Is your cookware hazardous to your family’s health? How we cook our food is just as important as what we serve. We’ve all cooked with non-stick pots and pans. They are easy to use and easy to clean but most of them really aren’t safe. The substance that gives them the slippery surface, PFOA is toxic. If you’re like me you tossed your non-stick pans when this first made big news a few years ago.
PFOA has been linked to birth defects, several cancers including kidney and testicular, thyroid problems, weakened immune systems, miscarriages and other serious illnesses and conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did a study on PFOA and discovered that it could be found in in nearly 98% of the population. Another study done by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007 revealed that PFOA was detected in 100% of the newborns that were examined. That’s frightening. Teflon and other non-stick surfaces are particularly hazardous if there are scratched or nicked in any way. It’s not just pots and pans, cake pans muffin tins, rice cookers, etc. can also have PFOA.
The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] requested that manufacturers reduce production of these types of pots and pans by 95% by 2010. Moving forward, they are requesting that companies stop making their existing non-stick coating; the goal is to reach a total elimination of its production by 2015.
There are safe alternatives, we don’t need to be exposing our families to the hazards of non-stick cookware. Some think that aluminum and stainless steel cookware are good options, however, they could potentially leach metals into your food. They’re still better than teflon. Certain substances are not toxic unless they’re heated but the whole purpose of using cookware is of course to heat food. Stainless Steel is a combination of many metals including nickel, chromium and molybdenum.
It’s not always easy to find safe, quality cookware. It can be pricey and sometimes the safer non-stick material doesn’t work that well or last long, it’s a bit of trial and error. The best choices are ceramic, porcelain, enameled and cast iron. Amazon has a wide variety. I like Orgreenic and the Green Pan is pretty good. I’ve found them at Target, Costco, Bed, Bath & Beyond and I’ve bought a few at discounted prices from stores like HomeGoods, Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.