We are living in a world where pesticides are common and surround us. Unfortunately, the exposure to these dangerous substances cannot be avoided completely, as we consume foods sprayed with them, use products which contain them, and the soil and air are rich in them.
A recent study has also found that pesticides are also found in some of the most popular tea brands in the world, such as Lipton, Tetley, and Twinings.
The investigation conducted by the CBC News aimed at detecting the pesticide levels of most major tea-producing companies, including:
- Lipton (Pure Green Tea and Yellow Label Black Tea)
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea and Jasmine Green Tea)
- Red Rose
- No Name
- King Cole
In an accredited lab, investigators analyzed the dry tea leaves with the same testing method as the National Food Inspection Agency in order to estimate the levels of pesticide residue.
What they found was that over half of the tested tea brands contained pesticide residues above the legally acceptable limit. Additionally, 8 out of the 10 teas tested contained various chemicals, wand one of the brands had more than 22 different types of pesticides.
Many of the pesticides found in these teas, such as endosulfan and monocrotophos, are currently in the process of being banned in several countries, due to the severe health risks they pose and their detrimental effects on the environment.
Pesticides have been related to various health issues, from nausea, and headaches, to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive issues.
Long-term exposure to pesticides, chemicals, alcohol, environmental pollutants, medication, and processed foods has extremely harmful effects on the liver and the detoxification systems in the body.
The preferred amount is zero, but some of the teas contained pesticides in the legal limits, while others contained a whopping amount of them. These are the worst ones you should stay away from:
Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea)
The investigation has found more than 20 different types of pesticides in this tea, including endosulfan, which is being banned from many different countries at the moment due to its health and environmental effects.
It causes various side-effects, like tremors, nervous system disorders, and even death.
It contains numerous pesticides, including monocrotophos, which is in a process of being banned since it induces comas, and causes involuntary defecation, and irregular heartbeat.
This tea has been found to contain 10 different types of pesticides.
These findings provoked numerous debates, and the tea industry has not stayed quiet.
For instance, the answer of James O’ Young, vice president of Uncle Lee’s Legends of China, was that all tea contains pesticides:
“If you drink tea, regular tea, I don’t care what brand it is, the fact of life, this agricultural product does have pesticides”.
Yet, he ignored the fact that the investigation actually found a tea which was free of pesticides- Red Rose. Therefore, it is possible to cultivate tea without having pesticide residue on it.
What you can do about this issue is to start avoiding these brands, and choose brands which contain little or no pesticides. In this way, you will support your health and pesticide-free tea companies at the same time.
We give you several tips to help you choose the right tea:
- You should choose tea made of organic ingredients
- Avoid transparent tea bags or ones with windows, as this allows oxidation and shortens their shelf life. Tea should be packed in light-free and air-sealed containers in order to preserve their freshness and beneficial properties.
- Try to choose a blend that has been chosen by a tea specialist, herbalist, or a naturopathic doctor
- Choose tea made of loose-leaf or loose-packed whole leaf tea; as it contains ingredients of higher quality
For a complete list of the different tea brands click here.