Safe Nonstick Cookware
Do you have nicks in your nonstick? Are you tired of throwing out expensive nonstick cookware? Worried about toxicity?
Read about PFOA (see below) and you will soon realize that your concerns are not groundless. We do have some positive news, however. Safe nonstick cookware is readily available. We are enthused about two alternatives to Teflon:
#1 Porcelain enamel cookware, known more simply as enamelware.
#2 Ceramic cookware, especially hard-anodized ceramic cookware.
Safe nonstick cookware means no PTFE and no PFOA!
What is PTFE?
PTFE is the abbreviation for polytetrafluoroethylene. Since 1945, PTFE has been registered under the Teflon trademark. Is Teflon safe? The pyrolysis of PFTE is measurable at 392 degrees Fahrenheit. The main point of debate is whether a Teflon cooking surface normally reaches the temperature where pyrolysis occurs. Industry representatives argue that cooking oils start to smoke at a lower temperature than that needed for the pyrolysis of PTFE. However, most cooks admit that such incidents do occur. Have you ever had a frying pan or griddle start to smoke? There is also a concern that although the cooking surface overall may never become hot enough for PTFE pyrolysis, there could still be hotspots on the surface. Regardless of the frequency of occurrence, it is well established that the fumes generated by the pyrolysis of PTFE are toxic to animals, especially birds. In humans, the symptoms are similar that of flu. (Click here to learn more)
What is PFOA?
“PFOA is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, a developmental toxicant, an immune system toxicant, and also exerts hormonal effects including alteration of thyroid hormone levels.” (Click here to read the whole article) Elevated cholesterol is another effect of exposure. PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) is a long-term environmental contaminant. It is found in the blood of 98% of the people in the United States. PFOA is used in the synthesis of many products including Teflon. Industry experts maintain that Teflon is free of PFOA; however, the pyrolysis of PTFE releases PFOA in small amounts. PFOA is ubiquitous – it appears in many places including stain resistant carpets and microwave popcorn bags.
Green Nonstick Cookware
If you want safe nonstick cookware, please be careful about so-called green cookware. The word green is often misused. Not everything that is labeled green is actually eco-friendly. One product that is truly green is Cusinart GreenGourmet cookware.
PFOA Free Cookware
Porcelain enamel cookware is made by essentially heating powdered glass until it liquefies. The molten glass flows over a substrate such as cast iron and forms a very hard and smooth surface that is tolerant of high temperatures.
Porcelain enamel cookware has become very popular. Rachael Ray, Calphalon, Paula Deen and others offer extensive lines of enamelware. We have devoted an entire post just to choosing an enamel pot (see link below). Dutch ovens, soup pots and other enamel pots are available from Le Creuset, Staub, and even Bodum Chambord. The old reliable - probably the most popular enamelware on the market is the Lodge Dutch oven.
Ceramica is a ceramic coating available only through Cuisinart. Made without the use of petrochemicals, Ceramica is completely free of both PTFE and PFOA. Ceramica is combined with hard-anodized aluminum to make safe nonstick cookware that is energy efficient. You save money on energy and it is safe and easy to use. GreenGourmet nonstick cookware is sure to become very popular.
Watch the video!