Published On: Wed, Jul 30th, 2014

Cooking with bamboo charcoal is good for your health and for the environment

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Bamboo is a fast growing, renewable, widespread, environment enhancing resource.  Bamboo fields are very dense, allowing for greater yield per acre and higher availability.
Under the right circumstances, bamboo can grow as much as two feet in a single day, and since bamboo plants are never clear cut, some species can produce for over 60 years!  And as well as being highly renewable and extremely hardy, bamboo is 30% more efficient at producing oxygen than traditional timber.

Bamboo’s role in construction is substantial, with hundreds of millions of people living in houses made from bamboo. In Bangladesh, for example, 73 percent of the population lives in bamboo houses.  In addition, bamboo has long been used as an assembly material in China. Due to its flexibility, durability and strength, it has been used for scaffolding in the construction of buildings up to 70 stories high.
Bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong

Bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong

Extremely Eco-friendly and cost-effective, it continues to be used for this purpose because it is strong enough to support the weight of the workers, their equipment and materials, but is lightweight itself.  And unlike typical metal scaffolding, bamboo can be cut and tailored to fit any contour of construction, configured into a variety of shapes to follow the irregular architectural features of a building.
Cooking with bamboo charcoal

Cooking with bamboo charcoal

But what about bamboo charcoal? 

Bamboo charcoal has a long history in China and its use has been documented as early as 1486 AD, during the Ming Dynasty.

Bamboo charcoal is made from lengths of bamboo harvested from plants five years or older, then burned in an oven at temperatures greater than 120 °C. It benefits environmental protection by reducing pollutant residue and is an environmentally functional material with excellent absorption properties.  Bamboo charcoal is made by means of a pyrolysis process.  Depending on the nature of the raw material, bamboo charcoal can be classified as raw bamboo charcoal or bamboo briquette charcoal.  Raw bamboo charcoal is made of bamboo plant parts such as culms, branches, and roots.  Bamboo briquette charcoal is made from bamboo residue, such as bamboo dust, saw powder etc., by compressing the residue into sticks and then carbonizing the sticks.

Bamboo charcoal is known to have high porosity. Various impurities or foreign matter will be absorbed over the wide surface area of the charcoal. When air passes over, if the humidity is high, the charcoal will absorb the moisture and the air will be dehumidified. If the air is too dry, the charcoal will discharge its own moisture, balancing the humidity in the air.
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Bamboo Charcoal Lumps

Bamboo Charcoal Lumps

The different uses of bamboo charcoal:

Cooking:
Using bamboo charcoal as a fuel for cooking is environmentally friendly because bamboo charcoal is made from a renewable resource, and it is smokeless and odorless, making it ideal for barbecues.  Most important, it does not produce carbon dioxide and therefore does not pollute the atmosphere.  And however it is used in cooking, there is no taste of charcoal in the final dish because it is tasteless and odorless.

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Health:
Bamboo charcoal absorbs chlorine in water and lets minerals out, making your skin smooth.  Also, the charcoal entirely warms up your body with infrared ray effect, easing stiff shoulders, lumbago, and poor circulation.  Bamboo charcoal also absorbs bad odor and toxic substances, and emits negative ions.

Energy/fuel:
Bamboo charcoal is almost three times as porous as wood, and contains minerals such as iron, manganese and potassium, among others.  Bamboo has a high calorific power, and its smoke produces little odor because it has many minerals and few impurities. It produces more than 7,000 kilocalories per kilogram, more than wood and half that of raw petroleum, making it a much more effective and eco-friendly fuel.

Garden and Aquarium
Bamboo charcoal releases natural minerals into water, keeping your flowers and fish healthy. In addition, the charcoal purifies water, saving time and effort in maintaining your aquarium. After using charcoal, break it into pieces and sprinkle on your garden or blend into soil. Plants will grow faster and stronger.

Regulates Humidity:
When put in refrigerators and drawers, bamboo charcoal absorbs odor and hazardous substances in the air. Placed in vegetable section of fridge, it will absorb ethylene gas and keep vegetables and fruits fresh. Also, the charcoal keeps your clothes and shoes dry and comfortable.

Where can I get it?

If you live in Merida you can find it for sale every day of the week at Robert Abuda Salon on Paseo Montejo, on Saturdays at Slow Food Yucatan, and on Sundays at Le Bazar de Paseo Montejo (during Bici-Ruta).

If you live at the beach,  you can pick up your bags during business hours at Natural Thangs Garden Center (between Chelem and Chuburna), or at the Tuesday Market next door.

For more information contact: bambooyucatan@gmail.com or visit them on Facebook –www.facebook.com/bamboocharcoaldepot

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  1. bashir liman says:

    hi brief me more about your charcoal its time duration what contents in the bag how much per bag i am from nigeria i am intending to to buy to comfare with our charcoal but i know our charcoal use to finish in less than an hour time.

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