In many cultures, for thousands of years, large leaves either fresh or dried were used as food plates. Fresh Banana leaf, for example, is still used as a food plate particularly in Asia. Sun dried leaves from other trees are used as leaf plates after sewing the leaves together to make it large to accommodate easy eating.
Eating from a Banana or any other leaf is a tedious task. The food served particularly if it is loose would tends to flow over the edges of the leaf; to prevent this, one has to constantly use their palm to scoop it back to the center. This balancing act of eating and scooping robs the enjoyment of eating on a fresh Banana leaf.
When Juggernaut faced a similar problem of eating from a Banana leaf, his engineering skills came handy; he built little levee or bund around the edges of the banana leaf using steamed rice to contain the loose food; it’s like using sand bags controlling river floods. With borders well secured around the leaf, he enjoyed eating the food, while others were rushing at it with their hands working feverously between eating and controlling its flow.
Now a days the fresh Banana leaves were replaced by plates made from the bark from Areca nut trees; similarly dry leaves from certain trees are compressed to make leaf plates and dishes. These leaf plates are sturdy like plastic plates with several sections to contain liquid foods separately. After use, these plates can be recycled into compost like any other plant by-products.
Use of fresh leaves from certain plants such as lotus, Jack Fruit and some other plants as a wrap is a common culinary practice in some cultures. The food ingredients wrapped in fresh leaves would acquire the aroma of that particular plant after it is steam cooked. The steaming process would facilitate the transfer of flavors from the fresh leaf to the food inside.
To make look-alike plastic Banana leaves as fresh leaf plates is crazy, the whole purpose is defeated; after all the main idea of using leaf plates is to reduce garbage going to landfills; why use plastic look-alike leaf plates?
In a disposal society where food plates and cups are a significant portion of everyday trash, use of food plates, cups, etc., from plant products would significantly increase recyclable waste and cut down trash going to landfills.
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