Oil paint colour on wood utentsil for food: is it safe?

by Sachin Gosar


I am from India. Here, we have a tradition being used by in Monks to used wooden food utensils with oil paint colours.

As I understand, this might result in toxic effects. I would like to know the best available alternatives and also if you can share the harmful effects of the oil paint colours in the utensil.

Generally monks carry this utensil wherever they travel and collect the food by bhiksha (Alms). If you have some better method, which monks can adopt, it would be of great help.

Sachin Gosar


Arbutus Ron here...

If the paint is oil based then it would have toxic ingredients as all paints do. They are simply not food safe. Toxins accumulate over time in the body. They can harm the internal organs especially the liver and colon, and can cause cancers. It is best to eat from a bowl without harmful chemicals.

I am not sure why the bowls would be colored except perhaps it has a significance. Natural wood is far more beautiful.

All you need to do is add a local natural oil like tung, coconut or walnut oil.

If a color is needed then perhaps you can find something that is used by natural weavers that used plants for their dyeing process. Then you could add oil on top. But you would have to experiment.

Let us know how you make it! Good luck!

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