Let’s non-stick toxins from our cookware and food!

Did you know that every time you cook with your non-stick pots and pans, you are most likely cooking toxic chemicals into your food and inhaling toxic fumes? PFOA is a carcinogenic chemical found in the coating that makes your cookware non-sticky (Teflon). When the non-stick coating reaches high temperatures it breaks down into PFIB, another dangerous chemical (found in nerve gas used in WWII). These are just two of at least 6 toxic chemicals related to non-stick cookware.  Aside from cookware, most of them have been found in everything from food packaging such as candy wrappers, microwaveable popcorn bags, etc., to children’s toys! The majority of them have also been linked to not only cancer, but infertility, birth defects, and thyroid disease, to name a few. One chemical, PTFE, has even shown to cause death in birds.

The makers of the non-stick phenomenon, DuPont, advise that the product is safe if temperatures are kept under 500 degrees farenheit. What they should also mention here, is that in just under 2 minutes, a pan being pre-heated with a little oil will reach that very temperature. Dupont has been under attack for years now. Organizations, such as the EPA, fight hard to protect and make this information more available to the public. They recently reached an agreement with Dupont and a few other companies to phase out the use of PFOA by 2015.  While that’s great news, it’s still 3 years away. What can we do to protect our family now? For starters, we can get rid of our toxic cookware…especially if they show signs of overuse. If your pots and pans have scratches, are blackened or burned, or the non-stick coating is flaking or no longer non-stick, they pose a higher risk…time to throw them out!

Most of us have heard that many professional chefs prefer to cook with cast iron. While it’s a good alternative, it can be pricey and not very convenient. The cookware is pretty heavy for everyday kitchen use and some people complain that, as it’s not really non-stick, it can be difficult to clean. Luckily, because of the information available to us nowadays, the demand for safer, yet still convenient, cookware alternatives is on the rise…and so is the supply.

Below are three affordable, convenient and safe alternatives to cookware that I have personally tried and now own.

GREENPAN is the pioneer of safer, eco-friendly, PTFE-free NON-STICK cookware. I purchased a 10 piece set a couple of years ago at Target for $99.

I enjoyed this cookware for the most part. For almost 2 years everything seemed to work really well.  However, a few months ago I had to replace my frying pans as they were turning black and no longer non-stick.  The pots are still holding their own though.  GreenPan now offers a larger variety of products.

Bialetti Aeternum Red Saute Pan 

I purchased this pan to replace my large GreenPan a few months ago at Bed Bath and Beyond and so far LOVE it. It is PFOA, PTFE, and Cadmium free and eco-friendly. The inside pan surface is a smooth, white, nano-ceramic that makes it easy to cook without sticking! The bottom is made of aluminum which helps distribute the heat evenly, making for better cooking.  Mydaughter is a huge fan of quesadillas and since using this pan she now says my quesadillas are better than her Nonno’s. 😉  Clean up is super easy too. While cheese is bound to spill and stick to the pan, a little water and light swipe with a brush or sponge and it comes right off. Though the pan is non-stick, I still choose to use a light bit of cooking spray or oil for tougher ingredients that are known to stick (i.e. cheese and eggs). The outside of the pan is scratch resistant. The shade of red matches our kitchen decor perfectly and adds an element of modern elegance.  You can purchase a set of 3 different sizes at Bed Bath and Beyond for only $70 or a complete set for $129. For more info and complete line of Bialetti products: Click here or visit BedBathandBeyond.

Last, but not least…

you may recognize this little green guy. The “As Seen on TV” OrGREENiC non-stick pan is everywhere these days. I finally picked up the 10″ green pan for $19.99 at my local CVS.  So far, so good. The pan is PTFE and PFOA free, making it a safer and healthier alternative. The all-natural, smooth, ceramic coating promises to be resistant to flaking and chipping forever and non-stick or the  lifetime warranty has your back.  It also has a stay-cool handle and the bottom is aluminum based for even heat distribution. I must say though, this pan seems to cook things a lot quicker, which adds to the convenience, just make sure you don’t walk away from your cooking! I have mostly used this pan for preparing scrambled eggs so far and have to say they come out perfectly and sticking is minimal.  Again, if I spray a little Organic Olive Oil Cooking Spray on the pan beforehand, there is virtually no sticking and clean up is a breeze.  If there’s any sticking or major cooking mess, a little water, a sponge swipe or light brushing is all you need. I have read some reviews that seem like maybe people are expecting some sort of magic. I am realistic and don’t expect perfection, but so far this pan has come pretty darn close.  Most importantly, toxic fumes aren’t putting my family’s health at risk.

Regardless of which type of cookware above you decide to try, or if you find another alternative (please share!) you feel is better, the important thing is recognizing the risk you may be imposing onto your family and yourself simply through your cookware.  There are safer, healthier options that are affordable. Isn’t your family’s health worth it?

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Juliana on June 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    After reading your review on orgreenic pan I had to run to my local target and get one, I finally got to use it today and it’s great and most importantly it’s safer for my family which is a major plus !!! Love your reviews and tips for an organic and green lifestyle keep up the good work 😉

    Reply

  2. […] my resource for all things organic.  She posts on everything from organic beauty products, to green kitchen utensils, to organic cleaning products.  A mother of a 5-year-old little girl, Dee also informs parents […]

    Reply

  3. […] Living a “green” lifestyle offers many advantages and pleasures, but nowhere is it more prominent than in the kitchen. Cooking in an environmentally-friendly manner means investing in green cookware that is energy efficient and uses advanced technology of heat transfer and food preparation. It allows you to reduce your carbon footprint as you save a significant amount of money, because you eliminate unnecessary energy losses. Being “green” can also include using local vegetables and fruits when they are in season, which may include making canned vegetables, sauces or salads in an affordable, energy-efficient pressure canner. […]

    Reply

  4. Posted by Patti on May 21, 2013 at 3:43 am

    My green cookware sticks. What should I do? I thought they were
    Guaranteed not to stick

    Reply

  5. Posted by Will Brown on December 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    The orgreenic pan seems like a gift from god to me. I cooked eggs and pancakes without any oil and nothing stuck at all. I just hope the awesome green ceramic coating doesn’t wear out, I’ll be devastated if stuff starts sticking to it.

    Reply

    • My pan is still kicking! It’s not as non-stick as a year ago, but it still does great if I spray it lightly. I actually just bought myself the big orgreenic oven dish to cook our Thanksgiving turkey. Turned out awesome! Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

      Reply

  6. LOVE your blog and I am very glad to hear the EPA is trying to do something about this. I’ve had the ORGREENIC cookware for almost a year now and not only do I feel better knowing it’s safer, it is by far the BEST cookware I have ever used!! (now i will say i dont have much to compare to because I have never spent a lot of money on expensive cookware) but I still think it has to be one of the best. safe, non stick and VERY easy to clean compared to other cookware… and to the person above that had just purchased it and worried about it continuing to live up to the hype… after having the products for almost a year and cooking with them at least 4 to 5 times/week (I rarely eat out) I am still very satisfied. Now of course they don’t work QUITE as amazingly as they did for the first month (the non stick part that is), they are still great and far better then any other average, toxic, non stick pan I have ignorantly used in the past. As long as your not unrealistic with your expectations, take in to consideration wear n tear, heat and cleaning factors and continue to remember that you are not adding toxic chemicals into your food I think you and anyone else would be very satisfied with this cookware!! 🙂 Thanks again for your blog!!!!

    Reply

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