Firstly, lets look at it from the hygiene point of view. There is no reusing of banana leaf for eating, which means its an organic way of using disposable plates. Banana leaf have a thick coating of wax that makes it ideal to serve and eat hot food. All you need to do is rinse it thoroughly, eat from it and then discard them. If they go to landfills, they are easily bio-degradable since they are natural. Traditionally, they are fed to cows once they are used. Love how things came a full cycle, all resources were put to maximum use and nothing ever was wasted.
Using regular plates involves the hassle of washing, being meticulous of how well we clean and wash the plates. If not washed well, it runs the risk of food contamination and spreading of food borne diseases. Washing with regular toxic, chemical cleaners adds to the waste water that harms the font and flora of our environment. Wouldn't it be great if we all looked back to traditional methods and lifestyle that were more rational, balanced and kinder to our environment?
Health: Banana leaves are rich in polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate, a plant-based compound which is a potent antioxidant, which happens to be the main component of green tea leaves. Considering its difficult to digest banana leaves as is, eating on banana leaf of steaming/ cooking food wrapped in one confers some of these benefits as they diffuse into the foods.
Eating on a banana leaf is an excellent way to absorb the numerous nutrients from the food. Some of the benefits, besides the awesome flavor, include:
- It’s chlorophyll in banana leaves that prevent skin diseases and intestinal ulcers.
- Cleanses the blood.
- Stimulates appetite and help in the digestion of food.
- Provides many benefits for the skin.
- Soothes the mucous lining in the stomach and treats ulcer.
- Treats kidney stones and other diseases related to bladder.
- Improve the immune system.
So the next time you wish to opt for disposable plates, remember that you are adding to plastic dumps across the world. Hot food served or packed in plastic set forth a chain of chemical reactions, some of which lead to the production of carcinogenic compounds. Eating on natural disposables like banana leaf or areca leaf palm plate are a great way of contributing towards a better, cleaner, safer environment...one that we would want to leave behind for our children.