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Is There Plastic in Your Tea?

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In the U.S., there aren’t scheduled tea breaks or tea-related routines, but it is still one of the most widely consumed beverages, found in nearly 80 percent of all U.S. households.1

In 2017, Americans consumed over 84 billion servings of tea and more than 3.8 billion gallons.2 Nearly 86 percent of that was black tea, followed by 13 percent green tea and the small remaining amount a mixture of oolong, white and dark teas.

Multiple benefits are associated with drinking tea, including consuming antioxidants, polyphenols and a variety of minerals. Long-term tea drinking may improve blood pressure,3 and studies find green tea improves brain function, staving off cognitive disorders such as dementia.4 But before drinking your next cup of tea, reconsider your use of bagged tea.5

Would You Like Some Plastic With Your Tea?

Tea bags are only slightly more convenient than using loose leaf tea, yet in 2014 nearly 77 percent of the tea made in the U.S. was prepared using tea bags.6 Eighty-seven percent of millennials report regularly drinking tea, and on any given day over half the American population has a hot cup of tea.

While you might imagine the U.K. claims the honor of drinking more tea than any other country, the recognition actually went to Turkey in 2016.7 There are direct links to the amount of tea a person drinks and their risk of serious health problems. However, the majority of tea brewed in the U.S. is made with tea bags, most of which are made with plastic.

How tea bags are manufactured will vary depending upon the brand. Nearly 70 to 80 percent of an individual bag is made from compostable paper, while the remainder contains heat-resistant polypropylene.8 This is done to help prevent the bag from breaking apart in hot water. However, this also means minute pieces of plastic are likely deposited in your drink.

The bags with the highest amount of plastic are those which are crimped and pressed shut, using heat to melt plastic to seal the bag. These are standard square, rectangular or round and crimped and pressed on all sides. Manufacturers place plastic in the paper fibers, which melt when heated to seal the tea bag shut.9

Additionally, some companies treat paper tea bags with a chemical — epichlorohydrin — to prevent tears, which has been deemed a probable human carcinogen.10 It is known to react with water to form 3-MCPD, another possible human carcinogen.11

Don’t Be Fooled by Compostable or Biodegradable Labels

Manufacturers use tea bags with varying degrees of biodegradability. Some use material derived from starch treated by an enzyme to create a compound with a “plastic” character that can be spun into filaments.

As explained above, most bags, including the string and tag variety, contain polypropylene with small amounts of acrylic copolymer emulsions to prevent the bag from breaking down in hot water. But, this also means small pieces of plastic will be left in the soil if you compost the bags. A spokesperson from Twinings Tea commented:12

“We would not recommend that tea bags are used directly on the soil as a fertilizer or soil conditioner, as they are likely to take a longer time to break down. We would recommend that they are composted in a compost bin, or wormery first to optimize the availability of any nutrients for the plants.”

Another type of manufactured bags are silken tea bags, often touted as an eco-friendly choice.13 However, despite the name, the bags are made from fossil fuel-based nylon, which lasts forever. Although plant-based plastic is sometimes labeled biodegradable or compostable, just because it’s made of plant-based plastic does not automatically mean it will biodegrade.

Biodegradable means the product can be broken down by microorganisms over time. However, there is no stipulation that no toxic residue will remain, only that the product is no longer visible.

Compostable means the product undergoes a biological decomposition and breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass, leaving no toxic residue. Any product making a claim of biodegradability or compostability should quote the standards used in testing, as without this the label is meaningless.14

Dangers Associated With Plastic in Your Food

Plastic will last for hundreds of years or longer, yet most of the products using plastic are used once and thrown away. Chemical additives, used to make the plastic more durable and flexible, are also harmful to the environment and human health. Phthalates, used to make plastics more durable, are loosely bound to the product.

Have you noticed how some flexible plastic products slowly get more brittle over time? This happens as the phthalates are slowly released into the environment. Similarly, when you dip your plasticized tea bag in a cup of hot water, you speed the release of tiny plastic pieces and phthalates from the tea bag.

The dangers associated with phthalates are related to their effect on your hormonal system. They are remarkably powerful hormone disruptors, and recent research confirms they’re capable of causing males in all species to develop feminine characteristics.15

Data have demonstrated pregnant women exposed to phthalates have a higher risk of miscarriage.16 The chemicals have also been shown to feminize male genitals and to increase the risk of asthma.17

Phthalates also have negative health effects on adults. In one study, research demonstrated a link between low levels of vitamin D and an increased intake of phthalates.18 These results are important as vitamin D is essential for brain, bone and heart health. Low levels have been linked to a higher risk for depression,19 mental decline20 and chronic migraine headaches.21

Disturbingly, an alarming 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food-contact materials in the U.S., either directly or indirectly. You’ll find a discussion of the impact plastics have on your health in my previous article, “Are These Perilous Chemicals in Your Food?

Benefits From Tea Are Extensive

There may be good reason black tea is one of the more popular tea drinks. With each sip, it provides you with multiple antioxidants, polyphenols, tannins and various minerals with impressive health benefits. For example, black tea has been shown to:

  • Improve your gut microbiome22
  • Aid in weight loss23
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Improve mental focus and energy levels24
  • Fight free radicals,25 thereby improving cardiovascular health26 and reducing your risk of cancer27

High quality green tea is also well-recognized for its disease prevention and antiaging properties. Polyphenols may account for up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight of green tea, including flavonoids and catechins. One of the most powerful catechins is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

EGCG has been found to positively impact a number of conditions, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. EGCG also helps prevent plaque formation in your arteries and brain, enhances brain function and prevents age-associated brain degeneration.28

Oolong tea is neither a black or green tea but is produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets the four true teas apart (black, green, white and oolong) is their degree of fermentation.

Organic oolong tea, made from the buds and stems of the plant, is described as “slightly fermented and semi-oxidized,”29 and as a result has a taste that falls between green tea and black tea. Oolong tea offers many of the same benefits of green and black tea. It is rich in antioxidants polyphenols, accounting for oolong tea’s positive effects.

Brewing Loose Leaf Tea for a Perfect Cup

Due to limited space, tea bags often are filled with leftover smaller leaves and dust produced when higher grade loose leaf tea is gathered. When you brew full leaf loose tea, there is room for the leaves to unfurl and move freely in the water, resulting in a more full-flavored, richer taste.

Loose leaf tea is also better for the environment as bags are not fully biodegradable or compostable. Brewing the perfect cup of loose leaf tea takes only a minute or two longer than using a packaged bag. It’s all about getting timing, temperature and duration right for the variety of true or herbal tea you’re brewing.30

For instance, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea, Lisa Guy, recommends brewing white and green teas at 158 F (70 C) and black tea at 185 F (85 C). Amino acids, responsible for the rich flavor, are released at lower temperatures. Steeping tea for a long period of time or using boiling water will increase the amount of tannins and result in a more astringent or bitter flavor.31

Brewing a flavorful pot of tea begins with fresh, pure water. To ensure the right temperature, either turn off the kettle before boiling or pour boiling water into a glass or ceramic cup, allowing it to cool before adding the tea leaves. Avoid using metal as it can give the tea an unwanted flavor.32

Add about 1 teaspoon of tea or herbs for every 6-ounce cup you plan to drink. Loose tea can be steeped in a reusable infuser or tea strainer.33 Timing is also important. Guy recommends white tea should be steeped for one to three minutes, while green tea should steep for one to two minutes. Black tea will Infuse the water with full flavor in just 45 seconds to one minute.34

Overall, tea is part of a healthy diet. Although some studies use far higher amounts of EGCG than you’d be able to comfortably get from drinking tea, if you enjoy it, a few cups a day is certainly a healthy and flavorful addition. Just be sure to drink your tea “straight,” as adding milk and/or sugar will counter many of the benefits. Lemon juice, on the other hand, will enhance the antioxidant content.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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