Friday, August 12, 2011

My quest to avoid unnecessary chemicals--the hunt for muffin tins

Have you read the book Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie? If you are up for your eyes being opened to the plethora of chemicals we are unknowing exposing ourselves to, I highly recommend it. I've linked to Amazon so you can see a little bit of the book. Just click on the picture of it below.

One chapter of the book is focused on what the Guinness Book of World Records deems to be the world's slipperiest substance--Teflon. Here's an excerpt from the book:

"It's well known that Teflon--and its chemical relatives (called PFCs, or perfluorinated compounds)--are used to coat frying pans. Less well known is the fact that they're also used to line pizza boxes and windshield wipers and to make bullets and computer mice, and they're a key ingredient in cosmetics and clothing.

"It's Everywhere," says DuPont's tagline for Teflon. And that is precisely the problem. It's not supposed to be everywhere. Not in the flesh of ringed seals in the Arctic. Not in the blood of 98 percent of Americans and certainly not--as we shall see--in the drinking water of the residents of Parkersburg, West Virginia."

The story of what happened to the town of Parkersburg is shocking. But what's more shocking is we are using this stuff everywhere! Yes, I understand that it is durable, fireproof, and nothing sticks to it. "But the very properties that make PFOA [the chemical in Teflon] commercially desirable also cause environmental and human health concerns. Its durability, slipperiness and resistance to breakdown are a major problem. Nothing gets rid of it. Not sunlight. Not our stomach acids. Once PFOA is created it takes a very, very long time to go away. It may persist in the environment for centuries. Every molecule that has ever been created is still around and will be around for the foreseeable future." 

As a breastfeeding mother, I was pretty concerned when I realized that this stuff is in my breast milk. Great, I'm feeding this chemical to my daughter that is believed to be toxic and cause developmental issues, birth defects, hormone disruption and high cholesterol. Yummy! Here Sweetie have some more.

Well, it goes without saying that when it was time to get muffin tins, we didn't want a non-stick coated variety. Should be pretty simple, right? Not so much. 

I had tried a silicon version in the past and hated them so much that I threw them out. Me. I threw something out. Yes, I can see jaws dropping. For those who don't know me, I try to free-cycle, craigslist, donate to others, or at the very least recycle something. Not the silicon muffin cups. They were virtually impossible to get clean and thus I couldn't get them clean enough that I was willing to give them away. Silicon on it's own is annoying to clean, but when you add ridges and baked on oils. Uggg. NEVER AGAIN!

So we start our search, going to all kinds of places that sell new muffin tins because I love homemade banana cherry muffins. Off we go to Zellers, Walmart, specialty housewares stores. No luck. We were even scoping the isles of our local thrift shops, and yard sales. Still no luck. At this point I was getting pretty fed up and turned to my mother-in-law for some advice on where to go, it's been a couple months at this point and I really miss homemade muffins. My mother-in-law has been very good at finding things in stores for us in the past that we haven't been able to. 

Well, low and behold, she has muffin tins of her late mothers that she doesn't like the size of, so she passed them on to us. SCORE! Well, I took a good 5 to 10 minutes with my amazing Shaklee pots and pan scrub and here we have our 'new' muffin tins. And the best part is, in a couple of years when my daughter is old enough to make muffins with me, she'll be making them with her great grandmother's muffin tins.

Now that we have these and I'm not looking for my muffin pans, I've found out that Pampered Chef sells both a stainless steel line and a stone line of bakewear that would have done the job. Guess I should have gone to that party when I was invited. . .

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