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Better Choices

Another Reason to Buy Organic – Conventional Tea Contains Illegal and Highly Toxic Pesticides

While we constantly hear about the tremendous health benefits of drinking tea, one thing that almost never gets mentioned in this message is just how critical it is to drink organic tea.

In a recently released report called Tea Steeped in Toxics, the excellent non-profit Beyond Pesticides gives us an inside look at what is going on in the tea industry. Needless to say, what they uncover is very ugly and very scary.

Here are some highlights of the report:

* The FDA consistently finds that imported tea contains high levels of illegal pesticide residues. These include: permethrin (which is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption), DDE (a metabolite of DDT, which was banned in the U.S. in 1972), heptachlor epoxide (a derivative of the pesticide heptachlor, which was banned in the U.S. due to its carcinogenicity), and acetamiprid (a bee-toxic neonicotoid).

* Until mid-2016, the EPA will continue to allow the importation of tea from China which contains a banned pesticide tea called endosulfan, a chemical that the EPA has said “poses unacceptable risks” to farm workers and wildlife. Additionally, tests on laboratory animals have shown that endosulfan is toxic to the nervous system and can damage the kidney, liver and male reproductive organs.

* There are very weak regulations and a serious lack of enforcement in China and India, two of the major tea producers in the world.

Pesticide residues on tea from India include DDT, which has been banned since 1989 in India, and endosulfan, which was banned in the country as well in 2011. Furthermore, many pesticides which have been found on Indian tea are either illegal or have never been registered.

In China, the situation is equally as grim. Tests have detected 29 different pesticides, including reproductive and developmental toxicants, bee-killing chemicals, and banned pesticides.

* A 2014 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the FDA tests less than 1/10 of 1% of all imported foods. When it comes to tea, this is especially problematic for two reasons.

One, nearly everything is imported because there is almost no U.S. production of tea.

Two, tea consistently receives incredibly high violation rates from the FDA’s Pesticide Monitoring Program. So, we know that that whatever tea gets imported, there is a decent chance it won’t meet U.S. standards.

For a variety of reasons outlined in the report, this is a complex problem that cannot be easily solved, largely because of a lack of funds, weak regulations and enforcement in developing countries, and poor communication between trade nations.

The bottom line is this: Drinking organic tea is an absolute must.

Organic tea prohibits the use of these super-toxic pesticides mentioned above, and organic certifiers verify that growers are in compliance with organic systems management plans, which protect both farmworkers and the environment.

There are many, many excellent organic tea brands on the market and by no means is this a comprehensive list of all of them. However, a few that I like are:

Runa Tea – guayusa contains twice the amount of antioxidants of green tea, and the company is doing some amazing work raising the standard of living in Ecuadorian communities.

Republic of Tea – this Biodynamic blend offers great flavor, and the turmeric and cinnamon combination provides excellent anti-inflammatory benefits.

Numi Tea – this soothing and calming combination uses South African rooibos along with real vanilla beans, sweet honeybush and rich cacao.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Why Organic Coffee is So Important

A girl I used to know in New York City was so fanatical about recycling that she would literally take empty bottles home from bars because she feared that they would be tossed in the garbage.

I’ll never forget the time when we were out one night and she started filling up her designer handbag with empty beer bottles, which weren’t even hers!  She was that committed to the environment.

Yet, when she drank her coffee each morning, organic coffee was never even a consideration.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this didn’t make much sense.  Why?

Because conventionally-grown coffee is incredibly unhealthy for people and the planet.

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A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

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Organic Insider

Better Choices

Study: Organic Tomatoes Contain More Antioxidants than Conventional Ones

In yet another study, we have more evidence that organic is a healthier choice.

A report out of the University of Barcelona claims that organic tomatoes have a higher amount of antioxidants than conventional tomatoes.

Researchers used liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to determine that organic tomatoes have a greater amount of phenolic compounds or polyphenols. Polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants of plant origin, are associated with the prevention of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, and some forms of cancer.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Why Organic Almonds? Because of the Super-Toxic Fumigant Propylene Oxide

As more and more people are moving toward a plant-based diet and migrating away from animal products, organic cannot be forgotten in this equation.

Unfortunately, I see far too many people who think that as long as it is plant-based, that is sufficient. It’s not.

Case in point: almonds.

In the early 2000s, there were a few outbreaks of salmonella traced to raw almonds from California, a state where nearly 100% of America’s almonds are grown. As a result, the USDA implemented a rule that required all almonds grown in California to be pasteurized. This holds true for both organic and non-organic varieties.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink