An Indian cutlery company is paving the way for a bizarre dinner-table scene: Imagine finishing a meal down to the last scrap and then scarfing down your fork and spoon.
It may sound strange, but that's just what Narayana Peesapaty, a groundwater researcher behind an innovative edible cutlery company called Bakeys, wants to see happen.
"The cutlery is tasty, fun, nutritious, and environment friendly. That's edible cutlery," Peesapaty said in a video posted to Facebook, which has been viewed 4.5 million times since it was posted on March 15.
Indians use about 120 billion pieces of plastic cutlery each year, according to the video. But Peesapaty saw a way to sidestep the harmful environmental impact of plastic utensils without sacrificing their utility.
Bakeys' spoons, sporks, and chopsticks, which have a shelf life of three years, come in a variety of flavors across the plain, sweet, and savory spectrums, according to the website. They're made from a combination of millet, rice, and wheat flours, though millet, which Peesapaty said requires much less water to grow than rice, is the primary flour.
Even if the eater decides to ditch the utensil after their meal, the company says the products decompose in four to five days, making them environmentally friendly either way. Plastic utensils, on the other hand, can contain chemicals that may leech into foods and clog landfills. For some conventional plastics, it's not even clear how long it takes to break down.
Though the company was founded in 2010, Bakeys products started picking up traction only recently. The company's popularity comes at a time when efforts to reduce food waste and pollution have been put in the spotlight as part of a broader movement to address environmental responsibility.