By Sukhmani Kaur
Ever wonder where all the plastic spoons that we use end up? Yes, they end up in landfills. We actually ship some of it overseas. There are giant patches of plastic floating in our oceans, some as big as the state of Texas. It takes five hundred to one thousands years for one plastic bottle to be decomposed. The use of plastic is increasing yearly at an alarming rate. In the last ten years, we have produced an identical quantity of plastic as we produced in the last century. We are literally drowning in plastic. Not only is our earth getting contaminated with all this plastic, but we are endangering lives. Plastic products have been associated with carcinogenic chemical known as BPA. However, we do have a shining light in this woeful story. Denmark has less than 4 percent of all waste that ends up in landfills, and it is on a path to teach other countries how to reduce generation of waste.
Narayana Peesapaty, from Hyderabad, India has found a solution to this ever increasing plastic epidemic with the creation of edible spoons. India is a region of the world where people often eat with their hands. Even so, Indians generate about 120 billion units of plastic utensils on an annual basis. Peesapaty’s spoons are made in a variety of flavors to go only with your taste buds; ginger-cinnamon, ginger-garlic, celery, black pepper, cumin, mint-ginger and carrot-beetroot. Narayana uses a combination of three different grain flours to create his spoons: millet, rice, and wheat, which are then baked dry. He has also taken into account water consumption, since India is on the verge of a water crisis. Millet uses 60 times less water to grow than does wheat or rice. The spoons are biodegradable with a “shelf life” of about 3 years which makes it convenient to store them. Narayana initiated his business in 2011 and has expanded into making edible chopsticks and forks. He has involved low-income women in making the spoons, which has helped these women to become economically independent. This all-women enterprise has brought meaning to the lives of these women since they can now support their families. They make one to two hundred spoons in three to five minutes. The cost of one spoon is currently 2 rupees or about 2 cents. Narayana hopes to bring the cost down to 1 rupee as demand for his product grows.
In the meantime, if you are interested in baking your own edible spoons, an “Edible spoon maker” will soon be available from designtaxi.com. This machine makes four baked edible spoons in just three minutes. The non-stick surface makes cleaning easy. The flavors advertised include Pillsbury biscuit, Cereal, Chocolate Chip, and Puff Pastry. Keep your eyes and ears tuned for this wonderful option for making edible spoons in about three minutes.