Nov 20, 2013
Sick Day... I Need My Tea! What To Keep In Mind When Buying Tea.
Today's post isn't really going to be beauty related at all, but I think it's fairly important. The past few days I have been a bit under the weather. Nothing major, but today I didn't go in to work either. The weather recently turned freezing and a lot of people are getting sick, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite way to get through a cold or flu, and also bring to light something I found out recently about it.
So tea is what I am talking about of course. The title sort of gave it away... I love tea. I think I get it from my mom. She drinks tea morning, noon and night whether it is the dead of winter or the heat of summer. I won't say I'm that addicted to it, but I still love it, especially when I am sick. There is nothing like a hot cup of tea when you have chills.
Unfortunately I read something recently that made me worry a lot. In fact, it even made me throw out a lot of my teas! Apparently, there was a study done into many popular American tea brands that showed that a lot of them contain high levels of pesticides. Higher levels than the US federal limit allows! If you want to read the article here it is. It does a much better job of explaining it than I possibly could. It also contains a lovely chart showing what exactly they found in some teas. The article also talks about GMOs, which I am against only for the socio-economic problems they cause, not health problems. I honestly haven't seen enough research into the health detriments of GMOs yet, but they are definitely not good overall because of the big corporations running them.
I'll get back on topic before I go on a ridiculous rant about GMOs. The article also mentions that a lot of these teas come with artificial flavours or colours. One of the most disturbing things it mentioned (besides the pesticides) is that a lot of tea bags now are not very good, either for you or the environment! Some teas now come in mesh-like bags made of plastics that are not meant to be put in very hot water, among other things. For more information I definitely suggest you go read the article. It does talk mainly about American brands, but a lot of those same brands are found here in Canada and I'm sure many other places in the world. This also doesn't mean that only the teas in this list have them. I would be more wary of any tea I buy in any country in the future. I decided to put together a short list of things I like to keep in mind now when picking out tea.
1. Buy organic teas whenever possible: "Organic" foods are still a bit of a grey area. There aren't a ton of regulations yet on what organic means, so often things can say organic and still contain certain levels of chemicals you don't want in them. Organic regulations also vary a lot from place to place. Regardless of this, buying organic is often still a better choice for many things. At least there will be considerably fewer harmful things in your tea if it is in some way certified as organic.
2. Buy loose-leaf tea: This way you don't have to worry over whether or not your tea bag is killing you and every furry little woodland creature around you too. An added bonus: Making loose leaf tea always seems like a fancier endeavour (to me anyways). I have a couple of adorable tea infusers and I love seeing them sitting in my mug steeping. Doesn't it just look better this way?:
3. Buy locally whenever possible: I think this rule should be for most things in life too. Whenever you can, you should buy locally. It keeps the money in your community and it helps save the environment by using less gas - Awesome! Buying locally also gives you the added bonus of having a much easier time connecting with the person actually growing the products. This means if you have any concerns about what is in your tea, you are often able to ask them personally what is in it. I also find that a lot of smaller more local growers and makers of things naturally do their best to keep pesticides and whatnot out of their plants anyways.
The tea I'm drinking tonight is kind of locally bought from a guy in Quebec with an awesome tea company called Cha Yi. I do live in Ontario, but the drive across to Quebec is only about 20 minutes long. Now, the tea wasn't actually grown locally. I believe they travel to other countries and hand pick which teas to bring back with them. This tea is called Chai Cha Yi and it is a really nice strong spicy chai tea. I love chai, especially when it is cold out, and this is one of the best chais I have tried. I made it in a giant beer mug because I wanted a lot and didn't want to have to make it twice. It's a lazy day. I of course topped my tea off with a bit of milk and sugar and now it is all ready to go!
Well, that's it for my tea post! I hope it didn't freak any of you tea drinkers out too much. Let me know what you think about this in the comments. I'm going to go enjoy my awesome chai tea now!