Non-Stick pans are made with Teflon™, which contains PFOA (Perfluoroocyanoic Acid), also known as C8, which breaks down at high temperatures and releases toxic gases, including carcinogens, that are released into the air and into YOUR food! Studies have shown that low levels of the chemical were present in the blood of 9 out of 10 Americans, including newborns!
What's even more interesting is that in 2005, DuPont -the makers of Teflon™- had to shell out 10.25 million in a settlement to the Enviromental Protection Agency for 'withholding health risk information' and then in 2006 DuPont, along with eight other companies, were asked to eliminate PFOA by the year 2015.
Believe me when I tell you that this post was NOT easy to write. Why's that exactly?...Well, my husband and I got married just over a year ago and lets just say we registered for (that's me registering to the right) and received a ton of GORGEOUS, non-stick, All-Clad cookware for our wedding... and now, after knowing the health risks it poses, I am having a really really hard time using them. Seriously,I know there are worse things in life...but WHY... WHY didn't I know this a year ago?!?!?
Luckily for us, not only are there quite a few green non-stick pan alternatives to Teflon™, that instead are made up of Thermolon™, but surprisingly enough they are not nearly as expensive as I thought they would be! Whether it's Martha Stewart, the GreenPan™ Collection or Cuisinart's GreenGourmet they all tend to average from around $35-$60 for a 12" fry pan. Do be aware that these "Green" pans are a bit different then what we're used to...they are not diswasher safe and need to be hand washed, they can be used in an oven but only up to a certain temperature (they all vary a bit) and they cannot be used on induction cooktops.
Now, if your not quite ready to throw out your non-stick pans then here are a few tips to help you use them in the safest way possible:
- Don't leave a non-stick pan on an open flame without something in the pan (olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
- Be sure not to use metal utensils on non-stick cookware or scratch the surface in any way...if the surface is scratched it's probably best to toss it.
- Don't let temperatures get above 450 degrees while cooking with non-stick
- Wash non-stick cookware by hand with a sponge, do not use scratch pads and steel wool
Either way...it looks like not only is it important to know what you're eating but also what you're cooking with!