Sporks are the ultimate practical eating utensil. From what a cursory Google search tells me, the first instance of a spork-like utensil was approved for patent in 1874. Cousins of this original popped up in the following years — namely, the “cutting spoon” and another that appears to have placed the fork spears, a.k.a. tines, on the side of a spoon (which seems… inconvenient). None laid claim to the “spork” name until the Van Brode Milling Company registered their SPORK in 1970. That registration expired before they put it to use, but the name lives on. The spork is used daily by school kids, the military, backpackers, and airlines alike. Frankly, they’re made for anyone who has better things to do than figure out how various edible consistencies will end up in their mouth.
The best version of a consumer good is one that you can love, use, and abuse for years on end. It’s a two-way relationship with nary a compromise nor heartbreak. In this case, it’s a woman and her $10 Snow Peak Titanium Spork. For the past year, my spork has jostled around at the bottom of my favorite canvas tote (more on this later). Full transparency, I rarely do more than rinse it when I’m done, and sort of like seeing the residual lick marks when I pull it out at mealtimes. I’m hoping that beyond the laziness factor, it’s actually a convenient way to bolster my immune system… Regardless, it’s mine! I wouldn’t lend it to anyone, so who cares? Its questionable cleanliness aside, my metallic green spork ensures that I never have to resort to single-use plastic utensils. Using it multiple times a day reminds me that I’m never moving too quickly to disregard thoughtful, low impact choices. My spork, my Nalgene, and perhaps a Tupperware snack (see ya, non-recyclable plastic wrappers!) are must-haves.
I’m writing this from a long-overdue vacation. In fact, I just finished eating two nectarines and a jar of fresh Italian yogurt with my favorite utensil. On the surface, sporks don’t exactly read as ‘chic’, and if a vacation isn’t the time to play that card, I don’t know when that time is. However, as I sit here, lolling in the sun with fresh, seasonal fruit and the soothing sound of waves moving up and down the shoreline, I make my case: sustainability is chic.
An Ode to this spork by Tiffany Wilkinson-Raemer
I make my case: sustainability is chic.