I’m fed up with the choices we have. But I’m hungry. And I want to be fed. The question is how is the best way to eat? We turn our attention this evening to settle this great debate. Which is the best utensil to eat with: Forks or Chopsticks?
This is a debate that I can really sink my teeth in to!
Your moderator tonight will be Mee. Let’s dig right in, shall we?
Forks vs. Chopsticks!
Mee: We will dispense with the normal opening statements, since neither forks nor chopsticks can speak. However, that’s extent of their shortcomings. We will focus tonight on facts, and I will make a plea to our Candidates to stay away from personal attacks and side comments.
Our first topic will be “Tradition”.
Mee: Why change? The Chinese are hanging in there with their chopsticks. You know they’ve seen forks. Yet they’re staying with their sticks. So why change? Forks will start this round. Forks, you have two minutes.
Chopsticks are especially “bad” for eating Chinese food, which is often taken from a communal bowl or plate. It’s almost impossible to eat with chopsticks and not transfer germs back to the food, but it is possible to prevent that with a fork, if you try. In addition, there are things you can do with a fork that you can’t do with chopsticks — like cut thru many foods.
Chopsticks are a cultural icon in many Asian countries because they represent the ability to make do with minimal resources. Their simplicity is a direct reflection of the ancient maxim, “less is more”. Also, chopsticks give you greater reach than forks when you want to score that last tasty morsel that’s at the other end of the table before someone else snatches it up!
Mee: OK. Let’s move on to our next topic, “Ease of Use”. In this round, Chopsticks will start first.
Ease of Use
Chopsticks are good at finely manipulating small pieces of food. This is a good way to eat small bits of meat and vegetables. Rather than scooping it all up, chopsticks let you manipulate the food finely and eat exactly what you want.
Forks are obviously better for things like steak and mashed potatoes. It is a stabbing and scooping implement and excels at shear volume.
We’re taking about CHINESE food here, and not American gluttony!
You know where you can stick THAT comment!
Mee: Please Chopsticks, Forks had the floor. Forks, please continue.
And, speaking from experience, if you break just one finger, say because you were bowling and you suck, you can’t use chopsticks anymore. In addition, using chopsticks can lead to repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. And, if a chopstick falls on the floor, it’s circular and it will keep on rolling… and rolling… invariably until it will roll under something that you can’t move/access.
Mee: Chopsticks, do you care to rebut?
You can use chopsticks one handed. Try cutting your steak one handed!
Mee: Our final debate topic will be “The Environment”. Each side will be given two minutes to present their argument as to why THEY are the Environment friendly candidate. Forks will begin this round.
Residents of China, the largest country on the planet, are believed to use an astonishing 80 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks every year. A mature tree yields around 4,000 pairs of chopsticks. China used up the equivalent of 20 million trees in just the past year. At this rate of depletion, an hour from now, when you hunger for more Chinese food, there just might be no Chopsticks left on this planet to eat it with. Clearly, Forks is the way to go. Save the World, one fork at a time!
This is not the first time that authorities have raised concerns about the use of chopsticks in China. In 2006, a five per cent tax was imposed on all disposable chopsticks and wooden flooring, but it evidently had little long-term effect. People love their chopsticks!
More environmentally friendly options for manufacturing chopsticks have become available during the last decade, and great advances continue to be made to make chopsticks the clear environmental friendly utensil of choice!
Ever see what kinds of forks Americans put in their take-out bags of Chinese food? PLASTIC forks! You can’t tell me that plastic is good for the environment. I rest my case!
Mee: Before I close this debate, I want to thank both Candidates. I just have one comment to add, “Given America’s weight problem, maybe we should be passing out more ecologically responsible chopsticks”.
Now the vote is in your hands. Cast your vote below.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)