Could Vinegar Made From Petroleum? - Chef Cynthia Louise
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Pickles. Petroleum. And your gut health.

Could your vinegar actually be made from petroleum.. i will get to that in just a minuite…

Here is a picture of my can-less pickles.

Could Your Vinegar Actually Be Made From Petroleum

It’s one of 50 gut-healing recipes from our new online cooking class called Gluten Free At Home.

Why pickles…


…well they are a fantastic condiment and can last in the fridge for weeks. 


They require little attention while using whole real food ingredients.


If you’re a lover of any of pickles, ask yourself this question.


Which field does your vinegar come from?


“Vinegar can come from natural sources like corn, apples, and grapes.”


Or it can come from petroleum.


Yep, you read that right!!


And labels don’t have to tell you which.  Shocking I know!!


“To learn more, search google vinegar and petroleum.”


Well, I was curious, so of course, I Googled “vinegar and petroleum,” only to find a handful of entries, none of them authoritative.


One did lead me, though, to the America’s FDA’s rules about vinegar.


In short, it is true that petroleum can be used to start the vinegar-making process.


Like any “starter” for vinegar, it’s used to create alcohol, which is then oxidized with bacteria to convert the alcohol to vinegar.


Here are excerpts from the FDA’s paper, which was written in 1969 and updated in 1989:


Practically and scientifically, pure ethyl alcohol synthesized from natural gas or petroleum products does not differ from that obtained by fermentation with subsequent distillation.


Furthermore, foods in which one is used cannot be distinguished objectively from those in which the other is used.


Synthetic ethyl alcohol may be used as a food ingredient or in the manufacturing of vinegar or other chemicals for food use, within limitations imposed by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Alcohol Administration Act, and regulations promulgated under these acts.


It’s also true that the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to note on their labels whether petroleum is used as a starter.


Petroleum can only be used to start white distilled vinegar.


And did you know that 95% of any pickles are made in white vinegar?


To use a “starter” in making other kinds of vinegar is done with real food.


Rice vinegar comes from rice, cider vinegar comes from apples, and so on.


Are you concerned about the prospect of vinegar’s coming from petroleum?


Switch your vinegar, there are only 3 I use in all my cooking.


  • Apple Cider with the mother,
  • Good quality balsamic vinegar, and
  • Umeboshi plum vinegar.

Pickled Cucumber

If you want to find out more about how I cook with these you can check out my latest Online Cooking Class.


Here the link to my video recipes course, all recipes are designed to support your gut.

Chef Cynthia

Get a free copy of my Let's Eat Plant-Based Ebook.

I have included some of my favourite plant-based and much loved recipes.

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About the Author

Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.

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