Dinner Diva: What is lurking in your tea cup?

the-dinner-divaYou’ve been paying close attention to the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to help you make the best food choices that you possibly can for you and your family. You try to make sure that the food you buy is as free of chemicals as it can possibly be. But, how much thought have you given to what’s in your daily cup of tea?

I enjoy a nice cup of tea. There’s something special in the ritual of it—boiling the kettle, steeping the leaves and savoring each sip. Many types of tea have wonderful properties that can aid in digestion, metabolism and even disease prevention.

But, if you are a tea drinker, you should know that there’s a very good chance your favorite brand of tea is laced with pesticides, GMOs, artificial ingredients and toxic chemicals.

You might be shocked to learn that not only are many teas heavily sprayed with pesticides, but that most tea isn’t even washed before it is put into bags. So, all of those pesticides go directly in your cup.

Add tea to your organic priority grocery list.

Not only do most teas contain pesticides, but they might also contain GMOs. Check the labels of your tea for ingredients like modified corn starch and soy lecithin. Watch for artificial flavorings and natural flavor. You don’t want any of these things in your cup.

As if pesticides and other chemicals in the tea weren’t bad enough, there’s danger in the packaging, too.

Those new nylon tea bags could be made out of PVC. If you’re adding boiling water to plastic, some nasty chemicals are going to be released into your tea. And many paper tea bags are treated with chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer in animals.

Yikes!

So, how do you make sure your tea is safe?

I don’t want to get into naming names here, but most familiar brands of tea contain toxic pesticides and “natural flavors,” so you’re going to have to be very careful about what you buy. (If you do your own quick Google search about tea and pesticides, you’ll find out if your favorite brand is on the “avoid” list very quickly!)

Always buy organic and non-GMO verified tea. Preferably, buy loose tea leaves and use your own tea strainer.

Remember that restaurants are going to be using those chemical-laden teas, so bring your own tea with you when you go out, and ask for a pot of hot water.

More from dinner diva Leanna Ely at SavingDinner.com.

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