You’ve probably already started to reconsider your cookware. But have you thought about the dishes you’re putting your food on after it’s cooked?
Some foods and drinks, particularly those acidic, can break down the coating on some dishes and allow potentially harmful things like BPA, phthalates, lead, cadmium, and other toxic metals to leach into your food.
Why Choose Non-Toxic Dinnerware
Ceramic is one of the most commonly used materials for dinnerware. While ceramic itself isn’t toxic, the substance used to create the glaze, and even some of the coloring might be.
The glaze used for ceramic dishes usually contains lead. Technically if the dish is heated properly during the glazing process, the lead binds to the dish making it less of a concern.
However, if you’re using dishes that aren’t well-made, they could leach lead more easily. Dishes that aren’t heated to the proper temperature during the creation process can have these issues. It’s also important to check for the brand’s lead testing if you choose ceramic.
Plastics are another commonly used material for dishes. You may be able to find brands that claim to use BPA-free plastic, but I’d still avoid them. Not only can these dishes still contain phthalates, but the use and disposal of plastic also poses significant environmental issues.
And in my opinion, creating a healthier home is just as important for the environment as it is for your own wellness.
4 Tips for Choosing Non-Toxic Dishes
Finding the safest dishes to use can be a little challenging. When you’re buying dishes, it’s hard to tell exactly what the dish is created from and how it was made. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect non-toxic dishware for your table.
- As stated earlier, you can check the company’s lead testing results. Some companies are more transparent than others, but it doesn’t hurt to email the company directly and ask.
- Decide your personal style before you look. This will help you determine the brands that probably won’t work for you quickly.
- Consider the amount of space you have and how many place settings you need. Tight on space? Choosing a brand that coordinates as an easily stackable system might be your best option.
- Start online. After checking a few stores, I realized that most big box stores don’t have a strong focus on eco-friendly and non-toxic dishware. It was much easier to find options online with a quick search.
My Picks for the Best Non-Toxic Dishes
Safer Ceramic Options:
Although ceramic isn’t a top choice for avoiding lead and other heavy metals, it is beautiful. Ceramic options are also neutral and have a casual yet classic feel. So, I get it if you find yourself drawn to this option.
I’m going to start with Our Place because I’m absolutely in LOVE with these dishes. I recently purchased a set of plates to try out, and I’m impressed. Their plates are microwave-safe, oven-safe up to 350 degrees, and are part of a system. You can stack the plates on top of the bowls for easy food storage.
Also, from what I’ve read from other bloggers and reviewers, Our Place will gladly provide you with their metals testing results. Hooray for beautiful non-toxic options!
Fable is another sustainable option with a clean, casual design. I was also really impressed by their ability to handle heat up to 450 degrees and their emphasis on durability. They also state that their ceramics undergo rigorous testing for heavy metals, which makes them a top contender.
Most accessible non-toxic dinnerware: Corelle
Corelle seemed to come up repeatedly while researching safer, non-toxic tableware options. This classic set is versatile enough for everyday use and beautiful place settings. It’s also nice that this set is easy to get your hands on at Amazon and some Target stores. The price for the set is a great value too.
Glass is always a good choice for the kitchen. It’s fairly durable, better for the environment, and works for any type of setting.
If you have small children, you’re probably looking for an option that’s shatter resistant and lightweight. That’s where Zungle Boo comes in. Their dishes are made from bamboo and cornstarch and are microwave safe for two to three minutes.
Now that you’ve read this post and seen all the beautiful options, you might be tempted to replace your current dishes. But before you go and throw out all of your current dishware, keep in mind that you can take steps to limit your exposure to potential toxins in your current dishware.
Ways to limit your exposure to toxins in dishware you already own:
- Avoid storing food in ceramic containers. This is especially important for acidic foods that can break down the glaze on ceramics. Opt for glass storage instead. I even have a whole post about non-toxic containers.
- Avoid vintage dinnerware. While these pieces are beautiful, anything created before 1970 might contain large amounts of lead.
- Avoid heating foods in ceramic containers, especially at high temperatures.
- Dispose of ceramic dishes that have chips.
Remember, reducing toxins in your home is a process that takes time. Simply add this item to your list and purchase when you’re ready.