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Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

Tea is something I drink every single day. It’s sacred at my house – I even have a whole drawer devoted to it! I drink it because it is amazing for your health. There are so many varieties of tea that can improve digestion, metabolism and even prevent certain diseases. This investigation into tea ingredients has been in the making for a long time. What I’m about to share with you totally rocked my world forever and I’ll never look at tea in the same way again. Do you really want to know what’s in your tea?…Then read on.

Food Babe's Tea DrawerThe ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea dates back thousand of years to the early Chinese dynasties and aristocrats who drank the beverage for its medicinal properties. In ancient times, leaves from the Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) were either ground into a powder or placed as loose leaves directly into water to infuse it with herbal essence. Unfortunately, modern day tea is nothing like the unadulterated version of old tea. Many of today’s tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs.

CrazyChemicalsInTea2

Conventional Teas – An Abundance of Pesticides

Did you know that most tea is not washed before it is put it into bags? That means if the tea was sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. And this is the reason why tea is on my organic shopping priority list. To prove this point, here are some shocking facts about one of the most well-known tea brands – Celestial Seasonings.

A recent third-party analysis by Glaucus Research and discussed here found that 91 percent of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen under California’s Propsition 65.

The “Wellness” tea line was found to contain traces of propargite, also a known carcinogen and developmental toxin. The FDA has already issued two warning letters to Celestial Seasonings in regard to poor quality control according to this source. Imagine what happens when pesticide-laden tea is steeped in boiling water.

If grocery store brands don’t provide a clean option for you, perhaps a high-end loose leaf tea would circumvent some of the issues of grocery store brands. Right? Wrong! Take Teavana, which is found in malls across North America for example. Teavana taps into tea culture with the “Teavana Experience.” Convincing their employees to take customers on a sensory journey – they open a huge canister of loose leaf tea and wave the top of the canister so you can smell the tea – touting all of the wonderful health benefits of tea complete with samples and manipulative demonstrations that end in an expensive visit to the tea shop. Is all the extra money worth it? Are customers getting a superior tea product? No.

Teavana tea was tested by an independent lab and 100 percent of it was found to contain pesticides. One tea in particular, Monkey Picked Oolong, contained 23 pesticides. 77 percent of the teas would fail European Union pesticide import standards, and would be banned from import. 62 percent of the teas tested contained traces of endosulfan, a pesticide that has been banned by the U.S., China, the E.U., and 144 other countries because it has been linked to impaired fertility and could harm unborn babies.

UPDATE (May 27, 2014): Glaucus Research funded the research done by Eurofins Scientific (an independent lab) and admits on their disclaimer that they are biased because they would make money if Hain’s stock declines. However – I am not sure that Eurofins’ research should be completely discounted on this point alone. Since I wrote this post, Celestial has been sued in a class-action lawsuit based on the pesticides that Eurofins found in their teas and for mislabeling of them as “100% Natural”.  The jury is still out on whether Eurofins’ research will be considered legit, as this case is still active in California.  The Plaintiffs contend that Celestial’s teas contain “pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, carcinogens, and/or developmental toxins (collectively, “Contaminants”)” and Celestial “did not dispute – and has never disputed – that the tea Products contained Contaminants. Nor has (Celestial) challenged the results of the Eurofins Tests” and “has not claimed that Eurofins was biased or that the Eurofins Tests were not, in fact, accurate”.   Even if it is determined that Eurofins’ research was not accurate – it’s important to note that Celestial’s tea that was tested is NOT organic and some of this tea is sourced from China.  Greenpeace issued a report on the alarming amount of pesticides found on tea from China, followed up by a detailed report on Lipton brand tea from China – in which they recommend only purchasing certified organic tea to avoid these pesticides. Reference law documents: Complaint; Plaintiff’s Memo in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss. Case 8:13-cv-01757-AG-AN

 

Teas Can Contain Artificial Flavoring, Natural Flavors, and Hidden GMOs

Furthermore, a majority of Teavana teas contain added flavor – specifically “artificial flavoring.” If their tea is so high end, why would they be adding ingredients produced by fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar? Coal tar in my tea? No, thanks.

PopularTeaBrandIngredients

Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient “natural flavors” to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Fortunately, there are brands that are putting the kibash on the use of natural flavors and using all real ingredients. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi Tea is just as disgusted by this ingredient as I am. He said to me “You can breakdown anything that is found in nature and if it ends up tasting like the flavor you wish to use – you can add it to any product and call it NATURAL FLAVOR on the ingredient label. It could come from a stone in the ground and you’d never know.” This is why when I see the words “natural flavor” listed on a label – I put the product down and run far far away. I want to know what I am eating! Don’t you?

Additionally, the added risk of consuming possible GMOs is not something many people think about when consuming teas. Before this investigation and witnessing tea companies using modified corn starch and soy lecithin in tea (additives likely made from genetically engineered corn and soy), I didn’t think about it either! I can’t imagine having a serious soy allergy, considering all the places companies try to hide it.

TjsTea

Why The Tea Bag & Packaging Matters

A recent article in The Atlantic discusses the “silky sachet” and “luxurious mesh bags” that hold loose leaf teas (like in brands Tea Forte and Mighty Leaf). Turns out, these modern day bags meant to showcase the tea leaves, are made of plastic.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a (likely GMO) corn-based tea bag material that has attracted major tea companies due to its nice look and its claims of biodegradability. Terms like “silky sachets” and “corn-based biodegradable tea bags” mislead customers into believing a product is more natural and sustainable than it really is. While the processing for PLA removes all traces of genetic material, it is still made with genetically modified corn. Although the actual tea bag is not an ingredient like teas and herbs, it is an element that is put into boiling water.

According to The Atlantic, tea bags are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are two of what’s considered the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential. However, Dr. Mercola disagrees, he states:

“While these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water…” Well, isn’t that how tea is prepared?

Another temperature consumers need to worry about in tea is the “glass transition” temperature. Here’s the science behind the glass transition temperature or, Tg, and why it becomes dangerous according to The Atlantic:

“That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point. In the case of PET and food grade nylon (either nylon 6 or nylon 6-6), all have a Tg lower than the temperature of boiling water. For example, while the melting point of PET is 482 degrees Fahrenheit, the Tg is about 169 degrees. Both nylons have a lower glass transition temperature than PET. (Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.) This means the molecules that make up these plastic tea bags begin to break down in hot water.”

 

So, while the plastic itself won’t melt in your tea, the glass transition temperature could potentially leak out harmful phthalates if there are such things in your tea. Another thing to worry about is that some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics. Some plastics are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.

Beware of paper tea bags too, which can be worse than plastic tea bags.

GET THIS: Also according to Dr. Mercola, many “paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.”

So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea? Antioxidant rich teas aren’t going to do much to counterbalance the chemicals, additives and artificial flavorings in today’s modern teas.

First, I recommend looking at this chart below to see how your favorite tea brand stacks up:

Tea Comparison Updated 2 2015

And then when brewing and picking out the safest tea remember these tips:

1. Choose an organic & non-GMO certified brand of tea. (My favorites are Numi, Traditional Medicinals, and Rishi Tea (loose leaf)).

2. Check the ingredient list on the back of the tea package to make sure there are no added flavors, GMO ingredients like soy lecithin and corn starch added to the tea leaves.

3. Make sure the brand you buy uses a safe form of packaging material or buy loose leaf tea and use a stainless steel or glass tea strainer. Have the company verify that bags do not contain epichlorophydrin, and avoid plastic tea bags all together. (Numi and Traditional Medicinals are some of the only brands I trust in this category because they have publicly stated they do not use this harmful ingredient or GMO packaging and are Non-GMO Project verified.)

4. The majority of restaurants use some of the most pesticide ridden tea and brands that have harmful packaging like Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, etc. Don’t fall victim to this. Bring your own tea when eating out or going to restaurants and ask for pot or cup of boiling water (remember to leave a good tip if you do this). I even do this at Starbucks because I like to vote with my dollars and not buy tea brands that are harmful. If you drink iced tea, brew your own at home and carry an insulated water bottle with you.

5. Remember these temps and times for brewing the perfect cup of tea

TeaBrewTimes

 

If you know someone who loves to drink tea, please share this post with them. I was just as shocked as you probably are about all of this craziness – knowing what’s in our tea and what we put in our body matters! Let’s change the world together.

Xo,

Vani 

 

 

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1,534 responses to “Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

  1. Hi Jenna,

    I was curious about Stash teas. I am from Washington state, and these are very popular up here, as the company hails from Oregon. Do you have any information on them?

    Additionally, thank you so much for all the hard work you do to help inform the masses! 🙂

  2. I completely agree about being careful of what you let soak in your teacup. I have been doing public speaking about this and trying to educate people about what pesticides, chemicals, etc are in their tea.

    Another thing to think about is how the tea (and coffee/food) arrives here. If it spends a month or two on a ship spewing out coal and other fuel burning particles and gases – is that getting into your food and drink? Certification happens at the source, not when it arrives to the US.

    After 12 years living abroad in Asia, I have recently started working with Wild Tea Qi in the US. We work directly with the farmers (hand picked, sorted and packed) and my partner in China “hunts” for these Wild, Ancient and Artisan teas. He also makes sure that the source is at a high elevation and far away from any factories or other entities that could contaminate the air and water therefore polluting the surrounding agriculture. He recently came out with a book about it – Wild Tea Hunter – and talks about his experience learning the tea industry and sheds light on some unhealthy practices.
    One thing that I would tend to disagree with is making sure everything is Organic. For example, some companies or farmers cannot yet afford to pay for certification yet use practices that far exceed the requirements to obtain organic certification. (with food, I prefer to work with local farmers that are chem free or working towards certification rather than just blindly follow the Organic label – especially if I can visit the farm!)
    Thank you FoodBabe for bringing this more to light. Most of the people that I talk to about this have no idea, never thought about it before and wish they had known a long time ago! I love supporting small farms, helping to spread the word and drinking Artisan teas!

  3. Thank you for this great article and for pointing out what consumers can look for in a tea. Numi, Rishi and Choice are some of my favorites! I have met the people behind the tea and they have a lot of integrity and passion. We are a small, young company, serving mostly our local customers. We are very particular about where our tea is sourced and how it is flavoured. North America doesn’t have very stringent standards and so what is rejected by the European Union, (where GMO’s and irradiation are not allowed, and pesticide and germ content is monitored) that is what is exported to North America. It is best to buy from the sources you recommend or from a small specialty shop that can answer where the tea is sourced and what it is blended with.

  4. FB, Great info and I drink PG Tips which is Black Tea from England. It’s not organic but it’s a product of England and I’m guessing follows the stricter standard of Europe. I’m writing them to see what the bags are made from. I’ll let you know for your expanded list in the future. You sure know how to hit a nerve! Thank you for your service and research.

  5. I use ‘Newman’s Own Organic Black Tea’ bags, that you can buy in the organic section of grocery stores. I used to drink ‘Stash’ teas, and one day started having allergic reaction. I check the labels and found soy lecithin. Could no longer drink it without facial swelling.

  6. I drink the AHMAD tea Aromatic Earl Grey with Bergamot flavoring and the Persian Tea-100% pure Ceylon tea with Original oil of Bergamot.
    How would you rate these teas?????
    Thanks for all your fantastic research and enthusiasm in sharing all your results with us.
    Anna

      1. I drink Red Rose, also. My kids collect the little statues! I wonder what their bags are made of?

  7. Thanks, Food Babe!

    I previously saw Dr. Mercola’s advisory about tea, and was shocked (especially about the tea bags). I had been wary of the soy lecithin and “natural flavors” in most teas because of his prior warnings, and had been looking for a more healthy tea.

    I have been using a wonderful tea company you might be interested in: Teatulia. My favorite is Lemon Grass Herbal Infusion. It is USDA 100% organic, and the pyramid bag is made of non-gmo corn silk! You might want to check them out and also let your readers know about this wonderful tea – It is a bit pricy, however, $7.49 for 16 tea bags, Their website is http://www.teatulia.com.

  8. Thank you for this post. I’ve already gone and thrown out the teas listed and only kept the organic ones.

    On a side note, I recently found out that I had more than three times the “normal” amount of lead and discovered that my tea kettle was the culprit. It was over 15 years old and had extreme levels of lead when I tested it. I’m currently going through chelation to get rid of all the lead.

    My recommendation is as you go through your teas, check your tea kettle as well.

    Any recommendations on a safe tea kettle – just to boil water – with a whistle?

  9. I have a couple hundred dollars of Teavana tea in my special tea drawer. I’m so bummed about this but glad to be informed. I have asked several times at Teavana stores if their teas are grown with pesticides and they have repeatedly told me that they are not. Because they are fair trade and work with small growers that can not afford to be certified organic but they are not grown with pesticides. I wonder if I can get my money back for my unused teas ?

    1. hi, I, too was entranced by visits to teavana, easily spending a couple hundred bucks. A company that is doing such a huge business in tea, and is truly working for the benefit of the small growers, would PAY for the growers in impovershed developing countries to obtain their organic certification if they were genuinely interested in providing pure teas. I feel duped by teavana. It’s a corporation that knows what we like to see, taste, and hear. I’ll be smarter in the future!

      1. I was thinking the exact same thing…why wouldn’t the large corporation pay for the certification in order to provide their customers with a printed guarantee? The sad reality is that very few companies can be trusted. I’m not a tea drinker, but I’d be curious to see what would happen if you Teavana drinkers spoke with a manager at a retail location or called customer service and requested that they show you some sort of unbiased proof of their claims (e.g., ask if they’ve ever performed tests on the tea to make sure the farmers are abiding by the rules).

    2. I have a suggestion! I had just bought (and used a couple times) 6 MAC eyeshadows when I began working on my cosmetic chemicals research. MAC was not up to my standards, so I called the customer service number on their website and asked for a partial credit. Expecting more from a high-end brand, but also realizing that I used the products, I was able to negotiate a “store credit” with MAC for about 60% of the price I paid for the make-up, and I used the credit to get a couple new brushes. Give it a shot with Teavana, see if they can give you some sort of partial credit (it’s used…not fair to expect full credit) and you can get some of their non-food products, like mugs.

      1. Thanks for all your suggestions !!! My husband and I are going to go to Teavana together ( We’re a great ” good cop bad cop” duo 🙂 ) I’m nice and he’s firm and authoritative 🙂 . We are going to ask nice and not make a big scene . Then if they won’t help us at all he would like to stand outside of the store and tell prospective buyers about what we’ve learned. His idea is to cost the store in sales what we have lost in tea. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I think we’ll get someone to help. The store employees are always very nice. I would like to at least get money for the unused tea, that’s all I ask 🙂

  10. I have been following you on Facebook for about 8 months now and I want to say thank you!! Thank you for doing your investigations. The public have been so trusting about everything that is “made in America” including, and probably mostly, its food. After all, I was raised with this term and had the idea that the USA is the “bread basket of the world.” It was and still is, taught in schools, no, drilled in schools to our children.

    I am so happy that many are finally getting wiser and caring enough to speak out and begin to change things. I do not understand why the American public is still so trusting when a few giant agri-corporations have so much power over our government. But, please keep doing what you do and informing us with the truth and forcing some companies to finally tell the truth about what is in our food.

    I just harvested my evening’s garden picks and feel so good and so fortunate to have a space in my back yard to grow a few veggies and fruits that I am certain never came near a pesticide. What a shame we can’t trust each other in this country about something so basic as our daily bread.

    I live in So. Cal and if you are ever hiring in the area, please let me know. You are doing the lord’s work. Thank you for educating me and my family.

    1. I use Rooibos tea also – it’s great Martha! Thanks so much Food Babe for all your work regarding tea – have some to throw out now as hubby loves his tea. Here in Australia Bushells tea is very popular, I buy loose leaf tea for him but will find out if it’s a no-no as
      I buy it all the time.

  11. I am so thankful to you for all you done about teas. I usually am into organic teas only. I am so thankful to know of the other teas and all the info you have given, it means so much to me. I usually use loose tea leafs, still have some bags of tea around. So I was thinking of just to empty the bags of tea in the stainless steel tea strainer to be safer. What do you think? All my teas are organic. I get some tea from Africa, given to me… rooibos tea in a tea bag, but I will empty the bags into the tea strainer. Again thank you so very much!! Osita 🙂 ((((tea lover))))> ( And I was given some teas of the brands that you say are , no no) Thank God I did not drink these teas. ty

  12. This is so significant! I drink tea constantly. Thank you so much for this info!
    Hadn’t questioned the tea bags, and I’ve been so diligent about eliminating plastic contaminants in my other food sources.
    One Q – How do we find out about the packaging if we look into other organic teas? Any suggestions? Thanks again!

    1. Using FB’s posting as a guide, learning how the bags are made. Then, call the manufacturer and ask them. If you do your homework, you will have plenty of ammo if they try to beat around the bush. Hold them responsible by putting them on the spot, and if they won’t give you the answer don’t give them your money. The good companies will ALWAYS answer your questions, because they are proud of their product.

  13. Thanks for the in depth tea info.About 2 months ago, The funny thing too me is, I went to the Celestial Seasonings Face Book page looking to print a coupon for it. And low and behold another person was warning all of us about the huge pesticide issue you also brought up! Not in any other Tea brands, in Celestial Seasoning brand! I couldn’t believe it was all there. So I of course read it and contemplated that. I had recently bought some Peach Celestional Seasoning Tea especially for this Chicken Recipe. And it was good. I am too attempting to avoid the GMOs. Another point of the tea bags I wondered about was possibility of there being BPAs in the paper? And though I just don’t know for sure if we buy all organic live foods (fruits and veggies) won’t they be cross contaminated with GMOS by the bees pollinating them? And so seriously how can we really avoid eating the GMOs? I figured out the Tea issue and have already taken care of it here at home, I am growing my own Spearmint Tea! Organic.I’d like it if someone could invent a Bee colony that would refuse to pollinate anything GMO But the poor things would probably starve to death!

  14. I think that if the contents in the plastic bag is good, just empty it into a metal tea strainer and use it, instead of not buying it at all, or throwing it away.

  15. Wow! That was a real eye opener. Thanks Food Babe for a very interesting article. I never would’ve thought Celestial Teas is in so much hot water! (Pardon the pun!) Will you be doing a study on coffee too? I’d like to know which brands are safe. Thanks again! You’re awesome!

  16. I was recently in Assam, the famous tea growing region of India. I asked my guide if pesticides were used on the tea plants. He assured me that no pesticides were used on tea grown in that area. BUT, later I saw workers spraying the tea trees with whatever was in the large plastic containers carried on their backs. I don’t think it was water. So there I was was in Assam drinking my Organic India tea that I brought from USA. HA! (Of course I brought a whole suitcase of organic food with me to India). YEEHAA!

    I’ve enjoyed several varieties of Organic India tea, but I don’t know if the bags they use are chemical free. They do sell loose leaf so I should stick with that. Dr. Mercola visited Organic India a year or so ago. He has an interesting article about it.

    I’m going to Sri Lanka, another famous tea growing area, this December. I’m expecting pesticide use there too. Do you happen to have any info about that?
    I love your writing.

  17. I love buying a lb of several different teas from Mountain Rose Herbs and vacuum sealing in mason jars. It’s organic and guarranteed not to be irradiated (so many herbs and spices are, which from what I undstand creates carcinogenic compounds). I get all of my cooking herbs and spices there. In fact I get all sorts of herbs to make tinctures out of, even a wholefood, homemade multivitamin; http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2012/01/23/monday-health-wellness-herbal-multivitamin-tincture/#.UhWeS8u9KSM

    I usually go in with a bunch of people to get a discount and save on shipping. I like having so many things on hand that I use a lot but won’t have to replace for years 🙂

  18. I bet, as a tea drinker, you’re not a coffee fanatic, but I love it. Will you do an investigation into coffee and what it means to roast/flavor it? I really don’t want to know. But that means I need to know, right?

  19. Shocking this is.. I live in Bangalore, India, and drink anywhere between 3 – 5 cups of tea every day depending on whether I’m working or not.. Would you consider studying Indian brands of tea? I shudder to think what I take in along with my tea..

  20. What about Stash tea?, I currently have “Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Herbal tea” ingredients:
    Hibiscus flowers, orange peel, lemongrass, rosehips, raspberry flavor, licorice powder, citric acid and soy. Does this meet the foodbabe seal of approval? Please let me know so I may return it, I haven’t opened it. I just want to appauld you for all you do and sharing your research with others. My kids has become more aware food choices and even suggested healthier options for snacks to their friends. A trip to the supermarket takes alittle longer these days, due to the kids reading the ingredient list and checking for artificial food dyes and such. Thanks for helping guide them to understand why these things are not good for our bodies and making conscious food choices.

  21. Amazing and scary post! You mentioned that the laws are different in Europe — does that mean it’s fairly safe to drink tea from/in Europe, even imported tea? Because I drink A LOT of tea (I’m trying to cut back though, and will try even more after this post) and I live in Europe, so that’s my ray of hope.

    It’s bad enough that the plants are sprayed with pesticides and then not even washed before they are dried, but that the bags themselves can poison you? That’s some insane and scary stuff. So glad I now pretty much only drink loose tea, if only to at least avoid that if such a thing exists here too.

  22. Great post, I love tea too, and its scary to see what can be in the commercial products. I know exactly what’s in MY tea because I grow and dry the herbs myself, and make the tea in a steel tea ball or a tea pot. No stray chemicals for me 🙂

  23. I posted this in a reply to a previous comment, but I NEED to post it as a stand alone piece!

    After reading FB’s posting, multiple people contacted the Yogi brand via their Facebook page. Those people then posted Yogi’s response in this thread. I’m not sure if those who contacted Yogi misinterpreted this article, or if the Yogi representative can’t read, but I need to clarify something:

    NO WHERE in the “Do You Know What’s Really in Your Tea?” posting does Food Babe attempt to discredit Yogi teas!

    Frankly, Yogi’s response irritates the hell out of me. As a company that is in the market to make money off of its customers, they need to choose their words more wisely in the future. The Yogi representativ states that FB’s posting contains “explicitly inaccurate and misleading information about Yogi teas”. Ironically, it is Yogi’s response that is inaccurate and corporately irresponsible.

    The only companies FB speaks about at length are Celestial Seasonings and Teavana. The only reference to Yogi is in the 5th figure, in which a check mark appears in the box indicating that Yogi’s conventional line (i.e., non-organic) contains pesticides. A question mark in the packaging box indicates that Yogi’s packaging methods are unknown. Non-organic=pesticides 99% of the time, so saying that the non-organic Yogi teas contain pesticides is ACCURATE. FB freely acknowledges that she does not know what kind of tea bags Yogi uses, therefore she is in no way misleading the reader.

    Yogi tea is not the focus of this posting, and anyone who read it carefully can plainly see that. Yogi tea is mentioned ONLY in the aforementioned figure, and only because it is one of the more popular, widely-consumed brands. In fact, analysis of the brand comparison table depicts Yogi as one of the better brands of teas on the market.

    I encourage the Yogi representative who replied to the concerns voiced on facebook to re-read the posting, paying close attention to Food Babe’s actual words, rather than putting a presumptuous lexicon in her mouth. Yogi tea ought to be thanking Food Babe for the positive (and free!) advertising, and the company needs wipe the egg off its face by publicly apologizing to Food Babe for trying to make her seem like an unreliable source of information.

    Food Babe spends her time investigating topics that we all want to know more about. She has been an invaluable resource to me personally, and I’m sure the same goes for nearly everyone who reads her postings. As like-minded fans, it is our responsibility to make sure that we do not put words in her mouth, and then go on to taint her reputation in the eyes of fairly trustworthy companies. In the future, I hope we can all be a bit more attentive when we’re reading FB’s articles so we do not make a mistake like this again.

    We’re all in this together. As a company representative, the person who responded to your concerns on the behalf of Yogi needs to be made aware of the error that was made. If you follow Yogi on Facebook and you are as frustrated by their response as I am, tell them! Copy and paste my explanation, if you’d like. Hold them accountable, and demand an apology for their flagrant defamation of FB! She did NOT make any false claims about Yogi, and she did NOT discredit the company; however, the Yogi representative did attempt to paint FB as a fool, and the misunderstanding needs to be made right with an apology.

    1. Still, FoodBabe obviously didn’t contact Yogi Teas to find out about their packaging. She just needs to solidify her research more and contact more companies before talking about them on her blog which has a pretty big following now (ie, the Celestial Seasonings company responded as well).

  24. I also read that there is a lot of fluoride in tea because the plant’s roots have an affinity to fluoride and since they dump so much of it in the water it seeps through the ground and the plant sucks it up. And…we all know how fluoride is pretty bad for our health. I live in a town where our water is not fluoridated but I still wouldn’t drink it because it smells like clorox coming out of the faucet and who knows what else is in the water.

  25. I can answer “Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?”. I get my certified organic loose leaf tea from a company called Divinitea in NY. No comparison can be made between high quality loose tea and what you get in the grocery store. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back! http://www.divinitea.com/

  26. I found Two Leaves Tea company several years ago. Most of their teas are organic, fair trade. The teas are delicious and help the producers make a living.

  27. We have been drinking Ahmad Ceylon plain black tea for years. Do you have any information about Ahmad tea.

    Thank you John Ely

  28. Hi we use tea a lot! Always have 2 pitchers for the family in the refrig. One sweet one unsweet. We use lipton or store brand. What brand do you recommend that can be purchased in large quanitity (like 100+ bags at a time) for large amount of usuage? Thank you

  29. I have 2 Yogi teas at home that are concerning to me, and they say they’re made with organic tea and were purchased at my local organic market, Good Harvest. I have Yogi Green Tea Kombucha with ingredients: natural passion fruit flavor and natural plum flavor; and Yogi Lemon Ginger with ingredients: natural lemon flavor, natural licorice flavor and citric acid. I want real ingredients in what I consume, and I always thought Yogi was a good brand. Should I be concerned/toss these?

  30. This breaks my heart, as I LOVE Yogi. I have posted the following on their facebook wall this morning (linking this page), and have written the following:

    As a lover of Yogi Teas, I am saying this with as much respect, love and hope (that you will follow suit with Numi and Traditional Medicinals because they have publicly stated they do not use this harmful ingredient or GMO packaging and are Non-GMO Project verified.) as possible.

    I have posted the following on my wall this morning: Speaking of drinks & nutrition, I must rescind my support of Yogi teas. Those who know me knows this breaks my heart (as I LOVE Yogi); however, WHY would any corporation take something so healthy as antioxidant teas to simply encase it bags which are treated with epichlorohydrin (a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function)?! Thank goodness for Numi, Traditional Medicinals, and Rishi Tea (loose leaf).

    My last Yogi tea bag said the following: “Each day, compel yourself to do something you would rather not.”

    That I am.

  31. This makes me so sad! I quit drinking soda and LIVE on iced tea at restaurants, from convenience stores, etc. I feel so lucky to read your educational posts, but darn- everyday, another “love” is eliminated because it really is toxic. Oh, how I wish the food companies could strike a balance between profit AND caring for their customers. Well, here’s another lifestyle change, thanks to Food Babe!

  32. Have just been through my stash and have a pile to throw away. :0(
    I’m wondering about Davidson’s, Harney & Sons, Ronnefeldt Rooibos, Tulsi, and Imperial Organic brands. Hope I don’t have to throw away anymore, but will if it’s toxic!

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