Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Process of (Un?) Re-Learning

The more I look around, observe, read, learn, the more I realize the depths to which we have been led around and duped. It's so much that there will be a series of these over the next few weeks.

One such moment came up as I used our trusty, not very old but definitely favorite, cast iron skillet. We pretty much leave it on the stove all the time, since we use it SO much. I think back as to why these have been replaced in most of our lives. Cast iron pots and pans last forever. In fact, the longer you use them, the better they get. The cheap crap pans we use nowadays, the light, "non-stick" things, do not last very long at all. And you have to use plastic spoons on them. Which also need replaced all the time. Unless you use bamboo, but I don't know of a majority of people who do that. (They should, those things are great.) It's a vicious cycle, and the manufacturers, corporations (can you say DuPont? I can) prefer it that way. Am I hinting of a conspiracy theory? Not so much but yes. (LOL) I was an X Files avid viewer. Let's just say that, over time, as we know, most things we use that used to last forever have been replaced by planned obsolescence. This is not a new statement for me, you know that. But I'm really starting to laser-focus in on it now.

Like my pan, as I pondered it today, as my onions caramelized nicely... When did we move away from them? And why? What were the reasons? Let us examine:

1) Stuff sticks.
No, it really doesn't. Once that pan is properly prepared and seasoned, nothing sticks to it. And I mean nothing. DuPont just wanted to sell Teflon, so they spun it, and we fell for it.

2) They are heavy.
Yeah, they are. And we are WEAK. Heck, I lift it for a good core exercise. I realize that older or infirm people would have a hard time with them, but your average everyday homemaker should have no problem. We are weak and lazy, and that is that. Heavy shmeavy. Get a backbone.

3) They are SO hard to clean.
*Insert obnoxious buzzer sound here.* Couldn't be further from the truth. It takes a few times before the thing is properly seasoned, sure... but then, it is the biggest piece of cake to clean that thing. Oh... and no detergents or chemicals needed, so there's another incentive for the big companies to get rid of cast iron in favor of their stuff.

Some other pluses that are seen as minuses by those who want to make money off of us:

1) This thing keeps the heat very steady. I actually HAVE to use a lower flame to cook with it. Therefore, I save gas. That's bad when you want people to use MORE gas and energy.

2) Since nothing sticks, I don't have to buy stuff like Pam etc, thereby saving money and keeping chemicals out of my food. Another bad thing for those who sell all that crap. They don't make money if we aren't buying their crap.

3) It will last me the rest of my life.
Enough said.

Maybe you can't use them on those glass-top stoves. But I never liked those anyway. Restaurants use some awesome pans that are good and light and expensive and they use them til you can see through them... and that works... but you notice THEY don't use non-stick pans that we buy every few years. Those were sold to us under false pretenses and we fell for it and we are still falling for it. Let's stop, shall we? Let's UN-learn what they have spun around us and RE-learn what we used to know better.

And I have to say, I have NEVER had grilled cheese sandwiches that taste as awesome as out of this pan. I'm in love.

What are you un-learning?