Book review: The Sulphite Connection

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Paul Barratt-Hassett


Twenty-two years ago, Paul Barratt-Hassett “knew something was wrong, he just didn’t feel right, particularly after eating. Like many, Paul had all the medical tests only to reveal that he was a healthy young man yielding healthy results.”

He concluded that sulphites were to blame. The result of his investigation is The Sulphite Connection, dense 229-page eBook.

As Barratt-Hassett points out, “sulphites are food preservatives commonly known for preserving dried fruit and are used in winemaking to preserve and prevent spoiling” (p.17). We eat, and drink, sulphites all then time, whether knowingly or not.

He writes, “There is a lot of information out there about avoiding sulphites, but it is nearly always linked to red wine and dried fruit and sausages. These commonly have levels ranging from 25 ppm to 500 ppm” (p.52).

Red wine does get blamed for many things but there is no reason that I know of why it should have more sulphites than white or rosé wine. Indeed, the highest levels of sulphur in wines are usually found in sweet white styles, to prevent refermentation.

The email exchanges with food producers are hilarious. His bloody-mindedness in the face of corporate stonewalling is impressive.

Read this book and be amused and terrified all at once.

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