Tuesday, May 25, 2010


An odd realization struck me yesterday while I was preparing dinner...  I have not used the microwave to cook anything - not even to boil water - since December of 2009.  In addition,  I have not used a teflon coated pan in that same time.  All of my cooking has been using glass, stainless steel, cast iron, or grill.  The Maker's Diet recommends against using microwaves and teflon and this is a relatively easy recommendation to follow, so I have been complying with it.
I say that it is relatively easy because it is actually quite frightening to realize how much I had relied on using a microwave to cook or reheat things.  Cooking food without a microwave actually takes some prior planning and preparation!  Of course I knew this simple fact but, as I have mentioned previously, planning everyday meals has never been my strong suit.
Also, avoiding teflon wasn't terribly difficult for me as I had some glass and stainless steel pans already.  I also was able to get a couple of cast iron skillets from my parents that have been in the family for a couple of generations.  They weren't really using them much, so I now have them.  Still, cleaning cast iron is a somewhat delicate operation - soak them in water or leave them wet will cause them to rust, scrub them with soap and they lose the seasoning that keeps food from sticking.
It is really easy to see why teflon and microwaves are so widely used.  They certainly make food preparation and clean-up a lot easier and faster.  The question is, what is the 'equal and opposite reaction' they cause?  Yes, I am aware that I am quoting Newton's Laws of Motion there, but it does seem fitting.  We use these things to make our lives easier - to accommodate the fast pace of our lives.  Whether or not there are detrimental effects on human health will likely always be debated.  There are certainly some disturbing facts about teflon and its effect on domesticated birds, however.  It seems to me that if the fumes generated by heating teflon coated pans can kill birds then we should probably think long and hard about using it to cook our food.  Coal miners used to keep caged canaries in the mine with them as an early warning system.  If the canary died, it was time to get out of the mine!

Yesterday, I made quinoa for the family - they are a little hesitant to try new things - and they loved it!  I made it the same way that I did the first time I tried it - soy sauce, onion, garlic, flax seeds, and quinoa.  It came out really good and they actually asked for more.  This is a huge step forward in our family nutrition.  I am definitely looking forward to exploring more possibilities for quinoa.