I'm not sure this topic exactly fits into 'food as medicine' but it deals with a medical need for straws to assist drinking in some vulnerable members of society. People with disabilities may not be able to drink well without a straw, old people, little kids.
With the growing societal opposition to plastic straws, straws are becoming harder to find at restaurants and it wouldn't surprise me if they were no longer available for sale in stores at some point. As a person concerned about the environment and the frivolous use of oil-based resources I see this as a positive thing; as the parent of an adult with disabilities it is a bit concerning. One can certainly buy and carry around 'permanent' straws made of a variety of materials - stainless steel, glass, acrylic, silicone. But those require resources to construct too, and can be expensive. There are a number of plants that can be used as substitutes for plastic straws. I thought it would be useful to start a list of these plants.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
We recently were talking about this (straws have recently been banned here; I bought some steel ones but I also have a stock of plastic ones that are better for using in the car), and my husband went and picked a castor bean stem and drank his beverage with it. Said that is how they always used to do it back in the day. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Then again, here playing with castor bean fruits is a part of childhood (that same day, we spent a few hours teaching our nephew how to shoot them in a slingshot. He was taught, and supervised, to carefully wash well after playing with the fruits, not try to pick them open to get the beans out). In the US I know people who won't keep them in the yard for fear of toxicity, here they grow wild everyplace you look, everyone grows up with them. We also have a lot of other dangerous plants growing everywhere (calla lilies, cassava, monsteras, datura, etc etc) so people tend not to go around putting random plants in their mouths.
elle sagenev wrote:Ohh. We have tons of wheat around us. I'm going to have to make a straw out of it. My daughter believes she can't drink without a straw half the time.
I did this, but was unsure if they could be reused, so we only used them for water or three them away after use. I used my pruners after the stalk had dried. The cut pieces flew everywhere. The ends didn't always cut cleanly either, but were okay for use.
It is fun to experiment.
I don't like that guy. The tiny ad agrees with me.
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