There are a whole bunch of modern conveniences that seem too good to be true. And this might be the case with non-stick coating on your pots and pans. Should you buy non toxic cookware?
This quick guide will inform you of the considerations that matter when it comes to choosing safe pots and pans.
You want to avoid toxins and toxic fumes emitted by non stick cookware.
Did you ever think you’d have to worry about frying an egg, or searing a piece of wild-caught seafood? Well… even if your food is perfectly safe, there could be toxic chemicals hidden in your kitchen and bakeware. Here’s how to find safe, durable cookware to outfit your kitchen.
Hint: Stainless steel is your friend.
Does Non-Stick Cookware Release Toxic Chemicals?
Sure, some cookware brands have tried to make their products less toxic, but there’s just no good way to spin it. Fluorinated chemicals, heavy metals, toxins, and toxic chemicals can be harmful.
The non-stick coating is made with a dangerous chemical known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is a durable, waxy, synthetic resin. What makes PTFE seem so special is its super-high melting point. Not only that, but PTFE resists damage by many other chemicals.1
There are toxic materials in lots of durable home goods. But you can take measures to ensure the products you buy don’t emit toxic fumes and toxic gases when heated. If the bakeware you use emits toxic chemicals, shouldn’t you use products that help reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals instead?
What is PFOA?
Another chemical to pay attention to is perfluorooctanoic acid (aka PFOA). PFOA was actually phased out in 2014. People believe because PFOA is banned, it’s not in their kitchens at all.
Again, most manufacturers have done away with PFOA because of its toxicity. But if you’re cooking with an old set of non-stick metal utensils, skillets, or bakeware… be aware, it may contain PFOA.2
Should You Still Avoid non-PFOA Teflon?
In a word… yes. PTFE is said to be safe, for now. But when PFTE is exposed to high heat, it can release toxic substances into the environment.3
It seems contrary, right? You purchase something that is only dangerous when subjected to high heat. But the task at hand every time you use that product involves high heat. But what are the real risks of cooking with a PTFA skillet?
PFTE and Polymer Fume Fever
PTFE is used in several household items, including the non-stick coating for skillets, baking materials, and non-stick metal utensils. And when PTFE breaks down or is inhaled, it might cause the following flu-like symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
These symptoms mirror those of viral infection closely. Polymer fume fever can be misdiagnosed as a viral ‘flu’.4 So, even though PFOA is on the outs, PTFE could be next.
Which Materials are Used to Manufacture Non Toxic Cookware?
When heated, the iron in cast iron pots can dissolve into your meal. Humans need iron in their diets. But an excess of iron can be troubling. Too much iron might cause free radical damage or heart health issues.5 Check your iron levels.
Heavy metals, like copper, can be troubling too. In fact, copper bakeware and stock pots made from toxic metals like copper can leach into your food. If you end up with a high copper content in your diet, you might experience…
- Stomach cramps
So, what utensils and products should you cook with?
What About Enamel Coating?
Some enameled metals can ensure a non-stick surface. Enamel coating cookware is generally non-reactive. That means you can use enamel cookware with acidic foods. And enamel coating won’t rust.
Also, enamel coating will last a long time. So, even though it can be costly, you should have it for a long time. But if the enamel coating on your cookware starts to crack or chip, it’s time to replace it.
There’s a reason stainless steel is so popular these days… it’s safe to use up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Most other products enter the danger zone at 300 or 400 degrees, but not stainless steel.
To clean stainless steel, simply make a little paste out of baking soda and water. You’ll be amazed at how clean your stainless steel will be.
Stoneware is one of the best types of cookware out there when it comes to avoiding toxins. Stoneware is entirely non-toxic. This means it is safe.
Luckily, the heat distribution of stoneware is pretty evenly disbursed. And the more you use stoneware, the more evenly non-sticky it becomes.
When you get started with a new set of stoneware, you’ll want to grease it with good fat. Coconut oil works well. But once it is broken in, you won’t need to repeat with coconut oil. And there’s no need to wash with soap. Simply rinse and wipe.
Non Toxic Cookware Summary
Pollution, toxins, and toxic chemicals float around our modern world. So, it helps to control what you can. Do a little bit of research to make sure the products you’re cooking with are harmless. Stainless steel is usually a good bet.
Whether you’re baking or cooking, do your due diligence. Read packaging. Make sure that you’re not sacrificing safety for the sake of convenience. Keep your kitchen happy and healthy. If you know you’re eating food prepared on safe surfaces, you’ll likely enjoy the flavor of your meal much more.
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