What’s Wrong with Metal Utensils?
Stainless steel mills don’t exist so much in the US, so most of the utensils we eat with are metal and most likely from China. The problem is that these utensils could contain aluminum, lead, iron and other toxic metals. Heavy metals like these can create a toxic environment in the body, leading to sickness and disease.
Please note: if you choose to use metal utensils make sure that there are not any nicks because this can migrate into foods in trace amounts. Also when scraping metal on metal pots or pans, metals can get into your food. All the scratches you see are metals that have gotten into your food in the past.
Stainless steel emits corium and nickel and while they are acceptable, high-nickel stainless steel can leach into food, and many experts are now saying nickel can be more toxic than mercury. According to most experts, a more highly-recommend material is bamboo.
Bamboo is a great alternative to metal. It is known for its resiliency, strength, is biodegradable, and brings good luck in Chinese culture.
You can purchase bamboo utensils at your local health food market, Whole Foods, or online. Keep in mind that I am referring to bamboo, and not wooden utensils, as wood harbor germs.
After I started using bamboo utensils at home and noticed a positive difference in the way my food tasted and have read many reviews of people saying their digestion also improved greatly.
Other Benefits - Because Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial & anti-fungal, bamboo is grown without the use of toxins, pesticides, or fertilizers, as opposed to wooden products. Bamboo reaches it's full level of maturity before harvesting - about 5-7 years, unlike wood, is about 30 years until harvest and a bamboo forest can regenerate in 3-5 years. Bamboo is less porous than wood, making them water, heat, odor, shrink, and stain resistant.
or if you just want to try 1 set
I also love using the utensil to cook with, so not scraping any metal with my ceramic cookware
And for disposable flatware instead of plastic, these are a great eco-friendly option:
Understanding Chromium and Nickel in Stainless Steel
Most flatware is made from a composite steel material with chromium and nickel as the main ingredients. When determining the quality of flatware, you'll want to look at the percentages of both chromium and nickel, the latter of which adds luster and provides resistance to corrosion. Stainless steel flatware sets are labeled with one of three ratios indicating the amount of chromium and nickel: 18/10, 18/8, or 18/0. The highest quality is 18/10 (18 percent chromium, 10 percent nickel), and the lowest is 18/0, which has a negligible amount of nickel and is thus more prone to rust.
Flatware Not Made In China
The vast majority of American flatware brands do not manufacture their products in American. In fact, all American flatware brands with one exception (Liberty Tabletop) produce their products in countries such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and India where costs are significantly lower than here, causing environmental issues (coal burning instead of electricity), lower labor standards and health concerns.
Is Flatware Made in China Safe?
The answer is not always. Flatware is made from stainless steel which is manufactured from scrap iron and certain other alloying elements. World-class steel mills test their “melts” in accordance with international standards to ensure that there are no residual elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium etc. They also check their scrap iron for radioactivity and other issues that could cause serious health issues. While all steel mills in the United States follow these rigorous practices not all steel mills in Asia and India do.
The second issue to worry about is the chemicals used in the manufacturing and finishing processes. Many Chinese factories still use Trichloroethylene or TCE, a known carcinogenic cleaning agent. TCE is used to give the finished product a clean gleaming look to it at the point of purchase. Any made in China flatware should be washed thoroughly, or better yet, avoided entirely.
What is the Environmental Impact of Chinese made Flatware?
In addition to frightening levels of air pollution from coal burning factories in China, TEC and other chemicals often used can cause harm to workers as well as contaminate ground water, rivers, and eventually the water supply. There is the impact of transportation due to shipping from China.
Contrary to common beliefs, contact with stainless steel may not be inert and benign. A new study has found that stainless steel coronary stents may trigger allergic reactions to substances such as nickel, molybdenum, or chromium, which are released. This study shows that the use of stainless steel in contact with humans is not always inert. Although this study was not done on cooking with stainless steel, it does show that sensitive individuals can have adverse reactions to stainless steel devices placed into their body. Studies show that some of the ions which are released from stainless steel devices are able to destroy or damage enzymes and proteins, in addition to causing allergic reactions.
Some doctors believe that nickel is actually more toxic than mercury. Nickel is very likely more toxic than mercury and is the main reason for concern in using stainless steel cookware. Using stainless steel cookware in which the food touches the metal is best avoided.
Also it is important to avoid Cookware made from stainless steel, Aluminum and most especially Teflon
Recommended Cookware & Silverware:
1. The best non-toxic cookware to use is full Ceramic Cookware (not coated, as some types of ceramic-coated metal for cookware are radioactive.)
I use these myself:
If you don’t know, all non-stick coated cookware is terrible for you, the environment and your pets. Avoid those and others that leach heavy metals and more. I use 100% ceramic cookware as you see in the video. They perform great, you can still grab the pans when they are cooking, they cook evenly, and I love using them.
2. Or 100% Titanium, which is very expensive.
If you are using stainless steel use surgical-grade stainless steel cookware.
There are two types of stainless steel — one type that is attracted to magnets, the other type is not. The best type is the magnetically-attractive type of stainless steel, which usually has a very low or no nickel content and does not leach nickel into food.
Avoid using “silverware” which is often made of high-nickel stainless steel (which can leach into food).
Radioactive metals found in household items at popular stores
Think this can’t happen?
Recently, Bed, Bath & Beyond recalled some chrome tissue holders when they were discovered to contain cobalt-60, a radioactive material that probably made its way into the metal from recycled medical equipment. News reports claimed that holding the boxes against your body for a day could be equivalent to getting a chest x-ray. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, there's no radiation exposure that doesn't pose some risk. More on radioactive metals in this article - https://washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/government-to-dispose-of-radioactive-waste-by-putting-it-in-our-silverware.html
This article states how more and more it’s found in glasses, silverware, zippers, and hip replacement joints - https://whowhatwhy.org/2013/02/07/radioactive-eye-glassessilverwarezippership-joints-anyone/
– https://www.libertytabletop.com/flatware-not-made-in-china/ – https://blackdoctor.org/110466/what-are-the-safest-eating-utensils__trashed/
more resources – Stainless Steel Leaches Nickel and Chromium into Foods During Cooking https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284091/