Say hello to great biceps…and a healthier kitchen

I know, I know, you LOVE your handy teflon coated non-stick pan. It makes the “over easy eggs” in the morning, well…so easy!   But  that quick flip comes at a potentially high toxic cost.  According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, “In two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases…at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses.”

I say, no thank you!  I prefer my eggs with a little salt and peppa!

The truth is,  you can get a great non-stick surface on most stainless steel or cast iron pans by seasoning them yourself.  The process basically entails cleaning the pan,  coating it with oil,  and then heating it,  to form a carbon non-stick surface. Here are some detailed instructions.  I have seasoned my own cast iron pans and they work beautifully.

What to do with your Toxic Teffy?

  • Some cities will recycle them, so call and find out if you can put yours in the bin.
  • Call the manufacturer and ask if you can send it back (along with a sweet note about their responsibility to STOP making these mess makers in the first place!)
  • For really good quality pans, you might be able to have a local sandblaster remove the offending coating, leaving you with pristine pan ready to be properly seasoned.

So there you have it, turns out that sexy sculpted arms are not the only  benefit to using grandmas old cast iron!

Green Kitchens, a great place to start

Innovative green kitchen by Ekokook

In our house, everyone is  always congregated in and around the kitchen.  I can’t tell you how many parties we’ve had where the beautifully decorated, comfy living room with the pretty views, will be empty, while everyone is standing around noshing in the kitchen. The wonderfully organized desk we built into the kid’s room,  eschewed, in favor of doing  homework at the kItchen table.   I guess it is because the kitchen is quite literally the room that provides us nourishment.  It is a place where we connect with each other, where we can be creative and where we foster  our own good health, and potentially, that of the planet.  We are facing huge problems surrounding our current production and consumption of food, with negative ramifications being experienced in our economics, politics,  the environment,  and our health.  We have an incredible opportunity to reexamine our modern relationship to food and redesign our kitchens to nurture more sustainable practices.  So, if you are going green, the kitchen is a very good place to start.   A green kitchen should be  designed  to maximize energy efficiency,   incorporate smart water use,  utilize the most eco-friendly and sustainable materials and support good health.  Whether you retrofit an existing kitchen or start from scratch,  there are lots of decisions to be made. Here are a few of the things you need to think about.

  1. Choosing the most energy-efficient appliances to meet your needs
  2. Lighting. Making the best use of  natural light and supplementing with energy-efficient lighting
  3. Water use strategies.  Low water use fixtures. Greywater systems
  4. Choosing materials that are durable, non toxic and environmentally responsible for cabinetry, countertops and floors
  5. Choosing non-toxic paints and finishes
  6. Incorporating strategies to encourage recycling and composting
  7. Incorporating food production
  8. Choosing non-toxic cleansers and food storage systems