I can remember the days before my family had a microwave. Days when our meals were sometimes slow-cooked for hours in order to bring out all of the flavors. I can also remember a family trip to the mall one Saturday when I was five years old, where a product demonstrator fried egg after egg – noting the convenience of the non-stick pan.
All of our cookware was almost immediately replaced by the magic Teflon pans. And, as time went by, we continued to upgrade to more and more un-stickiness.
Since then, I can recall countless times that the DuPont company and other makers of this cookware have been in the media regarding the dangers of toxic chemicals used in production. Claims range from damage to pets, cancer caused by inhaled fumes from the chemical plants and other diseases, like Alzheimer, are caused by using the cookware itself. So many cases settle out of court, and the ones that prove this stuff is detrimental to our health don’t seem to scare consumers enough.
How Many Cases will it take Before We ALL Wake up?
Mercury is poison, right? So why cook with it? Why cook with materials that are known poisons to humans and the environment? We can choose to simply close our eyes and pray that we never personally feel the downside of these chemicals. But, each day, more adults are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, more children with autism – and we are constantly reminded that cooking destroys our food.
Well, perhaps if we cooked with healthy materials at correct temperatures, food enzymes wouldn’t be destroyed and poison would leach into our food.
Dr Mercola describes the dangers of non-stick. Yeah, he is selling an alternative – but he is not a salesman. I know people who buy expensive cookware for look or brand name. But, if you really want your kitchen to have an image of peace and health, you will consider ditching the Teflon and scouring outlet shops for enamel coated cast iron.
Most pans get too hot in our day-to-day cooking, releasing PFOA and other toxic substances. Then, as they age and wear the coating can flake off into our food. PFOA is a suspected carcinogen and hormone disruptor that we know stays in the body and our environment forever. About ninety-five per cent of us have PFOA in our bloodstream, including newborn infants. It has also been detected in marine animals and our cherished polar bears.
How to avoid toxic non-stick cookware – David Suzuki Foundation
Finally, Health Canada, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration advise that if you use non-stick cookware, avoid high temperatures. The highest suggested temperature to go up to should be 350° Celsius or 650° Fahrenheit, according to them, and broiling or high temperature baking or cooking should be avoided while using non-stick cookware.
Gina Laverde is a Chicago-based writer, researcher and health coach whose expertise in natural health stems from her experiences recovering her son from autism.