Everyone must have owned a bamboo cutlery set or heard of them. But what are they, and why do so many people love using them?
Bamboo-made cutlery is a common bamboo product on the market. Products made from bamboo are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than other materials because they are made from a natural and renewable resource that requires little or no pesticide to grow and chemicals to produce.
What is bamboo cutlery?
Bamboo cutlery is tableware made from bamboo, and they are potentially the solution to the increasing wastage problem caused by single-use plastic spoons and forks. Unlike non-biodegradable utensils that contribute to solid waste pollution, they are made from a renewable and natural material that decomposes with little impact on the environment.
Bamboo cutlery is lightweight and convenient to carry around. Therefore they can be a great replacement for plastic, hardwood, and other non-compostable materials.
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How is bamboo cutlery made?
There are two different ways to make bamboo cutlery. They are either made from one piece of bamboo or from gluing multiple bamboo strips together.
Natural bamboo cutlery made from one whole piece of bamboo is first carved into its desired shape, followed by a sanding process to ensure a smooth surface. Then, the cutlery will be disinfected and washed before layering with oil to give them a glossy and attractive appearance.
With the other method, bamboo stems are first cut into pieces, carbonized, and then glued together using food-safe glue.
The first method is more preferred as it is 100% chemical-free, stronger, and more resistant to cracking or splitting.
However, it requires more effort to produce as well. It takes much skill to secure the shape of the cutlery so that they do not break easily.
Is bamboo safe for utensils?
Natural bamboo utensils are safe and non-toxic. Generally, they are safer than plastic and silicone utensils that contain petroleum and possibly other chemicals.
Because utensils are used in food preparation and eating, there would be concerns about their safety. Thus, before purchasing them, ensure that the bamboo is ethically sourced and does not contain any unnatural ingredients that may release toxic substances into your food and harm your health.
What are the benefits of bamboo utensils?
Bamboo is a remarkable material. Besides being eco-friendly, they also offer various other benefits, including being lightweight, durable, stain and odor resistant, affordable and stylish. That explains why bamboo utensils are widespread and popular nowadays.
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Many environmentalists loved these eco-friendly bamboo utensils, but why?
These utensils are an excellent replacement for metal or plastic ones produced with pollution-causing chemicals. On the other hand, bamboo can be grown sustainably, does not impact the environment negatively, and composts relatively fast.
These fast-growing grass only takes about three years to mature, while regular hardwood takes 20 years. Their ability to grow and decompose rapidly makes them a sustainable and renewable source for kitchenware production.
Besides, plastic utensils produced with chemicals may produce harmful toxic byproducts that can contaminate food when heated.
One thing about bamboo is they are low in density, resulting in lightweight cutlery. For example, one set of bamboo cutlery only weighs around 110g, the weight of one metal spoon. So they’re a good option for camping and picnics when you want to pack as lightly as possible.
Bamboo is naturally strong and durable. You don’t have to worry about breaking your spoons or fork in half when cutting tough food like meat on your plate. When cared for well, they can last for a long time.
Resistant to stains and odor
Reusable bamboo utensils do not absorb any odor, so they will not affect your food’s original flavor. However, while they also resist stains, colors from certain foods like turmeric and curry are still unavoidable. Just clean them thoroughly with a mild dish soap immediately after handling these foods to prevent them from permanently staining your cutlery.
Safe to use on non-stick surfaces
Properly finished bamboo utensils are safe to be used with any type of cookware, including non-stick pots and pans, due to their smooth properties.
Quality bamboo utensils are relatively inexpensive. This cutlery is worth investing in as they are very durable and can last for a long time.
They look nice
There’s no denying that the wooden surface of bamboo utensils will give your kitchen a better look than plastic or metal utensils. Many cafes and restaurants also use bamboo utensils to serve food because they add an aesthetically pleasing and classy look to their shop.
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How to clean bamboo cutlery?
Bamboo cutlery can last for years if you clean it properly. Wash it with mild dish soap after each use to clean your cutlery.
Tips for maintaining bamboo cutlery
Follow these simple steps to keep your beloved bamboo cutlery set with you for as long as possible and retain their fresh look.
Handwash bamboo cutlery and utensils
To prolong the life of your bamboo-made cutlery and utensils, hand wash them instead of using the dishwasher. Prolonged exposure to hot water may cause the bamboo surface to dry out and crack.
However, if you want to use the dishwasher, ensure they are free from lacquer and glue.
Don’t leave them soaking
Soaking bamboo cutlery in water can split the natural fiber of bamboo and lead to mold growth. So, do not leave them soaking in water if you want your cutleries to last longer.
Treat them with finishing oil
One of the tips to preserve your bamboo cutlery and utensils is by coating them with a layer of food-grade oil. Frequent washing and drying will cause dryness and cracks on the bamboo surface, especially if you use a dishwasher.
Treating them with some refinishing oil from time to time will help retain the bamboo’s moisture and keep them looking new for a longer time.
Sand them lightly
Some may not know, but you can refinish worn-out bamboo utensils. Unlike the scratches or dents on plastic or metal utensils that cannot be fixed, worn bamboo cutlery can be refinished by sanding with sandpaper and some finishing oil. They will look as good as new after the refinishing process.
How long does bamboo cutlery last?
Well-maintained, high-quality bamboo cutlery is very durable. It can last for as long as 10 years when properly cleaned and treated.
Is bamboo good for cooking spoons?
Yes! Bamboo is an excellent choice of material for cooking spoons. They do not only possess antibacterial properties but are also heat and scratch-resistant. Most importantly, they will not leave scratches on your pots and pans and damage your cooking ware. Hence, this makes them a better cooking spoon than metal.
Can bamboo utensils mold?
Although bamboo does not absorb water, like any other wooden utensils, mold can grow if not properly cared for. To prevent this from happening, avoid soaking them in water for long hours and dry them with a cloth after each wash. In addition, it is advisable to leave them upright on the drainer until they are dried completely before keeping them.
All in all, bamboo cutlery and utensils have many advantages. They are comparable to metal utensils and an excellent substitute for disposable plastic utensils due to their lightweight and eco-friendly properties.
Reusable bamboo cutlery is also durable, relatively inexpensive, and stylish at the same time. They can last for a long time when properly maintained, making them worth their value.
If you still do not own any reusable bamboo-made cutlery or utensils, you should get them now. However, make sure to purchase good-quality products that can last you longer and do not contain any harmful chemicals or substances.
Read more about bamboo from Bamboo Products: The Eco-Friendly Choice For Sustainability.