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 really like Ecolution Bliss Hydro Ceramic. Orgreenic and The Green Pan are 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.
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Kelly @ Our Everyday Harvest says
Great post! We have been trying to do away with our non-stick/teflon pots and pans for this very same reason.
Glad to hear that, so much safer!
I was only partially aware of the dangers of non-stick cookware. Years ago, my husband and I bought some nice cooper-bottomed pots and pans, but when it comes to frying pans we still revert to a nonstick skillet. Thanks to you post, I will look more into their dangers.
Non-stick makes it so easy but it really isn’t good. Some of the green pans really do work well, the caveat, I find they don’t always last as long. But I’d rather buy more than expose my family to the toxins.
Kelly Wade says
How did I not know all of that stuff about non-stick pans? That's pretty scary! Its good to know that they're taking steps against these kinds of harmful cooking tools though. I will definitely be more careful about what I cook with from now on.
It is scary, isn’t it?! I don’t want to be an alarmist but I also don’t want toxic chemicals to be one of the ingredients in our meals!
Susan Cooper says
My husband is a collector of cookware and we have had both non-stick and regular cookware. We have found the Green Pan and use it almost all the time. 🙂
The green pan is my favorite. Non-stick & safe!
Have a great weekend!
Cheryl Therrien says
This is great information. I knew that non stick cookware was not ideal but didn't realize all this.
Try the green pan, you’ll love it.
Enjoy your weekend!
Jon Jefferson says
The age old question, if nothing sticks to teflon how do they get it to stick to the pans. Of course, the fun of the question is lost when you know that teflon is a a spray on epoxy. This alone should also scare you away from the teflon coated pans anyway.