Chopsticks, please! Whenever I eat at an Asian restaurant, I request a pair of chopsticks. If I didn’t, the practice spent on learning to pick up rice with chopsticks would have amounted to nothing more than a waste of time. Now, however, I may have to bring my own chopsticks to the restaurant, and you may want to consider doing the same.
Apparently, chemical substances such as sulfur, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium sulfite are commonly used to make disposable chopsticks. While the verdict is still out regarding the magnitude of the health risk, the above list of chemicals arguably imply that the use of disposable chopsticks may pose a health risk. Accordingly, it would be best to avoid the use of disposable chopsticks.
Also, it is important to note that, in California, manufacturers are expected to issue a warning on products that contain certain toxins. If you visit an Asian grocery store that sells chopsticks, you may see the following label on certain chopsticks:
Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.
Generally, this label can be found on wooden chopsticks. To avoid the dangers of an unlabeled potentially toxic product, it would be wise to purchase stainless steel chopsticks.