Now, edible spoons and forks for dessert
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If you feel guilty every time you dump a plastic spoon into a bin after a hearty meal at a social gathering, take heart. Soon, you could be wolfing it down as a side dish, a palate cleaner or even as dessert.
A queer innovation by a Hyderabad-based scientist has gained cult-following-of-sorts across the globe. The product in question is edible cutlery- spoons, forks, soup spoons, knives, chopsticks or "anything to pick up food with". Narayan Peesapathy, former scientist with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), dared to quit his job to market his innovation.
"I started working on edible spoons in 2004. Today, we are looking at potential deals in Mumbai as well as international market," says Peesapathy whose newly-formed company Environmental Innovations Pvt Ltd in Hyderabad manufactures cutlery at a cost of Rs 40 for 25 pieces. The company's CEO Ramadevi Raipuri feels their hardwork is paying off though they had to face hardships.
A proof of their rising popularity is a special feature in Discovery channel called Changemakers that showcases Peesapathy's edible cutlery along with several other eco-friendly innovations from across the world.
According to Peesapathy, the idea struck him while he was flying from Ahmedabad to Hyderabad in 2004, and was given plastic cutlery to eat his snacks. "I'm uncomfortable with plastic for three reasons: it is a petrochemical by-product and has carcinogenic qualities. Secondly, since plastic manufacturing is an unorganised sector with no regulation, the hygiene standard is quite low. Thirdly, reusable plastic often carries mircobia as grease doesn't leave its surface easily," he explains. A thought soon became his passion. His Eureika moment came during a journey to Mumbai, when Peesapathy saw someone enjoying a piece of khakra scooped with butter. "I thought we could make spoons along the lines of khakra that can be eaten with the meal," he says.
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