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.