You’ve been battling it out at Waitrose and with half a dozen filled-to-the-brim plastic shopping bags to squeeze through the door there’s only one thing one your mind…. Or maybe it’s just been one of those days, there’s a migraine on its way with your name on it, and two paracetamols and a glass of red wine just won’t cut it this time….Or perhaps you’ve been pulling up all those garden weeds and you just couldn’t care less if it means traipsing across the conservatoryfloor in those muddy Wellingtons of yours as you head towards the kitchen for a brew….
Because before you can even think about resting those achy breaky arms, something tells you to switch that kettle on. Tea will save you – make everything all right again – help you forget the pain. Or will it?
Maybe not – for unless you’re already on the organic tea train, you could be doing yourself more harm than good, damaging the environment and,at the same time, limiting the pleasures of your palate.
“But how,” you may well ask, “can tea be bad for you when it feels so good? So…. right?” Allow us to explain:
Organic teas (especially those delicious green teas) are a wonderful source of nutrients such as minerals and antioxidants, which help to develop and maintain lovely looking skin, strong bones and bright eyes. Tea can also help you to calm your nerves and relax after a stressful day or event. But, unfortunately, the vast majority of our teas are non-organic and so, unless those non-organic varieties have been carefully sourced at a local level, may carry significant amounts of chemicals associated with fertilizers and pesticides.
This is because many of these chemicals are soluble in water and so get sucked up into the tea plant as it grows and feeds. When this occurs, none of the processes that go into preparing a tea for its consumption will remove those chemicals from within the tealeaves until it is brewed in your teacup or pot.
The farming of tea that has not been organically grown can also have lasting negative effects on the regions where it is cultivated. Chemicals which are used to attack insects are, sadly, indiscriminate and, when rains carry those pesticides from mountainside farmland down to the streams and rivers below, they affect the local ecosystems that rely on small animal life. Those pollutants can then go on to flow down rivers to entirely different regions where they continue to do harm.
Non-organic tea is normally dependent on a blend of fertilizers and pesticides to bring large, reliable yields. While this is an effective and proven industrial farming method, unless you’re buying from a truly gourmet brand, there is no comparison in quality with that of organically grown tea.
Organic teas demand rich, healthy soils for a successful crop, which in turn ensure a high-quality product, with layer upon layer of flavour and aroma.
What must be remembered is that tea, just like any other crop, whether vegetable, fruit or grain, is a product of the nutrients – or otherwise – that went into growing it. So while organic farming may or may not be the most cost-effective and business-driven way to deliver a harvest, it is without question the most natural and healthy.
So even if all you’re looking for is a quick hit to satisfy your urges, take a moment to think about what’s best for you and the world you live in, just say no, and instead consider a lovely warming cup of delicious organic tea to help you have a perfect day.