A recent communique from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction states that “no amount of alcohol” consumption is healthy and rather is linked to cancer. However, having taken the time to find and read their report, I have to say that their research is limited and the results conflicting, so my opinion is that this warning is a bit over the top.
There is no doubt that alcohol can and does cause many, many problems, but I find this announcement, based as it is on small sample sizes, is sort of temperance-sounding and reminds me of the announcements years ago about barbecued food (among lots of other things) causing cancer.
Almost anything, if taken too far, can be a health risk. I like a good glass of wine, pairing it with meals and adding it to my cooking. Rightly or wrongly, my very French father (my parents had wine with dinner almost every evening) insisted that we children have a tiny glass (shot glass size) of wine with dinner; I was raised with wine (especially red) as a natural and delicious accompaniment to food.
As a result, I was never much interested in the teenage drunks that many of my friends indulged in; I found that whole idea silly and boring. So I think my father had the right idea. Alcohol wasn’t a mystery and it never became a problem.
I’m not going to change my consumption. I live in wine country and love finding great bottles for our cellar. Planning good food and picking the right complimentary wine to go with it is fun and adds to my enjoyment of the meal.
What do you think?