Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Resolutions: Glass and Stainless Steel

I've been working on this one since last year and we've really cut down on the plastics in our kitchen. We no longer store food in plastic containers. We use glass with BPA-free lids. Granted, we still do use plastic bags, but I'm happy for the baby step of the plastic containers being gone. :)

One of my Christmas wishes was to replace my plastic cooking utensils with stainless steel ones. Oh... Santa was very good to me!!! I received a spaghetti spoon, two spatulas, several different sized strainers, a pizza cutter, an apple corer, and a ladle. As an added bonus, I got a cafetiere and a small stove top coffee maker (mostly just for boiling water for my tea). How fun is that!?!

I also received a SS bakeware set (2 pizza pans, 1 cookie sheet, 1 pie pan, and 2 cake pans). I will be removing the aluminum bakeware that I've been using for years.

Although there isn't a solid case against aluminum cookware, here's a test I suggest you try: Take 1 aluminum pot and boil water in it for 5 minutes. Take 1 Stainless steel pot and boil water in it for 5 minutes. Take a spoon-full of each water (blow on it first, of course) and taste it. The SS water tastes like water. The aluminum water tastes like... aluminum. Yuck. Not an added flavor I want in my food.
My MIL gave me a set of large glass mixing bowls with BPA-free lids, too! I had a great Christmas! (I'll talk more about my "big" gift in another post.)

So with all this changes, I've got one more large section to tackle: kids plates, bowls, and cups. Blech. What a mess of plastic there. I don't even know what "number" the plastic is on most things. I'm assuming it's food safe, but I know several aren't microwave safe. (Although that doesn't matter because I don't have a microwave anymore.) I do worry about putting hot food on their plastic plates though. Does something harmful leech in? I really don't know.

Part of my aversion to plastic is obviously the health side of it. The other side is just that it is not aesthetically pleasing to me. I *want* to get rid of it.

Here's my plan for the year:

  • change their plastic plates to stainless steel or stoneware (I LOVE this set, but think my kids are probably too old for it now.)

  • GET RID OF THE SIPPY CUPS! All of my kids (yes, my 7 year old too!) drink from sippy cups. It's just time for the switch to "careful cups". (Nathan started calling cups without lids "careful cups" because we would always tell him to be careful while drinking from them. The name just stuck!) I hate the top, the valve, and the non-numbered plastic cups. Plus, the boys have warm chocolate milk every morning and I'm sure there was a disclaimer on the package regarding warm beverages not being used in sippy cups. :P
  • Just for fun, I'd love to add these glass straws to my kitchen! Aren't they cute?!!! (You can see them in action over at Green and Crunchy!) We don't use a lot of straws, though, so this would totally be a fun luxury! :)
  • Add a few more bakeware pieces. I'd like another cookie sheet, two jelly roll pans, and some muffin pans. Not that I'll get these all this year, but it's what's on my wish list.

With all this stainless steel stuff coming in, I jokingly said to Jeff, "You know... I'm gonna want a SS kitchen when we finally build a house. I'll need it to match all my fun kitchen gadgets."

His reply? Something along the lines of, "You found out my little secret! I was getting all this stuff to build my case for a matching SS kitchen!"

LOL! Great minds think alike. :)

As a side note, I read the other day that stainless steel might not be as safe as once thought. Enameled pans are supposed to best; however, at some point you just have to make a decision and make choices. Plus, living in the real world with financial restrictions I can't go changing my entire kitchen over whenever "they" say something is bad. We just have to do the best we can within the limitations we're under and with the knowledge we have. Period.

So, what do you cook/bake with?

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Andrea said...

Good steps you're taking but you're right - you can't stress too much and just have to be at peace with doing your best with the knowledge you have.
I use lots of glass pots for the stove and have a few ss pans. For Christmas I got a lot of pyrex glass storage to replace my GL*ADE ware. Kids are still using plascti though - not thrilled with it but haven't found something else yet.
Still taking baby steps myself!

Shobana Jayaraman (Srikumar) said...

Switching completely to SS is quite an effort. I really appreciate that you are taking that step one at a time. I wish you all the best.

The only plastic that I have at home are Tupperware cases for groceries and my sons sippers and of course the garbage bags. I use glass for microwave. One bad thing is that I still use Aluminium. After reading your post, I am going to head out to get some SS baking items. :)
As for the Tupperware, I cant yet think of a suitable replacement just as yet. But i know I will not get anything new that is Plastic and that will sit there gawking at me for years to come.
and about the comment you'd left previously on my post
You did not mislead me in anyway. I am aware of the fact that allergies are quite the uncertain things and don't have any distinct boundaries.

However I am at the moment in the process of collecting information that will help me further my conviction and positive stream of thought about my current situation.

If the allergy does not go away, nothing is going to be any different. But I'd like it to go away, cuz it feels better and much happier. I'd like to strengthen those thoughts :)

I'm very Happy to have found your blog. It is such a pleasure to read you.

Cheers and Best

Asian Jamaican said...

Bravo Becky!!! I never thought about replacing my storage containers & cookware. You have given me some really good food for thought!


Scottish Twins said...

2 years ago I went through the kitchen and got rid of 95% of the plastics. The only things I still have are sippy cups, Adam's travel coffee mugs and kid plates. I had never seen the stainless steel plates you linked. I would love to switch to those when we have some extra money.

I use a lot of cast iron to cook with, but still have some aluminum and other nasty non-stick pots and pans that I use. I need to get rid of them!

Sippy cups are the hardest part for me. With the boys still being so young, I have no idea what we would use in place of them. I got some Siggs for children at one time and then read that the Siggs can contain toxins. Do you think I can just have them use glass bottles forever? :P