Do you make an effort to eat only healthy, organic foods? Do you check the ingredients in your food and make sure that they are all safe for you and your family? If you do then you probably think that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to your diet.
But think again. In spite of all your best efforts to be healthy your food could still be poisoning you – through the cookware and dishes that you are serving it on!
How melamine is poisoning you
If you are eating from Melamine dinnerware you need to stop right away! Melamine is a kind of tough, durable plastic (ironically on the higher end of the price range of plastic dinnerware) and is found in all shapes, colors and sizes.
According to studies conducted by The Journal of the American Medical Association people who eat off of Melamine dinnerware have much higher levels of Melamine in their urine after eating from these dishes than people who ate from other dinnerware. The Melamine itself leaches into your food through the dinnerware.
The rate at which it leaches into your food is even higher if you are doing any of these things: heating your food in Melamine in the microwave; eating hot foods from melamine dinnerware; eating acidic foods from Melamine such as tomato, vinegar and fruits. The acidity of these foods leaches the melamine more quickly into your food.
The amount of Melamine allowed in foods is controlled by the World Health Organization, the European Union and American FDA. Unfortunately the FDA has kept the Tolerable Daily Intake at three times the European limit, at 63mg / kg in infant formula and 2.5 parts per million in other foods. However, no regulations were imposed on the quantities used in dinnerware as the possibility of leaching into food was not initially considered.
Why should you be alarmed about Melamine leaching into your food? Melamine by itself is only mildly toxic, but when it is used to make dinnerware it is combined with formaldehyde and cyanuric acid. This combination, when introduced to the human body, has been linked with eye irritations, skin irritations, respiratory problems, kidney stones, kidney failure and even cancer and death. In 2008 thousands of babies in China were made ill by Melamine combined with cyanuric acid which was added to baby formula to make it appear to contain more protein. After 6 babies actually died many thousands of tins of formula were recalled from the market.
So you definitely want to avoid Melamine in your food! But what should you eat off instead?
Ceramic dishes can contain dangerous amounts of lead
Just because your dishes aren’t melamine doesn’t mean that they’re safe. Many ceramic dishes use glazes made with lead and other heavy metals such as Cadmium. Like the Melamine these can leach into your food.
The effects of these metals in your body is accumulative. So even if you don’t ingest enough of them to cause damage today, over time you could be slowly poisoning yourself and your family with the antique china. The effects of Lead and Cadmium on your body include: neurological damage, kidney damage, learning disabilities, cancer, lung disease, osteoporosis and problems with bone and muscle growth as well as ADHD in children. Quite an impressive list of problems!
Before the 1970’s the amount of lead and Cadmium allowed in dinnerware was not regulated at all. After 1970 the FDA decided to limit the amount of heavy metals used in dinnerware. So any dishes that predate this time are more likely to contain leachable lead.
Other factors to look out for in ceramic dinnerware are: China patterns where the pattern is raised or above the glaze; intricate and highly colorful patterns all over the dinnerware; cracked or aging glaze as this allows more scope for leaching into your food; home-crafted dinnerware as this may contain glazes which are not regulated or approved.
Microwaves and dishwashers make the lead issue even worse
Studies have shown that lead leaches more easily from your dinnerware into your food when it is microwaved. It can also leach out at high temperatures in the dishwasher. The great danger with this is that it can actually contaminate your other dishes while it’s in there!
So what can you do to be safe?
Your best options when it comes to dinnerware and cookware are Glass, Bamboo or stainless steel. These materials contain neither melamine nor heavy metals and are safe to eat from.
If you are a traditionalist and would like to keep eating from ceramic dinnerware there are options that are safe. There are ceramics companies that ensure that every safety precaution is taken.
Dinnerware safety guidelines
If you are uncertain about what to buy (or you can’t afford to replace your dinner service right now) at least make sure that you follow these dinnerware safety guidelines:
Don’t microwave your food; Avoid putting hot or acidic foods into Melamine, throw away scratched or worn dinnerware as leaching happens through the cracks; never use dinnerware with patterns painted on the outside of the glaze; don’t store your food in either ceramic or melamine dishes; and lastly, if you are buying new dishes, look for safe materials or safety accredited brands.
In today’s toxic world, it is important to protect ourselves from these toxins. Go to the next page and learn more about the immune boosting nutrient that we have been throwing into trash.
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.
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