For all of our bamboo products, we use only premium Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys Pubescens aka Phyllostachys Edulis), which is also known as Mao or Hairy bamboo. All of our Moso bamboo is aged to 5-7 years when harvested, and we only use the most stable middle sections of the culms. The bamboo is harvested without uprooting the plant, so the bamboo will grow back naturally and the plant is not destroyed when harvested. And not to worry, Moso bamboo is not eaten by pandas!
We do not recommend using our bamboo plywood for surfaces on which food preparation will occur unless you first apply a food-safe finish. Although our bamboo plywood meets the most strict indoor air quality standards in the world and is perfectly suitable for use as cabinetry, wall paneling, and furniture, it is not manufactured to be food-safe when cutting directly on it (food safety standards are different than indoor air quality standards). Our plywood can also be used as countertop material as long as food is not cut on the surface or as long as a food-safe finish is applied which seals the unfinished bamboo plywood surface.
It grows fast, does it not? Unfortunately, some of the species of bamboo that have been planted in the U.S. are of the variety that have deep underground runners, and it is therefore very hard to control. While we would love to recycle that wood and make something new from it, unfortunately our manufacturing facilities are overseas, which means we would have to ship it across the water. This would negate any benefit derived from taking that bamboo off your hands. We recommend that you try to do something creative with it, like making picture frames, furniture, and other cool uses like making a bamboo bike!
Yes, it can! We recommend testing your desired finish or stain on a spare piece of plywood before applying it to the entire product. Our customers have had success in applying the following types of stains/finishes to our bamboo plywood: polyurethane finish, oil-based and water-based finishes, finishing wax, and mineral oil. Some have specifically recommended Osmo PolyX®-Oil and Penofin Verde Rosewood Oil.