It was heady stuff . . . Even I felt a glow of tea warmth as the words spilled out. And then something weird happened. I couldn't conclude my article as I'd intended! It was Friday, the weekend coming up! And this was a happy, comforting post. . . I had to finish on a positive note!
That wasn't what I'd planned. But I just couldn't bring myself to write the original fact filled exposè that had been rolling around in my head for some time. It concerned something that I'd not wanted to think about, regarding the whole matter of tea. Pesticides...
Maximum Level of Residues (MLRs)
Tea is mostly grown in India, China, Kenya and Sri Lanka. The fields used to be enormous plantations, but now they are small holdings, farmed by people without huge knowledge of the dangers of pesticides. In addition, the farmers tend to use the cheapest older pesticides, and estimate the amount of residue on the leaves before export. This often does not sit well with importing countries who have allowable margins on these products, and those levels are often exceeded.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ( CBC) recently launched an inquiry into this by sending samples of the 10 most popular brands of green and black tea to an accredited testing lab. The results showed that half of the teas tested contained higher than allowed residues. 8 of the samples contained multiple chemicals, with one actually testing at 22 different ones.
Only one brand, Red Rose, turned out to be completely pesticide free. It's worthy to note that some organic teas also tested positive for pesticides.
Harmonize - Another nice word?
Now tea producing countries are still involved in efforts to globally harmonize allowable pesticide levels, at the highest levels of course, and that would be applicable to all countries imports so that their tea production wouldn't be affected.
Similar tests have been performed in the USA. They found that 96% of Indian teas contained pesticide residues, many of which were long outlawed in North America and Europe. Even DDT is still being used. Thought that awful stuff had vanished from use ages ago.
Results of tests indicate that Twinings and Red Rose seem to be the safe teas to buy.
Of course there must be many locally grown organic blends that are pesticide free too, like my favorite as discussed in the previous article last Friday. But it's something that really bears thinking about very carefully.
Tea drinkers, unite!
Hope this news is old news to you, and that you've already sussed out some good tea sources. If you have, share them here, 'cos that's always a helpful thing to do for your friends. Thanks for sticking with me here, through the good and the bad, and have a truly great week!
From Teas to Seeds
They're waiting in the sun-room, hopefully to emerge really soon. I'll be sure to update you on their progress!
Wishing you a wonderful week and hope to see you back on Friday!