July 2011

Just Say No to Teflon

I don’t like it when my food sticks to the pan, and I bet that you don’t either. Thanks to Teflon, our parents enjoyed a lifetime of cooking with nonstick cooking equipment, and I’m sure it made their lives a lot easier—and less buttery, which their arteries were likely thankful for. But it turns out that Teflon is not the miracle product that we wish it was.

You have to remember that Teflon is a chemical, not some kind of miracle covering to use on your pots and pans. And like other chemicals, it can result in some pretty harsh side effects. Some studies are apparently linking it to early menopause in women, and knowing several women who hit menopause early, I can say that it looks like something that wouldn’t be fun to go through.

Apparently when Teflon is heated, it releases a chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid. This substance can kill birds—and we use it to prepare our food! Then there is the fact that the chemical can cause what Teflon producers refer to as a fever, causing flu-like symptoms in humans. In animal tests, the chemical has been known to cause cancer and other health problems, including death.

Yeah, I don’t think that sounds very encouraging, either.

So do yourself a favor and stop buying Teflon products. If you have them, you may want to consider getting rid of them and switching to non-coated cooking supplies. Stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans are considered good bets; glass is a good choice, too. And I know you probably don’t want to generate waste; I don’t like to get rid of things when the ones I have are perfectly useable, either. But this chemical isn’t safe for us or our families—and apparently the majority of Americans already have it in our blood, so we could all use as much detoxing from Teflon as we can manage.

How To Declutter: Get Rid Of It!

I have been talking a lot about decluttering lately with friends and family. My theory is that the economic downturn caused a lot of people to spend more time at home. And the more time you spend at home, the more you start to think, "Man, this place is a disaster!"
I consider myself something of a decluttering ninja. Five years ago I moved from a 1,200 square foot 2-bedroom apartment to a 400 square foot cabin without a single closet or interior wall. What you see is what you get.