Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Urban Legend of the Carcinogenic Disposable Chopsticks

Sorry still no food blog for this week as I have been exceptionally busy/tired/lazy but here's something interesting that a colleague of mine tried out this morning during breakfast at the office pantry.

You know how people love to spread urban legends around. With the avent of email the spreading of rumours/gossips/unsubstantiated junk has become easier than ever. One of the latest ones I've received concerns the use of disposable chopsticks.

Read on for the email:


This is a true case, if you don't believe try the following test:

Soak a pair of disposable chopsticks (usually given to you when you buy pack food from a Chinese take-away) for between 3 to 5 minutes

inside hot boiling water. Within minutes and right in front of your eyes, you will noticed that some white colouring matter seems to be dissolved into the hot water from the chopsticks.

What is released from the chopsticks is actually a chemical, a bleaching agent.

In a campaign promoting healthy care in Singapore recently, Professor Jackson Mathis reminds people not to use disposable chopsticks, as almost the majority of them are made in or imported from China. He explained that during the manufacturing process of disposable chopsticks before the actual production itself, all raw materials are already cover-grown with germs that make the wood materials look like they are coated in multiple colours or are covered with poisonous fungus.

The first process itself is already frightening as the manufacturer starts the process by soaking up the wooden raw materials inside a very big container that is filled with a very toxic and highly poisonous chemical. This chemical is intentionally added in, in order to preserve the materials. After a few days of soaking, they are then washed with an even worse cleaning agent, in this case it is a bleaching agent (which chemical ph level is believe to be more than a thousand times over the general permissible/acceptable international standards).

And guess what? These chemicals itself is likely to cause greater harm to our health (if we continue consuming such chemicals into our body on a daily basis) not forgetting that since these chemicals used are usually carcinogenic in nature, they are likely to cause cancer.

Since his last visit to a disposable chopsticks manufacturing plant in China 5 years ago, Professor Jackson Mathis has immediately stop using such disposable chopsticks anymore. In Professor Jackson case, just in case if he ever forgets to bring along his own pair of chopsticks for lunch or dinner, he usually make sure that he do not forget to put one pair of it inside his bag since it can be re-use again and again.

Professor Jackson Mathis said: "If you have been using disposable chopsticks in the past, and you insist on continue using them again, please pause and think for a moment. Why is cancer spreading like wild fire these days throughout the world affecting all sorts of people. After that think of how many pairs of disposable chopsticks a factory in China is producing by the minute. The answer itself is right here !"

So what happened is we soaked some extra chopsticks in scalding hot boiling water and just sat down and observed.

Here's how it looked at the first minute, the second minute, the third minute...

As you can see... nothing happened at all. Doesn't meant that I think the chopsticks are safe for use though... those damn splinters can be very dangerous.

Also check out:

posted by wyejon at Thursday, September 21, 2006 (permalink) |

5 wise words from our readers:

a golden opinion from Blogger Jackson

wow.....thx for u believe it?

4:36 PM  

a golden opinion from Anonymous Kitkat

I perfer to use the fork :)

12:34 AM  

a golden opinion from Blogger wyejon

jackson: well I think I've convinced myself that the article was fake :)

kitkat: not for noodles though!

3:09 AM  

a golden opinion from Anonymous Anonymous

i think you're using the wrong type of chopsticks... there are more fragile type chopsticks... sort of feel like bamboo type... they look whiter... try those and you'll be suprised...

5:39 PM  

a golden opinion from Blogger wyejon

anonymous: if you mean those bamboo chopsticks they give you when u go n tapau some noodles... this is it! :)

11:23 PM  

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