Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nonstick Doesn't Equal Nontoxic

I love to cook, usually focusing on quicker evening dinners, and many times experimenting with food blogger recipes or Pinterest finds. One of the items I find myself using the most when I cook is a skillet, since I'm usually grilling chicken, fish or vegetables. A few years ago, I needed to upgrade my skillets, and asked for some eco-friendly nonstick pans for a birthday gift.

Eco-friendly nonstick pans? What's the difference?


Nonstick pans are great, because they're easier to use and need less cooking oil, but the Teflon (chemical name polytetrafluoroethylene [PTFE]) that keeps foods from sticking has been controversial, with experts going back and forth on whether or not it can be harmful to humans when heated.

A chemical used to make the nonstick surface, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been detected in almost all humans across the world. While factory workers exposed to relatively high levels of PFOA don't seem to have particularly severe health problems, animal studies strongly suggest that when enough PFOA builds up in the body, it can cause cancer, liver damage, growth defects, immune system damage, and death.

In 2006, chemical industry leaders agreed to an EPA plan to phase out the chemical used to make Teflon, microwave popcorn bags, waterproof clothing, and many other products.

Even without the PFOA, DuPont does warn consumers to use its nonstick pans only on low or medium heat, and says that possible fumes that may lead to “polymer fume fever," which has symptoms similar to the flu, and may be off-gased at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
So it's maybe not the worst health offender out there, but if it's important to you, it's easy to find eco-friendly alternatives to these nonstick skillets. And they still work just as well and can be affordable. My chemical-free nonstick pans have worked well for more than two years now, and cleanup is a cinch.

http://www.greenpan.us/us/home-1867.htm

In addition to chemical-free nonstick pans, alternative materials include anodized aluminum, ceramic, cast iron, Pyrex and copper lined with stainless steel.

Mother Nature Network lists 10 popular nontoxic cookware brands that include GreenPan, Earth Pan, Calphalon, Pyrex and Mauviel.

Green Family ranks Cuisinart, Bialetti, GreenPan, Ozeri and Scanpan as their top picks.

Now, what are you going to cook with your new nontoxic cookware? If it's something good, I'm inviting myself over for dinner!

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