Going Green?

I am all for being responsible and sensible in the way we use our natural resources. We hear about ethanol and wind power as two alternative sources of the energy we need to conduct our lives. They sound good, at least at first glance, because we don’t want to run out of oil! But are they?

Notice food prices going up and quality going down? Your food producers are planting corn for ethanol instead of food crops. Well, maybe it’s ok, you say, if we can reduce our dependence on oil. But did you know that it takes more energy to produce the ethanol than the ethanol produces? That creates an energy deficit. That is a negative (meaning a minus-sign) result. That does not seem to be a wise use of our natural resources. Also, do you think the corn is grown organically, without fertilizers and pesticides? I guarantee you it is not.

Have you ever thought about how much energy and how many natural resources go into the manufacture of those giant wind turbines used to produce electricity? Well, first the plants have to be built. Then, and continuously, raw materials have to be obtained (and some of those raw materials have already undergone manufacturing processes of their own), delivered (meaning trucked) to the plants, and then processed. Of course, the manufacturing process uses energy and probably produces some by-products that are shipped to landfills or storage facilities and others that are released into the atmosphere. Then the finished product has to be delivered (trucked) to the installation site where cranes (that run on diesel or gas) are used to assemble them. I wonder how long it takes one wind turbine to make up for the energy used in its manufacture and start returning a net benefit. I also wonder if they are built to last that long!

I think we need to think things through before jumping on any bandwagon. Of course, there are always people who want to profit however they can and will work to convince people to adopt their ideas. So I think people should think and research for themselves before getting on board with things.

Also a couple thoughts for all you cooks out there. Do you cook with Teflon-coated pans? Did you know that Teflon is one of the most toxic substances ever developed by man? There is a recording on my veterinarian’s "hold" that warns bird owners that the fumes from cooking with Teflon pans can kill birds. They advise using traditional stainless steel or glass cookware. I heard several years ago that the makers of Teflon were not honest (they probably said "mistaken")about either the amount or toxicity of the by-products in the manufacturing process in order to be able to continue producing it. I did not follow up to see what became of this claim, but if my vet says it can kill birds I sure don’t want to be cooking with it!

A second thought for cooks: Do you have aluminum cookware, or cookware with aluminum discs in the bottoms? Did you know that it takes about twice the heat to cook with aluminum as with stainless? And twice the time at those higher temperatures? If you use stainless, you don’t have to have your burners up as high and the food cooks faster. Try it. Get one good stainless pan in the size you use the most and see for yourself. Make sure it does not have the tri-ply or sandwiched bottom with an aluminum disc in there. You will be amazed; I was. (Food won’t stick if you clean the inside with Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bon Ami.)

Be wise and prosper.

Ok, I’m done with my soapbox for now! Thanks for taking time out of your life to read this.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you!

  2. Nicely said! ~MizDi

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