Cancer Risk And More: Significant Reasons To Avoid Tea Bags

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If you’re a tea drinker, you’ve probably seen those nifty pyramid-shaped silk mesh tea bags that allow the loose tea leaves inside to unfurl when steeped in boiling water. But did you know that these toxic tea bags are made of plastic and can potentially leak out toxic chemicals when exposed to heat? And paper bags carry a risk of their own because many are coated with a carcinogenic compound! Here’s what you need to know about each.

PAPER TEA BAGS CONTAIN PESTICIDES, TOXINS, DIOXIN…

Yes this sounds crazy! Imagine you could be drinking pesticides in your favorite drink… But this is true. Paper tea bags often contain Epichlorohydrin, a compound used as a pesticide. Epichlorhydrine becomes active when it is in contact with hot water. This pesticide is known to cause infertility and can harm your immune system. This pesticide also causes cancer in animals. So….why are we drinking tea made in little pesticide bags? Maybe you should check your tea bags before putting it in your mugs. Our advice is to wash it with a warm hot water before steeping.

Putting plastic tea bags in hot enough water will begin to break down. When this happens, toxins are released into the tea. Though one cup of bagged tea won’t do any harm, consistently drinking this could cause health issues. The more you drink tea in plastic tea bags, the more chemicals you put in your body – especially if you steep several times the same tea bag. Chemicals in plastic containers and bottles have been found to leach into food and drink. This is why in nursery industry for exemple, baby bottles using plastics included bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates have been forbidden in many countries, thereby posing a number of health hazards such as acting as potent endocrine disruptors.

SOME TEA BAGS ARE CHLORINE-BLEACHED
Some of the bags used to contain tea are made with paper. But what you may not know is that the paper has been chlorine-bleached. Yes, unless you buy your tea from an environmentally brand, most of the tea you consume is wrapped in white bags. White stands for “clean“. This means that these tea bags are the result of intensive chemical processes. Would you like to continue drinking tea in a chlorine-bleached bag? Just for your information, drinking tea in a chlorine-bleached bag once won’t really do anything. But do it consistently could represent a health risk.
If you want to explore more in depth, check out this article.

MOST TEA IS NOT WASHED BEFORE PUT INTO TEA BAGS

Many tea companies use pesticides in tea agriculture. A report from Greenpeace released in 2015 said that 34 pesticides were found in indian tea. So if the tea wasn’t washed, this means all the pesticides go directly into your cup of tea. As Foodbabes.com mentioned it, most tea is not washed before it is put it into bags.
Are you not disgusted yet?

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BAGGED TEA

How can a small thing like a tea bag can represent a potential environmental disaster? Because at first, tea bags are a waste of paper. And most of them are not biodegradable. As we said previously, the chemicals used in tea industry have an environmental impact. Bagging tea market represents also an important source of pollution: the packaging of tea into tea bags – tea bags individually wrapped, using paper, carton and plastic blister – besides using energy and resources that are discarded, also tends to concentrate profit in wealthy countries. By buying loose-leaf tea, you not only reduce waste and resource usage, but you make it more likely that a greater portion of the price you are paying reaches the producers.

TEA NEEDS ROOM TO EXPRESS ITS FULL FLAVOR

To be a good, a tea must have some place to release the flavors properly. When you brew tea leaves, you can see that the leaves expand.  However, many tea bags still exist with little-to-no room for the small tea leaves to unfurl and swell. Bags often compressed tea. That’s why tea bags are not the best for brewing tea.
Though it’s fine to have a cup of bagged tea here and there, you should remember tea bags alter the taste of your tea. Then you should avoid having it on a daily basis. Not convinced? Believe us: try loose leaf vs. tea bags,  you will see the difference.

TEA POWDER IN YOUR TEA BAG

Ok, we understand that using tea bags is more convenient. But did you already open a tea bag to see its content? If you did not, you should. You will see that most of the time the bag contain tea dust and broken leaf particles

Fanning or dusts are used to fill tea bags.  These small tea leaf particles are be found at the bottom of a tea barrel or the bottom of a tea bed (where tea leaves are dried). Once the larger tea leaves have been gathered, these fannings are collected and kept for tea bag use. Broken tea leaves or dust allow for a fast release of tannins which gives tea its colour but lacks flavour and depth. It will also result in bitter and astringent brews. Larger leaves hold more of their essential oils which infuse to make a drink with full flavor and its aroma potential.

Debating about tea bags vs. loose tea is like comparing a bad wine packed in a carton brick and a good wine in a bottle… Know what I mean?

ARTIFICIAL FLAVORING

Did you have ever wonder what’s inside flavored tea? How is tea flavored?

Ok, let’s stop beating around the bush: artificial ingredients are often used to flavor your tea. Artificial flavors are created by altering the structure of a molecule to create a different, more intense or – most of the time- less expensive. This is the case with artificial vanillin, which is made from eugenol, a main component of clove oil, that can be extracted using some chemical processes… Yummy! You must know that the truth is these types of artificial flavoring agents are used in many of tea blends, and it is most likely to be the case with bagged tea.

It’s more complicated to put some broken stick of cinnamon, lemon peels, or big pieces of dry strawberries in tea bags… Wikipedia says about Scented Teas:

“ALTHOUGH MANY TEAS ARE STILL FLAVOURED DIRECTLY WITH FLOWERS, HERBS, SPICES, OR EVEN SMOKE, TEAS WITH MORE SPECIALIZED FLAVOURS ARE PRODUCED THROUGH THE ADDITION OF FLAVOURANTS OR PERFUMES. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE FOR TEA BLENDS WITH PRONOUNCED FRUIT OR FLOWER AROMAS, WHICH CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITH THE ORIGINAL INGREDIENTS.“ WIKIPEDIA, TEA BLENDING AND ADDITIVES

You will have better chances to enjoy blended tea with natural flavoring by choosing loose tea leaves from a Special tea firm or shop…

THE COST

Surprisingly, loose leaves tea could be more economical than tea bags. Loose leaves tea can be brewed many times, giving you each time the best flavors. It costs a lot to pack the tea into the tea bags, which makes it more expensive. It’s more convenient but it costs a lot more!

THE STEEPING BEAUTY

Have you ever take the time to watch the tea leaves expand, unfurl and swell when they are steeping in the teapot? Wonderful, isn’t it? Looking at the leaves before and after brewing allow you to appreciate its beauty while you are waiting for your favorite drink. It is also the opportunity for you to remain you of the journey these little leaves has gone through from mountains to cup.

Then now take a look at this brown and ugly tea bag destroying any appreciation of the beauty and spirit of this amazing beverage.

Still hesitating?

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