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When it comes to flatware, it’s important to invest in the safest, most non-toxic options possible.

It not only comes in contact with your food but also your mouth, of course.

So today, I want to talk about what natural materials I use for my family – and what types of flatware you want to avoid.

Quick Comparison: Our Top Picks

Use this comparison chart for a quick preview of our top picks. We came to these conclusions after careful research, which you can read more about below in our in-depth flatware guide.

Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Avoid These Materials When Shopping for Flatware

Sometimes it helps to know what the worst offenders are regarding toxins in your silverware.

That way, even if you can’t find the cleanest and “best of the best,” you can at least avoid the really bad stuff.

With that said, there are 3 materials you want to avoid at all costs:

Plastic

Recent research by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), concluded that using plastic utensils for cooking is poisonous.

The study indicates that applying heat to any kind of plastic product produces a toxic effect on the human body if ingested.

These toxins are called oligomers. 

When oligomers are ingested in high doses it may cause liver and thyroid disease, infertility, high cholesterol, and even cancer.

Ingesting about 90 micrograms of oligomers for someone who is only at 60kg, poses a significant danger to his or her health.

There is no such thing as safe plastic when it comes to cooking or eating utensils.

The best advice that you will ever get about using plastic flatware, is that you need to make sure it doesn’t come in contact with heat, much less ingest anything that comes out of that contact.

If not, you can just avoid using plastic flatware altogether and eliminate the risk.

Glazed Ceramic

Ceramic glaze is a hard outer layer of coating that is fused to a ceramic body which is made through firing.

Its purpose is to color, decorate, and to make an item waterproof.

Along with the glazing materials that are used is color, which likely may contain lead.

Lead is an element that’s classified as a heavy metal which can cause serious health problems.

Although lead is not contained in plain white flatware, it is likely to be present in colored ceramic glazes, especially on the exposed part of the utensil.

It then may leach into your food and as a result, you may inadvertently ingest lead along with your meal. Lead exposure has been known to cause anemia, renal problems, hypertension, and a host of other health issues.

Aluminum

Aluminum in some places in the world is a popular material that is being used to make cooking utensils as well as flatware.

It is inexpensive and is relatively easy to make. Unfortunately, aluminum also leaches into your food especially when the heat is involved. 

Aluminum dissolves much faster into acidic foods than your usual fare of cooked food. So, it would only make sense that tomatoes, coffee, or tea are not something you would like to cook on an aluminum pot.

Aluminum exposure can cause a host of health issues like hyper-acidity, ulcers, flatulence, indigestion, skin problems like eczema, and so forth. 

Replacing aluminum flatware with cast iron steel or stainless steel is always a better alternative to avoid these health problems as stated above.

The Best Non-Toxic Materials for Flatware 

Now that you know what to avoid, here’s what to look for:

Wood

It is estimated that wooden flatware was the material of choice for man even before the idea of using metal for cutlery was introduced.

Today it is making a comeback because of the clamor for safer utensils and better health.

That when compared to your basic stainless steel spoon that if scratched may still leak toxic by-products.

Wood, on the other hand, is 100% non-toxic. 

That goes along with immediately washing it after use, and by not soaking it in water. This way you can prolong its usefulness.

Pros
  • Wood is a natural product that is renewable and compostable. Truly earth-friendly.
  • Lightweight and disposable
  • 100% non-toxic
  • Has a heat tolerance of 200ퟀ� F
  • It can be used long term too, depending on the type of wood and its maintenance.
  • Hardwood is best, like birch and maple
Cons
  • Wood is absorbent and porous allowing it to absorb liquid and bacteria from food.
  • If it is not made well or is defective, it may crack or splinter and potentially hurt you or anyone using it.
  • It can harbor and absorb moisture and bacteria if improperly cleaned.
  • Not as durable as stainless steel or silver.

Bamboo

Bamboo has become an ultimate solution of sorts to these issues on toxic flatware.

Fairly abundant and easy to grow, it is also easy to harvest. It is now becoming increasingly popular as an alternative material to plastics and other heavy metal-contaminated flatware.

Pros
  • Bamboo is sanitary because it is naturally antibacterial
  • This plant material is very versatile, as it can be used to make a spoon, fork, chopsticks, and many other types of flatwares.
  • It is Inexpensive and practical
  • It is heat and water-resistant.
  • 100% non-toxic,
  • It can be both disposable or used long-term
Cons
  • It’s not dishwasher-safe it needs to be hand-washed.

Silver

Using silver as material for flatware is a double-sided issue.

For one, its durability and potential toxicity depend on two things. If it is pure silver and not plated silver, it is not only non-toxic but could carry some health benefits as well. Silver is known to be medicinal. 

However, if it is only plated, and for some reason, the silver plating wears off, then the problem of heavy metal exposure could happen.

This depends on what material was used under the plating.

Pros
  • Silver is known to be antibiotic and is used as alternative medicine.
  • Silver lasts forever and your cutlery can be passed on from generation to generation.
  • Sterling silver is durable 
Cons
  • Plated silver can potentially be harmful if it wears off.

Is Stainless Steel Safe in Silverware and Cutlery?

Food-grade stainless steel is made out of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

This alloy is touted to be one of the safest flatware materials used by manufacturing.

It resists corrosion and oxidation and it is easy to clean.

Pros
  • It is said to be one of the safest man-made materials for food preparation.
  • It does not corrode or rust.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Relatively cheap
  • Durable and lasts long
Cons
  • There is a possibility of corrosion when scratched. As that happens, it may also begin to leach toxic metals

Is Molded Bamboo Safe?

Molded Bamboo flatware is a patented technology that uses all-natural materials such as rice starch, plant-based binder, bamboo sawdust, and bamboo fibers.

These are all made from natural mature bamboo. 

Pros
  • All-natural, Melamine-free, plastic-free, BPA-free materials
  • 100% non-toxic
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Safe to cook and eat with
Cons
  • A little stiff to use

What About Melamine Flatware?

Melamine is a resin made by combining Melatline, with a certain organic compound, and formaldehyde.

These materials are brought together using heat and pressure. According to the FDA, Melamine is safe but with some restrictions. 

Chemicals in the plastic can leach out slowly over time.

Melamine ingestion may cause high blood pressure, irritability, little urine, and possible kidney infection. It is best to avoid melamine altogether.

Top 5 Natural & Non-Toxic Flatware Options Reviewed

 

1.Best Stainless Steel Eating Utensil Set: Liberty Tabletop

I like this flatware set because it is made out of quality stainless steel that is guaranteed not to rust or corrode.

The manufacturer is so confident that they gave a warranty of 25 years! Can’t get any better than that. 

The design itself is attractive with the spoon having rounded edges at the back end. Since it is made out of quality stainless steel there is no lead contamination to worry about. Its weight has a good balance to it. Not too heavy, not too light. 

Liberty Tabletop Satin Annapolis 45 Piece Flatware set for 8 Made in USA
  • FINEST QUALITY 18/10 STAINLESS STEEL! Liberty Tabletop ONLY uses the highest quality stainless...
  • 100% MADE IN USA! Liberty Tabletop flatware is made in Sherrill NY. The ONLY FLATWARE MANUFACTURER...

Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Best Bamboo Fork, Knife, Spoon Set: Totally Bamboo 

This is a reusable set of bamboo flatware that includes 4 forks, 4 spoons, and 4 knives and are kept in a sturdy portable storage box.

Aside from being eco-friendly, it is dishwasher safe too, which is not a common thing for most bamboo flatware.

I like the fact that it is anti-bacterial in itself, and it is reassuring to know that it’s 100% non-toxic. 

I knew eating with bamboo utensils can feel odd at first, but you get used to it – and it’s WAY better for you than plastic or aluminum!

Totally Bamboo 12-Piece Reusable Bamboo Flatware Set with Portable Storage...
  • Reusable bamboo flatware for four place settings: includes 4 spoons, 4 forks and 4 knives with a...
  • A natural, Earth-friendly alternative to plastic cutlery and silverware; perfect for picnics,...

Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Best 100% Maple Wood Flatware Set: Camden Rose 

This maple wood set is ergonomically designed making it attractive for people of all ages.

It looks really well-crafted and has a good balance to it.

It is made out of maple wood which is a good hardwood that won’t rot. Not for a long time.

I’m careful not to soak it in water or its life might be shortened.

Adult Maple Wood Flatware: Spoon, Fork, Knife (Eating Utensils) (Maple...
  • Ergonomically designed for older children, teens and adults.
  • Maple hardwood.

Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Best Sterling Silver Flatware Set: Gorham

This set is made out of sterling silver and I should say the design alone is awesome.

I love the fact that it was created to look like the traditional silverware of the past. It is a real classic.

It is a 5 piece set of beauty that can stand to be displayed in my dining room, or buy it as a special gift for my mother.

Gorham Strasbourg 5-Piece Sterling Silver Flatware Dinner Set, Service for...
  • 5-Piece set includes 1 salad fork 6-1/2-inch, 1 dinner fork 8-inch, 1 dinner knife 9-3/4-inch, 1...
  • Sterling silver

Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Best 100% Cherry Wood Eating Utensils: Camden Rose

This one is made out of solid cherry hardwood making it a very reliable utensil for actual use.

It is 100% toxin-free and it was finished with 3 BEEautiful Bees Natural Wood Polish along with certified organic Jojoba oil. 

It is well-crafted and made to last.

Adult Cherry Wood Flatware: Spoon, Fork, Knife (Eating Utensils) (Cherry...
  • Ergonomically designed for older children, teens and adults.
  • Cherry hardwood.

Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Those are the best options I currently know of for natural non-toxic flatware.

I hope this quick guide helps you find what you’re looking for!

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