Considering my background with Asian animals, it’s little wonder I have something of an obsession with discovering simple ways to protect their homes in the rainforests. But I’m not just concerned for orangutans, hornbills, elephant, and tigers. I worry about sloths, tapirs, toucans, and jaguars in South America as well. I worry about all the animals, as we are making the world increasingly smaller.
Last year while studying up on preservation of rainforests, I came across a book “50 Simple Steps to Save the World’s Rainforests” by Kim Henderson and the Green Patriot Working Group. There were some fantastic tips, particularly concerning our food we eat that hails from the southern hemisphere tropics. Of course, I don’t want to take the word of only one book, so when I saw the first tip was buying sustainable tea, I decided to investigate it a little further.
Tea is one of those magical elixirs that doctors, nutritionists, and dietitians all agree are good for our health. But, are they good for the planet? With nearly 6 million acres of all land around the world dedicated to tea, it’s an important question to ask. Tea plantations have a notoriously poor reputation for inadequate worker conditions, not to mention the destruction of rainforest to produce the tea we drink.
There are sustainable options. Looking for Rainforest Alliance Certified brands such as Republic of Tea, Tao of Tea, and local brewers are great options. But I think I may have found my Holy Grail of teas, one that boasts wonderous health benefits, is vitamin packed, AND is highly dedicated to farming the plant in the most sustainable ways possible, commits to reforestation projects, and employs small farmers with their fair-trade co-ops. It doesn’t get any better than this in my opinion.
Introducing Guayaki Yerba Mate. Look it up. Try it. Love it. Pass it on.
I will confess one little thing about Guayaki. It took a little getting used to. I didn’t care for it on my first taste. But after my 2nd or perhaps my 3rd try, I found the taste quite invigorating. It’s natural. I dare say it’s like eating unsweetened dark dark cocoa chocolate. It may not be for everyone, but the taste really grew on me. I’ve even substituted the tea for water when making some of my smoothies.
Guayaki has high amounts of natural caffeine, which can be a healthy stimulant. It’s a powerful anti-oxidant and several studies support the idea that yerba mate is more beneficial than green tea. Considering the environmental prospects compared to other commercially grown teas, this one is a win-win.
So, go make yourself a nice happy cuppa, and have one for the rainforests,too.