There's mounting evidence that people are increasingly and unknowingly being exposed to cancer causing agents through the food we consume. Some of the most common things we eat and drink and take for granted in our diet are possibly killing us!
Tea is one of these products. It's universal, it's a pleasant beverage to consume, it's important socially, easy to make, widely touted as "good for us," but is it really?
The truth is, the tea industry is incredibly competitive and there are big multinational tea companies, which are keen to keep their market share, and prepared to put consumers lives at risk in order to do so. The way big tea companies stay competitive or keep their prices lower than their competitors is by producing more tea for less money.
And the main ways to increase production whilst keeping prices low are growing tea where the labour costs are cheaper, and by using chemical farming techniques to limit losses through pests/disease thus increasing yields. The cheapest and most effective way to limit damage from pests or disease is to spray tea crops with pesticides; unfortunately, residual from these chemicals ultimately find its way into our everyday cuppa brew.
The other way chemicals are getting into our cup of tea is via teabags or the material that they are made out of – namely paper. Due to the publics misguided notion that white means clean, teabags are bleached with chlorine or other chemicals to make them nice and white but of course some of these chemicals leach into our brew as we unwittingly dunk it in our mug of hot water.
Drink a pesticide and chemical free tea
There's an easy solution to drinking teas laced with chemicals and that is to source organically grown teas or at least teas that are certified as not sprayed with pesticides. Also, teabags made from chemical free paper are better than those whitened by chlorine.
However, the biggest problem is not finding chemical free tea producers it's convincing people to support them enough to keep these relatively small tea companies in business! It's totally crazy to me why the majority of people are persuaded more by the cost of a packet of tea rather than the health qualities of the product but this is what's happening around the world.
I understand that money saved is money in ones pocket, however, what cost do we place on our health? In practical terms, a packet of organic or pesticide free tea is typically only $1 more than the major non-organic brand tea yet most people still choose the risky cheaper product over the healthier slightly more expensive one – incredible…
Here in Australia I've been using a brand called Nerada Tea – it's pesticide free and uses a chemical free recycled teabag. Their tea is grown in Queeensland so being locally grown means it not only helps my local economy but uses less energy overall to get to my kitchen table.
Unfortunately, good honest companies like Nerada are in danger of going under simply because they are being out competed by the big brands on shelf price alone. This means in the future, incentives for tea growers to do the "right thing" by their consumers will be less, which in turn means a worse product for us consumers in the long run.
Unless of course, we consumers start supporting tea producers/growers who make chemical and pesticide free products and then we can start using our consumer power to influence the bigger tea producers in making a healthier cuppa.
If you drink a lot of tea or just drink tea occasionally, instead of buying your next brand of tea out of habit, I urge you to read the packet next time and buy the product that is pesticide and chemical free even if it costs one or two bucks more.
Not only might this choice help lower your chances of getting cancer, it will also help a tea company that is doing the right thing by its customers survive and continue to grow its business against the might and power of the major tea brands.
If you know of or use a pesticide/chemical free tea brand please feel free to mention them below in the comments section no matter where in the world they are I'm sure many of us will be interested to know of them.