Jun 012015

crockOne of the first appliances I had when I moved into my own apartment was a crock pot my Nanny gave me. What a useful machine! I make spaghetti sauce, gluten-free meat balls, crock pot yogurt and of course, perpetual bone broth. I used it in university from time to time, but I really started to use it when I became a mom.

But when we did a hair test for Bug and found out he had elevated levels of cadmium and lead in his little body, I started to search for how the hell, with our ridiculously healthy lifestyle, he ended up this way. I don’t actually know, but I think one contributing factor could very well have been partly due to Nanny’s crock pot. Bug was consuming a lot of bone broth, cooked in my old crock pot in a desperate attempt to save his crumbling milk teeth.
I believe organic bone broth is crucial to good health, and I wasn’t about to stop serving it up. I did, however, go on the hunt for a slow cooker that wasn’t going to leach toxins into our broth. I found this article and approached Hamilton Beach for a slow cooker. They gave me a couple models to choose from and I happily picked the 7 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker (33473).
It’s much bigger than Nanny’s crock (it holds 7 quarts or 28 cups!) which is very helpful. I chose this model instead of others because it’s very simple.  This crock has very few bells and whistles. There is a programmable feature, but I’ve never found the need for it. You can easily choose from 2,4,6,8 or 10 hours and High or Low. My last crock pot would only let me use low for a long period of time and high for a short period of time, and I found that limiting.
The base is so lightweight. When not in use, I keep my crock pot on top of the cupboards in the kitchen. At 5’2″, I stand on a chair to get it up there, so the lightness is actually important to me!
As for the lead thing. unlike the Eco Friendly Mama, I didn’t do the easy, inexpensive test on my new crock pot or even the old one. I was due for a new crock pot anyway–lead or not. the inside was in very bad condition after over a decade of use (and using inappropriate utensils inside). I do, however, recommend doing the test before ditching the crock you already have. That’s very wasteful. In the end, my babysitter, who is a little less paranoid about toxins than I am, re-homed Nanny’s crock pot!
I trust this company, who seems to have addressed an issue that is coming to more and more peoples’ attention. From Hamilton Beach’s FAQ page: “Hamilton Beach specifications applicable to all slow cookers and their components (including the earthenware crocks) prohibits the product from containing any measurable amounts of lead. Furthermore, the factories that manufacture the earthenware crocks for Hamilton Beach are certified ceramic production facilities whose ceramic ware is deemed to satisfy FDA heavy metal requirements. Hamilton Beach takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the earthenware crocks accompanying our slow cookers provide safe and satisfactory service to our consumers.”

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