Thursday, June 18, 2009

Teflon Alternatives

It seems that with each passing year we learn more about the health dangers of our cookware. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's and now Teflon has a host of concerns. You can read about this at my recent post, Teflon Terror!

In order to provide you with some alternatives, I'm bringing you a few tidbits of possibilities. I wish there were more. As much as I have read and heard nothing problematic about stainless steel, we all hate cooking with it. Nonstick is so much easier to cleanup that we have now been spoiled, destined to wander the Earth in search of an alternative to Teflon. Pristine Planet has some nice Eco-friendly options. Check it out. Also, I have heard and am checking on a new line from Cuisinart. I'll get back to you on that.

I've been cooking with a cast iron skillet for many years. Once seasoned, or broken in properly (just some oil rubdowns and a few uses) the cleanup of a cast iron skillet is not nearly as disgusting as it appears. Actually, a quick soak in hot, soapy water will do the trick for everything I cook.

The other benefit is that most cast iron cookware can also go in your oven. This gives you much more flexibility, and requires less storage space.

Granted, cast iron is heavy and not as glamorous looking as the beautiful Calphalon cookware we find in kitchen superstores. However, in my humble opinion, Calphalon could stand to go on a diet, if it doesn't want to be compared to cast iron. Have you ever lifted their large saucepan? Bring a hand truck if you decide to buy a set of this stuff.

Consider this. Cast iron cookware has been found to leave small residues of iron in our foods, small enough to be considered a mineral enrichment. Reports I've read over the years gave glowing kudos to these old fashioned pans that we love to hate and hate to love. Yet, we often fail to consider the nutritional and health consequences as quickly as we dismiss these darlings for their less desirable appearance. Why has some company not yet made cast iron with a beautiful red exterior of ceramic? Maybe I have a business idea here. Would you buy them if they were pretty?

Bad news. Or good news, depending on your vantage point. I'm too late. There are already red ceramic-coated, cast iron skillets on the market. A note to my family: these babies are on my wish list...hint, hint, wink wink! Check it out:

1 comment:

Doyle said...

Interesting and well-written post on a subject that interests me. In my family we cook with cast iron every day. or at least every day we cook. I think cast iron cookware is the real non-stick cookware.

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