Hardtack flatware is good for the environment, bad for digestion

When we hear the word "hardtack," we think of the Oregon Trail. Or 19th century sailing novels. Or maybe the Civil War. We also think, "ew." Hardtack was the food of poor, hungry travelers, long ago. It lasted forever, and in one 19th century letter that we just found on Google, a man says of hardtack: "It was difficult to break them with the teeth. Some of them you could not fracture with your fist."

Hardtack, however, is biodegradable, since it's made only of water, flour, and salt. That's why Japanese designer Nobuhiko Arikawa designed this edible tableware for the Orto Café, made entirely of hardtack. Think of it as a bread bowl, only much, much harder to eat. It has a great shelf life as long as it doesn't get wet. Though it's probably better for the environment than Spudware, we're not convinced that the 200-year old delicacy should take over for disposable tableware in the twenty-first century.

dezeen, via Boing Boing Gadgets