We hear it time and time again – organic is better for you. But have you considered that some organic choices are more important than others? Organic tea in particular, is a non-negotiable for a couple of very important reasons…
1. ORGANIC TEA FOR YOUR HEALTH.
The place where the majority of pesticides are washed off of tea leaves is in your cup. Unlike food that you can wash or soak before consumption, dried tealeaves are used once when wet. To accelerate this, boiling water magnifies the release of chemicals from the leaves. While some pesticides and fertilizers are naturally removed during processing, many are water-soluble, meaning they stay in the leaf structure- only to be removed when steeping.
Many studies provide evidence that synthetic pesticides cause significant health risks to people including birth defects, damage to the nervous and endocrine systems, hormonal imbalances, respiratory disorders and various types of cancers.
2. ORGANIC TEA FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.
Tea is one of the most heavily sprayed crops of synthetic chemicals in the world. The use of these synthetic chemicals can have detrimental impacts on our environment. Scarily, on average, over 95% of sprayed herbicides and 98% of insecticides go beyond what they were originally targeted for. This hits insects, animals, soil, water and the air we breathe with unnecessary toxic chemicals.
Algal blooms are a great example of how these chemicals can have a devastating effect on our environment. Crops only take in a really small proportion of nitrogen present in synthetic fertilizers, and the rest? Washed straight into our waterways. This creates algal blooms which starves the water of oxygen, having damaging effects on our aquatic life. There are many other issues such as water quality for human consumption, the effects on macro and micro ecosystems and soil quality, but you can start to understand the bigger picture here… non-organic farming practices are not good for our earth or for us.
Organic tea farming on the other hand refrains from using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to achieve a high yield. Holistic farming practices are adopted that instead use natural animal manure and organic matter to grow healthy, balanced plants. This allows the optimum nutrient profile to develop within the plant that not only benefits the soil for future crops, but also for you when you consume it!
3. ORGANIC TEA FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
We’ve established that ingesting pesticides is not great for our health, so just imagine how detrimental these chemicals must be to the farmers who spray non-organic tea crops. Coming into contact first-hand with pesticides puts farmers at a much higher risk of toxicity. This has the ability to seriously affect their health, plus the health of anyone living in close proximity to these farms.
On the contrary, while there are some large commercial organic farms, the majority of organic tea comes from small farms that support families in small communities. Workers are treated ethically because of the higher price paid for organic goods: this more often than not gets passed on to employees. Rather than being exposed to harmful chemicals, these farmers work with the natural environment and enjoy the benefits of working in a clean, pure place.
4. ORGANIC TEA FOR TASTE AND THERAPEUTIC BENEFIT.
It might seem subjective, but the way non-organic tea is produced really does affect the flavour in your cup. Non-organic tealeaves are usually air dried without rinsing. These dried leaves contain synthetic chemicals that affect the taste of the tea and worse, hold potential health risks. While synthetic chemicals may produce higher crop yields in the short run, this often comes at the sacrifice of tea quality and taste. Growing organic tea is a natural process and results in a more sustainable yield and flavoursome leaf.
Due to the superior farming practices of organic tea compared to conventional, the therapeutic effect of organic tea is much higher. The plants will contain a more substantial amount and higher quality of active constituents when grown organically. This is the part of the plant that has a beneficial impact on the body. For example, peppermint contains a constituent called menthol- which is responsible for the plants’ characteristic properties to produce a cooling sensation and reduce spasms in the gastrointestinal tract. Menthol is of a higher concentration in organically farmed peppermint leaves compared to those that are conventionally grown.
So, go ahead and make the switch!