Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ditch the Non-Stick Cookware


I've written a new article on Natural News: Beware Dangers in Teflon and Non-Stick Cookware

I chose this topic because I was tricked recently by a “green pan”. I was in my local market and I needed a new pan. I spotted one on the side of an aisle. It was beautiful. It had a bamboo handle, it said it was made with 50% recycled aluminum, and that it was 100% recyclable after use. The packaging was even 100% recycled. When I got the pan home I noticed that on the inside of the packaging it stated that pet birds should be kept out of the kitchen while using the pan as their respiratory systems are sensitive to heated non-stick cookware. Through research I found that many birds die from exposure. I don’t have any pet birds to worry about, but it made me angry that a pan could call itself “green” and be coated with chemicals.

In my attempt to live life as naturally as possible I ditched the chemical laden non-stick cookware and found myself a sturdy cast iron pan. I say sturdy because yes, it weights quite a bit, but I have been amazed at how much I love it. I thought I was going to have a difficult time cleaning it without a non-stick coating, but clean-up has been easy. There is also something slightly comforting to this pan. I don’t know what it is, but when I smell it wet in the sink it reminds me of childhood or something made of iron wet after a rain…can’t put my finder on it yet.

I chose a “seasoned” cast iron pan from Lodge Logic. They have been making pans since 1896. When you season a cast-iron pan you prepare it by cooking oil at high heat to form a natural non-stick coating. When a pan is seasoned they do the process for you. If it is not done the pan will rust and your food will have a metallic flavor. I was surprised that they ask you not to use soap when cleaning. It reminded me of Dustin Hoffman in “Meet the Parents.” He had made a frittata, I think, and he stated that it tasted so good because the pan was never washed. I see now that his pan was cast iron. The heat burns everything off and there is no need for harsh soaps.

1 comment:

  1. We are a manufacturer in the USA that has eco-friendly pans that you might consider. When I hear about cookware, such as the new GreenGourmet from Cuisinart, I always think about both the manufacturer and the product.

    The problem with Cuisinart is that althought the product may be green, the manufacturer creates considerable carbon waste by having pans made in China, then shipped to another location (unknown) to be anodized, another location to be coated and then shipped to their warehouse, then shipped to distributors then shipped to retailers then likely shipped to the customer. Talk about waste!

    The pans made at www.manpans.com are totally made in one plant in the US: we spin and construct our pans for strength and utility, our hard coat anodizing is type III, and our coating, developed by our engineers, is a water-based, multi-layer, quartz-like finish that is permanently bonded to our pans. We use no PTFE, PFOA or other petrochemicals in our process, in fact the Washington Dept. of Ecology has glowing remarks about how we are an example of clean technology.

    AND we sell direct to consumers. Check it out: http://www.manpans.com and be sure to watch the video.

    ReplyDelete