New Foodsafe Finish

It has been out for a little while now, but for those who haven’t seen it yet, Ubeaut have a new product- a foodsafe oil for wooden cooking utensils (chopping boards, salad servers etc), and it would also be suitable as a safe finish for children’s toys if you wanted to maintain a natural timber look (much better to have that chewed on than varnish, paint etc).

6 Responses

  1. Where can the Foodsafe product be purchased?

  2. I found an interesting article that challenges the need for food safe finishes:

    • It is an interesting article, and could quite possibly be true.

      It did contradict itself though at least at one point. It pointed out that

      “Lead driers were once commonly used in oil and varnish finishes, but in the 1970s it was learned that lead is highly toxic, especially to children.”

      So up until rather recently everyone would have said it was true, and then discovered lead was a bad idea.

      Even in the last couple of years, the Chinese were caught out using lead based paint on Thomas the Tank engine toys.

      So it is true, only until extra evidence is gathered. And the 70’s is pretty late in the piece to discover lead is a bad idea – it has been used in finishes for centuries.

      And it isn’t the first time the commercial world absolutely stuffed up telling the world that something was ok until discovering it wasn’t.

      I’m thinking of other products that were similar, asbestos, BPA etc

      “There is no indication that these driers cause health problems.” Yeah – until it does.

      For example, infant drink bottles were made, until very, very recently using BPA (Bisphenol A) There was no warning on any of the bottles, so using the same logic, they were safe. No FDA warning, still on the shelves etc. Now between 2008 and 2010, there has been a significant rise in opposition to BPA.

      It is likely going to hold true for a majority of finishes, but the logic behind the article falls well short. Just because something isn’t stated to be dangerous, doesn’t necessarily make it safe.


  3. I guess the same could be said about products labelled as food safe. What assurance does a layperson have other than the label?

    Is the evidence supporting the safety of a product labelled as “foodsafe” actually better evidence than that supporting a non-“foodsafe” labelled product as safe (for example polyurethane)?

    I don’t know the answer to that question but just thought I would throw it out there. I am not questioning the safety of the above product either by the way and I would actually be hesitant to use polyurethane on a chopping board for instance but this instinct is not based on any real knowledge or evidence and therefore may be misleading.

    • It is also a good point, and it then comes down to who you trust, rather than the label.

      In the example above, if Ubeaut claims food safe, I’d be much more inclined to trust the advice than something imported that claims to be foodsafe for example, but it is no more than advice, and trust. I do trust Ubeaut have done all the required research etc to make that assertion, but I also have the benefit of personally knowing the people involved. If another company came out with an equivalently branded product, I would be scrutinising the ingredients list etc.

      Unfortunately it seems we all have to become more expert in understanding the contents of a product. Going back to the Thomas example above, it would normally be reasonable to expect a reputable brand to use a finish on a child’s toy that was not lead based. But still the consumer was badly let down in that case.

      The only answer I see, is keep the companies honest by supporting those with a reputation for quality, and make the penalties so great if they fail to live up to that trust that they always ensure sufficient safeguards are in place. Penalties don’t have to be legal ones either – loss of reputation, and being able to name and shame companies that transgress will provide the market pressure required. And if that fails, then the legal system gets to jump in.

      So in answer to your question at the start:

      “I guess the same could be said about products labelled as food safe. What assurance does a layperson have other than the label?”

      I agree – absolutely none.

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