Somewhere along the way in my wellness journey, beyond the food and the lotions and the soaps and the questions, I just stopped and stared at my pans. Yep, pans I say. Weird. I know.
With all the attention on foods and nourishing ourselves to wellness… just how important is the cooking utensil anyway? Seemed like the concern deserved some investigation.
With very little effort, anyone can uncover the horrors of Teflon products. Apparently the family of poisons, called perfluorochemicals (PFCs) have been used so widely for coating our cookware because nothing, literally nothing can be absorbed by these coatings or can stick to them. The most infamous compound in this class of chemicals is perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. These compounds also have been extensively studied and labeled the compounds that won’t break down. Can’t break down. Will never break down… not biodegradable. NEVER! They are not affected by time, water, sun, microorganisms, nothing. And do you know that 15 different PFC-based chemicals have been found in blood and tissue samples! As much as 90% of Americans are believed to be contaminated with these chemicals found in our cookware, of all places! (Also, reason to avoid stain-guarded upholstery and even stain-resistant clothing… this chemical family is present in those processes as well!)
Tossed those pots and pans out right away. No telling how many flecks of chemical goo we have all been ingesting with our eggs and stir fry! Sorry, Earth, about the mess! Trying to move the chemicals out of the body… but sad to see it just go into the earth.
I recall a moving television commercial of my youth. It greatly affected 9 year old me. Made me think — which is actually a great use of marketing, by the way! If you grew up in Tennessee, you may remember the ad. It was of a convertible racing down the highway as the driver laughed and sang and threw trash out of the car. It was accumulating all around the highway as the convertible disappeared from sight. The camera then zoomed in on the face of a Native American Indian in his traditional attire. His weathered face watched the pollution blowing in the wind as a stream of tears silently drained from his cheek. The banner that flashed on the screen said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Oh wow. Still gets me.
So, the word from me to you on this matter, is rethink. We keep going back to this idea because mindlessly getting through our days might get us through sooner than we all would like! Back to the concern about pots and pans… what options exist?
All aluminum is also worthy of the garbage can! It certainly has been known to leave aluminum in our foods, which means ultimately, in our bodies. If you follow the latest understandings of Alzheimers Disease, aluminum is often mentioned as a serious toxin present in the brain of those affected by this merciless condition.
Stainless steel seems logical. Sad news is, with every acidic food we prepare in such a pot, some of the metal is actually leeched from the pan into the food. Think: tomato sauces, lemon sauces. If the food is not acidic, then the “leeching” is much reduced, and some consider these pans still a decent option. Foods do stick to these surfaces, however.
Excellent quality cookware does exist in the very, very high budget range. Le Crueset is the brand known for high quality enameled cast iron. Dreamy. Definitely not an option for my budget though.
So what is a budget-minded gal to do? The firepit is not an option. Raw foods only, definitely not an option.
Well… experts agree that glassware is still a great way to cook. But, for stove-top preparations, the food sticks and clean up is a great bother.
High heat enamel has been mentioned by some as a very good option.
The green pots are making some decent appearance in the cookware market, but here again, time will tell about the safety of this new nanotechnology. I am not eager to run to the front lines in the name of easier washing.
For me, I have landed back with Granny. And so happy about it actually!
I feel so down-home and authentic with the new-old thing. Do you cook with iron skillets too?
I did purchase a seasoned one recently, but then coated once more with good ole coconut oil. Heated at 400 for about a half hour or so, just to be sure.
My sweet neighbor brought me a fresh dozen eggs from her little brood. (We love, love eggs! A perfect protein from heaven! Watch for upcoming post…) With a big grin, I threw in a chunk of butter and sizzled away.
Absolutely loving this new addition to my kitchen. Don’t know why it took me so long to go backwards in my thinking! The clean-up is just a quick wipe. The danger of toxic chemical flecks is absolutely gone. The only thing to be careful about is temper control. Uh. No, that’s temperature control. I forget that the handle gets warm, and so I need to get one of those awesome quilted handle holders to complete the ensemble. I suppose it could also be hard on a smooth top stove if one is not careful to pick it up (rather than slide it across the stove top). But so far… so happy! And, the iron that may very well find its way into your food will not be harmful. Your body may benefit from the bonus!
As you examine the daily rhythms of your life, do wrap a few minutes around the utensils that hold your awesome meals! The little changes in this arena surely prevent body burdens from accumulating. A shift well worth our efforts. Once the change has been made, then the cookware can do what it is meant to do for years to come — saute, sizzle, simmer your awesome meals until they are prepared just right and ready to be savored!
Any other iron-skillet-loving-folks reading along? ‘Twould be a pleasure to hear a good skillet story!