Non-stick cookware makes cooking fast and easy but at a major cost to your health. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is one of the many toxic chemicals found in non-stick cookware.
According to the EPA, the chemical PFOA has been under investigation because:
- Is very persistent in the environment
- Is found at very low levels both in the environment and in the blood of the general U.S. population
- Remains in people for a very long time (The Environmental Working Group estimates it would take 4.4 years for your body to get rid of 1/2 the PFOA in your organs and tissues)
- Causes developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.
Additionally, according to the CDC, “In laboratory animals given large amounts, PFOA can affect growth and development, reproduction, and injure the liver.”
The problem with the non-stick pans is that the chemicals that make the surface so user friendly become toxic when they are heated, thus releasing dangerous toxins into the air and your food. If your non-stick cookware has scratches in it, you are at a higher risk of toxic exposure.
But what should I replace it with?
Safer alternatives include stainless steel, cast iron, and ceramic.
In my home, we use The GreenPan, which has a ceramic non-stick surface without the risk of PFOA’s, lead or cadmium. I love it because it’s inexpensive, easy to use and available at Target! There are more non-stick ceramic pans popping up everywhere as the safety issues regarding non-stick cookware become more prevalent.
Healthy Cooking Tips:
- Get rid of your traditional non-stick pan, especially if it has scratches
- Always cook your food at medium temperatures, burned food becomes carcenogenic
- Use different oils for different purposes: olive oil for low temp, coconut oil for medium temp and avocado oil for higher temps.
- I have found that the ceramic non-stick pans perform best when you cook with them at a medium temperature and hand wash after every use. That said, I usually replace mine every six months.