When I got my very first apartment as a single gal out in the world, my mom took me to Macy’s and together we picked out a gorgeous 13 piece set of non-stick cookware. I always had an interest in being healthy, but back then (way, way back then, wow), my focus was on fat-free, low-fat cooking. Butter was out, Teflon was in. It was also, in hindsight, an introduction to the easy sale of “Better Living Through Chemistry” because the non-stick would supposedly free me from all that time scraping pans of burnt on crud. Instead, my burnt on crud would slide magically off the nonstick. That is, until roommates of one sort or another would get their dirty little forks in it, scraping and tearing up the lining. Thankfully, this didn’t happen much as whenever I lived in a house with roommates, I would tuck my precious cookware away and we would use theirs.
And now that we know the dangers of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in nonstick cookware, as well as in GoreTex (another favorite when I was living in Portland and Seattle during this time), I had it in the back of my mind for some time to replace my non-stick with stainless.
15 years later, I finally replaced that stuff last month. There was a sale at Costco on a 15 piece set of Stainless Steel Cookware over Christmas and I snapped it up for myself. My swanky nonstick cookware was almost a grand, and this new set was less than $200. Why hadn’t I done it sooner? Well, I think in my head I imagined another thousand dollar purchase and that is really a pretty big deterrent for me! So when I saw this inexpensive but very nice looking set, I snapped it up!
It is lovely and functional and it is not as difficult to scrape burnt on crud as you might think. I’ve tested it’s capabilities. You see, water is corrosive and if you just let something sit in the sink filled with water and a drop or two of soap, it will loosen up. Don’t tell me you clean it right after you cook. I know you’re not that perfect!
So anyway, that was a big, but easy, $200 change that hopefully will save us from all kinds of chronic illnesses as a result of their nasty composition.
The big question is, how do I dispose of them? According to the Environmental Working Group “unlike any other toxic chemicals, the most pervasive and toxic members of the PFC family never degrade in the environment.” I guess they’re here to stay? Maybe I should consider an art piece of toxic household crap that no longer has a use and won’t ever go away. Should I call it “Still Life with Slow Death,” “Domestic Disease?” You tell me? What do you think?