Do you know what's really in your tea?
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Tea is something I drink every single day. Do you really want to know what's in your tea?…Then read on.
The ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea dates back thousand of years to the early Chinese dynasties and aristocrats who drank the beverage for its medicinal properties. In ancient times, leaves from the Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) were either ground into a powder or placed as loose leaves directly into water to infuse it with herbal essence.
Unfortunately, modern day tea is nothing like the unadulterated version of old tea. Many of today's tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Conventional teas – an abundance of pesticides
Tea is sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. A recent third-party analysis by Glaucus Research found that 91 percent of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen. The "Wellness" tea line was found to contain traces of propargite, also a known carcinogen and developmental toxin. The FDA has already issued two warning letters to Celestial Seasonings in regard to poor quality control. Imagine what happens when pesticide-laden tea is steeped in boiling water. Teavana tea was tested by an independent lab and 100 percent of it was found to contain pesticides. One tea in particular, Monkey Picked Oolong, contained 23 pesticides. 62 percent of the teas tested contained traces of endosulfan, a pesticide that has been banned by the U.S., China, the E.U., and 144 other countries because it has been linked to impaired fertility and could harm unborn babies.
Teas can contain artificial flavoring, natural flavors, and hidden GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
Furthermore, a majority of teas contain added flavor – specifically "artificial flavoring." If their tea is so high end, why would they be adding ingredients produced by fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar? Coal tar in my tea? No, thanks. Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient "natural flavors" to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi tea. He told me" When I see the words "natural flavor" listed on a label – I put the product down and run far far away. I want to know what I am eating! Don't you? Additionally, the added risk of consuming possible GMOs is not something many people think about when consuming teas. Before this investigation and witnessing tea companies using modified corn starch and soy lecithin in tea (additives likely made from genetically engineered corn and soy), I didn't think about it either! I can't imagine having a serious soy allergy, considering all the places companies try to hide it.
Why the teabag & packaging matters
A recent article in The Atlantic discusses the "silky sachet" and "luxurious mesh bags" that hold loose leaf teas (like in brands Tea Forte and Mighty Leaf). Turns out, these modern day bags meant to showcase the tea leaves, are made of plastic. PLA (polylactic acid) is a (likely GMO) corn-based tea bag material that has attracted major tea companies due to its nice look and its claims of biodegradability. Terms like "silky sachets" and "corn-based biodegradable tea bags" mislead customers into believing a product is more natural and sustainable than it really is.Although the actual tea bag is not an ingredient like teas and herbs, it is an element that is put into boiling water. According to The Atlantic, tea bags are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are two of what's considered the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential. However, Dr Mercola disagrees, he states: "While these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water…" Well, isn't that how tea is prepared? Another temperature consumers need to worry about in tea is the "glass transition" temperature. Here's the science behind the glass transition temperature or, Tg, and why it becomes dangerous according to The Atlantic: "That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point. In the case of PET and food grade nylon (either nylon 6 or nylon 6-6), all have a Tg lower than the temperature of boiling water. For example, while the melting point of PET is 250°C degrees Fahrenheit, the Tg is about 76°C. Both nylons have a lower glass transition temperature than PET. (Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.) This means the molecules that make up these plastic tea bags begin to break down in hot water." So, while the plastic itself won't melt in your tea, the glass transition temperature could potentially leak out harmful phthalates if there are such things in your tea. Another thing to worry about is that some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics. Some plastics are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.
Beware of paper tea bags too, which can be worse than plastic tea bags.
GET THIS: Many paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.
So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea?
Choose Amanprana superfood teas, no plastics, no pesticides, no natural or synthetic flavors, no additives. Go for health, taste and organic certified.
Read here the original article of Food Babe
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