Want This New Innovation? Chopsticks Made Of Rice

Irony is a wonderful thing and this new product is definitely ironic. Chopsticks made out of rice to help you eat your rice certainly falls into this category. Okay, it is not the same part of the rice. The Solit RiceIt chopsticks are made from the husk that has been turned into an earth-friendly bio-composite material.

Solit RiceIt Chopsticks (Image via Kickstarter)Solit RiceIt Chopsticks (Image via Kickstarter)

Chopsticks are among the oldest eating utensils on the planet. Presumably fingers are the oldest. The first physical evidence of chopsticks was found in an archaeological site in China that dated back to around 1200 B.C. The six bronze utensils were presumably used for cooking. It was not until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) that chopsticks are known to have come into common use for serving and eating. Over the centuries, chopsticks have traditionally been made of wood, bamboo, porcelain, ivory, silver, jade, stainless steel and plastic.

Solit RiceIt Chopstick Colors (Image via Kickstarter)Solit RiceIt Chopstick Colors (Image via Kickstarter)

With the popularity of Asian foods around the world, the demand for wooden chopsticks has been wiping out entire forests. This is for millions of chopsticks a day that will be used once and then thrown into landfills. Even the reusable lacquer chopsticks require a wood base. While plastic and ceramic are possible replacements, the plastic are not environmentally friendly and the ceramic are expensive to manufacture.

Enter Solit RiceIt. Two young engineers, Aleix Monegan and Emili Gutierrez, in Barcelona, Spain with a passion for preserving the environment have been looking for new ways to repurpose waste materials into environmentally friendly products. They started by looking at wood-like substances like rice husks and how they could be blended with eco-friendly polymers to create a substance that could be used for products used in everyday life.

Solit RiceIt Chopstick Manufacturing (Image via Kickstarter)Solit RiceIt Chopstick Manufacturing (Image via Kickstarter)

Replacing the wood in so many chopsticks seemed like a logical first step -- not to mention the irony of using the chopsticks to eat rice.

Solit RiceIt is not available quite yet. The entire project is seeking crowd funding on Kickstarter. If this sounds like a project you'd like to help fund, click here. For your pledge you can be among the first to receive and try out your own RiceIt chopsticks.

Success for the chopsticks would very likely lead to the material being used to create many other  products that we use every day in an eco-friendly way.

For now RiceIt is out to save the planet one chopstick at a time.

Sources: Kickstarter, Solit RiceIt, NY Times, Wikipedia