When I saw a call from an unknown cell phone this morning, I answered it, not knowing how it would change my morning. My mom was probably standing in Trader Joe's, looking at the Prop 65 warning posted by the red wine and balsamic vinegars, having flashes about her daughter giving her grandkids lead poisoning through their salad dressing. She must have borrowed a cell phone - she doesn't own one - to call me and demand to know whether or not I was serving her grandkids leaded balsamic vinegar.
"I don't know what you're talking about. I haven't gotten a bottle of balsamic from Trader Joe's in a long time. I've been using the $40 bottle of pomegranate balsamic vinegar that you bought me."
Did I know that balsamic vinegar came with a lead-warning? Nope, not a clue. What am I going to do with that knowledge? What I always do: research, read, read some more, then act on a reasonable conclusion.
From my reading it appears that out of the fifty states, California is the only one who has these warnings posted. For instance, other WholeFoods grocery stores in other states do not have the warning labels on the exact same products. Lucky us. Yes, truly, lucky us. I think I'm grateful to live in a state with so many fruits and nuts; at least we're informed fruits and nuts!
"Minute traces of lead" doesn't seem like it should cause worry. But when I looked at the parts per million of lead in the vinegar in comparison to the parts per million that are allowable in drinking water, it was double the amount in some brands...and even more in others. That was enough to spawn a search for certified lead-free balsamic vinegar. And I found it. Eureka!
So, I searched around, looking for the best prices and ended up ordering a trio - O California Balsamic, O California White Balsamic, and O Port Balsamic - for myself and trio for my mom.
I can't wait to get my order. I doubt that the taste will be perceptibly different. Maybe it will. But I will be thrilled to know that I made one more choice towards healthier eating for myself, my love, and - most especially - for my mom's grandkids!