The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

The lowdown on green pans, bamboo accessories and other kitchen tools. Making the effort to cook most of your own meals at home is an effective strategy for reducing your environmental impact or your own personal “cookprint” (the environmental impact of cooking a meal, or the total amount of energy (from farm to fuel to fork) used in creating a meal). Part of the challenge is to ensure that what we are eating is from sustainable sources, and that what we chop-on, cook with and eat with is too. As someone who cooks for a living, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the kitchen. There’s been a surge in the marketplace of new and exciting cookware and kitchenware that is enabling us to reduce our personal cookprints. These eco options are often made from renewable or sustainable resources and are non-toxic and energy-saving. Here are some of my favorite green kitchen tools: COOKWARE More and more of us are becoming aware of the nasty side effects that non-stick pans made of Teflon can cause. Teflon releases PTFE and PFOA, two chemicals that are on environmentalists’ watchlists because they’ve been linked to cancer. We are therefore turning to the newest technology in cookware, which promises to be more eco-friendly and less toxic to our bodies, but offers the cost and convenience of traditional non-stick pans. (For the pros and cons of uncoated cookware options, click here

Here is the lowdown on a few of the new eco-cookware options available to us. The Green-Pan The veteran Green-Pan is one of the first eco-friendly pans to use Thermalon, a non-stick ceramic-based coating which does not contain any PTFE or PFOA. Hard-core cooking skeptics beware. This resilient pan has been built to withstand heats in excess of 850 F (450 C) without releasing any harmful or toxic chemicals, and it is dishwasher-safe, highly durable and scratch-resistant. Why it’s Green: • Uses Thermalon, which does not contain PTFE or PFOA • Actively reduces packaging material, printing ink and printing colours • Reduces carbon admissions during application of coating by 60% • Even heat distribution requires less energy to cook your food Where to Purchase: Green-Pans are sold across Canada at Home Hardware, Home Oufitters, The Bay, Sears as well as other smaller retail stores including The Cooks Place. Cuisinart Green Gourmet Cuisinart has launched a stylish and non-stick cookware line to keep up with the competition. The Green Gourmet series offers a hard-anodized aluminum pan that provides quick and even heat distribution. Its heat conductivity requires less energy to maintain cooking temperature and its scratch-resistant non-stick surface won't peel. The pans also offer a limited lifetime warranty. Why it’s Green: • Requires less energy to maintain cooking temps • PTFE and PFOA free non-stick cooking surface • Uses recyclable packaging Where to purchase: The Green Gourmet line can be purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Earthchef Earthchef is an earth-friendly line of kitchen products. What I love? They not only offer non-stick cookware but a full range of additional products including induction cooktops, bakeware, roasters, cutting boards, cutlery and knife blocks. An added bonus? Purchase the Earthchef 11” Tree Canada Skillet and BergHOFF will sponsor Tree Canada to plant one tree, and ensure its survival over 5 years. Why it’s Green: • 100 % non-toxic non-stick coating • PFOA- and PTFE-free • Sustainable and cost effective use of bamboo, recycled packaging and reduced use of synthetic materials Where to Purchase: The Earthchef series can be purchased at The Bay, Home Outfitters and Zellers. Starfrit Eco-Chef Series Don’t be fooled by the affordability of Starfrit’s Eco-Chef series. It has all the hallmarks of a great green product, using recycled, sustainable and non-toxic materials in its construction. The stylish and sturdy handle is also a nice variation on a typical metal handle, and is made from renewable bamboo. Why it’s Green: • Body made of 99% recycled aluminum • Coated with chemical-free ceramic powder, free of PFOA and PTFE • Handle made of bamboo, a sustainable material Where to Purchase: The Starfrit Eco-Chef series can be purchased at Canadian Tire. CUTTING BOARDS AND OTHER SERVING WARE Epicurean Series Gourmet Cutting Board Keep your food safe and your kitchen green with the pro-favorite, Epicurean Series cutting board. This FSC-certified board is made from sustainably harvested wood fibre. In addition, it is lightweight, scratch-resistant, knife-friendly, dishwasher-safe and heat-resistant. Need I say more? Why it’s Green: • FSC-certified • Made from environmentally friendly wood fiber Where to Purchase: Epicurean cutting boards can be found at Home Outfitters, The Bay, Nella Cucina and Placewares, among several other culinary stores. Bambu Cutting Boards and Serving Ware Bambu is not just a bamboo company. These guys are simply inspired by a renewable product that is the foundation of their company. Bambu offers a distinctive range of kitchen and home products made from renewable materials including cutting boards, veneerware (disposable dishes), serving ware and laquerware (stylish bowls, plates and serving products), all created to excite and delight people about sustainable alternatives for modern living. Their products are made only from organic bamboo that is sustainably harvested and free of fertilizers or pesticides. Why it’s Green: • All products made from 100% certified organic bamboo, a renewable product • Bambu supports fair trade practices Where to Purchase: Bambu products can be purchased at Crate & Barrel and Whole Foods Market, along with other specialty kitchenware stores. WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO TO GREEN OUR KITCHEN TOOLS: 1. Choose to purchase only the kitchen gadgets and tools that you really need. Taking the time to consider what types of foods you usually cook and what tools will be needed will help with this process. 2. Sharing kitchen gadgets and tools with family members, friends or neighbours will enable you to cut back substantially on what you all need to purchase. 3. Be creative in thinking of ways to use the kitchen tools that you already own. For example, don’t have a toaster? Use the broiler on your oven. 4. Buy quality kitchen tools and maintain them like you would anything else. Properly functioning tools will last longer and therefore eliminate the need to purchase broken items. Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com/gerenme