Natural wine and a hangover, or genetically modified wine and feeling great?

Love it or hate it, genetically-modified crops are here to stay. You probably eat them all the time but since companies aren’t required to state which foods are made with GM seeds instead of natural seeds, it’s impossible to know .

Now comes ML01, a GM yeast that its creator, a professor at the University of British Columbia named Hennie van Vuuren, claims can cure the headache aspect of the red wine hangover — and for many white wines too.

The science behind the GM yeast is well-known. As The Atlantic explains,

ML01 converts malic acid into lactic acid, a metabolically simple process that eliminates undesirable compounds in wine called biogenic amines — compounds that are known to be a major cause of headaches and allergic reactions in many consumers of red wine, and of certain varieties of white wine. To call this yeast a surefire cure for a hangover would be extreme: everyone knows that’s the job of a greasy burger. But there’s every reason to assume that its preventive potential is real.

Whether ML01 sounds like the bees knees or a terrible frankenfood, there’s no way to know which wineries are using it because wineries fall under the same laws as farms and don’t have to disclose GM crops. The only definite way to avoid it is to buy wine that’s certified organic.

On the flip side, if you want to test its hangover powers, no wineries are publicizing its use — even though at one point more than 40 wineries in California were buying the yeast.

Don’t worry, though. If the hangover-curing properties are really that amazing, someone will capitalize on them soon enough. And if it’s already too late for you, try a Reuben sandwich. It’s supposedly the best cure there is.

(Image via Flickr: The One True Devo)

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink