Stress Cooking by Kirtly Jones MD

As a retired physician, I take the physical distancing recommendations during the COVID-19 epidemic seriously.  As a Parker, my family is food-oriented and when we are stressed, we cook (I married a Jones…not so much for that clan).

I have been looking into new recipes to cook with my home-grown Anasazi beans and jumped right into vegetarian baked beans (an unqualified success if I do say so myself), and home-made falafel (…not so much).  I ground up the stuff for falafel (those round crunchy yummy thingies that you can put in pita made from chick peas).  It was too runny to make round thingies to fry.  So, I made Mediterranean spiced fried pancakes (a save???).  I fried in a little peanut oil so they wouldn’t smoke up the house and pollute my husband (I thought).  After this frying escapade (on only medium heat…) I went back to the study to send an email.  Our house is very small and the study is 30 feet from the kitchen.

As is common with many members of UPHE, we have a home Purple Air Monitor.  An outside and an inside one.  The inside monitor not only sends data to the global Purple Air Map, but also has a glowing color – green for good, yellow for harmful for sensitive people, and red for ….DANGER! The inside monitor is next to my desk and as I sat down, I saw an ominous red glow.  OH NO! it is my indoor air monitor!  I went to the global Purple Air map and found our house and my raw PM 2.5 was 120 micrograms per square meter.  This is HAZARDOUS!  Almost 3 times Salt Lake City’s worst air quality.  And I created it!  I poisoned my husband and probably took months off his life! Well, maybe not, but I did open all the windows and it was green before we went to sleep.

So – if you are home bound and cooking new stuff, remember that indoor air quality can be just as dangerous as outdoor pollution.  The number one cause of lung cancer deaths in women on the planet is due to cooking over burning hydrocarbons (wood, dried animal dung, ect). We need to keep our lungs strong in the days of COVID-19.  Burning food (frying and barbecuing) is hazardous for your health. 

I love my crock pot.

Kirtly Parker Jones MD
Board Member
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment