A Bug’s Life…

An Enlightened Look at Biodiversity!

A satisfying snap breaks the silence as the bug zapper connects with its target. I feel elation in dispatching the annoying house fly, yet I feel guilt for mindlessly killing an insect that inconvenienced me. This small scale electronic bug eradication pales in comparison with the mass insect death that occurs everyday on industrial farms. The major culprits for this bug out are habitat loss and insecticide use.

Now you may think that it is a good thing to have less bugs. We all hate the “bad” bugs like mosquitos; but what about their place in the food chain? Fish need them, so do frogs, birds and spiders. What about the “good” bugs; the pollinators like honeybees and the predators like ladybugs? Most commercial insecticides are broad spectrum, meaning they are not targeting the nuisance bug, they are killing all of them. When you purchase wine or food produced from “conventional” chemical farms, you are zapping insects from existence.

The world has experienced a decline of more than 75% of flying insect biomass in just the past 27 years. This broken link in the food chain will ripple through agriculture and food supplies like a tsunami if nothing changes. Organic needs to be the baseline for all agriculture if we want to avoid a potential hunger crisis.

What does this have to do with wine? Everything. Wine is a luxury item that should do no harm and ideally reverse the damage done by industrial agriculture. Chemical farms are less concerned with quality than they are in bringing to market goods at the lowest cost per unit. We fine wine producers have the ability to not only farm without harmful chemicals but provide habitat for insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles and other animals by cultivating a biodiverse environment in our quest to make a delicious beverage. If you, as the consumer, demand that all the items you eat and drink start on an organic farm, then the farmers will be encouraged to change. Guilt free hedonism is, and will always be, our mantra.

Rob Sinskey