We are equipped with an enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, the sole purpose of which is to metabolize alcohol. Regardless of one’s belief about human origins, we seem designed to drink (either our genome was divinely designed for it or it emerged as an evolutionary response to an environmental opportunity.) — Age Gets Better With Wine (2nd Edition), Richard Baxter, M.D.
The above quote is one of my favorites in the book. The presence of this enzyme is why ethanol does not harm us while methanol does. Most of the opposition I have encountered to any use of alcohol comes from those who believe God created humans. And so I have to ask, what the dear doctor points out. Why did God give us an enzyme to metabolize ethanol if he didn’t want us to eat it ? Why did he not leave it out and let ethanol be as toxic as methanol ?
Until very recently it was simply not possible to live and not consume ethanol in some form. Food preservation assumed the fermentation of foods in some form or other.