To reduce plastic waste, this Indian startup thinks we should start using edible spoons

What happened to your eating utensils after your last meal? Chances are you probably left them behind, or threw them away in a nearby trash can if they were made of plastic – but now, thanks to a new product from India-based startup Bakeys, you could soon be eating your spoons just as easily as you ate your lunch. Edible Cutlery, as its called, is an upcoming line of plant-based eating utensils that are totally safe to eat.

For Bakeys, the motivation behind Edible Cutlery is drawn from issues like environmental sustainability, climate change, and the global water crisis. Because the company’s spoons can be eaten after use and are completely biodegradable (if you’d rather not eat your spoon for any reason), Bakeys hopes the product will keep more plastic from ending up in landfills and contaminating natural water sources.

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Choosing sorghum (also known as jowar) as the base of their edible spoons is part of Bakeys’ effort to reduce reliance on rice. Bakeys believes that if the huge plots of land dedicated to growing rice could be converted to millet fields, we would be using less water and wasting fewer crops. “Rice is a water guzzler,” according to Bakeys, and every kilogram of rice produced as a crop requires 5,000 liters of water. Sorghum is a millet plant that Bakeys claims requires less water to grow in abundance, and is also highly nutritious. That’s why the base of every edible spoon is made of sorghum flour.

The spoons also include rice, wheat, and water as key ingredients — albeit in smaller quantities. Bakeys doesn’t add any preservatives or dyes to their edible spoons, but the sweet and savory versions do include added sugar (sweet) and a combination of rock salt, black pepper, cumin, and a spice called ajwain which is related to caraway (savory). The spoons can also be customized for special order flavors like Hot ‘n’ spicy, onion and tomato, garlic, and ginger, according to the Bakeys website.

Bakeys suggests using Edible Cutlery to eat rice-based dishes, which are popular in the company’s  Hyderabad. The spoons won’t melt, but since they do need to be soft enough to eat, you probably won’t be cutting steak with them anytime soon — although, considering the sanctity of cows in much of India, that’s probably not a problem for Bakeys’ main customer base anyway.

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