After learning the dangers of everyday cookware I set out to find a healthy alternative. The main things to avoid when buying Eco friendly cookware are PTFE’s, PFOA, and Teflon. These harmful chemicals leach into your food and get consumed. Metal pans coated with synthetic polymers can cause flu like symptoms in people. The labels warn again cooking these chemicals at high heat but a few minutes at medium heat is enough to release these chemicals into your food and in the air. Studies have shown them to be deadly to birds that were kept in kitchens next to the stove.
Here are a few alternatives:
Stainless steel: They do not contain any synthetic polymers or non-stick surfaces so there are no chemicals released when cooking with them. They can be hard to clean, stain easily, and require lots of oil. Professional chefs prefer stainless steel because of its ability to brown foods better. A good set can be pricey.
Cast iron: is very durable and provides with your family with a healthy dose of iron. Every kitchen should have at least one cast iron pan even if used occasionally. The downside is they need to be seasoned properly and even a little water can cause them to rust. They require high maintenance and not always visually appealing.
Eco-friendly non-stick cookware: We recently purchased a set of really nice looking pans called green pan from Costco. The price was comparable to the set we had before. They are PTFE and PFOA free. They are ceramic coated and works just as good as Teflon coated pans. Even the box they came in was recyclable. We were surprised how nice they look hanging from our pot rack. There are several Eco friendly cookware companies available.
If you are stuck with your current cookware but want to take steps to avoid to toxic exposure:
*Never cook on high heat
*Do not use in an oven over 500 degrees
*Always use an exhaust fan over the stove or fan in the kitchen
*Do not use the self-cleaning function on your stove as it heats things so high and causes the non-stick coating inside the over to release toxic flames. If you must do this make sure no one is home and open all doors and keep pets outside.
*Choose alternative cookware when it is time to replace your old set