Takenaka makes lunch boxes in the Japaneseist of Japanese ways, the Bento. What we know as the quick, little-of-everything, menu item on a Sushi restaurants midtown lunch special is a physical item in every Japanese citizens backpack. In a world where we’re continually evolving our healthy eating game, these Takenaka lunch boxes make carrying your homemade healthy snacks convenient and simultaniously mega stylish. Next time you pull up a seat at the communal table watch the envy sweep across your coworkers faces when you pull out this beauty. We just hope what you put inside is as impressive as the outside.
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When I first saw these I was mesmerized. The curves, the way they stack, the pure color, all of it transfixing my eyes even without food on the plates. Compostable, bamboo pulp and inexpensive are not the next words I expected to hear out of Michiyo Tanabe’s mouth when we chatted in her booth at the NY Gift Show. Aside from the unique aesthetics Wasara’s process is extremely refined and…well, good. Bamboo grows extremely fast, meaning it needs to be cut back often. That’s recycle #1. They also use bagasse, a by-product of making sugarcane juice. Most of the 100 million tons is discarded as waste. Michiyo and team uses some of this to soften the bamboo. That’s recycle #2. Finally, because it’s softer than wood pulp it uses less energy to produce the final product. So, use them to make you feel great about helping the planet or reduce waste or recycle materials. We use them because they are gorgeous.
I’m less excited about the Koffie Straw for the purpose it was invented, to protect teeth from stains and enamel erosion. Although a great solution to a problem it simultaneously solves one of our biggest pet peeves. Splashy cups. Invevitably our morning cup of coffee jets jostled around on a our commute to a point of spillage from that little oval hole in the lid. The Koffie Straw has an oval design to fit snugly in the lid. Gravity will help sedate the splash as it attempts to travel up and out the spout but it’s denied every time. Small compact and reusable, we’ll have one of these in every jacket we own.
You may think that here at FTHQ, we’re partial to utensils of the four-pronged variety, but we generally appreciate any and all cutlery that helps us deliver food into our perpetually hungry mouths. And although we’ve been known to nearly jump up-and-down in excitement about all kinds of eating instruments — knives, salad tongs, corn-on-the-cob holders, you name it — it’s been a while since tableware has gotten us as excited as these 100% edible and biodegradable utensils from Bakeys. With funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign and an aim to provide a viable alternative to the billions of plastic utensils thrown into landfills every year, Bakeys Edible Cutlery has it covered when it comes to usability and sustainability. Turns out sorghum, an environmentally-friendly crop you may have never heard of, seems to be the magic ingredient. Not only does sorghum allow Bakeys to produce 100 edible spoons with the same energy required to make a single plastic one, it also prevents the utensils from degrading in liquids — a particularly important fact for the environmentally-conscious ice cream enthusiasts among us.
There’s nothing more satisfying than that first time you fire up the grill each year. In prelude to the Memorial Day ritual most of us restock our grill gadget arsenal with mostly unnecessary but highly pleasurable new toys. The SteakChamp might not actually fall into that category because of it’s incredibly functional tech. A simple set of colored LED’s flash green for rare, yellow for medium and red for well to indicate that illusive inner doneness. No, it does not talk to your phone but part of the grill experience is hanging out and tending to it. We’ve field tested this one and the thermometer is dead on. As soon as we get a flashing green we know we have a perfectly done medium rare cut. Now you just have to convince your butcher to cut you that 3 inch porterhouse.