‘At Long Last and for Goodness’ Sake’

‘Oppressed by the Awful Dread of the Unknown’ | Site unseen: “Can it just be said that, at long last and for goodness’ sake, Theodore Roosevelt never, ever, saw a Bigfoot?”

While we’re at it, can we also just say, at long last and for goodness’ sake, that sun tea is not dangerous?! Presuming you’re using fresh, clean water and a freshly cleaned container, and you follow common guidelines — not leaving it in the sun for longer than a few hours, for one — making sun tea is no more hazardous than any other kind of food preparation. As the admittedly self-interested Tea Geek put it two years ago:

“In other words, there is theoretical danger, but no evidence that the risk has shown itself in the real world. … the risk was more likely to come from poor food handling practices than from the tea itself.” — Tea Geek Blogs » Sun Tea Winner (Plus a Rant About Information Drift)

Hundreds of online posts and articles cite serious dangers from bacteria like alcaligenes viscolactis, but the hazard is usually overstated and not even unique to sun tea. Most sun-tea alarmists root their fears firmly in directives from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but this august body has NEVER issued ANY advice on the subject. Revealingly, the wags who cheerfully advise that brewers instead make “refrigerator tea” do not seem to realize that it poses the same “risks.”

Thankfully, mine is not a voice in the wilderness; observe, for example, the comments section on a she-was-not-even-trying about.com post headlined, “Is Sun Tea Dangerous?

The bottom line is that if you can make a hamburger or save uneaten potato salad from a picnic without sickening yourself, you probably have the wherewithal to make sun tea.