Bamboo Bento Boxes, Sustainable ChoiceKatachiware Japanese Style Tableware
Bamboo Bento Boxes | Most of us today are environment-conscious and doing our best to cut down the use of plastic products, leading to alternative products to be introduced into the market, including tableware and bento boxes. We dispose of over 300 million tons of plastic every year, which continues to grow at an alarming rate, with only 9% being recycled. This meaning that 91% of all plastic is only used once and discarded into landfills or our oceans.
What’s the alternative? Used for thousands of years Bamboo is natural fast-growing grass, sustainable, biodegradable and has natural antibacterial properties making it perfect as a food-grade or food-safe alternative.
Making of Bamboo Bento Box
Natural bamboo strips, rice powder and food-grade glues are the basic ingredients used to make a bamboo bento box. The bamboo is sourced from bamboo groves and cut into thin strips. The strips are glued together to the desired shape and subsequently polished to give it a glossy finish that gives it an additional coat of protection against water and stains.
Using Bamboo Bento
Bamboo bento is most convenient for solid food items though you can use smaller containers which contain air-tight lids for carrying anything like dip and sauces. They easily fit into the bamboo bento box, thus serving your purpose. Food items like sandwiches and rice dishes can be wrapped in bamboo leaves within the box; it ensures that the food breathes and retains their freshness and flavour. Bamboo bento is often crafted and taken to outings to experience the cherry blossom trees’ magical splendour in Japan. Such picnic-parties are called as ‘ohanami’ in Japan.
Criteria for Ensuring a Right Purchase
There are a few things to consider when shopping around for a bamboo bento box. The item should be free of splinters and should feel sturdy and strong. The flimsy staw type from bamboo, will not last long so look for a sturdy design. Keep an eye out for thickly lacquered bamboo boxes with odd-looking colours as they may be hiding cheap material beneath the top layer. Depending on the kind you find colour ranges from light green to a creamy white or a very light brown shade is a good start.
If you ant your bamboo bento boxes to last a lifetime, they should be looked after as they are made from a natural and imperfect resource. After use, you should wipe out any remaining foods and clean the surface with a damp cloth that has been soaked in soapy water. Towel dry and let sit for a few hours so that any remaining moisture can dry. If you find that some food particles get stuck, try drumming the area with the damp cloth but with a little salt added. Once the base and lid have dried stack on a flat dry surface away from heat and moisture, for added protection, you can rub a little food-grade oil on the base and lid, or flaxseed oil to ensure that it does not dry out. The boxes are not dishwasher safe, nor are they microwaveable.
Bamboo lunch boxes are most suitable for school-going children and office goers as it helps keep the food fresh and nice and makes a small contribution to your part towards a greener environment.
For more information view our Traditional Bamboo Bento Boxes, also available in sets.