Non-stick coated pans have always been in my kitchen, for as long as I can remember. Have you ever tried to cook on anything else? For many years, I had never even seen a non-non-stick pan….and the first time I experienced attempting to fry an egg on one ( I think it was stainless steel), I vowed never to do it again, if I could help it.
And then I learned about health. And toxins. And how toxins affect your health (I mean in a negative way, of course). And I looked at my non-stick pans and pretended I didn’t know that my food may be poisoning me just for the fact that I’d cooked it on Teflon (actually called Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.)
Now, according to Wikipedia, Teflon does not begin to break down and release these toxic chemicals until it reaches 500F. However, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) states, “In two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year, according to tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group (EWG).”
Exposure to PTFE can create problems like low birth-weight babies, thyroid and liver issues, elevated cholesterol levels, as well as weakened immune systems.
Now, I’m not saying that using Teflon coated pans is the thing that’s most harmful in your life and that you should concentrate on changing your cookware ahead of making other changes, such as avoiding aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, or MSG. It isn’t.
However, I’m all into getting back to basics lately. I’m reading through the Little House On The Prairie books with my kids, and I just love the idea of going back to the way things used to be (not that I’m about to give up my Kindle or decide that I no longer want an iPhone or an iPad). I want old fashioned skills, and as part of my living simply and owning intentionally, I want to have quality items that will not only last, but can be used in a variety of ways. And if the thing can be used in a survival/off the grid scenario, all the better.
My new cast iron skillet definitely meets those criteria.
And did you know that cast iron IS non-stick if it’s seasoned properly? Another bonus is that bits of iron make their way into your food and into your body, helping to protect you against anemia, which for most people is a good thing.
I was a little intimidated by the whole “needing to season the pan” thing, and then I saw this brand of cast iron that comes already seasoned, ready to use. I’d been thinking about it more and more, especially when I tried to make my whole wheat pancakes on the skillet that’s in the new place where we’re staying, and had a really tough time due to the fact that the pan was completely warped and the batter kept running all over the place. So when I walked into Target and saw it for sale for under $20, it was a no-brainer.
I wonder what Ma Ingalls’ favorite thing to cook on hers was.
For more info, here’s an article from Natural News called “Ten reasons to try cast iron cooking.”