours ago, Glenlyon said:

You can die from any number reasons, accident, bee stings, peanuts, wheat, stupidity. If you are truly celiac, then I would have lots of sympathy, but the vast, vast majority of G.F. claimants I've dealt with are into the fad of it not the medical reality. In essence they have hijacked the concept from real sufferers. Both in my past food life and my current booze life I've had to put up with a shitload of this kind of whining. Fundamentally, distillates are inherently G.F. and if you don't want the wheat based spirit - choose corn/honey/fruit. No big deal.

So why argue with them? I have a handful of customers each year who ask if we are GF and I sold just under 25,000 bottles this past year. Are you that upset about losing a handful of customers?

I could waste my time trying to convert those dozen or so GF people to buying my brand, or I could go out and sell another thousand bottles for the same effort.

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8 hours ago, MGL said:

You do not realize that a little gluten can kill people with celiacs? 

You should be careful with your wording here. You do not realize that "a little gluten" can not (directly) kill someone with celiacs? Celiacs is an autoimmune disease in which the lining of the intestines is slowly eaten away. By consuming gluten in large amounts, someone with celiacs risks the chance of shorter life and possibly getting cancer. So, "a little gluten" consumed consistently over time may indirectly kill someone, but they are probably already affected so bad by this point from previously gluten consumption that "a little gluten" is just adding to the inevitable. That being said, alcohol can affect the intestines (similarly to gluten in a person with celiac) of a healthy individual if consumed in large amounts. Imagine what it will do to someone with celiac.... I would say that the alcohol is going to have a much worse affect on someone with celiac than the possibility of there being/not being gluten in the finish product. 

FYI, you said that you would rather tell people to consume another persons product that is 100% corn rather than risking them consuming your product that may have trace amounts of gluten. Either way, a person with celiac is probably going to be affected the same in the long run. 

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The real reason to use organic sources in my opinion is so that when you distill your spirits you aren't just condensing the pesticides that came on your substrate. They can travel through the still and some evaporate at similar temperatures. Use a Mass spec to test for contamination.

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8 hours ago, Ironton said:

You should be careful with your wording here. You do not realize that "a little gluten" can not (directly) kill someone with celiacs? Celiacs is an autoimmune disease in which the lining of the intestines is slowly eaten away. By consuming gluten in large amounts, someone with celiacs risks the chance of shorter life and possibly getting cancer. So, "a little gluten" consumed consistently over time may indirectly kill someone, but they are probably already affected so bad by this point from previously gluten consumption that "a little gluten" is just adding to the inevitable. That being said, alcohol can affect the intestines (similarly to gluten in a person with celiac) of a healthy individual if consumed in large amounts. Imagine what it will do to someone with celiac.... I would say that the alcohol is going to have a much worse affect on someone with celiac than the possibility of there being/not being gluten in the finish product. 

FYI, you said that you would rather tell people to consume another persons product that is 100% corn rather than risking them consuming your product that may have trace amounts of gluten. Either way, a person with celiac is probably going to be affected the same in the long run. 

I am not a medical doctor so I don't know all the terms. I have a relative so sensitive to gluten that he has to carry two epi pens with him at all times.

 

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1 hour ago, MGL said:

I am not a medical doctor so I don't know all the terms. I have a relative so sensitive to gluten that he has to carry two epi pens with him at all times.

Not to split hairs, but Gluten intolerance, whether celiac or other, does not trigger anaphylactic shock and as such an epi pen would be basically useless.  A wheat allergy on the other hand, could trigger a reaction where an epi pen would be helpful, and it is possible someone could have both a gluten intolerance and a wheat allergy, but they are not the same thing.  They are completely different types of conditions.

https://www.oakstreetmedical.com/easyblog/entry/wheat-allergy-gluten-intolerance-and-celiac-disease

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13 hours ago, MGL said:

So why argue with them? I have a handful of customers each year who ask if we are GF and I sold just under 25,000 bottles this past year. Are you that upset about losing a handful of customers?

I could waste my time trying to convert those dozen or so GF people to buying my brand, or I could go out and sell another thousand bottles for the same effort.

I think this is a great point, and it is what I try to do in most cases, and its nice that I can point them to our corn based spirits.  But sometimes I cant help myself.  Its like when someone asks if we have our bourbon in 375ML bottles.  I could just tell then yes, its right here, but I generally I can't help pointing out that we make Rye Whiskey and not Bourbon.  Or another example is when folks say Bourbon can only be made in Kentucky.  When talking about spirits most people are open to having their beliefs challenged, but when talking about gluten you might as well be arguing existence of god. 

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15 hours ago, MGL said:

So why argue with them?

I don't. I just shrug and offer to add an extra $20 for the G.F. version.

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This is an absurd conversation hell-bent on trolling instead of actually helping the distilling community. 

Imho, it doesn’t matter what your non-medically-educated opinion is of someone else’s medical condition, perceived or otherwise.  Keep it positive or keep it quiet.  

Go organic or stick with dent, i won’t tell you which to choose.  It seems this thread wasn’t started to further education or to actually make a point, but to belittle others (in this case our beloved customers) for their opinions and desires.  Do better fellas, I’ll try to do the same.

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Regarding "organic spirits," how about "Distilled from organically grown barley/corn/wheat/rye/whatever?" It's honest and not misleading.  Regarding the gluten free concerns, there is no gluten left in a beverage that is 80 proof or higher; lower proof, don't know.  Basic science is not the common understanding at this time, facts being supplanted by beliefs and feelings.  I have a cut-out of a Bizarro Sunday comic strip on my fridge.  A TV newscaster is predicting the path of a severe hurricane, and telling people to batten down their homes and leave the area.  His ending remarks:  "...for you people who don't trust the media (i.e., including scientific facts expressed through media, implied), just stay put."  Lots of scientific studies validate the following:  beliefs are not rational, the feelings they engender narrow perception to accommodate belief.  Beliefs can only be argued; facts can be discussed.  So, please, stop the fruitless arguing, Dr. Karen says..and you can believe her!;)K

 

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Hi guys (and gals).  Use of the term "organic" is regulated.  The rules are spelled-out in the CFR.  To make the claim that you are "organic" or "distilled from organic," you need to be certified. 

Check it out at the USDA, which also has a link to the CFR for the rules regarding the use of the term "organic."   

https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic

If you have not seen it yet, the TTB has an agreement with the USDA, and you need to follow the TTB rules on labeling and advertising if you want to make any "organic" claims. 

https://www.ttb.gov/alfd/alfd_organic.shtml

We were organic certified but we gave-up the certification.  With first-hand experience, I can tell you that the use of the term (and following the rules) does have meaning, but it's not what I had expected when we initially began the process. 

The negatives: What I found was that spirits distilled from organic materials were no better (and sometimes inferior) in taste, and always more expensive to produce. I had trouble sourcing the grains that I wanted to use.  Most customers did not really care about the organic certification, and some even viewed it skeptically. And, I doubt that organic whiskey is any more healthy to consume than regular whiskey.

The positives: the farmer who grows organic grains uses fewer nasty pesticides.  The yield is lower, which does present other issues, but the farming techniques are generally better for the environment.

So, buying or selling organic spirits is not BS, and should never be about misleading the customer.  What it is about, IMHO, is choosing to buy products from a production chain that is more environmentally conscious (than conventional farming) because the original grains were farmed using non-GMO seeds and fewer harmful pesticides.  

 

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Tom, you are saying nothing but the truth about using organic certified raw materials as better for our Earth.  I am not indifferent to the concerns. I wonder if it ever will return to the type of farming that was the norm for thousands of years of agricultural production.  I do know that famine was much more prevalent in days gone by when crops could not be protected from pest invasions.  The Irish potato famine and horrendous loss of life in the 19th century comes to mind.  Drought is probably the greatest cause of famine.  Field irrigation, of course, existed since agriculture began, probably.  Pure, clean water was not necessarily the source used.  I do believe there is more widespread harm done from artificial fertilizer run-off in the water system. Despite legitimate concerns about pesticides used in agriculture, I believe it is our biggest threat to long term public health, followed by the methane released by commercially raised food source animals.  In the meantime, we can only hope that more benign, equally effective methods will "invade" commercial practices. 

This does not say that I believe using the term organic on a bottle of spirits ought to be used without qualification.  Apparently the TTB requires an explanation somewhere on the label.

I read the info on the links you provided.  Presently, the TTB regulations and labeling seem to require legal certification for using "organic" on a label.  In the case of distilled spirits, it seems the use of 100% organic requires the spirit producer to receive products from or be a certified organic source.  Otherwise, "produced with organic ingredients" is allowed if at least 70% of the spirit is produced with organic ingredients.  I was uncertain--TTB regulations being as opaque as they are, if the label has to say "produced from 70% organic materials."  In any case, the label has to have legal certification of the source on the label.  Also, the TTB has ruled that there is no difference in the effects of GMO grains on health than any other agricultural products, but again, it was unclear to me if that meant non-GMO was permitted without legal certification.   

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On 12/16/2017 at 7:15 PM, KRS said:

It isn't legal?  I believe I've seen it.  Maybe I'm confusing it with wine.  I'll check.  When you do change your labels, consider the honesty of adding the fact that there's no difference between s made from organic ingredients and spirits not made from organic ingredients.

Where is the side by side taste and chemical analysis of the same spirit produced with organic and inorganic ingredients to show there is no difference?  This seems to be opinion rather than a fact so why would anyone state so on a label?

Also, as previous posters stated, its pretty common knowledge what organic means and the consumer is free to make their choice based on that.  For me, half of buying organic is knowing that poison isn't being sprayed into our environment, damaging our pollinator populations ect... its not just about the health or taste benefits.

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