Next on the menu: Cutlery that's good enough to eat

Nine graduates from Hong Kong's International Culinary Institute, led by Mr Raymond To (holding white plate), exhibiting their Edible Cutlery project at ITE College West yesterday.
Nine graduates from Hong Kong's International Culinary Institute, led by Mr Raymond To (holding white plate), exhibiting their Edible Cutlery project at ITE College West yesterday.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

If you have leftover rice in your rice cooker, you could soon use it to make your next bowl, spoon and fork.

The upcycling idea was proposed by nine Hong Kong graduates from the International Culinary Institute, a member institution of the Vocational Training Council (VTC).

Group ambassador Yeung Yuk Ting, 20, said they were inspired to tackle the environmental problems caused by globalisation, such as water pollution and water wastage.

It was one of 19 projects presented at the biennial ITE-VTC International Student Seminar, a three-day event that runs at ITE College West until tomorrow.

About 600 students and recent graduates from Singapore, Hong Kong and China are presenting projects on the theme, Globalisation: Threat or Promise?

Group leader Raymond To, 19, said that other than leftover rice, the cutlery could be made out of materials such as tortillas and spring rolls. The cutlery is then shaped and baked in an oven before use.

The group, whose project is Edible Cutlery, has presented the concept to students and, to spread the idea to culinary industry players, it soon aims to film a dinner using its cutlery.

At the opening ceremony, Minister for Trade And Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran said Singapore and Hong Kong's prosperity came from globalisation and that we would lose out if the pushback against it - as shown by United States President Donald Trump's election - becomes more widespread. "If we want to continue creating opportunities for our people and businesses, it is essential that we remain open and connected to the rest of the world."

REMAIN OPEN TO REST OF THE WORLD

If we want to continue creating opportunities for our people and businesses, it is essential that we remain open and connected to the rest of the world.

MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY (INDUSTRY) S. ISWARAN, on how Singapore benefits from globalisation.

A local group's Dialect Cool project included creating picture cards and designing a programme on an app to encourage the use of dialects among Singapore's youth.

Group representative Angela Lim, 16, said that through the cards and programme, it hopes to make the learning of dialects fun and engaging.

With English as Singapore's language of business, dialects took a back seat in the 1980s when the Government opted to use Mandarin as the mother tongue of Chinese Singaporeans.

The move catapulted Singapore to the forefront of countries that benefited from globalisation, but at a cost to the dialects.

Angela, who is pursuing a Nitec in aerospace avionics, said: "We should save dialects because they are part of our cultural roots and they make Singapore unique."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Next on the menu: Cutlery that's good enough to eat'. Print Edition | Subscribe