Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 01, 1975, Image 47

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Robert Rodale
Don’t Use Unnecessary
Kitchen Energy
By Robert Rodale
Someone once said, "The only sure things in life arc
death and taxes." Well, add rising prices for just about
everything to that small list. And one of the biggest Jumps
the consumer now must face Is rising cost of energy-be it
electricity, natural gas or oil.
Many of us have become adept at saving money. We
walk a little more. We’ve turned down our thermostats to
save money on fuel. Some of us-but unfortunately not
enough-have even continued the car pool that we started
last year during the gas crisis.
Since a lot of time is put into cooking in the kitchen, why
not save money by using waterless cookware?
It’s not a new idea. Waterless cookware has been
around for at least 15 years, but, in the parlance of modern
vocabulary, it’s an idea whose time has come.
Nancy Albright, author of “The Rodale Cookbook,” and
food editor of “Organic Gardening and Farming"
magazine, recently attended a demonstration dinner
prepared using the waterless cookware. She came away
enthusiastic about what she saw.
“I was impressed by the look and taste of the food,” she
said. “And as I watched the actual cooking of the meal, I
realized how much less energy was being used than with
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conventional methods-an important consideration these
the most impressive thing about waterless cookware is
the small amount of energy used to cook a meal. A beef
roast was cooked in an hour and a half on the top of a
stove. Besides that, the pots containing potatoes and
other vegetables were stacked on top of the meat Dutch
oven, utilizing as an energy source the heat under the
A similar meal cooked with conventional pots, pans and
an oven would require eight times the energy to do the
same job.
Even for cooking vegetables alone, the savings in ex
pended energy can be considerable. For example, all you
need is from four to six tablespoons of water (the cook
ware isn’t completely waterless). Then the pot is covered
and placed over a medium-high heat until vapor comes
out in a steady stream from the vent in the lid.
When the vapor starts to come out, you close the vent,
shut off the heat and wait. Three to 30 minutes later,
depending upon the vegetable, it’ll be cooked. Potatoes
might take longer. Spinach will be done quickly.
The finished product almost defies comparison. As
Nancy Albright says: “There’s very little vegetable water
left in the pot. Valuable nutrients aren’t poured down the
drain. The flavor of the cooked food is so good that little or
no salting is necessary.”
Of course, the one drawback is cost. Waterless cook
ware is expensive. A set of 21 pieces might cost as much as
$4OO. There are two primary reasons for the high cost. The
pots are of high quality, and they cost more to market.
There is no comparison between the waterless cook
ware and something you pick up on sale at a local
department store. Only the best quality steel-and a lot of
it-goes into those pieces. And, because they must form an
airtight seal, they’re machined to perfection.
Personalized marketing is another big contributor to
cost. A salesman demonstrates the pans in your home. He
comes, cooks a dinner, then tries to sell you a whole set of
utensils. You cannot buy one pot and a cover, or two, or
even three. You’ve got to buy the whole set. And that’s
where much of the expense occurs. You might never .need
a 21-piece set of waterless cookware, but that’s what
you’re going to buy-if you want any at all.
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\ Vj
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, Feb. 1,1975
1 cun understand why a salesman is needed. Waterless
cookware would probably not sell if it were placed on the
shelf next to a cheaper brand. Take two pots that look
alike, feel the same and actually seem the same, and the
buyer will probably opt for the cheaper lyand.
Waterless cookware is a fine investment in energy
saving and In nutritious, delicious cooking. I'd like some.
But I don’t know if I'd like 21 pieces Would you?
(Editor’s Note: The opinions appearing in "Orgnnic
Living" arc those of its author, Robert Rodalc, an in
dependent columnist. Rodalc's comments do not
necessarily reflect the thinking of the Forming
editor or anyone else on the Lancaster Farming staff.)
Tomato Day
A special Tomato Day
with emphasis on processing
tomatoes and mechanization
will be held for com
mercial 'growers on
February 12 at The Penn
sylvania State University.
This program, starting at
9:30 a.m. in the University’s
J. 0. Keller Building, is part
of the three-day Vegetable
Conference, Dr. Ernest L.
Bergman, Penn State
professor of plant nutntion
and conference chairman,
points out.
Topics on February 12 will
deal with a variety
evaluation; report of 1974
fertilizer trials; insect,
disease, and weed control;
the use of ethrel; pesticide
applicator certification;
mechanical harvesting; and
the economics of machine
“Those planning to attend
the Tomato Day should
make luncheon reservations
by February 7,” Dr.
Bergman said. This may be
done by contacting Dr.
Bergman in 206 Tyson
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Farm Equipment Inc.
RDI, Jonestown, Pa. 17038 Phone 717-865-4526
I ocaled Vz mile South of Fredencksbure off Route 343
Building, University Park,
PA 16802, or by writing to the
Agricultural Conference
Coordinator, 410 J. 0. Keller
Building, University Park,
PA 16802.
Robert F. Fletcher, Penn
State Extension vegetable
crops specialist, notes that
there currently are 30
mechanical tomato har
vesters in Pennsylvania and
predicts an increase in
acreage by 22 percent in
1975. This interest in
mechanical harvesting
prompted the organization of
this special one-day
“In sharp contrast to
previous years, more
tomatoes were machine
harvested during 1974 in the
state than in any previous
year,” Professor Fletcher
said. “Growers have not
been totally discouraged by
the below normal tem
peratures and relatively
high levels of rainfall during
the past harvest season.”