I myself am a true tea lover. It’s the only warm beverage that I drink (besides the occasional hot chocolate). I try to drink at least two glasses a day. The daily habit amounts to a lot of tea over the years which is what made me curious about the kinds of teas I was putting into my body on a daily basis. It’s important to look at the way many companies manufacture and process their tea. I decided to look into the background of how teas were made and I’m going to share what I learned and what encouraged me in deciding to strictly drink organic teas.
Do you know that just because something is stamped with an organic certification it does not mean it is 100% healthy and free of any chemicals because that’s not the case. Being certified organic shows that the farm the tea was harvested on appeared to be following the guidelines at the time it was inspected and that the farm could actually afford the certification. Many of the smaller and family owned farms don’t have the income for an ‘Organic Certification’ while some of them do actually operate organically, free of pesticides and chemicals.
There is no real way of knowing if a farmer follows all the regulations in making ‘Organic’ tea and how often they do. There are also other factors that come into consideration outside of an organic farmers control that goes for any type of crops, such as nature. Winds can carry pesticides from one set of crops to another (pesticide free) crop causing contamination. The type of water and rain water used to hydrate the tea plants have an impact as well.
With that being said…
Even with these factors in play, on a grand scale, you do have an advantage in a greater likelihood of consuming healthier tea if it is stamped and certified organic compared to those that don’t go through any set of regulations.
Elements to Consider
When deciding which brand of teas to buy and drink, consider a number of things. Where is the tea coming from? Is it family run? an estate or plantation? Is it fair trade–that may not affect the organic/non organic categorization of the tea BUT it does represent the ethics of the company that makes it. Fair trade implies the conditions of the workers, in that they are treated fairly and work under improved social and environmental standards.
The more you know about the tea you’re buying the better off you are.
How healthy a tea is, isn’t solely dependent on how the tea is grown and cultivated. We have to have a large consideration for the other part of tea, the tea bag.
No matter how organically your tea is grown, all the health elements don’t matter if what’s keeping it all together is coated in chemicals.
A new craze emerged in the tea industry with newly shaped tea bags. You’ve probably noticed many tea bags are made of a ‘silky’ and ‘mesh’ material while shaped like a pyramid. One of the reasons some companies have adopted the newly shaped tea bags is to make it easier for whole tea leaf to be inside rather than thinly dusted while it also allows you to clearly see your tea leaves.
Most, not all of the silky pyramid shaped tea bags are made of plastics which are harmful to our bodies. Some contain Nylons and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET).
According to Sciencenews.org, a study done at a university in Frankfurt, Germany showed that plastic water bottles made with PET contained higher volumes of estrogen mimicking pollution. You don’t want an ingredient in what you’re consuming to be able to potentially alter and effect your hormones.
According to Alliance for Natural Health, some tea companies saturate their bleached paper tea bags with an ingredient called Epichlorohydrin. Its a chemical that is considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health. It is also used as a pesticide.
To avoid the potential harm associated with tea bags one can also use loose leaf tea which is a practice many tea drinkers prefer.
Don’t forget you can always reach out to a tea company, write them and ask for details on how their tea is grown and harvested and what ingredients are used in their tea bags.
These are all elements you want to keep in mind when considering which tea brand to drift towards drinking. Look at what aspects are important to you to make the right decision on which company you want to go with.
Happy Tea Drinking!