Our family does our best to stay away from harmful chemicals in our food. We limit our contact with produce sprayed with pesticides and meat with antibiotics and hormones. Yet, for most of my life, I have always used my trusty non-stick pan. After all, I love the way my eggs and pancakes gracefully slide off the pan. Yet, since I put so much effort into eating food and using cleaning supplies without toxins I thought: why was I still using a pan with harmful chemicals? Thus, I finally broke up with my toxic cookware. In fact, I already replaced it with a healthier alternative.
What Chemicals are in Non-Stick Pans?
According to mercola.com, non-stick pans are created using a “carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).” When you cook, these toxins are released for you to inhale, especially if your pan starts to flake. And, of course, these toxins can also migrate into your food. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health did an investigation that claims the amount of chemicals that “migrate” into food are “very low.” However, in my opinion, I think it’s best to eliminate as many toxins in your life as possible. The amount of chemicals in our food, personal products and environment always seem to be in “trace” amounts. It’s when I start adding all these negligible amounts of toxins up that I realize it could possibly have a harmful effect on my health.
What are the Harmful Effects?
According to the Huffington Post, “nonstick chemicals can contribute to cancer, birth defects, flulike symptoms, elevated cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation and weakened immunity.” Since there are plenty of other cookware options out there, why risk cooking with a pan that has harmful chemicals?
What Are my Other Cookware Options?
For years, I turned to non-stick because it seemed easier. Yet, there are other great cookware options. If I get my stainless steel pan hot and put a little oil on it, my breaded fish turns out nice and crisp. Cast iron is another option. However, it is a good idea to season (oil and bake) your cast iron pan before the first use. Finally, there are many green non-stick cookware options. I just purchased my first ceramic non-stick pan. It is PFOA, lead and cadmium free. So far, it is working better than my non-stick pan!
Breaking up with my toxic non-stick pan was hard to do. However, I’m in a much healthier “relationship” with my new cookware.
More from Melissa:
Eating Organic Food Doesn’t Make You a Snob (Unless You Act like One)
A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Eating Healthy
GMOs, Red 40 and HFCS: What is in My Food?