Why Buying Cheaper Tea Could Mean Encountering Harmful Pesticides

Lee Sutherland of Little Wilding Co. tells us why spending a little more may save our health in the long run.

herbal tea
Image: iStock

We’re often so consumed about what we eat. The chemicals, where it’s grown, is it local/organic, fresh, seasonal, over-processed. This list could go on. But we often forget about what we’re drinking. Now we’re not just talking about the quality of water or telling you to put down the soft drink (obvs’), but we’re talking things you presume is a 100% healthy option, like herbal teas.

This week, Lee Sutherland of Little Wilding Co., tells us why we may be getting more than we bargained for. She has studied herbal medicine for years. Little Wildling Co was dreamed up as a second side hustle for Lee (the first side hustle being her Fitness in the City website, blog & Instagram) and gained quick momentum and an impressive following within the health and media industries within months. 

why tea has pesticides, photo of tea and coffee
Image: Joanna Kosinska

Why Your Tea May Be Filled With Harmful Pesticides

Now let’s just start by saying herbal teas are an amazing way to get a safe dose of medicinal medicine in every sip – helping a variety of things from digestion, help sugar cravings, aid with your sleep or stress and even the quality of your skin, but, did you know that a number of herbal teas out there have a secret? A kinda unnecessary dirty one at that – hiding an array of additives, flavourings and preservatives hanging out in small print on the ingredient list? Yep, even that really popular brand you love.

Even more shocking, those super convenient tea bags you brew after lunch that tastes delicious and eases bloating? They’re likely to contain plastic, glue, pesticides and other bits that kinda shouldn’t be in tea.

You may have seen an article making the rounds from Live Love Fruit which shares that investigators at CBC found that over half of all teas tested had pesticide residues that were above the legally acceptable limit. Multiple chemicals were found in 8 out of 10 teas, with one brand of tea containing over 22 different types of pesticides. Yikes…

So What Can You Do?

We always suggest sipping local, and organic at that. Loose leaf is a safe bet as they are bleached and contain plastic and glue to keep it all together. But if you are a die-hard teabag fan (we hear you!) there are a few on the market now which the bags are actually made from plant fibre and compostable. So a double win for you and the environment.

The takeaway? Not to fear everything that goes into your mouth but just to bring awareness. Flip the package over to see if there’s added unnecessary ingredients. Make sure that the tea says that they’re biodegradable. That will be a giveaway sign they are made from plant fibre. And lastly, save the bargain shopping for things and spend a little more for things that you digest.

different types of beverages and pesticides, lots of drinks
Image: Unsplash

While you’re here, check out this recipe for a simple, easy to make grilled halloumi salad

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