There is nothing better than a nice hot cup of tea, do you agree? Every one of us has a different opinion and taste – some don’t drink it at all, and others drink it pretty much whenever they can and almost every evening. Tea can offer a lot of different health benefits which give us antioxidants and nutrients, and which can boost our immunity, help burn fat, as well as aid digestion and even protect against cancer. You will miss out all these benefits if your tea just happens to be soaked in toxic pesticides such as most generic brands are, unluckily.
With the ever-increasing knowledge surrounding the significance of avoiding pesticides, you will probably find yourself cutting out certain foods, as well as buying local and organic foods as much as possible, and maybe even growing your fresh products from your garden. Also, instead of unhealthy drinks such as juice or soda, perhaps you have adopted tea into your regimen, thinking that it is a healthier alternative. Unluckily, as we already mentioned, your health intentions may be working against you.
Pesticides linked to a diversity of ailments.
There were numerous studies which have revealed that various pesticides are linked to cancer, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, reproductive problems, as well as congenital disabilities and more. Pesticides can cause harm to the nervous and endocrine system disrupting hormones.
The use of pesticides has generally been accepted as they are supposed to be below a legal limit, but what is usually not considered is that they can accumulate within the body, as well as cause severe damage over time.
There was a study conducted by the researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, which has found that following an organic diet for just one week can significantly reduce pesticide exposure in adults.
There were thirteen participants in the study, who randomly selected to consume a diet that was consisting of least 80% organic or conventional food for seven days, afterward choosing over to the alternative diet from which they started. The scientists have analyzed urinary levels of pesticides, and they had discovered that urinary dialkylphosphates (DAPs) measurements were 89% lower when participants ate an organic diet for seven days compared to a conventional food for the same period. They have also discussed the complicated history of pesticide us:
To understand this controversial problem, it would be helpful to look at the history of pesticide use. Before the World War II, the pesticides which we use now did not exist. Some pesticides which are currently in use were in fact developed during the Second World War for use in warfare. The organophosphate insecticides were developed as nerve gases, and the phenoxy herbicides, which also included 2,4 – D (the most commonly used herbicide in Canada), were created to eradicate the Japanese rice crop, and later which was used as a component of Agent Orange to defoliate large areas in jungle warfare. After the Second World War, these chemicals started being used as pesticides in agricultural production, as well as for environmental spraying of neighborhoods for mosquito eradication, and for individual home and garden use.
Report: “Tea Steeped in Toxins”
The FDA has frequently found that imported teas have a high rate of violations as they contain high levels of illegal pesticides which can cause an adverse health effect. Some of those harmful pesticides include the following: permethrin (Possible Carcinogen, Endocrine Disruptor, Reproductive/Developmental Effects, Possible Cholinesterase Inhibitor, Neurotoxicant), DDE (Carcinogen, Mutagen, Endocrine Disruptor, Cholinesterase Inhibitor, Possible Neurotoxicant that was banned in the U.S. in 1972), heptachlor epoxide (Carcinogen, Possible Endocrine Disruptor, Reproductive/Developmental Effects, Neurotoxicant).
The top 2 major tea producers in the world – China and India – have frighteningly week regulations, as well as severe lack of enforcement in the pesticides levels found within the major tea brands.
One report from 2014 from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that the FDA tests less than 1/10 of 1% of all imported foods. This is quite scary as the vast majority of tea which we consume is imported from China and India, as the United States hardly produces any tea at all.
There was a research conducted by CBC News, to test the pesticide levels in some of the most major tea brands which we see in supermarkets, at restaurants and what many of us have in our homes. They have found that over half of all of the teas which were tested had levels of pesticide residue which were above what was accepted as legal. A wide range of chemicals was found in 8 or 10 tea brands, one of which consisted of 22 different types of chemical pesticides.
Investigators on the CBC team used an accredited lab to conduct the same testing method which was used by the national Food Inspection Agency (FDA) to determine the pesticide content present on dry tea levels.
The brands involved in the investigation were the following:
- No Name;
- Red Rose;
- King Cole;
- Lipton (two specific types, pure green tea, and yellow, black label tea, were studied);
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (types tested include green tea and jasmine green tea).
It is some kind ironic as some of the names such as “Pure Green Tea” are nothing more than marketing, to make you feel believe that it is all natural. This is precisely why organic is always a better choice.
The two pesticides which several countries are working to eliminate, Endosulfan and monocrotophos, exhibit significant health risks to the workers that handle them and also have an adverse effect on the environment.
Pesticides in Tea: The top 3 from the list above.
Even though most brands of tea that were studied only contained trace amounts of pesticides, there were those that included shocking levels. They are the following:
1. Uncle Lee’s Legends of China Green Tea
Uncle Lee’s Legends of China contains an alarming 20 various types of pesticides, which including endosulfan, linked to detrimental environmental impacts as well as adverse health effects such as tremors, nervous system issues, and even death in some instances.
2. No Name
This brand of tea falls far below the pesticide content of Uncle Lee’s Legends of China, but it still contains over ten separate types of dangerous pesticides.
3. King Cole
Even though it is not as high in pesticides like the ones from above, King Cole’s tea still contains a wide variety of pesticides which include monocrotophos, which is about to be banned soon. Monocrotophos were also proven to cause a wide array of negative health effects like lack of control over bowel movements, as well as irregular heartbeat, and even induced coma in some cases.
So, what other options do we have?
The best choice for you will be to purchase organic loose leaf tea and a stainless steel or silicon strainer. This is going to ensure that you are not sipping back a slew of toxic pesticides and chemical laden teabags. This is an option which is much less wasteful as well and in turn better for the environment.
Loose leaf teas are also much less processed, and while buying organic teas from the store can get expensive. You can very quickly make your blends by purchasing natural herbs in bulk and concocting your very own creations.
Consider supporting tea brands which are known to be free of pesticides, and avoid the brands mentioned above, which are proven to contain dangerous pesticide levels.
Tea can either be very medical and significant for your body, or it can also be a hot cup of chemicals which can interfere with the natural processes of your body and accumulate in it over a more extended period. If tea is something which you like to consume regularly, then it will probably be a good idea to get organic and quality teas from ethically sourced, as well as sustainable companies.