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Wooden you like a bite?

Wooden utensils have been around for centuries, but this is the first time I’ve seen any like these.

On our recent trip to Europe, I was a bit surprised by a wood product that seemed to be everywhere – wooden eating utensils. Yeah, wooden utensils have existed forever, but in modern times they’re mostly relegated to kitchen chores and the cooking process, and are intended for constant re-use.

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These are disposable utensils that take the place of plastic cutlery for consumer use, and I haven’t seen anything like this since those tiny wooden spoons we used to get with ice cream cups. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen those in a long time, either.

The knife is flat, but the fork is concave, almost a “spork.” You wouldn’t want these for fine dining, but for a quick bite on the go every place we ate had them, in at least three cities in England and at another during our daytrip to Paris.

The benefits are obvious: Replacing plastic in the environment with biodegradable wooden utensils. A niche market for wood-product producers. Finding a use for wood unsuitable for other purposes. As a consumer bonus, these utensils are far sturdier than plastic utensils of the same size and much easier to use – ever try to cut something with a bendy plastic knife?

I’m always in favor of a product that makes my life easier, which these do, and especially so when it involves creating a market for wood products. The only downside I can think of is possible splinters.

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