The Great Debate: Which utensil is best?

Nicole Felici and Marissa Soto


Three items of food are placed before three people: a slice of cake, a bowl of soup and a steak. The one who wields a spoon is able to enjoy the cake and soup easily, but is unable to eat the steak as his spoon cannot cut through it. The one who wields a fork is able to eat the cake with no trouble and can eat the soup if he chooses to drink from the bowl, but once again he is prevented from enjoying the entire meal since he cannot use the fork to slice into the steak. However, the one with the knife is able to eat the entire meal, as he does not lack an instrument to cut the steak. 

Between the fork, knife and spoon, the knife is definitely the superior kitchen utensil. The obstacles that a person faces when eating with solely a fork or a spoon are no issue with a knife, as demonstrated in the scenario presented above. 

Advocates for the spoon will often present the soup argument: how will you eat a bowl of soup with a knife? Well, I’ll pick up the bowl with my hands and drink it the old-fashioned way. It’s messy, but it gets the job done. I don’t need a spoon to enjoy my favorite liquid-based foods.

Likewise, living without a fork is no issue. The main purposes the fork serves is holding food in place and transferring food to the mouth. Both of these can be accomplished by the forks that Mother Nature gave us: our hands. Again, not the cleanest method of eating, but it works. Every food is now a finger food, which I believe makes eating more fun. Also, when I enjoy a meal that requires my handy-dandy knife to cut into it, I can use my hands to hold the food in place. 

Clearly, eating with solely a knife is not the most civilized method. Even so, a knife is still the best option because it allows any food to be consumed. As long as a person has the willingness to look a bit silly, the possibilities of foods that can be consumed is the largest with a knife. 



Although Nicole makes a compelling argument for the knife, I’d have to say that the spoon is the best kitchen utensil. The spoon allows for maximum food intake and keeps the eating process civil. Anything one can do with a fork or knife one can also do with a spoon. 

With the spoon one is able to scoop, spread, spoon soup and even cut if necessary. Instead of using the smooth dipped part of the spoon to cut, the spoon can be turned over and the handle can be used as a knife-like tool to cut food. The smooth part could be used to slice food too if necessary. 

One may argue that the spoon is not effective for tougher foods like steak or other meats, but the spoon can either be used to shovel the meat into the mouth or to shred the meat. Grabbing the food with hands is not even necessary with this method and it allows for more civilized eating. 

A fork or even a knife would make it virtually impossible to scoop up liquid or soft foods. Both utensils also would make it hard to avoid eating without one’s bare hands. The spoon allows for civil eating and makes it the easiest to eat foods from every food group from a range of textures and consistencies.