There’s nothing nicer than sipping on a warm cup of herbal tea on a cold midwinter’s day. But besides being tasty and warming, tea provides a host of different health benefits – that is, unless your tea is soaked in pesticides.
CBC News recently conducted an investigation on the pesticide levels in some of the most major tea-producing companies. Using an accredited lab, the investigators utilized testing methods employed by the National Food Inspection Agency to test pesticide residues on dry tea leaves.
The investigators found that over half of all teas tested had pesticide residues that were above the legally acceptable limit. Multiple chemicals were found in 8 out of 10 teas, with one brand of tea containing over 22 different types of pesticides (Uncle Lee’s Legends of China tea brand).
A large majority of these pesticides are currently being banned in several countries due to the health risks they pose to works that handle them, and the negative effects they have on the environment (as well as the health of those that consume the products).
The tea companies that were found to contain the highest pesticide levels were as follows:
• Lipton (Pure Green Tea and Yellow Label Black Tea)
• Brooke Bond
• No Name
• Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea and Jasmine Green Tea)
• King Cole
For the full list of pesticides in these teas, check out the documentation on CBC’s website, here.
Greenpeace also released a study exposing many popular tea brands that contain high levels of pesticide residues – some which even tested positive for DDT, an incredibly toxic pesticide that was banned years ago.
It isn’t only pesticides you should be concerned about in your teas, either. A lot of these teas contain ingredients like soy, and natural flavours, which are GMO-containing and pose a great health risk to those that consume them.
How To Avoid Toxic Chemicals In Your Tea
This isn’t to say you have to stop drinking tea. In fact, there are many safe options out there for all tea lovers alike. Here are some things you can do to ensure the tea your drinking is body-safe.
1. Buy organic, non-GMO certified brand of tea
2. Grow your own herbs and create into your own tea
3. Check ingredient listings on teas to avoid added flavours and GMO ingredients
4. Purchase loose leaf tea
5. Choose from brands like Organic Tazo, Organic Traditional Medicinals, EDEN Organic, Organic Stash, Choice Organic Teas, or other teas in your local health food store (always be sure to check ingredients!)
Here is the short video documented by CBC investigators on pesticides in popular tea brands: