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The Shocking Ingredients In Beer


I have to confess, I’m not a beer drinker, but there’s someone in my household that loves it, so I had to figure out the truth. Is beer really healthy? Why are the ingredients not listed on the label? Which brands can we trust? Which brands are trying to slowly poison us with cheap and harmful ingredients? All of these questions were going through my head at once at lightning speed. So a year ago, I started to research what was really in beer and after questioning several beer companies, reading books about food science, and talking to experts, the information I discovered was downright shocking.

I see it all the time. Someone who eats organic, makes the right choices at the grocery store, is fit and lives an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle but then drinks beer like it is going out of style.

Caring about what you eat doesn’t necessarily translate into caring about what you drink and this is a HUGE MISTAKE.

Before we get into what exactly is in beer that you should be worried about, let’s talk about how body reacts to alcohol in general.

Alcohol is metabolized by the body differently than all other calories you consume. Alcohol is one of the only substances that you consume that can permeate your digestive system and go straight into your bloodstream. It bypasses normal digestion and is absorbed into the body intact, where it goes straight into the liver.

Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies. The liver is going to metabolize alcohol first vs. the fat you want to get rid of – making weight loss even harder. Additionally, one of the primary functions of the liver is to remove environmental toxins from your body – if it is overtaxed with alcohol, the normal removal of these toxins becomes extremely diminished and can result in rapid aging, loss of libido, and other diseases.

The one thing that has gotten me before and I’m sure many of you – is the health marketing claims on alcohol products making drinking them seem like a good idea and an added “benefit” to your health. The low alcohol content of beer makes it appear as an innocuous beverage and something people throw back without even thinking about it. Who hasn’t seen those studies that say a beer a day is great for you (I want to ask who ever stops at just one beer?)?


So, inherently, alcohol by itself is not a healthy person’s best friend – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Beer, especially American beer, is made with all sorts of ingredients beyond the basic hops, malt and yeast. There are numerous other ingredients used to clarify, stabilize, preserve, enhance the color and flavor of beer.

When you drink beer, there is almost a 100% chance that you don’t know what you are drinking (unless you quizzed the beer companies like I did). The ingredients in beer are not required by law to be listed anywhere on the label and manufacturers have no legal obligation to disclose the ingredients. For regular beer, calorie levels and percent alcohol are optional and for light beer calories are mandatory but alcohol levels are optional.

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer, author of Appetite for Profit, and president of Eat Drink Politics told me the reason that beer companies don’t disclose ingredients is simple: they don’t have to.

“Ingredient labeling on food products and non-alcoholic beverages is required by the Food and Drug Administration. But a whole other federal agency regulates beer, and not very well. The Department of Treasury – the same folks who collect your taxes – oversees alcoholic beverages. That probably explains why we know more about what’s in a can of Coke than a can of Bud. You can also thank the alcohol industry, which has lobbied for years against efforts to require ingredient labeling.”

I figured if the beer companies aren’t required to tell us the exact list of ingredients, I needed to investigate this for myself and asked them the pointed questions until I got the truth.



First of all, I was able to obtain a baseline list of “legal” additives allowed in beer from the book “Chemicals Additives in Beer” by the Center of Science and Public Interest. This list allowed me to ask specific questions about each beer I investigated. For example – beer sold here in America can contain several of the following ingredients:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –  alcohol is already addictive with some people, but with MSG?! Holy smokes.

  • Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze)

  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine)

  • Many different types of sulfites and anti-microbial preservatives (linked to allergies and asthma)

  • Natural Flavors (can come from anything natural including a beavers anal gland)

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • GMO Sugars – Dextrose, Corn Syrup

  • Caramel Coloring (Class III or IV made from ammonia and classified as a carcinogen)

  • FD&C Blue 1 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

  • FD&C Red 40 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

  • FD&C Yellow 5 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

  • Insect-Based Dyes: carmine derived from cochineal insects to color their beer.

  • Animal Based Clarifiers: Findings include isinglass (dried fish bladder), gelatin (from skin, connective tissue, and bones), and casein (found in milk)

  • Foam Control: Used for head retention; (glyceryl monostearate and pepsin are both potentially derived from animals)

  • BPA (Bisphenol A is a component in many can liners and it may leach into the beer. BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect sperm count, and other organ functions.)

  • Carrageenan (linked to inflammation in digestive system, IBS and considered a carcinogen in some circumstances)

During my investigation, I couldn’t get a single mainstream beer company to share the full list of ingredients contained in their beer. But I did get some of them to fess up to the use of these ingredients in writing so I’m going to share this information with you now.

Carcinogenic Caramel Coloring

Newcastle, a UK brand, confessed to using what I would consider one of the most controversial food additives. Toasted barley is usually what gives beer its golden or deep brown color, however in this case, Newcastle beer is also colored artificially with caramel color. This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creating carcinogenic compounds. If beer companies were required by law to list the ingredients, Newcastle would likely have to have a cancer warning label under California law because it is a carcinogen proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Many of the beers I questioned contained one or more possible GMO ingredients.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (Guinness – unable to provide an affidavit for non-GMO proof)
  • Corn syrup (Miller Light, Coors, Corona, Fosters, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Stripe)
  • Dextrose (Budweiser, Bud Light, Busch Light, Michelob Ultra)
  • Corn (Red Stripe, Miller Coors Brand, Anheuser-Busch Brands)

Most beers brewed commercially are made with more GMO corn than barley. Many of the companies I contacted dodged the GMO question – however Miller Coors had a very forthcoming and honest response. They stated “Corn syrup gives beer a milder and lighter-bodied flavor” and “Corn syrups may be derived from a mixture of corn (conventional and biotech.)”, admitting their use of GMOs.


Pabst Blue Ribbon responded saying their corn syrup was “special” and “made of carbohydrates and some simple sugars like dextrose and maltose.  The sugars are fermented into alcohol and CO2, and the carbohydrates, both from the corn syrup and the malt, remain in the beers as flavor, color and body components.”

Dextrose and maltose can come from a variety of substances that are sweet, but likely are derived from GMO corn because it is super cheap for a company to use corn instead of fruit or other non-GMO sources. With cheap beer – you are not just getting a cheap buzz, you are getting the worst of the worst.  Just like with cheap fast food – if you don’t invest in your beer – you will be drinking a lower quality product like Pabst Blue Ribbon that is made from GMO Corn and Corn Syrup.

In 2007, Greenpeace found unapproved and experimental GMO Rice strain in Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser, Bud Light) beer. Anheuser-Busch responded saying their US-grown long-grained rice “may have micro levels” of a genetically engineered protein called Liberty Link, but added that the protein is “substantially removed or destroyed” during the brewing of beer sold domestically. Don’t you think it’s hard to trust any beer company that gets caught using experimental food made in a laboratory? GMOs have not been tested long term on human beings and one of the main pesticides (Roundup) they spray on GMO crops are linked to inflammation, cancer and other diseases. 


High Fructose Corn Syrup & Fish Bladders

Speaking of trusting companies, let’s get one thing straight, Guinness beer is no longer owned by the Irish, they are now owned by a large beer conglomerate called Diageo and manufactured in over 50 different countries. No matter how many St. Patty’s Day celebrations you’ve had with this dark stout, it’s time to stop because they use high fructose corn syrup in their beer (4/2/14 Update: Guinness Beer claims they do not use high fructose corn syrup any longer, but refuses to disclose ingredient affidavits or full of list of ingredients.) But, Guinness beer also contains isinglass, a gelatin-like substance produced from the swim bladder of a fish. This ingredient helps remove any “haziness,” solids, or yeast byproducts from the beer. Mmmmm… fish bladder sounds delicious, doesn’t? The sneaky thing this beer company does like many of the companies mentioned here today is create an illusion of using the best ingredients when in actuality what they tell you publicly on their websites is a complete farce. On Guinness FAQ’s – they have a question that states: “What are the key ingredients in Guinness” and the answer doesn’t reveal the whole picture – it only states “Our key ingredients – other than inspiration – are roasted, malted barley, hops, yeast and water.” What BS, right?  You have to call, email, question and know the right things to ask to even have a chance at getting the truth. This is insanity.

So What Beers Are Additive and GMO Free?

If you enjoy the occasional beer and wish to maintain your healthy lifestyle, choosing one without GMOs and additives is ideal. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream beers available have additives, but luckily, there are a few that don’t. For example, Sierra Nevada, Heineken, and Amstel Light (7/31/13 UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Heinken USA has changed their formula to use GMOs – I called their customer service line 1-914-681-4100 to confirm and asked for the list of ingredients – the man told me “water, yeast, malted barley and hops” – then I asked if their beer contained any genetically engineered material and he confirmed “YES,” but wouldn’t tell me what ingredients are genetically engineered. They recently changed their formula after my initial research that started in late 2012.) (8/1/13 Update: Heineken reached out to me personally to say their customer service department made an error in telling me and others who called their beer has GMOs. I met with a head brew master and have viewed affidavits from the company and confirmed Heinken and Amstel Light do not contain GMOs – they apologize for the confusion.) appear to be pretty clean (but these companies still wouldn’t disclose the full list of ingredients to me. They did say they use non-GMO grains, no artificial ingredients, stabilizers or preservatives).

German Beers are also a good bet. The Germans are very serious about the purity of their beers and enacted a purity law called “Reinheitsgebot” that requires all German beers to be only produced with a core ingredient list of water, hops, yeast, malted barley or wheat. Advocates of German beers insist that they taste cleaner and some even claim they don’t suffer from hangovers as a result.

An obvious choice to consider is also Certified Organic Beers. They are required by law to not include GMOs and other harmful additives. Organic beers also support environmental friendly practices and reduce the amount of pesticides and toxins in our air, support organic farmers – which is a huge plus. (To this day, the beer drinkers in my family haven’t found one they love so if you have suggestions, please let us know in the comments!)

Craft & Microbrews Beers – For certain local craft and micro beers, you can ask those companies for a list of ingredients and many of them will be up front with you. However, companies like Miller Coors are slowly closing in on craft beers and buying them up one by one… like they did when they created the unique popular variety called Blue Moon (the beer you drink with an orange) and Anhesuer-Busch did this with Rolling Rock and Goose Island Brewery. Make sure your favorite craft and microbrew is still independently owned and controlled before taking a sip.

In the end – if you decide to drink beer, you are definitely drinking at your own risk for more reasons than just the crazy ingredients that could be in them. The key point to remember is – if you like to drink beer and want to be healthy, drink it infrequently and quiz the beer companies for the truth. Find a beer that you can trust and stick with it.

For your reference, here are some important questions to ask your favorite beer company:

  1. What are the ingredients in your beer – all of them from start to finish?

  2. Are any of your ingredients GMO?

  3. Do you use any soy, corn, or rice processing ingredients? (Examples include: dextrose, corn syrup, etc.)

  4. Do you add any natural, artificial flavors or colors to the beer? (Examples include:  yellow #5, caramel coloring, red #40, MSG, natural flavors)

  5. Are there any additional preservatives, stabilizers and/or clarifying agents added to your beer during processing? (Examples include: propylene glycol, Calcium Disodium EDTA, anything ending in “sulfite” like sodium metabisulfite, Heptylparaben, isinglass)

If you know someone who drinks beer – share this post with them.

These ingredients are no joke. We must inform and protect each other from these industrial chemicals, untested and potentially harmful ingredients and it starts by sharing your knowledge with the ones you love.

Bottoms up!

Food Babe


Enjoying Dinner copy

UPDATE: In June 2014, I launched a petition to ask the two most popular beer companies in the U.S., Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, to publish the complete ingredient lists for all of their beers online. Within only 24 hours, the petition received over 40,000 signatures and gained exposure on several mainstream media outlets including ABC News, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. This same day, Anheuser-Busch announced that they would agree to publish their complete ingredients online, and MillerCoors quickly followed suit. Anheuser-Busch has since published the ingredients for several of their beers online (they have not published all of them), revealing that some contain high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, and other additives. MillerCoors also listed ingredients on their website for many beers which contain corn syrup (GMO), high fructose corn syrup, sucrose (sugar), and natural flavors. 
UPDATE: In October 2015 Guinness announced that they are stopping the use of isinglass in their refining process so that their beer will become vegan-friendly.
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1,465 responses to “The Shocking Ingredients In Beer

  1. WTF? Beer is bad for you anyways. No one drinks beer because it is healthy and every one that drinks it understands the potential long term risks. I doubt that having the ingredients be organic or chemical will make a big difference on your liver in the long run.

    1. Speak for yourself! I look forward to a nice, refreshing and healthy glass of beer to wind down my day.

    2. Seriously? If you like to consume industrial chemicals and GMO garbage that doesn’t mean the rest of are the same. Beer isn’t a health food item, correct, however that doesn’t mean beer companies should just use the cheapest, unhealthiest ingredients just because they have the longest shelf life or it’s best for the bottom line. And to say beer is bad for you is completely false, drinking bad beer is bad for you or if you are drinking to excess that’s bad for you.

      There are many places in the world where beer makes up to a quarter or a third of caloric intake. You’ve been educated ….

      Your welcome !

      1. well said. the germans and belgians don’t use rubbish in their products. i get fed up when companies that profit obscenely lie in your face to save a few bucks and substitute proper ingredients for crap. there’s no “acceptable low amount” to toxins.

      2. I agree Bucky -this is new find (foodbabe’s info) that i didnt realize until i am diabetic ii. And Since i started drinking quality company beers that only use pure ingredients and don’t put toxic purifiers and unknown additives and corn syrup just to make beer for pennies and make the corporations 200% profits, I am NOW able to NOT feel pain in my joints or my insides and feel like i was poisoned the next day! Also right that people in the US need to be educated what the big beer corporations are pushing to those who want to save $$ and are abusing citizens for profit,, Instead they should go back to old values and old recipes, pure just like German beer laws!!!

    3. Wrong! In some Central European countries 1 glass of beer can be consumed as medication subscribed by a doctor. Beer has many healthy factors, including anti-oxidants. The key word is: moderation.

    4. Beer is a healthy beverage, if it’s a fundamental beer, nothing crazy. Soda pop, most juice, and loads of other sweet drinks are not so good for the body. Beer is good food, good beverage, good liquid. Beer is ancient with humanity, and it’s good.

      1. Absolutey the Egyptions took a pot of beer to work everyday for lunch and if you want to see what they were working on go look at the pyramids by the way the beer was barley. This is a fact the cotainers have been analysed fot DNA and barley was found and yeast. That is now what we today call beer.

    5. Good beer has ingredients your gut is fine with eating for food. What is bad for you are chemicals that harm your gut. Do five minutes of research on gut health, and you will see a healthy gut is the key. It’s what you feed your gut that matters. People do drink good beer because it’s a pretty healthy drink. People have lived over 100 drinking beer with no liver problems. Processed food and sugar destroy your liver way more than a couple of beers. Chemicals alter your gut biome making you sick. The beers in this article are not much better than coke or mountain dew. Barf.

    6. I’m a brewer of craft beers I use the best ingredients I can get my hands on. Your comments show that you know nothing about beer. I would venture to say you might just be old enough to drink it. There are many different styles of beer of all different colors, bodies, flavors, alcoholic strengths. Well made beer has many vitamins, minerals, proteins, and probiotics. At a time when the water could kill you people drink beer because it was sterile due to boiling. Beer has good nutritional value as does wine. If you’re referring to fizzy yellow American lagers then I would tend to agree with you. Now, that being said too much is not good for you neither is too much water or orange juice. I also compete in many competitions and judge as well. And believe it or not I drink beer for the flavor, aroma, experience, and pleasure.

  2. Thanks for posting this article. I’m disappointed with Guinness. I had no idea that it was NO longer an Irish company.

    I called Yeungling beer (an american beer company) and spoke to someone in the quality controls department and he told me that they do not use any unnatural ingredients like corn syrup or Propylene Glycol , etc. He said they use all natural ingredients and are GMO free. Yeah!!

    I’ll be lobbying my local representative to force beer companies to disclose ingredients.

    1. Re: Yeungling, which I have been interested in, ingredient wise, I did a search and on the company’s website, they use Corn Grits in their beers. I haven’t reached out to them to determine if they are sourcing the ingredients from non-gmo producers however. I have heard w/beer and w/whiskey distillation that the gmo aspect in corn is eliminated or severely reduced(don’t know how true that is), however, I would imagine there is at least some trace remainders of modified components. I don’t know much about distillation in general for whiskey and the like, but with beer, there is no distillation like that. Will search some more, but wanted to post this as I am worried about what is in the product.

  3. Excellent Article!!! , My friend gets severe allergic reactions to certain beers, we didnt know what they were because the labels are so vague and it puzzled us. Now we know. Thanks so much for posting this.

    1. Wow! Now I know why the first time I drank less than half of a beer (Pabst Blue) I broke out in hives all over! I had to go to the hospital. Who knows what ingredients were in that beer!! I guess I’m not alone in this.

  4. Beer companies are just the same as food companies. Putting cheap ingredients in to make profits and make you sick! Learn how to grow a lot of your own food and brew your own all grain beer!

  5. Does Budweiser Light (BL) have Gluten in it? Details and authority, pls? I need to know since I am sensitive to intakes of gluten… and, I drink BL.

    To my knowledge, anything that has been made from Barley has gluten in it ???

    1. Yes Bud Light definitely has gluten in it. Most “main stream” beers do have gluten in them as they are made with wheat or barley. Anheuser-Busch does make a gluten free beer however called Redbridge. It is not my favorite gluten beer but if you want beer without the symptoms caused by gluten then it is an option. If you are not concerned with GMO ingredients then I would suggest Omission. They have an pale ale, lager and IPA and even my non-celiac boy friend says that it doesn’t taste too bad 🙂 Hope this helps!

  6. A warning about German beers…several are now brewed in the U.S. and likely fail to observe German purity laws. Read labels carefully…if a German beer is labeled as “Product of USA”, be wary.

    For example, Beck’s beer sold in the U.S. is currently made in St. Louis and doesn’t abide by German Beer Purity Law any more…(and is likely using cheaper and possibly GMO ingredients):

  7. What beer are people drinking that is free of these things? Is there a commercial beer (non-mico brew) that is the most chemical free? I always like to see alternatives since so much of our diet is what you shouldn’t do, not what you should do. Thanks in advance for the response!

    1. Skip the the commerical beer and find a local craft brewery with a beer you like and support them. Also, you could find you local homebrew shop and start a very satisfying hobby. Stay safe and healthy.

  8. i think it’s always way better to Buy fresh, buy local, buy GMO free beer. not only dose the beer taste better but your helping by supporting local business it is more then ever seems like that there’s is more of theses mom & pop breweries in pa making a huge come back but also bringing jobs to them for the areas i know philly has a has a lot of theses breweries witch i must say that this is truly awesome to try local beer instead of the bigger breweries that have shocking ingredients in there beer making

  9. You mentioned Blue Moon being bought out. Do you know if it contains any GMO’s or other bad chemicals? What about Yuengling, Magic Hat (Costa Rican owned), Anheuser-Busch’s Shocktop? Not that I like any of these, but they’re all among the most popular so I’m just curious.

  10. Hi, I sign the beer petion for list of ingrediants.Im soory i could not find the list of beers you said you had if you signed the petion on the alex jones show Please provide thanks James

      1. Has the Food Babe made a list of American beers that are the safest to drink? I like my beer and I drink a good amount a few times a month. I tire of bud and miller and I can taste metal/chemicals in it. I also have noticed the taste difference in European beers brewed in Europe vs US and hangovers btwn the two. Please advise !

      2. I know this is an old thread but I’m in lockdown and trying to stay entertained. I noticed that Food Babe was drinking a large glass of wine. Have you researched the ingredients in your wine as well? Ingredients such as Sodium metabisulfite. Isinglass, gelatin, clay, acids. Just keeping the playing field even.

  11. I would also like to add that Czech beer is also a good option. Czechs take their beer very seriously and Czech beer is also one of the best in the world. The ingredients in most of the Czech beers available in the US are just water, hops and malted barley. Although the ingredients don´t have to be listed on bottles imported to the US from Europe ( where ingredients in beer have to be disclosed on the bottles) they are available online.

  12. Dextrose(glucose C6H12O6) is pure corn sugar. this is put into beer to condition(carbonate) the beer. syrup is made by mixing equal parts sugar and water so if you take corn sugar (dextrose) and mix it with water you get corn syrup. when this is added to the beer, the yeast metabolizes(eats) the sugar then poops CO2 and alcohol as a by product. when you drink the beer there is no more corn sugar in the product, just yeast poop which is already on the ingredients list.

  13. So while agree 100% on ingredient disclosure, understanding HOW some of these things are used is equally important.

    Isinglass (dried and ground fish bladders) is used as a fining (not finding) agent.

    This is the same method of clarification used (and actually developed by) the wine industry. 99.9% of commercial wines use this or gelatin (callogen)

    The gelatin binds with undesirable proteins, causing them to fall to the bottom of the vessel. When the final product is packaged, you will not be consuming the dried fish bladders. The whole point of using them is to have them remove stuff, and thus be removed themselves.

    The funniest part of the article is when Miller/Coors and others claim “enhanced flavor and color”.

    I would NEVER accuse these producers’ beers of having flavor. That would just be silly.

    1. You hit the nail on the head Joe. I noticed the food babe was drinking wine. I brew my own beer but was a wine maker years ago. I don’t know whether she has written an article on wine or not but if not she might be a wine snob. I hope not.

  14. All the more reason I brew my on beer! Everything I use is 100% natural, organic, and healthy. My beers contain vitamins, minerals, and healthy nutrients. At any given time, I have at least 10-15 gallons of beer at the house, either in bottles or fermenting!

  15. Thank you very much for this informative article. The almighty dollar rules all. I wish that this government would do the right thing and start making these companies list the poisons they are putting in. Just heard that some wines have high levels of arsenic in them. What next?

  16. so no food is gonna make you live forever. so we muct eat and be happy with those least harmful. a beer a day or 3 and youl probably make 70 or 80 years. Over drinking can killl anyone but stress can too. no worries have a cold one or 3 and enjoy the evening.

  17. I recently found I have allergic reactions/sensitivities (uticaria)from many foods, herbs, etc. A few are wheat (even though I don’t have celiac disease), cane sugar and caraway seeds but not rye, corn or rice. Are there any beers out there that could fit into my extinction food plan. I’m really missing my beer. I know if dextrose is a sugar but I’m only allergic to cane sugar so convertion into dextrose should be ok. It’s been since June and I’m desperate for a few beverages. Wine is out cause I can’t have grapes and I’m too afraid of vodka cause you integer know what it’s made or distilled with. I’m also a allergic to potatoes. The dietician I’m working with didn’t know. Can you please help be food babe??? Our anyone else! TIA!

  18. I’m sorry, did you just try to insult us East and Southeast Asians? Because many of us DO eat the swim bladders of fish–yes, you read it right. We do eat swim bladders of fish: it is a delicacy that we consume especially during the Lunar New Year period, and it is considered good for blood circulation, and a source of naturally-occurring collagen. For YOUR information, Vani, it IS VERY delicious, it IS nutritious and I AM offended that you, in your so-called expertise in and advocacy for natural foods, DARED to make fun of a well-loved ALL-NATURAL FOOD of another culture. SHAME ON YOU! Get yourself an education in food culture!

  19. Years ag0, my ex father in law whom at the time was VP of Stroh Beer, informed me most beers contain formaldehyde (less than 1%) to maintain the foaming head on beers. Additionally all draught beers vs their bottled or canned counter parts each have different ingredient formulations. Means that drinking one version of a beer brand may be more hazardous to your health than what each beer company representative is willing to openly reveal. Often times it is not what they tell you that you need or should be concerned about, but be concerned even more about what they are not telling you by ommission.

  20. Might as well go after the hard liquor market now. News flash whisky is made with corn as well!!!!!!! These articles are plain scare tactics. Study up in fermentation please and learn something!


  22. Kokanee was my choice. I understand it has corn syrup solids – I think Food Babe reported that somewhere. Anyway, after reading this, beer is outta my house. What I really enjoy is champagne – Cook’s is in the grocery store here in the wilderness, and I mix it with red wine.
    Maybe you will look into champagne, since I see you raising that glass?

    1. Buy local craft beer and restock your fridge. Don’t let this girl scare you. Commercial wine has some of the same crap. Craft beer!

  23. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing

    1. Let me get this straight, you say her blog looks great in Ie, but in Internet Explorer it has some overlapping?
      You DO understand that Ie IS Internet Explorer…right? Ie is just Internet Explorer abbreviated.
      Maybe you meant to write Firefox, or Chrome, or Safari?

  24. Hi, great article, a very interesting read. Just one (off the point) suggestion. St. Patrick’s Day, Paddy’s Day etc. is never ever referrred to as St. Patty’s. Never.

  25. I do like the Bud Light “Here is your Corn Syrup barrel commercial”. It is funny and it makes people think. I do not drink it but I like how it is an eye opener to the public.

  26. I seriously doubt there is enough of any of these horrible deathly horrendous chemicals to kill a fly. Enjoy your beers guys and gals. Just another over reactive health nut article. So sad we have become a society of worrying about EVERYTHING. Average life expectancy 100 years ago 47. As of 2000, 75. Good enough for me. Life goes by to quickly to worry about trivial articles such as this.

    1. Health and longevity are completely different things. I’ll take health to a long sickly life. These chemicals kill much smaller things than flys, they alter your gut bacteria which is why westerners are all so sick. These articles expose the BS products for what they are. Cheap garbage that is making us all chronically ill. Stick with high-quality beer, the Germans created a purity law for a reason.

  27. Good to know! Most understand beer is not a healthy beverage but enjoy a cold beer or two after a hard day. What I find important is that this information has been shared by others including the Food Babe and I appreciate the fact that with this knowledge you can make healthier choices if you choose too. I find most American beer outside of some independents that produce craft beers is crap. Thanks Food Babe this type of information can be helpful and folks can do with it what they may!

  28. lol, we might also state fresh fruits and vegetables are saturated with nasty ammonium nitrates added during through the growing season. Brewers use corn, rice and sugars to make beers cheaper they also are tasteless and have no flavor. We all love the capitalist system right? If they would use mostly barley we wouldn’t be drinking this crap. The major brewers monopolized this over 70yrs ago they have used additives prior to prohibition.

  29. Alcohol is a toxin. To the guy, who mentioned Belgian beer, the Belgians put all kinds of weird stuff in their beer, like orange peel and cardamom. Some of it tastes like it was strained through dirty old sweat socks. The Germans have purity laws, at least the beers made IN Germany. Malted barley, yeast, hops, and water.

    1. Michael do a little research on Belgian beers before sticking your foot in your mouth. Bitter or sweet orange peel is not a dangerous chemical. And the ones that have the so call barnyard aromas and flavors get these characteristics from the yeast and natural bacteria in the brewery. These are some of my favorites. I am a traditional German brewer. But I can appreciate any well made beer.

  30. What a croc! You say you don’t like beer, but you devilize its’ ingredients.
    Keep your nose out of my beer cooler. I don’t need your help.

  31. Very good presentation regarding the “Evils” of commercial brews. Make your own like I do. It is absolutely pure, a probiotic. Blue Moon might be “O.K.” but it tastes like hell.

    1. Well get to it and practice on making it taste delicious..might make you a millionaire..pls remember me then 🙂

  32. I feel like ranting.

    Let’s not forget that for most of its history, beer had a very low alcohol content. This is easily overlooked.

    Beer absolutely can be a “health drink”. We must look at the primary ingredients: Before the common use of hops, that usually meant malted barley, water, and a natural yeast culture within a gruit (something sugary like fruit or tree sap). None of these are inherently bad for most people. Our guts are designed to digest fermented things as it is. Hops have value on their own, but we all know they’re meant for preservation.

    When the alcohol content starts getting higher than 0.1-2.0%, then it can be a concern. Even then, small amounts of higher alcohol content is hardly a problem for most. You’re going to die some day regardless.

    The habit of drinking lots of beer comes from ancient times, where beer was a necessity for many civilizations.
    For folks like the Sumerians, Egyptians, Assyrians, etc, the base of their diets lay in bread and beer. Those people were physically active and generally healthy.

    I myself brew beer in the old manner. It’s an excellent thing that is loaded with nutrients and calories. I work in agriculture, so having such a drink on hand is a good idea. It’s low in alcohol (about 0.1%). Just malted grain, spring water, and gruit. My only complaint is that it spoils quickly.

    How you prepare the stuff is key. Calling beer bad from the start is dishonest.

  33. Thanks for all your hard work compiling and gathering this information. I know drinking is bad but at least we can reduce the adverse effects by avoiding GMO’s and glucose syrup.

  34. Thank you! The only organic I knew of is Michelob gold. My family started drinking this and stick with it. If you are health conscious you know what effect GMO has on us. I’m glad companies are starting to give us healthy options!

  35. Question.. comment…debate…?
    In recent discussion with friend about drinking beer in Guam caused a headache fist week or so; in order to ship it and maintain freshness formaldehyde was added. They said I was crazy. Can you help answer?! please

  36. Hi Food Babe, and thanks for the info regarding our beers. The first thing I look for is — does it contain the poisonous element — fluoride. That’s the reason I mainly order imported German beer and Heinekens. Also I understand from the brewer that North Coast beer from Fort Bragg is one of the few that, in the US, is fluoride free. Europe is mostly fluoride free, unlike the US which is making no moves to free us from this plague. Books on fluoride: Fluoride: the classic: Fluoride: The Aging Factor by the honorable Dr. JohnYiamouyiannis. Also The Case against Fluoride, and The Fluoride Deception. Website for information is Fluoride Action Network.

  37. I appreciate the effort to create awareness about the ingredients in our food and drinks, I also believe it’s crucial to recognize that not all beers are made with harmful additives. Many craft breweries take pride in using high-quality, natural ingredients to craft their brews.

  38. As long as your list of undesireable ingredients in beer is, I would say nanoparticles concerns me the most. The human body has not evolved to know how to deal with nanoparticles.

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