The Truth About Bamboo, The Environment, and Pandas

It's time we faced the truth about the condition of our world. The truth is, our world is in crisis. Our forests are rapidly disappearing and the environment is continuing to deteriorate. However, there is some really good news on the horizon, and it concerns an amazing plant that's been used by human beings for millennia--bamboo. In fact, bamboo appears to be poised to become one of the most important building materials of the twenty-first century. But, will all the developers endanger the Panda's food source?

Environmentalists Choice

The advantages of bamboo are seemingly endless. It's environmentally friendly, absorbing huge quantities of carbon from the atmosphere and replacing it with life-giving oxygen. It grows at an incredible rate, reaching its maximum strength and hardness in only five years. It's also self-regenerating, which means that after the above ground part of the plant has been cut, it quickly regrows from the remaining rootstock. Add the fact that bamboo products are harder and more moisture resistant to both moisture and termites, and bamboo begins to rise head and shoulders above the competition.

Bamboo and Pandas

There is one argument (albeit weak) that some uninformed people put forth against the increasing use of bamboo in a wide variety of building situations. It's widely known that pandas eat bamboo exclusively, and some folks worry that the increased demand for bamboo will endanger their food source, thus further endangering them, as well. However, the species of bamboo that's used in the building trades is known variously as either moso or mao bamboo, and it's not the type of bamboo preferred by pandas. That means that growing and harvesting that particular species of bamboo will have no impact on pandas, even though humans have found moso bamboo shoots quite tasty for thousands of years, which is just another benefit to the amazing bamboo plant.