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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 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.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — Organic Apples Contain More Diverse, Healthier Bacteria than Conventional

An apple a day will keep the doctor away.

Thanks to a new study, that saying has taken on even more meaning, particularly for organic apples.

In a recently published paper in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, it was found that organic apples contain a more diverse population of beneficial bacteria than conventional apples.

Researchers analyzed the peel, flesh, seeds, and stem of both organically and conventionally grown apples, looking to find how much and what kinds of bacteria were present. While organic and conventional apples contained the same amount of bacteria, there was a big discrepancy in the types of bacteria found.

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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.

Organic Insider

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — Child Labor and Sustainability Issues with Many Conventional Chocolate Brands

For many of us when we eat a piece of chocolate, our biggest concern is how many grams of sugar we are consuming.

Yet, how often do we ask ourselves — was this chocolate bar made with the help of child labor? Or, was the cocoa produced in a way that resulted in deforestation to the environment?

The truth about cocoa – the main ingredient in chocolate – is quite grim.

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Organic Insider

Better Choices

Analyzing the Pew Research Food Report: Millennials Don’t Trust GMOs, We Have Lots of Education To Do

The Pew Research Center recently released its findings from a new report called The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science, which largely focused on Americans’ perceptions of organic and genetically-modified foods (GMOs).

It surveyed 1,500 nationally representative adults (whatever that means), and I found the data to be both encouraging and worrisome.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink