Bamboo dishes get a great rep within the sustainability community, and with good cause. They are a great biodegradable alternative to plastic dishes and are quite stylish. But are they truly safe?
Well, it’s time you found out.
Are bamboo dishes really safe to use?
Yes, for the most part, bamboo dishes are safe to use. However, there are some things you should look out for.
For instance, they should never be used in the microwave or with hot foods.
How safe are bamboo dishes?
For one, bamboo dishes contain neither Bisphenol-A (BPA) nor phthalates. However, some bamboo dishes do contain melamine binders. And while melamine doesn’t usually migrate to your food, it can do so if you attempt to microwave or heat your bamboo dishes.
It has even be proven that using bamboo tableware with foods of higher than 70 Degree Celcius leads to ingestion of higher levels of melamine than using actual melamine tableware.
Ultimately, this can result in you ingesting up to 30 times the tolerable daily intake of melamine. Moreover, if you get a faulty dish, the melamine can further migrate without the application of any heat.
This is particularly a point of concern because melamine has been linked to a variety of health problems.
For one, ingestion of melamine can lead to kidney stones and in extreme cases even renal or kidney failure. Moreover, it affects your hormones and can lead to issues with reproductive functions and brain development.
What are the best alternatives to bamboo dishes?
If your heart is not set on bamboo dishes, there are several options you can look into:
- Glass or ceramic dishes: Not only are these dishes microwave-safe, but they also don’t leach any chemicals. Moreover, they are quite durable. As long as you are careful with them, they will last a long time.
- Stainless steel dishes: While these dishes are durable and easy to clean, they are not safe for use in the microwave. However, you can use them with hot foods without any fear of leaching.
- Enamel dishes: Enamel dishes come with a variety of advantages. They are hard-wearing, shatterproof, and easy to clean. You can even pop them into the dishwasher when they are dirty. They also don’t release any toxins into your food.
Take care of your bamboo
Ultimately, your bamboo dishes are only as good as the care you give them. So as long as you choose melamine-free bamboo dishes and properly take care of them, they are some of the best.
Ensure that you handwash them immediately after use and avoid soaking them in water.
Additionally, when washing, ensure you only use warm water and soap. Avoid any abrasive cleaners and tools.
To avoid cracking, you should also regularly treat your dishes with a coat of light food-grade mineral oil.
Ultimately, such practices ensure that your dishes not only last long but also remain safe throughout their lifespan.