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News Products What's New

Could These Spoons Made of Grains Be the Utensil of the Future?

compost spoons

It seems like every week the environmental apocalypse draws closer. New tweets and studies pop up everyday spelling out our doom in great detail. One of these states that by 2050 the population will balloon to 10 billion and the amount of plastic in the ocean will outnumber the fish, which means that, basically, we need to almost entirely stop using plastic — especially that of the single-use variety. One of the largest contributors to single-use plastics are utensils, which TwentyFifty are here to help eradicate with their biodegradable utensils. 

The utensils, which have the texture and look of an abnormally thick graham cracker, are made with a combination of wheat flour, soy flour, corn flour, and water. This simple mixture, somehow, results in utensils just as strong and durable as their plastic counterparts, according to the package. However, these spoons and forks can be planted in the soil, where they’ll be composted in around 10 days.

This is genuinely great. But, I remained skeptical of their usability. So, I took the package of spoons we had laying around the Foodbeast office, and put them to the test the only way I knew how: with a nutritious bowl of cereal.

For reference, my bowl of choice was Life — because it’s the only cereal we had in the office that wasn’t something like Maple Bacon Honey Bunches of Oats — steeped in almond milk from Starbucks, because my passion for utensil integrity is big enough to spend $3 on a small cup of almond milk.

The spoon held up well under the wet conditions. At no point did it feel like it had grown soggy, which was my main concern with a spoon made entirely of grains. I even let it marinate in the cereal milk for an hour, and it didn’t lose an ounce of strength. Functionally, it works like any spoon. I do wish it was a bit deeper, so I could fit more liquid in one bite. But, hey, sustainability beggars can’t be choosers.

Naturally, my next question was, “Well, can I eat the spoon too?” TwentyFifty’s website claims they’re “nearly edible,” and I’m here to tell you that this does, in fact, mean nearly edible. I almost broke my tooth trying to bite into a dry spoon, so I can’t say I’d recommend counting on these as a nice post-meal snack anytime soon.

The next problem to tackle is cost and availability. Right now, the utensils are largely only cheap once they’re in bulk. A package of 24 spoons will run you around $17 and are only available online at twentyfiftyfork.com. This makes it a hard bargain to drive when your local Walmart sells bulk plastic spoons for the same price. It makes sense that the biodegradable spoons are more expensive to use, but economics are economics when it gets down to it for your average supermarket consumer.

All in all, though, I was thoroughly impressed by these utensils. And so were many others, seeing as the invention won a Nexty Award. Once the brand gets their price point down and distribution up, TwentyFifty could (and hopefully) be the spoon of the future.

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Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Products What's New

Behold The CHORK, Panda Express’ Combo Fork + Chopsticks

A couple weeks ago, Panda Express started hyping up these new Chorks. The plastic utensil features a fork on one end with a pair of chopsticks on the other.

Like the wooden chopsticks found in most Asian restaurants, you can snap the Chork in half and they’ll act as traditional chopsticks. If you’re unfamiliar with how to use chopsticks, leaving them connected lets you train with them.

We got our hands on some and decided to test them out for ourselves.

Check out the video to see what fellow Foodbeasts Marc and Elie had to say about them.

Panda Express currently has no plans to roll the utensils out nationally, at least for now. Rather, they’ll be giving them away on special occasions. If you’re dying to try them, you can buy some directly from Chork.

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Products

Save Counter Space With This All-in-One Kitchen Tool Set

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At first glance you might wonder, “why the hell is this wine bottle so colorful and where’s all the wine?!”. Sorry kids no alcohol here, this nifty little bottle of fun is actually nine different kitchen tools. Tucked into the space saving size of a single wine bottle, this All-in-One Kitchen Tool Set by Akebono includes a funnel, flower vase, lemon squeezer, spice grater, egg masher, cheese grater, cap opener, egg separator and a measuring cup.

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The various tools included in the set are all made up of plastic but are practical for various kitchen needs, even though I really don’t know why someone needs an egg masher.

Perfect for home cooks with small spaces this all inclusive kitchen set being sold though MoMA’s Design Store as part of their Spring/Summer 2014 collection but can also be found on Amazon.

Akebono All-in-One Kitchen Set, $27.79 @ Amazon

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Features

13 of the Most Extraordinarily Useless Food Inventions of 2013

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It’s hardly news that forks and knives have been replaced with crank-fitted cutlery and laser-cutter pizza slicers. If you even try to stab your salad with an ordinary utensil, you risk being shamed by your contemporary diners. For those tech-savvy ladies and gents reverse-chilling their beer and popping out Twinkies in waffle makers, this one’s for you.

Oh, those silly, clever and inevitably useless gadgets that make mankind’s genius all the more wonderful. While I’m sure we’d get along perfectly without them, sometimes the invention of the whimsical is just the thing you need. So, enjoy this list of the 13 Most Extraordinarily Useless Food Inventions of 2013.

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13. Finger Tongs

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Rather than going face first into a pile of buffalo wings, you can now daintily pick at them with a pair of Trongs, aka finger chopsticks. Or, you could go face first into a pile of buffalo wings. Mmmm…

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12. The most gorgeous possible way to squeeze a lemon

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We’re just going to file this one under “Stuff people with diamond cufflinks like”.

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11.Chopstick Straws are exactly what they sound like

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Oh my goodness guys, someone reinvented the straw!!$%&??!!!

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10. 2-in-1 glass lets you drink two different beers at the same damn time

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Have you ever seen sheer drunken genius? Well, here you go, the boozy form of eating your cake and having it too.

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9. Roll-on Olive Oil

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The idea behind the “Oil-On” dispenser is to prevent you from sogging up your bread with massive amounts of olive oil. Because bread has flavor too, you know. *Proceeds to chug olive oil out of bottle*

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8. The Ultimate Video Game Beer-Dispensng Hybird

kegerator

A keg with three separate taps, a 60-inch HDTV screen, a built-in fridge, and 140 classic video games all in one beer-flowing arcade hybrid. Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is, unless you have $5000 lying around.

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7. The ‘Mini Me’ Nibble Pan

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Apparently, nibbling at bits of your freshly-made cake is a bad thing. Looking to prevent unsightly snackholes from ruining your cake, the Nibble Pan comes attached with a small silicone cup that lets bakers sample their creations botch-free. Also, snackholes.

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6. OCD Laser Pizza Cutter

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Does the sight of a crooked slice of pizza irk you? If so, this laser-pointed pizza cutter lets you cut your pies with precision. Another option is to eat the entire pie to yourself to avoid the situation all-together.

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5. Reverse Magical Microwave will chill your beer in 45 seconds

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The V-Tex uses a a “start stop rotational sequence” to create a Rankine vortex that won’t disturb the drink’s carbonation while bringing down the temperature at rapid speeds. I know, you see my mouth moving but all you hear is “drink beer faster.”

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4. Get this Homemade Twinkie Machine then never use it, just like the real thing

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Let’s ignore the fact that no one actually eats Twinkies anymore, and just be stoked that we can now make cream cakes stuffed with juicy bacon bits soaked in maple syrup. We can feel our arteries clogging just thinking about it.

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3. Anti-Loneliness Bowl

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What’s sadder than eating alone? Crying kittens Broken tacos  Apparently, nothing. Luckily, this Anti-loneliness Ramen Bowl exists so that you can FaceTime while simultaneously Instagramming photos of yourself eating ramen.

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2. Water Bottle Growler

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Behold: a stainless steel flask that will keep your beer cold and preserve its carbonation for up to 24 hours. I know, there’s a lot of booze on this list. If you’re mad, go home, you’re not drunk enough.

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1. Twist-Off Wine Cork

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No more jabbing your corks with a kitchen knife when your wine opener is nowhere to be found. The Helix features a cork with a threaded finish and matching threaded bottle neck that lets drinkers effortlessly open and reseal the bottle thanks to the product’s airtight barrier. Ok, now the bad news: it’ll be another two more years ’til we see this ingenuity hit shelves.

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Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Air France’s New Cutlery Assembles Into a Model Airplane

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Few things are worse than being bored on a long flight. Now, Air France is trying to change that by redesigning flatware that comes with their in-flight meals.  Now, instead of throwing away your plastic cutlery, you can turn it into a plane instead! Eugeni Quitllet, an industrial designer, designed the set, which includes a knife, spoon, fork, and a set of wings.  You can expect to see the new utensils sometime this month. And (bonus points for environmental health!) the redesign will actually help reduce Air France’s raw material use by 30%.

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air-france-cutlery-model-plane

H/T + PicThx Design Taxi

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Products

Chew-Chew Train Dish Set Lets You Fulfill Your Childhood Dreams

Do you secretly wish you fulfilled your childhood dreams of becoming a train conductor for Thomas the Tank Engine and regret believing your parents when they told you that wasn’t a “real job”? Welp, if you answered “yes,” then this Chew-Chew Train might be the perfect throwback to fulfilling your long lost dreams. Kind of.

This quirky dish set comes complete with two plates, a bowl, cup, lid, spoon and fork that fit together to create an adorable tabletop train. The Chew-Chew has everything you’d ever want for mealtime, aka toy capabilities + a basic dining set, so there’s really no reason to use plain old forks and knives anymore, now is there?

Take that, Mom and Dad!

Chew-Chew Train, $20 @NeatoShop

PicThx Neatorama

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Products

Sweet n’ Spicy Edible Spoons Add a Kick to Boring Meals

Edible Spoon

We love us handy food inventions, particularly if they’re useful and delicious. Remember those edible candy cane spoons? That, Foodbeasts, is the sort of awesome stuff we’re talkin’ about. As our luck would have it, we recently came across an equally cool utensil of the tasty variety — Edible Spoon by Triangle Tree.

The handy spoon is “made entirely of corn and organic products,” so hey — it’s a pretty healthy addition to any sort of meal. And while the invention is undoubtedly cool, the best part is that it comes in a variety of flavors to compliment any sort of dish. Having something boring for dinner? Amp it up with the spicy-flavored spoon! Or maybe you’re yearning for a slight sugary kick to that cereal. The sweet version’s got you covered.

Edible Spoon

Edible Spoons don’t even have to be for traditional spoonage use, either. Who says you can’t munch on a bag full o’ edible utensils? Heck, if it’s tasty, we say go for it.

Plain, Spicy & Sweet Edible Spoons @ Triangle Tree

H/T Lost at E Minor + PicThx Triangle Tree

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Products

Itch’n Spoon: Because You’re Hungry AND Itchy

Well here’s a brilliant solution to a problem that I didn’t realize existed until just this moment. I can now scratch those tough hard to reach places of my back that, I can assure you, itch non-stop and manage to stir the marinara sauce I have simmering on the stove. All sarcasm aside, I suppose if you have an itch that needs scratching, it’s best to be using the other end of the spoon. Food sanitation codes notwithstanding, I’d advise this particular utensil to be for home use only. I’d rather not have the guy who’s making my food to be scratching himself and prepping my food with the same spoon.

($10 @ Neatoshop)