The topic of food security is an important science. Living in developed countries we do not face this potential real-life world issue however, what we are faced with is the ongoing impact of industrialization on our food supply (in addition to the climate!)
We really need to conduct generational large-scale studies to seriously look at the issue: are we creating a toxic world?
I was not surprised to read this article on the toxic levels of lead and aluminum in relation to brewing time. It is also not surprising that many factors influence the level of heavy metals found in your cup of tea: soil quality, air, rainfall, pH of soil, brewing time, tea pot and cup material, and tap water. I found this article particular helpful because while we may not be able to change the air and soil of the leaves that cultivate our tea, we can change whether we choose how long we brew our cup of tea. Brewing tea for 15-17 min compared to 3-4 min greatly increases the exposure to toxic heavy metals, stating that 3-4 min is a safer option. Now, there are benefits to tea, and perhaps the benefits may outweigh the risks, however, what is concerning to me is what are heavy metals doing in tea leaves? And where else are we possibly exposed? Bio-accumulation is a significant factor to our health, and is largely not investigated on a routine physical, until signs and symptoms of pathology develops. And so, if we know that heavy metals are toxic, why are we not finding novel ways to test for them? (Naturopathic doctors do!) If 4 cups of tea, brewed at 15 min is beyond the safe lead limit, what else are we consuming that could also contain lead in a single day? Arguably, the companies that make fertilizers and pesticides will say foods and soil contain safe limits, but as humans, we consume much more than the one item.
Interesting to note also that degenerative disease is a concern of the developed world. And so, keeping to my mantra that there is nothing better than your back yard garden, it is time to start teaching people how to grow their own foods!