Toxic chemicals in your dishes

Chemical soup

Pathogens aren’t the only factors that can make your food poisonous. In fact, the meal that you’re eating is only as safe as the dish it’s served in.

That’s the takeaway of one new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

As part of this small experiment, researchers gave 12 volunteers a serving of hot noodle soup in either a melamine or ceramic bowl. They collected urine samples over the next 12 hours, and repeated the experiment again three weeks later.

Not surprisingly, results showed a noticeable spike in melamine excretion after subjects ate soup from the plastic bowls.

If melamine sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same substance behind a huge, deadly pet food recall in 2007. And more recently, formula tainted with melamine sickened thousands of Chinese infants, killing six.

Research suggests that melamine is particularly dangerous to your kidneys–and chronic exposure has been linked to cancer, too.

But once again, the FDA continues to allow for “safe” limits of a chemical that we know to be toxic. So don’t expect melamine dishware to be banned from the market anytime soon.

That means it’s up to you to take action. If you really want to be safe, throw the plastic in your kitchen away… and stick with glass and stainless steel instead.

Source: “A Crossover Study of Noodle Soup Consumption in Melamine Bowls and Total Melamine Excretion in Urine.” JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jan 21:1-2.