Food Safety chopsticks

Published on March 30th, 2014 | by Jill Ettinger

0

Disposable Chopsticks are Treated with What?

chopsticks

You may seem like the somewhat pretentious, paranoid foodie when you show up for Chinese takeout and movie night with your friends if you come in rocking your own sustainable bamboo chopsticks, but you might be the only one not getting sick (upset tummy from the greasy Chinese food not withstanding).

According to Shanghai Daily, a recent report found that disposable chopsticks can be made with sulfur dioxide, in order to kill mold and industrial grade hydrogen peroxide to bleach the sticks for cosmetic purposes. “But after being “beautified,” the chopsticks are dumped on the floor and packed without sterilizing the sticks or plastic wrapping,” explains Shanghai Daily.

An official from the Anji Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau, told the paper that the factory price of a pair of disposable bamboo chopsticks is “only 0.02 yuan (far less than 1 US cent), so they must be mass-produced efficiently to ensure profit; a factory’s daily yield can reach as much as 300,000 pairs.”

While chopstick factories are inspected for health codes, they’re not inspected for the chemicals used on the products. “It’s hard to distinguish the harmful chopsticks just by appearance. But people had better not choose the ones that look too white and perfectly smooth,” Jin Peihua, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Restaurants Association told Shangai Daily.

Exposure to sulfur dioxide can be harmful to the stomach, esophagus and lungs, and hydrogen peroxide can be harmful to DNA, explains Shanghai Daily, yet they’re more popular than ever. “Disposable chopsticks are in high demand in carry-out restaurants and noodle shops, fast-food eateries and snack stands.”

That’s not to say that all disposable chopsticks pose health risks, but if you find yourself frequently ordering Chinese takeout, you may want to make the investment into a high quality reusable pair of chopsticks. Or better yet, just use a fork.

Image: Amy Loves Yah





Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

Jill Ettinger is co-director of Eat Drink Better. She is the senior editor at EcoSalon.com and OrganicAuthority.com. A focus on food, herbs, wellness and world cultural expressions, Jill explores what our shifting food, healing systems and creative landscapes will look, sound and taste like in the future. Stay in touch on Twitter @jillettinger and .



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Popular Posts


    Over-the-counter drugs might alleviate your allergy symptoms, but the side effects can be the pits. Try these food-based natural remedies for seasonal allergies instead!

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Herbal homemade soda is quite simple actually. Almost any herb can be used, and this lavender and lemon combination is cooling and refreshing!

    Do You Think Cilantro Tastes Like Soap? Here’s why.

    Putting a healthy meal together can be difficult on a busy weeknight. These quick, easy, healthy meals make even weeknight cooking a breeze.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Advertisement

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.