Bento Boxes Make for a Green Lunch

Bento Boxes Make for a Green Lunch

Amber Byfield
Sep 11, 2009

As we sat munching on lunch over the keyboard yesterday, we were captivated by a piece in The New York Times about bento boxes. We've been eyeing the colorful and efficiently-packed lunches for a while now, ever since they popped up over at Ohdeedoh and The Kitchn, and we got to thinking: Bento boxes are actually a very green thing. Why?

One of the main purposes behind creative bento boxes is to encourage picky eaters to finish their meals. So kitten-shaped sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs with faces, and playful sushi are among the bento gimmicks. But more so, the efficiently-packed lunches cut down on food waste.

We often pack just a few bites more than we need, and those few ounces of food go to waste. But the idea behind a bento box is to pack a modest meal that's just the perfect size.

The mix-match of vibrant fruits, vegetables, and grains makes for a healthy meal, too; the NYT article points out that bento boxes draw inspiration from the Japanese tradition of including five colors in every meal, incorporating a slew of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. And we're going to take it one step further and mention that this is a fabulous way to use up all the random veggies from the CSA or farmers' market.

One other thing: Upon following the links for bento box supplies here in the U.S., we found many BPA-free products made with recyclable plastic. Not to mention that, of course, we're fans of anything reusable and the idea of packing dipping sauces in tiny reusable containers (just the right size) instead of a disposable plastic baggie sounds pretty darn good to us.

All signs point to "green choice" in our book, what about yours?

Read more about bento boxes at The New York Times.

(Image: Flickr member firepile, licensed under Creative Commons.)

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