Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Why organic Green Tea?
Why Organic Green Tea?
Commercial fertilizers and pesticides have played a crucial role in feeding the world for generations and the spike in the global population over the last 70 years can be mainly attributed to the outstanding success of industrial agriculture, to which non-organic farming methods are essential.
But despite the clear and tremendous benefits of intensive farming, there remain serious and valid concerns about the effects of those methods and certain chemicals to the environment, economies and communities, and the quality of the final product itself.
Awareness that these concerns exist has subsequently given rise to the organic foods industry but, while it is nowadays commonplace to give preference to organic products where possible, many of us nevertheless have trouble identifying exactly what the issues surrounding fertilizers and insecticides really are.
More specifically, in the case of organic green tea, why should we care if it is organic or not? And, if organic foods are so much more preferable than non-organic ones, in what circumstances can we rightly consider non-organic green tea as a quality and desirable product?
The health issues most commonly associated with non-organic farming of green tea occur at to points in the tea cycle: at source, and at termination.
At source, farmers may handle chemicals and so be directly affected by their toxicity in any number of ways. Furthermore, teas are often grown at high elevations, so the rundown of potentially harmful substances may also directly affect workers who handle soils and plants but do not use those substances themselves.
At termination of the tea cycle is the cup of tea itself. Here, tealeaves may contain trace residues of harmful chemical products. While there is no strong evidence to date to suggest that green tea carries dangerous levels of pesticides or associated chemicals, it remains a concern that regular drinkers may be susceptible to the negative effects of long-term exposure to those substances.
In addition, organic teas are grown in soils with greater levels of nutrients, and therefore offer greater levels of antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins.
Industrial farming is an enormous contributor of water pollutants. Chemicals seep into the groundwater, rundown into streams and rivers, and are carried to other regions. This build up of pesticides and fertilizers in the water-flow system disrupts the natural nutrient cycle, kills creatures integral to local ecologies, affects drinking supplies, and fishery production.
Meanwhile, those same farming methods have helped induce resistance to pesticides in various insects, mites and fungi, and the destruction of native flora for intensive farming has brought about sinks of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Economic and Social Issues
Aside from the environmental and health issues that affect local farming communities, farming powerhouses have left little or no control in the hands of local landowners and field workers. The resulting loss of small farms has led to the wholesale destruction of rural communities and their local market networks in some regions.
Organic green tea requires a wealth of nutrients in order to flourish, unlike the non-organic variety, which is reliant on chemical intervention. The result is superior quality, depth and complexity of aromas and flavours.
When is non-organic tea ok?
Yet, despite the problems with non-organic foods, it is still possible to find high-quality, non-organic green teas that have not been farmed in such a way as to harm the environment, individuals or their communities.
In order to be sure that a green tea is of the desired standard, it is essential to turn to a dedicated tea specialist who guarantees top-level sourcing of their products, and is able to inform of the specific tea growing estates of origin.
Green teas represent some of the most refreshing, varied and popular drinks in the world, but if not organic, or if not properly sourced by a trusted tea specialist, you may not be enjoying the best quality product, and you may indirectly be harming the environment as well as local farming communities.