Bakey’s Creates Spoons You Can Eat
3BL Media/Justmeans — Disposable cutlery is convenient. Instead of having to wash spoons and forks, it is sometimes easier to use single-use ones that can be thrown into the trash. However, that only adds to the volume of garbage created every day. The average American generates about 4.3 pounds of trash a day, and about 55 percent of the 220 million tons of waste created annually winds up in landfills.
A lot of energy and resources are used to make and transport disposable cutlery and most of the time they can’t be recycled. Disposable plastic cutlery are petroleum-based. Fossil fuels are one of the main drivers behind climate change, and garbage that sits rotting in landfill emits methane, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 23 times that of carbon dioxide. So, using disposable cutlery contributes to climate change.
One company has created edible cutlery that contains no chemicals, fat, preservatives, artificial coloring, dairy, or emulsifiers. Bakey’s, established in 2010, created the cutlery in order to help avoid plastic going to landfill. This edible cutlery is made in India.
India faces severe groundwater depletion. The reason is that farmers prefer to grow rice, which is a water-intensive crop. Every million tons of rice needs five trillion liters of irrigation water and more than 22 million gigawatt hours of power. Cereal crops like millet take less water to grow, but there has been a dietary shift in Indian communities that traditionally ate millet. So, farmers shifted from millet to rice, which needs 60 times more water to grow than millet. Pumping more water means more electricity is used.
Bakey’s founder Narayana Peesapaty wanted to bring back the demand for millet because it’s a crop that uses less water and has a high nutritional content. So, he invented edible cutlery, made in part from millets.
He also developed a groundwater estimation model that he developed while working as a researcher that found if rice cultivation is decreased by 25 percent, the groundwater depletion trends will be reversed.
The edible cutlery comes in three flavors and in addition to millet, is made from the flours of wheat, sorghum and rice. They are baked into spoons which are hearty enough to be used as cutlery. They are 100 percent vegan. The company has plants to make them completely gluten free in the future and add forks, soup spoons, dessert spoons, chopsticks, and salad bowls.
While it seems strange to use spoons that you can eat, it is a far better idea than using single-use plastic ones that end up in the garbage and rot in landfills.