Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hidden dangers of cookware and beauty of Sarbloh...

I went to someone's house a while ago and they mentioned how they listened to a presentation about the hidden dangers of different types of cookware. The person speaking was not a Gursikh and I was pleasantly surprised that he was praising Sarbloh (cast iron). He said the Khalsa Rehat is Sarbloh and that the British introduced bronze dishes (which we call 'pittal' in Panjabi) to Panjab to weaken the Panjabis and Sikhs minds. He said that eating out of bronze over time leads to weakening of one's memory. The person claimed that the British during the Raaj wished to affect the minds of the people of Panjab and therefore introduced cookware and utensils that would slowly over time affect the mental health of the people. 

I decided to do some research about the different types of cookware and found the following:

There are many grades of stainless steel. Regular stainless steel cookware is made from different alloys including scrap metal.For cleanliness and safety reasons, you food should be cooked on only high -grade surgical stainless steel. "The kind of steel used in most stainless steel cookware is not the best metal in which to prepare foods. Most stainless steel cookware sold in stores is of such a nature as to allow chrome and nickel to bleed out into foods as water and food chemicals react with the walls of the vessels as they are heated. The chrome and nickel salts are retained when ingested. They cannot be eliminated. They build up and in time can create troublesome conditions". - Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review Division of Science, Engineering and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University at Erie, The Behrend College, 16563 Erie, Pennsylvania, USA.

Poor heat distribution. Foods stick and burn. Contains lead. Lead can cause reproductive harm and learning disabilities. Prop. 65 If gas is unleaded, shouldn't our cookware also be free of lead

Can scratch, chip and flake. "Exposure to Teflon resins at temperatures above 393ºF may produce a condition termed polymer fume fever characterized by flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, body aches, nausea and occasional vomiting." Federal Aviation Agency Occupational Health & Safety Bulletin. A chemical, C-8, used to make non-stick coated pans has been linked to birth defects in humans to cancer in laboratory animals. The chemical is also present in the blood for up to 4 years and can show up in breast milk.

Very soft metal. Extreme chemical reaction between food and pan. Aluminium is used in most Gurdwaras in the West for cooking Langar and distributing Degh, however this is not only not part of Maryada but also hazardous for one's health. "All Vegetables cooked in Aluminium produce hydroxide poison which neutralizes digestive juices, producing stomach and gastrointestinal trouble, such as stomach ulcers and colitis." Dr. A. McGuigan's Report on Findings for the Federal Trade Comm. In Docet Case No. 540 Washington, D.C. Note: The sale of aluminium cookware is prohibited in Germany, France, Belgium, Gr. Britain Switzerland, Hungary and Brazil.
Sarbloh (iron) utensils
A good choice is that old standby, cast iron, which is known for its durability and even heat distribution. Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough iron—which the body needs to produce red blood cells—as it seeps off the cookware into food in small amounts. Unlike the metals that can come off of some other types of pots and pans, iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

When you wash any utensils, whether plastic, steel, glass, etc, you wash as much as you can, but inevitably because there is a solid layer, you will never get it perfectly clean. However when you wash sarbloh (iron) utensils and dishes, you will find that you actually through the motion of washing, you scrap a layer of iron off, and it reveals a completely new layer of sarbloh.

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!


Anonymous said...

dhan sikhi! Very interesting post Bhai Sahib, thank you for sharing this :D

Anonymous said...

Waheguru! Isnt it hard though to keep sarbloh rehit and this country and day and age manvir? Do you not eat any takeaways or food not made in sarbloh?

Thanks, wjkk wjkf

ham baarik mugadh said...

very nice although it would be better if there was a picture showing sarbloh baateh or even cast iron utensils

Anonymous said...

More care is needed with cast iron.

After washing and drying cast iron utensils need to be oiled to avoid rusting.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous jee, if the Gursikh has pyaar and jap naam for Guru Sahib then don't think they will find it hard to keep Sarbloh, even in western countries! :) This really is an ecouragement to eat in sarbloh one day! Vaheguru!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this :) I would love to keep sarboh rehit, but my parents would think I'm crazy. :(

Manvir Singh said...

Veer Jee who asked about takeways.

I personally do not eat out. As a Sikh we are instructed in the Sri Akal Takht Maryada that we cannot eat from from Kureemaar (female baby killers), Narreemaar (smokers), Sirgum (Mone, people who dishonour their Kesh) etc. This is most basic minimum Rehat which all Sikhs should be following. Most food "prepared" outside is touched by smokers. We should try our best to avoid this situation.

Food cooked at home is tasty, healthy and spiritually uplifting.

Anyone can cook in Sarbloh. You don't have to be Amritdhari. Even if you wish to eat in steel, try cooking daal sabjee in sarbloh and you will still taste different. Sarbloh is good for vibrating and therefore when we do Paath and Simran and cook food, the spiritual vibrations vibrate into the food, hence Sarbloh is used in Amrit Sanchaars.

I just think its a nice healthy habit to try and incorporate where possible.

Anonymous said...

WaheguroojikaKhalsaWaheguroojikiFateh!! Veerji, historically Wrought Iron had been called Sarabloh as it was the purest form of commercial iron available. Cast Iron has high carbon content and other impurities and hence not sarabloh. Also cooking in Cast Iron is not healthy as it is in wrought iron.

Anonymous said...

If you use the Sarbloh utensils everyday, you do not need to oil them. After washing, just dry with a cloth and heat on stove for about 10-15 seconds.

You only need to oil is you are going away for a few days.

Amritpal Singh said...

how to differntiate between sarbloh and cast iron

Anonymous said...

This is interesting, but I'm have a lot of questions about sarbloh rehit.

Where would one be able to buy all the utensils needed?

Other than dhal and sabji, what do you cook? If I am understanding correctly, eating out of sarbloh would limit the foods you eat. Does this mean you do not eat frozen foods and cook things in the oven? Or make everything from scratch? Sorry I am very confused.

If you go to the Gurdwara with a sarbloh bata, does this mean you will eat the langar made not in sarbloh, in your bata? I've seen that.

I would like to eventually adopt this rehit when my doubts have been cleared up, but I'm at uni and will be living in a family house for the next few years. I would not know how to ask them to change their lifestyle for me.

Brenda Lee Sawich said...

In my home here in Canada we had cast iron frying pans. They start out greyish. However in time they become black from layers of cooking I suspect. We were instructed not to soak them or use soap as this would take off the protective oil layer and to dry them immediately so they did not rust.

Tomatoes react with the pan so I was told and thus minute amounts of iron is released into the food.

So what is the Sikh way to clean my cast iron frying pans which are in deed black? And I do not have any cast iron woks or pans like in the photo.

What other metals or ingredients go into the iron utensils and karas and knives?

Don A. Dubose said...

lovely like this post.Cast iron cookware has excellent heat retention properties, and can be produced and formed with a relatively low level of technology.
I will also buy this cast iron cooker .i will try to cook in my favorable kitchen for my family .I love cooking with cast iron. cast iron helps in cooking for a few minutes .it keeps the food dry and warm .the prepared foods do not sting with the pan .