With voluminous scientific evidence now showing that it protects the heart, helps stave off diabetes and provides other significant health benefits, it’s no surprise that green tea is among the most popular health foods in the US.
The disease-fighting punch of green tea is largely due to its high concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance with more antioxidant activity than vitamins C and E and other nutritional heavyweights.
The other side of the green tea story: Even if you are consuming green tea, the truth is that you might not be getting what you pay for.
Lipton Tea has been facing some heat lately after customers began complaining about finding some pretty gross critters in their tea bags.
Looks like it’s a bag time overall for the packaged food industry. One woman took to Facebook to post a video of her experiences with the Lipton Green Tea. The person in question, discovered quite a horrifying thing when she decided to open her pack of Lipton Green tea, Lemon flavor.
She opened the tea-bags to check the content and to her shock, discovered worms inside the tea-bag! It is not just one or two worms but a whole lot of worms inside the tea-bag. What’s more, the worms are living she claims and can be seen squiggling around once the bag is opened and the contents emptied!
This is absolutely disgusting! As the recorder has mentioned in her video, the worms are found only in the Lipton Lemon flavour Green Tea and not any other Green Tea. One of the questions that pops into our minds is, “How old was the Green Tea? Wasn’t it expired?” Answering that query later in the video, the packaging on the tea box shows that the Lipton Green Tea was packaged in November, 2016 and the expiry is in October 2017!
The video is supposed to be taken in Dubai and the findings soon went viral on Facebook and other social media channels, with people commenting and asking Lipton to respond. Check the complete video of the Green tea with worms here.
Ms Raza uploaded the original clip with a caption saying: ‘Please be aware, must check your teabags & please do share’.
In the video the woman can be seen tearing open a tea bag and tipping its contents out.
‘I want you to see something. I’m opening the new one,’ she can be heard saying.
‘I’ll show you something which we found two days back and we were trying to figure it out whether it’s happening in all tea bags or not.
‘But sadly it is in each and every tea bag of lemon flavour green tea. You can see there are worms inside, living worms.
She can be seen singling out the ‘worms’ while saying: ‘It’s not one or two, you can see a lot of them.’
Ms Raza then pointed out that she had checked inside several boxes and the tea bags were not expired.
If you are worried about GMO sugar beets, corn, or soy, you should think again when it comes to steeping your favorite cup of tea. Herbs like spearmint or peppermint are allowed 100 times higher the levels of glyphosate than some GM foods, and the first time pesticides are washed off of these herbs is often in your cup.
According to Peter Goggi, a spokesman for The Tea Association of the USA, the amount of commercial pesticide in your cup is “a very low amount,” but recent research into some samples taken of various tea brands says that is far from true.
Pesticides are everywhere. They are sprayed in school playgrounds and public parks, and can even be found on the produce we buy from the grocery store. We do everything we can do avoid contact with these pesticides, from washing our produce before we eat them to buying organic or homegrown fruits and veggies.
We do everything we can to avoid consuming these toxic pesticides, and yet somehow it always manages to find a way into our home. One of the more recent examples of this includes the discovery of incredibly high levels of pesticides in some of the world’s most popular tea brands including Lipton, Tetley and Twinings.
Pesticides in Tea
CBC News conducted an investigation on the pesticide levels of most major tea-producing companies. These companies included:
Lipton (Pure Green Tea and Yellow Label Black Tea)
Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea and Jasmine Green Tea)
Using an accredited lab, CBC investigators used the same testing method employed by the national Food Inspection Agency to test the pesticide residue on the dry tea leaves.
The investigators found that more than half of all the teas tested had pesticide residues that were above the legally acceptable limit. Eight out of the 10 teas tested also contained multiple chemicals, with one brand of tea containing over 22 different types of pesticides.
Some of the pesticides that were discovered in the tea, including endosulfan and monocrotophos, are currently in the process of being banned by several countries due to the health risks it poses to workers that handle it and the negative impact that it has on the environment.
Best and Worst Brands
Although majority of the tea brands tested contained traces of pesticides (only one brand didn’t, we’ll get to that in a bit), some brands contained a whopping amount of pesticides while others stayed below the legal limits. Although zero pesticides are the preferred amount, here is a list of the worst offenders so you will be sure to steer clear of these brands no matter how desperate for tea you are:
Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green Tea). This brand of tea contains over 20 different types of pesticides, including endosulfan, which is currently in the process of being banned from many different countries due to its health and environment effects. Side effects of endosulfan consumption include tremors and other effects on the nervous system, and in some cases eating foods containing endosulfan has resulted in death.
No Name. Although it comes nowhere close to Uncle Lee’s Green Tea, it is still contains over 10 different types of pesticides.
King Cole. This tea is not as heavily laden with pesticides as the No Name brand above it, but it does have a wider variety of pesticides, including the soon-to-be-banned monocrotophos, which is known to cause involuntary defecation, irregular heartbeat and has also been known to induce comas
The tea industry has not stayed quiet during this kerfuffle. James O’ Young, vice president of Uncle Lee’s Legends of China, which also happens to be the brand which contained the most pesticides, defended his tea’s pesticide content by claiming all tea contains pesticides.
“If you drink tea, regular tea, I don’t care it’s what brand is that, the fact of life, this agricultural product does have pesticides,” O’Young said.
O’Young made this statement ignoring the fact that CBC’s investigation found that, out of the 10 different tea brands tested, Red Rose was the only product that came back completely free of pesticides. This proves that not only is it possible to cultivate tea without having pesticide residue on it, but that representatives from big corporations are blatantly lying to us about it.
Support pesticide-free tea companies by avoiding brands that you know are heavy in pesticides, such as Uncle Lee’s and No Name Brands, and purchase only from brands that you know contain little to no pesticides.
For a full list of the different tea brands tested during CBC’s investigation, click here.