Unless you’ve been living under a pile of perfluorochemical-coated pots and pans, then you know it’s time to ditch the nonstick. Why? Until recently, the majority of nonstick cookware was manufactured with perfluorinated chemicals – or PFC’s. These PFC’s (including PFOA and PFOS) are used to make products stain-, grease- and water-resistant. The problem is, when heated, PFC’s break down into perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and release toxic gases and particulates into the air at a temperature of only 446°.
PFC’s are highly persistent in the environment have been detected in 98% of the population tested. They are a likely carcinogen and have been shown to cause cancer in animal studies according to the EPA’s Science Advisory Review Panel (SAB). In a 2007 John Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health study, PFOA was detected in 100% of the newborns examined. According to the Environmental Working Group, PFC’s are associated with smaller birth weight and size in newborn babies, elevated cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation, and weaker immune defense against disease.
What’s a heat-seeking guy or gal to do? DuPont (the only current U.S. maker of PFOA) has committed to phase out manufacture, purchase and use of the chemical this year. However, companies overseas continue to produce and use it, hence, it’s best to stick with safer materials to bake, fry, stir and sauté your next meal with. Here are 7 healthier alternatives.
- Extrema – This is 100% ceramic cookware. Ceramcor, LLC manufacturers Ceramcor Xtrema Cookware; a nontoxic, durable and easy to clean alternative to metal cookware with nonstick PFOA, PTFE coatings. It’s lead, cadmium, heavy toxic metal, PFOA & PTFE -free with no unsafe non-stick coating. They offer a 50-year scratch resistant warranty.
- Cuisinart GreenGrourmet™ – Cuisinart’s GreenGourmet™ nonstick cookware is made of a PTFE- and PFOA- free nonstick cooking surface, utilizing a hard-anodized pan construction. It provides fast and even heat distribution, with a scratch-resistant nonstick surface that won’t peel! It’s made with 70% recycled steel, and the ceramic-based coating is petroleum free.
- One2Thrive – Cook safer and earn some extra green while your at it. You can become a direct sales consultant and host your own healthy home cooking parties. One2Thrive offers high-quality cookware made of layered, surgical-grade stainless steel that distributes heat quickly and evenly. Their 7-ply Stainless Steel with Titanium is durable, easy to clean and will not react chemically with your food, making it safe for food storage. Or, for a nonstick surface, try their eco-safe, high performance, ThriveShield; a high-performance mineral coating that offers guaranteed healthy and safe for cooking, durable and scratch-resistant, environmentally friendly, PTFE-free and high heat rating without releasing toxic fumes.
- Calphalon – Look for their Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel cookware designed with three layers to ensure even, consistent heating. A heavy-gauge aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel provides excellent heat conduction for browning and enhanced control of the cooking process. Tri-ply stainless combines the beauty of stainless steel with the superior performance of aluminum and is dishwasher safe with a full lifetime warranty.
- All-Clad –The Stainless Collection cookware is All-Clad’s most popular featuring innovative bonded construction combining an interior layer of aluminum for even heating and an 18/10 stainless cooking surface cooking surface that’s hygienic and safe.
- Interior starburst finishing improves non-stick performance
- Riveted stainless steel long stick handles stay cool on the hob
- Safe for use in the oven and under the grill
- Dishwasher safe
- The durable, PFOA-free nonstick coating provides effortless clean-up
- Lodge Cast Iron Cookware – Since Roman times, cast iron has represented the preferred material for cooking pots, and it is still forged and crafted by hand today; maintaining evenly proportioned heat. Lodge Manufacturing cast-iron cookware provides unparalleled heating, heat retention, durability, and value against even the most expensive stainless steel cookware.
- Le Creuset® – The vitreous enamel cooking surface of Le Creuset’s cast iron cookware is hygienic and impervious to flavors and odors, and distributes heat more evenly; preventing hot spots. Easily being cleaned by hand or dishwasher, the cookware is also suitable for marinating or for storing raw or cooked foods in the refrigerator or freezer. Once hot, Le Creuset’s cookware requires only a low to medium heat setting to maintain a good cooking performance and allows the food to continue cooking even when removed from the heat source.
What’s cooking in your kitchen? Got a favorite nonstick alternative? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
Feature image courtesy of Nik Stanbridge