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Breaking the myth around non-organic teas


June 4th, 2020

Organic seems to be the latest trend and keyword when it comes to healthy consumption. Organic food products are really popular among the health-conscious. The question is, are non-organic products as harmful as they are portrayed to be?

Organic teas have built a reputation for themself, for being exceptional for good health. However, let us find out the difference between organic and inorganic teas. The question of whether organic choices are significantly better than non-organic products has overwhelmed the consumers. Most health bloggers reiterate that organic tea is much safer and healthier than the inorganic option. To make an informed decision, consumers need to know the distinction between the two variants.

Organic teas are made without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical fertilizers. However certain fertilizers are allowed and approved by USDA Organic with a cap on the concentration for a better yield. Different governments have different standards of labeling and certifying tea.

So the major question is, are organic teas any healthier than their non-organic counterparts?
It has been observed by many studies that the nutritional content between organic and non-organic tea is not all that different. It is obvious that organic teas have an edge over non-organic tea, but the difference is in fact small. Furthermore, non-organic teas might have traces of synthetic fertilizers in very small quantities. Also, in terms of taste and aroma, there is no substantial difference between the two choices.

Is non-organic tea safe for health?
Growing organic tea is difficult and cost-intensive. It is a process followed by very few passionate farmers and companies, who have the time and money to invest in this type of harvesting. Furthermore, in the present scenario, it very difficult to cultivate organic teas on a larger scale due to operational and financial constraints. Most tea companies either cultivate only non-organic teas or a combination of organic and non-organic teas. This is because non-organic farming is easier and feasible on a much larger volume, the processing is rapid and cost-effective. From a business perspective, the tea industry prefers growing non-organic cultivation over organic cultivation for these very reasons.

So, is this tea safe for consumption?

Most definitely! People all over the globe have been consuming non-organic teas for years. In fact, like most other food products, all teas too are approved by the food regulation acts of the particular country, like by the FSSAI in India. Hence, through these strict regulations, the quality and safety of consumption is always ensured. So while organic teas provide more health benefits, it doesn’t render on-organic teas as unsafe for consumption. There is no health hazard associated with non-organic tea that can cause a sizeable impact with consumption over time and is surely a safe option. For those who cannot buy expensive organic tea, non-organic tea seems to be the only feasible option.

Furthermore, we also need to differentiate between organic teas and sustainably sourced teas too. While organic teas only concentrate on the inherent quality of the tea, sustainably sourced teas ensure that the impact on the environment is minimized. In the current scenario, climate change is an issue that has been massively impacting all of us. And hence ensuring that the teas consumed are sustainably sourced is equally important. One of the reasons to go for sustainably sourced teas is that since it requires cultivators to minimize the impact on the environment and is checked by organizations like Rainforest Alliance, Trust tea, Fair Trade International, the use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides is automatically minimized too.

The demand for organic teas has shot up over the years pressurizing small scale farmers to shift to organic. However, the price-competitiveness in the tea industry doesn’t allow them to afford this. You do not necessarily have to pay the premium for organic certified tea and can choose to stick to your old option. What you can and should prefer is to shift to sustainably sourced options, even if non-organic, and play your part in ensuring a safer, greener and brighter future ahead.