Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cookware Issues

One of the fun things (not!) about babysitting other people’s houses is dealing with their saucepans and pots. Sorry, their cookware. The problem is that you have this thing about being much more careful about other people’s stuff than they are themselves, or you would be about your own pots and pans in your own home. Okay, when things are new, you’re careful, but saucepans and posts/cookware are the sort of things that take a fair amount of punishment in the course of meal preparation: considerable heat, oils and food that may stick (even in so-called non-stick pans), and the rough and tumble of contact with other metals or hard surfaces. My wife was drying the dishes in one house we stayed at, and didn’t realise that the handle came loose from the pot. One click and the pot - an enamel one - was on the floor in umpteen pieces. We were far more worried about it than they were, as I said above, but their lack of worry doesn’t assuage the awful feeling you have when it falls to the floor.
Talking about cookware (saucepans and pots for the uninitiated), the Berndes Cookware site advertises both stainless steel cookware and cast aluminium (except they spell it aluminum). I was under the impression that aluminium cookware had come under suspicion for its cancer-inducing properties. Sounds like that must have been one of those many scientists-have-just-discovered-and-now-they-want-to-bring-the-bad-news-to-the-word pieces of hype.
Maybe. I checked this out on the Net, and there are still a number of places warning of the possible hazards of aluminium cookware, though one site says that it’s only certain foods that react such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, or leafy vegetables. Hmm, that’s quite a few common foods! Seemingly the foods absorb a level of aluminium during the cooking process, which of course ends up in us. It may depend on how much the body can cope with. Obviously this is something that I need to check out further!
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