Bad news for tea and herbal tea enthusiasts: some references distributed in supermarkets can be dangerous for your health. Here are which ones to avoid to limit the risks.
You are a tea lover, but do you really know what you are drinking? If it is very good for health, it can also hide unsuspected risks. Just 1 year ago, 60 million consumers published an alarming study carried out in their laboratories. They surveyed 48 teas and herbal teas widely marketed in France. Inside the sachets, sixteen potentially dangerous substances were found, some of which are prohibited in France or Europe. Glyphosate, thiacloprid, acetamiprid, chlorfenapyr… So many molecules whose long-term effects could be devastating.
The presence of these substances on tea leaves is easy to explain. This plant, the Camellia sinensis, needs a warm and humid climate to grow at its best. It is therefore mainly grown in China, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Due to the heat and humidity, the development of fungi and insects is rapid. In these countries where the legislation is different, fungicides and insecticides are used automatically and in large quantities. During its manufacturing process, the tea is not washed at any time, also favoring the presence of risky residues in the bag sold.
According to 60 million consumers, some references are more affected than others. Here are the teas and herbal teas that are best removed from your shopping list to limit the risks.
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Green teas particularly singled out
If there is indeed a kind of tea to which you will have to pay attention: these are green teas. The worst students in the field are a great classic: mint teas. Out of twelve references studied, five contained unauthorized pesticides. Worst of all: Cotterley mint green tea from Intermarché. A sachet of this range can contain up to four types of prohibited residues!
Black teas do a little better, only three references tested contained banned pesticides: Breakfast black tea from Auchan, Earl Gray from U and the famous Original English Breakfast from Twinings. However, black teas are the champions of the presence of another very problematic product: glyphosate. The endocrine disruptor was present in 30% of the drinks tested, including eleven of the sixteen black teas. If you wish to avoid it, Lipton mint green tea and many verbena-based infusions are also to be avoided.
Herbal teas do better. It must be said that the raw materials are often produced in countries where agriculture is more regulated in terms of pesticides. For the references studied by the association, mainly from France and Morocco.
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Foreign bodies are very common in bags
In addition to the traces of pesticides, the researchers found many very unsavory foreign bodies in the tea bags and herbal teas. Insects, plastic fragments, small stones, rodent hair… The list is long. Since the tea is not washed, these impurities are mainly vegetable or animal, with the vast majority of whole insects found in the tea leaves. This mainly concerns organic references, which do not however contain no traces of pesticides.
Verbena infusions are definitely the riskiest to acquire. Indeed, according to the results of the study of 60 million consumers, they are most likely to contain fragments of plastic or stone. Beware of certain industrial teas and herbal teas if you wish to consume them.