Saturday, June 21, 2008

Plastic Bento boxes

If you look at my chatter box, you will notice a query that NEE has posted:
21 Jun 08, 12:31
NEE: Hi Bento great reading your posts. i love all the cute bento boxes. I have one by thermos for my hub and it has three little containers stack up on one another and it will keep warm.
21 Jun 08, 12:32
NEE: my constant worry is whether those containers are good for eat from. you have any idea?

I'd like to link you to the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy (USA)/Food and Health website for some references and information. Look at the topic
Healthier Food Uses of Plastic and download the PDF article on Smart Plastics Guide. In there you will find information of the different types of plastics used for different products and purposes. There are also recommended safe plastics and explanation of plastic labels.

I have several of those 'keep hot' bento flasks from Thermos and Tiger - both made in Japan. Come to think of it, I've never questioned their plastic composition. I guess it's because they have such a long standing reputation in the market.

In one of my previous post on Bento shopping @ the 100Yen shop, I wrote about buying Bento boxes made in China from the 100 Yen shop and how I had called one of their managers to check on the plastic material used to make the Bento boxes.

From my conversation with them and the documents I was provided with, I found that the Bento boxes from Japan and China which they carry are made of PP: Polypropylene which according to IATP/Food and Health reports is safe to use for food products.

Read this article about lead in lunch boxes by Simple Steps. There are steps which can be taken like buying a lead test kit to make a swab test. I read somewhere that the swab test basically tells you if there is lead in the plastic but not the content level.

To be honest I have asked myself the same plastic composition safety questions many times. I am no expert but I read a lot about lead in plastics, chemicals in plastics that can contaminate the food and plastic/ containers that are wrongly used for microwave purposes etc.

It's scary to imagine that I may be giving my kids a dose of 'poison' daily in the process of a loving sacrifice in preparing all the lovely and delicious food for my kids. I've tried to do some research and made calls to some of these suppliers of Bento boxes which I have purchased. I've come to a satisfactory conclusion that I am contented with my findings and pray for the best.

Disclaimer: Please be informed that I have no affiliations with the 100Yen shop other than being a regular paying customer. All opinions are mine personally and does not serve to be or claim to be an authority of any sort. I receive no monetory rewards or discounts from 100Yen shop (other than commercially available discounts for all customers) or any other companies or persons mentioned in this article.


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