Many foodies and chefs get snobby about their cooking utensils. Some prefer katana-sharp Japanese imports, while others are devoted to a boutique European brand. Some chefs would grab their favorite knives before their photo albums in a fire.
The rest of us pick up our mashers, paring knives, spatulas and basters at yard sales, or -- gasp -- big box discounters. There are reasons why this might not be such a smart long-term investment, however. Cheap utensils are often made with plastics, which are petroleum-derived, scratch and break down, and may leach potentially toxic byproducts into your foods, from phthalates to bisphenol A. Cheap utensils are usually shipped from East Asia, often don't last very long, and normally give mediocre performance -- the main reason why discerning chefs turn their noses up at them.
Finer alternatives are offered by Lamson & Goodnow, the oldest cutlery and kitchen tool manufacturer in America. At the recent International Home & Housewares show, Lamson & Goodnow unveiled a new line of "green" performance utensils. "The retailers loved that it was the real deal; we didnt just 'green' the packaging as so many are trying to do," says Paul Ferreira, a sales and marketing manager with Lamson & Goodnow.
The steel used in the utensils is 90% recycled (the industry standard is 30-50%, according to Ferreira). The handles are 100% post consumer recycled paper, which is the first in the industry, says Ferreira. The tools are heat and water resistant, dishwasher safe, and are expected to come in "very cool colors." Like all Lamson & Goodnow products they are made in northwestern Massachusetts.
We got to check out the GoodNow Chef's Slotted Turner ($26.99 online) and GoodNow Mini Masher ($30.99). They both seem very solid.
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