Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Post: Reusable Bamboo Utensils Review

I'm really excited to share this next guest post with you! Thank you to Sonja who reviewed the ToGo Ware bamboo utensils and Bambu sporks for us!  Her review along with some great photos is below. Have you used reusable bamboo utensils before? If not, I think Sonja will convert you!

Bamboo Utensils Review from Sonja

            Like many people, I’ve used plastic utensils for years at fast food restaurants and never thought much about it. However, the more I learn about plastic and its detrimental effects on human health and on the health of the planet, I am hit with a twinge of guilt each time I use plastic ware. I am very much a creature of convenience, but because I also value using products that won’t harm me, my family, or the environment, I was thrilled to be asked to review two kinds of bamboo cutlery that were designed to be used by people on the go. 

The To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensils fit nicely into an attractive carrying case with a small carabiner that easily attaches to the handle of my purse to make taking the utensils everywhere with me a no-brainer.  My carrying case is agave, but the cases, made with recycled PET, also come in a variety of other understated colors.  While the Bambu Sporks did not come with their own holder, I kept them in a LunchSkins bag and was able to pack them in my preschooler’s lunch box.  We have each used the utensils almost daily for three weeks in a variety of foods, including green chili burritos, sushi with soy sauce and wasabi, and numerous tomato-based dishes, and the bamboo did not stain nor did it absorb the strong flavors of the foods.  The To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensil Set and Bambu Sporks are easy to clean with warm water and dish soap and have held up beautifully after repeated washings. 

At first, I thought I would use the utensils only for lunches while at work, but having them in them in my purse made it convenient to use them in a variety of other circumstances, as well.  For example, when my family was on the road to visit family for Thanksgiving, we didn’t have time to stop so that I could nurse our infant daughter, so I had to make a bottle of formula in the car to calm her cries. I give her formula so infrequently that although I remembered the bottle, the formula, and the water, I completely forgot about bringing something to stir the formula. Shaking it would cause too many air bubbles, so I was in bind until I remembered the To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo chopsticks.  Perfect!  I pulled one out, stirred the formula, wiped the chopstick with a baby wipe, and put it back in the carrying case to be fully washed later.  Additionally, I found myself using them at the Costco food court, at restaurants when I forgot a spoon for the baby’s food, at work when we had special treats, and in the car after grocery shopping when my daughter just had to have her yogurt. I felt comfortable using both the To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensils and the Bambu Sporks with my young children because the bamboo comes from safe sources and is finished with natural, vegan, food-grade oils.

The To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensils and Bambu Sporks were a hit with me and with my preschooler, but I was curious to see what my pre-teen students thought of them.  Reviewing the utensils came at a perfect time in my 6th grade lesson planning as we were in the middle of a unit on writing about natural resources and how people use them. My students were impressed with the strength of both the Bambu Sporks and the To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensils.  Although bamboo is technically a grass, products made from it are incredibly durable, which makes bamboo products a great alternative to easily-broken plastic ware.  One 12-year-old boy even tested the strength of the Bambu Spork by attempting (unsuccessfully) to snap it in half.  Additionally, the To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensils and Bambu Sporks have an even, smooth texture. We’ve become a culture that is so accustomed to plastic ware on the go that using any other material seemed strange to my students when I first told them about bamboo.  They were concerned that bamboo would cause splinters, making it an unreasonable choice as an eating utensil, but they were shocked to feel just how smooth each piece was.    Given the choice between the two different sets, however, most of my students said they liked how “cute” the Bambu Sporks were.

While I prefered the To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensil set for myself, the Bambu Sporks were definitely the more popular choice for the children.  With the holidays upon us, I can’t help but think that these useful, environmentally friendly utensils would make a great stocking stuffer for just about anyone.  

~ Sonja
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