Bamboo is such an interesting plant and yes, we do eat it. If you’ve ever had an Asian dish, you may have had bamboo shoots, especially in a stir fry. Bamboo shoots are referred to as the Asian forest vegetable and the bamboo shoot is harvested very young, as it’s just starting to grow. You have to be fast to catch it; some types bamboo will grow as much as 3′ a day. You can buy canned bamboo shoots in the grocery where they sell Asian food. The bamboo shoots are fairly high in protein and contain all 8 essential amino acids. High in fiber, it promotes a good bowel movement. What else does bamboo do? Well, bamboo leaves are the only food the iconic Panda bear eats. Nutrition is so poor in the leaves, the Panda has to eat a lot. Bamboo is versatile; it’s tools, building material, eating utensils (chopsticks), paper and cloth. It makes distinctive furniture and the larger varieties make decent pipes for plumbing. I have bamboo paper for my printer, a bamboo cutting board, and a bamboo and cotton towel in my kitchen — and that’s just a few of bamboo’s talents. Because of its quick growth rate, it is very renewable. You might be tempted to grow bamboo in your garden, but don’t. It can be quite invasive as it spreads from underground runners. It won’t respect the fence between your yard and your neighbor’s yard. Bamboo confined to a vase of water is a lovely addition to any room. Another unique feature about bamboo is that among the many species of bamboo, a single species will all die at the same time, all over the world.