Surprise as reports suggest Wisconsin might ban gin from 2024 to protect citrus food stocks. Read why.
A recent campaign by the food production industry in the US state of Wisconsin has seen a move to ban gin sales from 2024. So, what’s the root cause of this surprise move? Put simply, lemons. And limes.
A shortage of production land, and some poor recent crops, has led to concerns that the supply of citrus fruits for Wisconsin residents may be in danger. A spokesperson for the grower’s main trade body, The Federation Of Oranges and Lemons, told whichgin.com yesterday: “It’s no secret that [the growing of citrus fruits] is in decline in the state. The production of limes and lemons has fallen over 20% since 2010, with oranges seeing a similar decline. Grapefruit production is in the doldrums too.”
So why the attack on gin? Dr Sally Foopia, Professor of Advanced Citrus Studies at the University of May, at Duupsville (WI) notes; “We know that 78% of all statistics are made up, but these production figures are alarming. There’s a very clear correlation between gin drinking and how the unnecessary over-garnishing of this drink is leading to shortages of citrus fruits in our major population centres. Often gin drinkers will think nothing of using a whole lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit over the course of an evening. It’s simply unsustainable.”
Dr Foopia has been lobbying the state legislature to ban gin from 2024, and expects her campaign to gain momentum over the coming year. “We have to address these shortages now…” claims Dr Foopia, “…a ban gin is the only way.” Plans are already being hatched for a public awareness campaign, with a LemonAid event being planned in Madison this fall.
Opponents of the move have been out in force. Ian Fuldew, a local gin drinker and blogger was outraged; “Why just gin? Why don’t they ban rum and vodka too? People even put limes in the top of beer bottles these days. This really just sounds like the thin end of the wedge. Actually, it’s the thin end of the lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit wedges now I think about it.” So will Mr Fuldew and other gin drinkers be switching drinks to preserve citrus fruits in future? “Not a chance…” states Fuldew, “…I’ll be taking my gin neat instead if I have to. Or with a nice celery garnish if no-one is looking.”
With battle lines drawn, the debate rages on.
Stock up now! Order your gin from Master of Malt.