9 Pesticide-filled Teas You Should Never Buy (and the kind you should)
There are records of people drinking tea in third-century China. It took 1400 years for this to become staple part of United Kingdom culture, before being brought over the Atlantic to The United States. Now over 80% of households over the continent drink tea at least one a week.
Popularity of tea is constantly increasing every year, and the health benefits of this drink are constantly placed at the forefront of many company’s marketing materials. Whether the tea is green, red or brown, the virtues of tea drinking have perpetuated the continuing surge in tea sales. However, a study conducted by the Canadian news service CBC has discovered that of the ten most popular brands of tea in THE UNITED STATES, nine of these contain toxic pesticides.
The presence of these pesticides kills the health benefits of tea, as a lot of the toxins present are well-known carcinogens and the numbers found in a few of the brands were considerably higher by than the scientifically ‘allowable’ limits.
Pesticides in Tea
The investigation by CBC Marketplace industry was performed in 2014 and discovered that through either immediate treatment or field runoff; nine of the ten most popular teas in Canada were contaminated with pesticides. The nine teas were:
- Twinings – Earl Grey
- Tetley – green tea extract
- Lipton – yellow label black tea
- Signal – orange pekoe
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China – jasmine green tea
- King Cole – orange pekoe
- No Name – black tea
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China – green tea
- Lipton – pure green tea
Although all nine of the brands were found to have pesticides present, some had a relatively low level, which is improbable to cause any notable health damage. Six of the nine were below the ‘allowable’ limits, but three of these possessed a dangerously high amount of pesticides.\
The worst three
3.Twinings Earl Gray
One of the classier teas on the list also offers the 3rd highest pesticide content with ten different toxic chemical compounds. The pesticide that was most frequently identified in Twinings’ Earl Gray was acetamiprid, which is known to cause severe nausea, muscle weakness, hypothermia, convulsions and vomiting in people.
2.Tetley green tea
Tetley green tea has been shown to have elevated levels of both acetamiprid and chlorfenapyr, the latter of which has been shown to be fatal to people even in small doses. Cases of chlorfenapyr poisoning indicate that the chemical works slowly in the system and can cause fatality up to two weeks after initial ingestion. The CBC report showed that Tetley’s tea had 18 pesticides in its finished product.
1.Uncle Lee’s Legends of China green tea
green tea, Uncle Lee’s Legends of China green tea is officially the most toxic tea available in grocery stores. Alongside ten times the ‘acceptable’ levels of acetamiprid and chlorfenapyr, this brand also has dangerous levels of bifenthrin. Bifenthrin has been extensively studied and has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing cancer.
The winner – Red Rose
On the ten teas analyzed for pesticides, Red Rose was the only one to have absolutely ZERO. Their orange pekoe tea is proof that it’s possible to produce a delicious, healthy hot drink without destroying the ongoing health of customers or the environment.
Alongside Red Rose’s lack of pesticide use, they are Rainforest Alliance certified, indicating they farm sustainably, without natural destruction or damage. As a company, they are committed to improving the working conditions for their employees and adhering to Fairtrade legislation. All of this makes them the healthy and ethical tea of choice.
HOW ABOUT Natural Tea Brands?
Just because a brand claims to be natural, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look a bit closer at what they’re really offering. It is up to us as the consumers to make good decisions in what we’re putting in our bodies.
Some popular natural brands such as Yogi, Trader Joe’s and Tazo have come under public scrutiny for use of pesticides, adding in “natural flavors”, and even using GMO ingredients. While the internet community made the problem widespread, aside from the report on Teavana, there weren’t many high-level reports available to the public to back every claim. Nevertheless, it did make a difference!
Yogi appears to have made lots of changes in the past 2 years in response to their consumer’s outrage, including getting rid of any known traces of pesticides. Sadly, “natural tastes” continues to be listed as an element to date, giving room for unaccountability. Overall, we’re pleased to note that some companies are hearing the public and making the correct changes one step at the time. If you’re still left wondering what things to buy, two organic and natural tea brands that have an outstanding reputation are Traditional Medicinals and Numi.
For the benefit of your wellbeing and the conservation of natural ecosystems avoid brands that use pesticide. If enough people have a stand against pesticides companies will be required into changing their production habits. A little individual change in the right direction can make a profound difference…