Bento supplies vendor news, plus a summer bento safety reminder

Some news from the great bento suppliers who help to keep this site going! CasaBento has greatly revamped and expanded their site. They have hundreds of bento boxes and supplies for sale, plus a new cooking accessories section loaded with cute gadgets. Who knew that there were so many sausage cutters for example?

Speaking of cute gadgets, All Things For Sale has a great offer for anyone who’s been wanting to try out a Japanese egg mold. If you place an order worth at least $49, they will give you a set of rabbit and teddy bear egg molds for free!

Summertime bento safety

It’s now summertime in the northern hemisphere, with hot, often humid days. This means you should take extra care with your bentos and keep them - and yourself - safe! If you’re new to bentos, please take a few moments to review the Keeping Your Bento Safe article plus the Summer Bento Safety article. If your local climate and/or circumstances require you to use an ice pack, they don’t have the be boring. For example, you could tuck in this pink heart-shaped ice pack form J-List, or try these colorful Pocket Cools from Bento&co. (Speaking of the last ones, they look a little like the tissue packs that are distributed for free in Japan to me…though unfortunately (or fortuately) I don’t see one that advertises a pachinko parlor, or tries to sell insurance, or wants me to sign up for ‘a fun job to do at home in your spare time!’ ^_^)

Speaking of keeping your food safe, some people have asked me recently about anti-bacterial (or anti-microbial) sheets, bento boxes and balans. Balan or baran are the little plastic divider sheets, often shaped like grass, that you see in takeout bento boxes and sushi sets. Regular plastic balan do not have anti-microbial qualities - they are just bits of plastic to divide your food and add a bit of color. Balan that are specifically labeled as anti-microbial/bacterial do have those qualities, but they tend to be expensive. Personally, I think these types of products are no substitute for good basic food safety practices, and if your budget it tight, you should definitely go for an ice pack and insulated carry bag first.

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Bento supplies vendor news, plus a summer bento safety ...

With Bento Brain Fever, everything I see looks Bento-able. But this line of baby feeding accessories is da bomb! I love the colors, and with their main "Babycook Food Maker" -- that comes with a rice cooker attachment -- you could do fresh veg and rice every time.

This is a **link to their product line**. I've shopped around, and there are better prices, but this gives you an idea of what they have to offer.

I particularly like the stackable containers and the multiportion freezer trays. I can see making little ice pops in those, as well as prefreezing bento-size portions. And did I mention the colors???

Beaba Baby Bento -- can you say that five times fast without biting your tongue? ;) No, I don't work for them, but they might be another good sponsor for you, or just a source of cool stuff for making and storing bento items.

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