Bipartisan Agreement: Forks That Don’t Suck

Washington went green under the Democrats, investing in silly carbon credits and more useful things like energy-efficient light bulbs.  Now, the Republicans want to roll back, cutting funding for projects that waste money without saving much energy or reducing much emissions.

One change, however, will be uncontroversial:

And then there are the forks.

“I’ve had more complaints about . . . the utensils than any other single thing. And that’s from Democrats and Republicans,” said Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the House Administration Committee.

Since biodegradable utensils were introduced in House-side eateries, lawmakers, aides and even a few reporters have grumbled that – Earth-friendly or not – the forks break and the knives don’t cut very well. Republican leaders could easily earn bipartisan goodwill simply by finding stronger utensils.

I’m all for making rational moves in the direction of energy conservation and environmental friendliness.  But the substitutes have to actually serve their intended function.  And, presumably, forks that break are replaced by other forks, likely doing more environmental damage than sturdier models.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Having never eaten in the House cafeteria (or whatever food establishment they have), I may (probably) be way off base in this assessment, but…

    One of my problems with businesses and organizations going “green” without doing proper research is that you get ridiculous moves like replacing plastic disposable forks with biodegradable plastic disposable forks. The best solution? Install a dishwasher and use metal utensils. They have the functionality that people like, and you aren’t constantly contributing to the waste stream. Of course you have to pay people to buss tables and wash dishes, but most cafeterias do that anyway with their trays and cooking utensils.

    It’s almost as if the house-side eateries only implemented these ‘improvements’ to give the appearance of being green without actually caring if it was good for the environment…that couldn’t be it.

  2. sam says:

    And here all the time I thought those asshats ate out of trough…

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Make them eat with biodegradable chopsticks.

  4. Michael says:

    I’m with Neil, I had assumed they would use metal utensils.