Discover the Dacor Discovery 48” Dual-Fuel Range with Renaissance 48” Raised Vent at Tasco!
TreeHugger: As the Consumer Marketing Manager of Sub-Zero and Wolf, Christopher Parr knows what people want in their kitchens, and knows what it takes for a fridge to be green. We had a chance to chat with him about Sub-Zero’s idea of green, the green kitchen inspiration video series, and how to get the greenest performance out of your appliances.
CHRISTOPHER PARR: Well, for us, it’s a lot of things; it’s the DNA of the company. I won’t say the products are over-engineered, but we really try to pay attention to details. Talk to a Sub Zero owner, for example, and a lot of times, you’ll hear that they’ve had the same product for 20 or 30 years, just having to occasionally replace a part or two. So product longevity is an important part of that.
The other aspect is Sub Zero’s dual-refrigeration, which we invented about 50 years ago, and helps your food last longer, and is much more efficient than single-compressor units. For us, it’s about food preservation; if your food is lasting longer, that means a lot less waste.
Beyond that, we just revamped our entire built-in line, and have some new technology that’s being implemented at Whole Foods and NASA, among others. It actually scrubs the air and really purifies the air in the refrigerators so the produce lasts longer.
So, our products are well-made, and we’re dedicated to making food fresher longer, but I also wanted to mention that all of our products are made here in America, which is unusual in our industry. All of our products are made in Madison, WI, and we’re proud that we’re able to provide living wages to all of our employees. Beyond that, 75 percent of the stainless steel used in our products is from recycled material. And, of course, Energy Star compliance is part of that equation as well — we’re trying to keep a couple years ahead of their regulations — but it’s about longevity of the product and really functioning at a high level, keeping your food fresh, too.
TH: As green has increased in popularity, we’ve seen more and more well-marketed campaigns and slick green ads and such, touting various companies and products’ various green accomplishments. How do you rise above the fray to really show that you’re green? And how do you respond to skepticism about the products, and folks who are wary of greenwashing?
CHRISTOPHER PARR: Well, it’s been really interesting for us to see that landscape change. Our practices haven’t changed over the past 60 years, really — those ideas that I mentioned above have always been a core part of what we do, and we’ve always been a really sincere company, and so we don’t need to tout all these green things we’re doing.
But, as we saw other companies who had, in our eyes, lesser green credentials, bringing products to market and touting them as such, we started to think that we really needed to stand behind what we were doing. So, for us, it wasn’t a matter of jumping on the bandwagon, and more a matter of just explaining the facts [pdf].
The Kitchen Inspirations series was a great example of our approach to this. To have somebody like Michael McDonough, who’s certainly been an innovator in this space, who is just passionate about these products because we are sincere. When the products are worth it, people will come out and support them; not because they’re paid to, but because they want to, and they believe in them. That sincerity shows, I think, with people like Michael, who have used our products for a long time; he did the research and felt strongly about using them. So that kind of authentic endorsement is great.
TH: You briefly mentioned greenwashing as an increasing problem in the industry that has come with the rise in popularity for all things green. How does that affect the way that you think about creating products? How do you answer those who might say that you’re greenwashing?
CHRISTOPHER PARR: The main thing is the sincerity of our products. The Energy Star logo is part of it, but I know that the engineering team here is not just looking at the requirements to be certified right now, but at what it takes years down the road, and they’re trying to beat those expectations. So it’s not just talk, we’re very sincerely going to try to deliver that above-standard performance.
TH: Another byproduct of the increase in popularity of all things green is the increase in reliance on 3rd party certifications, like Energy Star, to help folks quanify green choices. Two questions for you: Why should someone choose a Sub-Zero over another, more efficient Energy Star model? And, since there aren’t really any reliable green metrics for stoves in the U.S., why should green consumers choose a Wolf stove?
CHRISTOPHER PARR: The thing I always go back to is the longevity, both of the product and of the food that you put in your refrigerator. You’re going to have a product that you won’t have to replace in three to five years. So, it’s both a performance thing and a lifespan thing, and I think that goes a long way; we’ve become such a disposable society, where we throw things out pretty quickly, where appliances and gadgets aren’t designed and built to last. So many things aren’t well-made anymore, and that’s a really important consideration when it comes to something like a refrigerator that you use every single day.
And, when it comes to the stoves, in Canada, they do rate electric stoves for energy efficiency, and four of our products meet the requirements for those ratings. And the same thing goes for Wolf, when it comes to design and longevity; they’re absolutely made to last.
TH: What tips do you have for people who want to get the greenest possible performance out of their appliances?
CHRISTOPHER PARR: There’s a lot to be said for shopping locally and finding the freshest source of food possible; I’ve found that buying food from farmers’ markets makes a big difference. And, where you put that food in the fridge can make a positive difference, too; keeping it full of foods that require refrigeration can help it operate much more efficiently. But, again, probably the greenest thing you can do is not have to replace your appliances every few years.
Christopher Parr is Sub-Zero & Wolf’s Consumer Marketing Manager. Learn more about Sub-Zero & Wolf’s green initiatives at Subzero.com.
Strawberries and rhubarb are a winning combination, and their sweet-tart pairing makes these lovely muffins delightful as part of a meal or as a snack. Try this recipe when your backyard rhubarb is ready to cut or you see fresh stalks at the store.
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tablespoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•3/4 cup milk
•1/3 cup canola oil
•1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
•1/2 cup sliced fresh rhubarb
•6 small fresh strawberries, halved
•2 teaspoons sugar
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, beat the egg, milk and oil until smooth. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb.
2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Place a strawberry half, cut side down, on each. Sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake at 375° for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.
1 serving (1 each) equals 185 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 212 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
With spring around the corner, the Pros at Tasco are excited to share a few tips for getting your barbecues ready for the ‘high season’ of mouthwatering, grilled meals.
1. HAVE YOUR CLEANING SUPPLIES READY
You wouldn’t cook in a dirty kitchen, so why would you grill on a dirty barbeque? In order to sanitize and deep clean your grill, you will need the following products: a brass wire brush, small pail to hold hot water, dish soap, venturi brush, a 1/16” drill bit, replacement grease cups, spatula, stainless steel cleaner and some fine sandpaper.
2. GIVE YOUR GRILL A GOOD SCRUB
Start with the burners. It is easier to detach the burners and take them out of the grill for a very thorough cleaning. Pass a venturi brush through the burners to snag out any blockages then brush the tops of the burners using a brass wire brush. Once the burners are cleaned, check all of the burner ports to ensure that they are opened. If some are closed with food particles you can use a 1/16” drill bit to open them.
Sear plates and cooking grills should be washed with hot soapy water. Simply brush the top side of your cooking grills with a little oil to re-season them.
Hot soapy water works wonders on the cast base and sides of the grill and to remove grease splatters on the outside of the grill. For porcelain lids a thorough washing should suffice, for stainless steel lids a stainless steel cleaner should be used to remove any discoloring. Once the paint is dried, brush the cast aluminum with a little olive oil, this helps restore the luster and prevent oxidation.
Lastly, use a spatula to scrape grease from the inside of the base all the way down towards the drip pan. Remove the drip pan and give it a good washing and be sure to replace the tin foil grease catcher.
3. INSPECT ALL HOSES AND FEED TUBES
Once your cleaning is done it is a good idea to visually inspect all hoses and feed tubes on your grill. Look for any crimps, scratching and or punctures, if you detect any of these, it is time to replace the hoses.
4. DO A COMPLETE LEAK TEST OF THE GRILL
A leak test should be performed any time your grill has been in storage for a prolonged length of time or when you are changing any components on your grill.
5. CHECK ALL IGNITION PARTS
Now that your grill is clean and safe it is time to check out how it lights. For battery ignitions it is a good idea to replace the batteries with new ones. Check all electrode leads and ensure the tips of the electrodes are clean and have no grease or rust build up on them, if they do you can use sandpaper to clean them.
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Here is a Creative Creation for you this winter from Tasco:
This is the perfect dish to bring to a winter party! This Snowman Cheeseball is fast, easy, and will be the star of the buffet table! It’s flavored with almond basil pesto and Italian cheeses. It’s not only cute, but also delicious.
You could also make this snowman with Mexican shredded cheeses and chopped chipotle peppers, or blue cheese, Monterrey jack cheese and crisp smoky bacon. Experiment and make your own Snowman Cheeseball this winter!
Get out your favourite pot from Tasco and warm up with this delicious soup!
Enjoy! From all of us at Tasco.