Are you still using non-stick Teflon to cook your food? If so, then you need to know this. Non-Stick Teflon contains polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Both substances are petroleum-based and have been linked to health problems.
Let's see what the industry who invented non-stick Teflon have to say about its safety in cooking. And then let's see what other experts have to say about it.
Also to be answered is, what is the alternative to non-stick Teflon and its cooking advantages.
Non-Stick Teflon Cookware is Safe, Experts Say
Non-stick Teflon has a petroleum-based polytetrafluoroethylene and perfluorooctanoic acid, but yet the manufacture stands by their product as safe to cook with.
According to DuPont, the finished product of Teflon does not contain any of the production-process chemicals linked to health problems in factory workers.
And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that ingesting small particles of Teflon flaked off into food is not known to cause any health maladies.
Even so, would you want something in your food that you did not intend for or was not an ingredient in your recipe?
They go on to say:
With proper use and care, such pots and pan—which constitute more than half of all cookware sales in the U.S.—should be safe to use for years to come.
I don’t know how you feel, but "should be safe" has a different meaning than, "safe to use." Should be safe, leaves a question mark.
In 2004, DuPont agreed to pay up to $343 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that PFOA, used in the manufacture of Teflon at a certain plant, had contaminated drinking water nearby.
In 2006, pots and pans with this special coating (Teflon is the best-known version) constituted 90 percent of all aluminum cookware sold, according to industry numbers.
Yet despite nonstick advantages (its surface makes cleanup easy and also allows cooks to use less oil and butter), it has come under fire in recent years over concerns about toxic chemical emissions.
Putting Non-Sick Teflon To The Test
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute put three pieces of nonstick cookware to the test:
- cheap, lightweight pan (weighing just 1 lb., 3 oz.)
- mid-weight pan (2 lbs., 1 oz.)
- high-end, heavier pan (2 lbs., 9 oz.)
They cooked five dishes at different temperatures on a burner that's typical in most homes. The results: Even they were surprised by how quickly some of the pans got way too hot.
This statement: different temperatures on a burner that's typical in most homes. What is typical in most homes?
Some homes have a gas range stove, while others have an electoral range stove. Between the two, gas ranges heat faster than electoral ranges. Is that your opinion?
What The EWG Says About Non-Stick Teflon
The EWG recommends avoiding Teflon pans and using cast iron or stainless steel pans.
Maybe you won’t cook your stove top food to 680 degrees fahrenheit. But did you know at the moment you pass your food from pan to plate, the pan is hotter than the food?
If your frying chicken and you have done so to an internal temperature of 165 degrees (the chicken meat) the pan is from 100 to 250 degrees hotter. I don’t know if I would want a pan that as the ability to kill me with a toxic gas.
Most nonstick manufacturers, including DuPont, now advise consumers not to go above medium. (DuPont maintains, however, that Teflon does not pose any health risks, and that its guideline is simply meant to maximize the life of the product.)
But how hot is medium? Since the range top gas or electric is not calibrated like your oven, every stove that you set at medium will be different degrees.
The EPA reached an agreement with eight companies, including DuPont, to phase out the use of PFOA or non-stick Teflon technology completely as of 2015.
What To Use In Place Of Non-Stick Teflon Cookware
As noted earlier, the EWG recommends avoiding Teflon pans and using cast iron or stainless steel pans.
Another cooking pan for recommendation is ceramic. Ceramic was used for centuries before cast iron, stainless steel or petroleum based non-stick pans.
Ceramic cookware offers these unique benefits for your health:
- No trace metals or dangerous chemicals leach from the cooking surface to affect the flavor of your food or your health
- No toxic or harsh chemical coating to flake off into your food
- Can withstand temperatures as high as 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit
Ceramic cookware is useful for all types of cooking like making soups that requiring boiling and then simmering for some time on low heat. You can boil vegetables and even grill food items with ceramic cookware.
Ceramic has the ability to hold heat and distribute it uniformly. This feature makes the cookware ideal for all types of cooking.
Ceramic cookware is 100% safe to use on a regular basis with very little maintenance. A healthy lifestyle has compelled many individuals to opt for ceramic cookware.