Popular Cookware Before it Becomes Popular…Again

Thanks to Bethany Jones for this post-L’abri blog post:

We are about to break out for our first session and I finally decide which workshop I am going to attend. The description reads “Discover redemption, recipes and recovery help from years of non-stick, no-fat pans by cooking with cast iron. It’s healthy, green and all you need for food prep or martial arts…” Before the conference-goers stand up to relieve their bladders and go to the next talk, my dear friend Lynnette asks me, “Which one are you going to?” I point to A5, “The Cast Iron Rises Again.” She quickly begins to laugh in my face. Ten minutes later I peruse the room and find an empty seat next to Lynnette. Disclaimer: Boys: it is true, girls do always change their minds.

A woman begins to introduce herself; her thin-rimmed glasses, silver hair and horizontal bangs reveal her creative nature. Margie Haack is the wife of Denis. They are co-directors of Ransom Fellowship, a ministry helping Christians engage in culture in a constructive and Christ-centered manner. They explore ways that Christians can be both authentic and winsome. Margie has a wonderful cooking blog and also writes a quarterly newsletter titled Notes From Toad Hall. Throughout the discussion Margie emphasizes the importance of finding the joy of the Gospel in the ordinary, every day rituals in life. This every day ritual does not necessarily have to be cooking. You can transform any seemingly, mundane activity by putting your full heart into it while delighting in the glory of God.

My thoughts on the workshop:

Let me just start off by saying non-stick pans are NOT good. After listening to Margie and doing my own research I found that non-stick pans were never meant for high-heat cooking. The instructions on any pan label state, “We recommend cooking using coated non-stick cookware at low to medium heat.” I also found out that “Avian veterinarians have known for decades non-stick cookware can produce fumes that are highly toxic to birds. In a single year a Chicago veterinarian documented 296 bird deaths involving non-stick cookware. In “Teflon toxicosis,” as the bird poisonings are called, the lungs of exposed birds hemorrhage and fill with fluid, leading to suffocation.” Doesn’t that make you want to fry some juicy bacon on your non-stick pan with your plastic spatula, which has chunks of plastic missing from the end? I didn’t think so. Not only is there chemicals being cooked right into our food, but we are flicking toxic plastic into our dinner as well.

Top 7 Reasons Why Cast Iron Cookware Is So Important:

Cast iron is naturally non-stick. If a pan is properly seasoned then nothing will stick to it. To find out how to season a cast iron skillet you can either talk to me or watch one of the sixty videos on YouTube explaining how.

Eco-easy clean up. All cast iron cookware requires for clean up is hot water and a stiff brush. Margie just wipes with one paper towel after she is done cooking and kills any germs when she heats up the cookware for the next use.

Cast iron can take the heat.
More importantly it distributes the heat more evenly than traditional cookware. Since it holds heat well, you can use less energy to cook.

You can take it with you anywhere. Who doesn’t love cooking over the campfire?

It’s a great “upcycling” opportunity.
Don’t ever worry about buying a cast iron skillet or other cast iron cooking vessel—like a Dutch oven—from a resale shop or garage sale. Even if it looks rusty and dirty, it can be cleaned and re-seasoned and continue on cooking… For-Eh-Verrr.

It’s good for you. Cast iron cookware leaches small amounts of iron into food, so you get a little extra iron each time you use it.  Almost anyone, especially women in their childbearing years, will benefit from this.

It is an extremely efficient defense weapon. This shouldn’t need an explanation.

You can probably find cast iron skillet in your grandma’s attic. Thrift stores are known for having cast iron skillets on their shelves but this fact will soon change when the knowledge of its benefits spread more widely. Top brand names are Griswold and Wagner; these are considered collectables, so keep an eye out for these treasures.

I encourage everyone to do their own research on this topic, but here are a couple more websites to check out:

http://www.epicurious.com/

http://blackirondude.blogspot.com/

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About Colleen Kelly

I graduated from Mizzou in May '09 with an English degree and joined staff with Veritas soon after. I'm originally from St. Louis, but love living in Columbia. Things I love: reading (anything and everything), walking, being outside, coffee, conversation, theology, exploring, saturdays, and adventures.
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