Say Bye-Bye to Teflon pans!

Make Choices

 

Nonstick cookware is made with highly reactive toxic chemicals¬†that can turn to toxic gas when overheated. As those toxins are linked to numerous health problems, including thyroid dysfunction, weakened immune function, liver inflammation, elevated cholesterol, etc., it’s very important for you to choose safer cookware to reduce the risk of inhaling toxic particles especially, when you are healing from health challenges.

What you should know about non-stick?

Non-stick surfaces are metal pans such as aluminum coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) and chemical “family”(PFCs), also known as Teflon.

Toxic gases from the Teflon chemical released from pots and pans at high temperatures may cause people to develop flu-like symptoms (called “Teflon Flu” or, as scientists describe it, “Polymer fume fever”). The long-term effects of regular exposure to Teflon gases hasn’t be adequately studied. Interestingly, ingesting particles that flake off scratched non-stick cookware isn’t toxic because solid PTFE flakes are inert.

Manufacturers’ labels often warn consumers to avoid high heat when cooking on Teflon. But Environmental Working Group-commissioned tests conducted in 2003 showed that in just two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces could exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases.

There are also environmental hazards of Teflon besides its impact on health danger. Manufacturing PFCs and the products that contain them pose great risks to the environment and wildlife. According to The American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFCs exhibit “Persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree.”

Safer cookwear options?

While we see a growing number of new cookware options on the market, it is overwhelming and hard to know which ones are safe. Especially, when they’re advertised as “Seen on TV” “Green” or “Not non-stick.” Environmental Working Group recommends cast iron and stainless steel cookware as safer options for stove-top cooking, and oven-safe glass for baking. Although these safer pans have a reputation of being hard to care for, they are very low maintenance. You can get the same convenience and possibly improve your health rather than worsening it.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is incredibly durable, and can be expected to last for lifetime. It simply needs to be scrubbed clean with just water after each use, then dried completely and given a very light coating of oil (butter, coconut oil, etc). A well seasoned cast-iron is naturally nonstick, and becomes more so over time. The oil used in cooking forms a tight seal from scratches.

Because of its thickness, cast iron cookware distributes heat more evenly, and can be used to give much more flavour and textures, and the increased amount of iron in your food. It can also be used in the oven.

What to do with non-stick if you are stuck with it?

  • As empty pans can rapidly reach high temperatures, never preheat nonstick cookware. Heat at the lowest temperature possible to cook your food safely.
  • If cooking with nonstick cookware in an oven, the temperature should be lower than 500 degrees.
  • Use the fan over the stove.
  • Skip the self-cleaning function on your oven with nonstick interior parts. It cleans by heating up to high temperatures, which can release toxic fumes.
  • Be mindful when buying a new cookware.

Other ways we are exposed to PFCs and how to avoid them?

It’s time to look into homewares that we used daily basis. They could possibly be the reason of your health challenges.

 

Source: www. ewg.org

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