Earth Friendly Products

As the popularity of green product claims continues to spread, it’s important to understand the claims you can trust and the ones that are fooling you. Since the kitchen is the hub of the household and is said to harbor more bacteria than even the bathroom, it’s seems to be the most obvious place to start to be more conscious about cleanliness and the environment.

There are conscious choices and products you can easily incorporate into your kitchen to make it a healthier, more eco-friendly environment for everyone. Below are some tips and trusted kitchen products for a greener kitchen.

Use cleaning products and dish detergents that are 100% free of chemicals to wash your dishes, countertops and all surfaces exposed to food

Earth Friendly Products

Earth Friendly Products is the leader in the development and production of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies for household use with over 150 products manufactured with only sustainable plant-based ingredients that are safe for people, pets, and the planet.

The company proudly adheres to its strict “Freedom Code”, a list of harmful and toxic ingredients that are not found in any its products.

Think Twice Before Using Traditional Non-Stick Pans


GreenPan’s Thermolon, natural surface does not have the same harmful effects as traditional non-stick pans that are created with PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene) so no PFOA (PerFluoro0ctanoic Acid) can be released into the environment. PFOA is classified as a “likely human carcinogen.”

GreenPan is trying to educate Americans about the harmful effects of traditional non-stick cookware. Less energy is used in the application of Thermolon coatings onto the GreenPan product itself. This results in a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process compared to the application of a normal PTFE based coating.

Eliminate Aluminum, Go for Recycled Parchment and Cook In a Bag


PaperChef, a Toronto-based company founded in 2010, developed a line of products that includes parchment rolls, parchment cooking bags and parchment baking cups.

Sustainability and cleanliness were highly important, resulting in packaging made of 100% biodegradable FSC recycled paper printed with vegetable based inks. Storing and cooking with paper-over foil and plastic-is more natural and better for both humans and the environment.

The French method of cooking “en papillote”-a parchment-style method steams food to perfection and enhances natural flavors, without synthetic sprays and high-fat oils for simple, healthy meals. Entire meals can be cooked in a bag, which can then be re-recycled or composted.

Have Beverages On Hand That Are Produced Without Pesticides


Harvested using natural farming practices, all of Teatulia teas are cultivated without the use of pesticides, machinery and unnatural irrigation. The Teatulia garden was started in 2000 in order to give back to the community in a meaningful way. With 50% of the population below the U.S.poverty line the company sought to establish a business that would both protect our environment and provide a means to a living wage for the surrounding community therefore establishing the garden as a cooperative open to the workers and neighbors in surrounding villages. Each tea has its own unique, health benefit.

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Searching for the right Pot…

Tonight I’m preparing a pot roast, with potatoes and carrots. Nothing makes the house smell better than a nice roast cooking in the oven — the smells just make it feel so comfortable and familiar. It sort of reminds me of Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house. Grandma always went to church on Sunday, while Grandpa stayed home and cooked — usually a pot roast. It was always cooked to perfection.

Five days ago, on an impulse we decided to purchase a new Breadman TR2700 Breadmaker. I immediately came home and made the sourdough starter recipe that came with my Breadman Breadmaker. Tonight, I’m using the starter for the first time and I’m very excited to see how it will turn out. We are all trying to eat healthier and let’s face it, I simply don’t have a lot of faith in our food supply. There have been too many recalls and too many new regulations on what we can and can not buy or eat.

I consider myself very lucky to have a husband who loves good food and enjoys buying quality kitchen tools and appliances. The trouble I’m having is getting used to all these wonderful new items. You know how it is, every cook has his or her favorite cooking tools that have become habit. When you make this dish, you use that utensil. It’s comfortable. Now, I have all these really nice commercial quality cooking tools and I forget to use them. I love these Tovolo spatulas, I just love to use them, the feel good in my hand.

I didn’t have any trouble getting used to my Vollrath Tribute pans either. When I brought them home, I threw my old teflon pans away. I was concerned for my families health. My pans were at least 10 years old, the teflon was starting to peel and I know I had overheated them many times.

In new tests conducted by a university food safety professor, a generic non-stick frying pan preheated on a conventional, electric stovetop burner reached 736 °F in three minutes and 20 seconds, with temperatures still rising when the tests were terminated. A Teflon pan reached 721 °F in just five minutes under the same test conditions… DuPont studies show that the Teflon offgases toxic particulates at 446 °F. At 680 °F Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses.

It wasn’t until I began researching, cookware sets that I uncovered the details. I had no idea that teflon coated pans will begin to leech into the food, once the pan is heated past 446 °F. I knew that aluminum pans can potentially be  bad to cook in. They conduct heat really well, which is why cheaper pans were often made from aluminum, but you don’t want that stuff in your food.

I’ve gradually been switching everything in my kitchen over to commercial grade stainless steel. It cleans up well, cooks evenly and lasts forever. It’s not cheap but I don’t expect to have to replace any of it in the next 20-years. I simply love my Vollrath Tribute pans — they are even made in the U.S.A., which really pleases me.

I need a new stock pot, which is what has me on the topic of cookware again. My last pot was dropped during our last power outage, when I was heating up water and the side got smashed in.  Time for a new one. So, I was searching around on Amazon (I like to comparison shop, before I plunk my money down on any old thing.) looking for a price on a 16 qt. stockpot made by Good Housekeeping but apparently they are now a Wal-Mart brand, and are not available on Amazon. Besides, the pan was made in China.

During my search I was checking out the Vollrath pans — maybe I would just add a huge stock pot to my cupboard. I just about fell out of my chair when I found a 7-piece set of Vollrath Optio Deluxe Cookware for $99.54 on Amazon. Wait a minute — that can’t be right. You can barely buy a single  Vollrath Trubute pan for that price — let alone an entire set.

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t able to find out much about these pans. The Vollrath website say only that…

Optioâ„¢ by Vollrath is stainless steel cookware is specifically designed for the value conscious chef. Constructed of high quality stainless steel and featuring an aluminum-clad bottom for quick and even heat distribution, all Optioâ„¢ by Vollrath Cookware is Induction ready and perfect for use on any type of stove.

I can’t imagine that the quality is anywhere near the quality I’ve come to appreciate from my Vollrath Tribute pans. I haven’t settled on a pan yet — I’m still doing my homework. I even checked out the  All-Clad Cookware that everyone swears is the best,  but I just can’t see spending that kind of money on a set of cookware. What is your favorite kind of cookware or cooking equipment? How much is too much to spend on food preparation?

Not just for baking!

I was updating the section on Making Homemade Baby Formula tonight, when I realized I still have a few secrets I haven’t shared with you over the years. I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.

Glass with measured ounces.

Glass with measured ounces.

Last year, the whole household came down with the flu. I was passing out vitamins, liquid supplements and cough syrup at the speed of light. If you’ve ever tried giving kids their medicine, you know how much fun it is to clean out those measuring scoops. Forget about those plastic cups too. They are made of cheap plastic — you can never be sure they are really clean.

Well, I found the perfect solution, I use these terrific little  measuring cups for everything. Yes, we’ve broken a few of the larger (5 oz.) cups  but the smaller shot glass size are very sturdy — I keep at least four on-hand. The entire family uses them.

Apparently, they are becoming quite popular, because each time I check there are more selections available. I can hardly wait to buy a couple more.

Here they are:

These measuring cups are perfect for measuring medicine, liquid supplements, measuring seasonings, converting recipes and I am sure I’ve forgotten a few other uses. I even have a heavyweight plastic cup with feet, for the little ones.

I just found this measuring cup for those larger jobs. It appears to have a measure for every thing imaginable.

Grandma always said it was important to have the right tool for the job and she was right. I find myself using these cute little glasses almost everytime I use the kitchen.

I know when I purchase new kitchen items, I always wonder, “How often will I really use this item?”  When I bought my new Vollrath (Tribute)  cookware, I was thrilled with every piece. Even today, it feels good to cook with these terrific pans. I am no less enthusiastic about these measuring cups.

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