So Long Teflon

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Le Creuset - Non-tox cast iron enameled cookware
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We often place high importance on our diet, exercise and overall lifestyle. But have you ever thought about how your cookware is affecting your health?

Many times, convenience and ease is the top reason most of us reach over to non-stick cookware, but unfortunately this cookware comes with a “sticky” price.

If you currently cook with pots and pans lined with Teflon or another non-stick material, you may be surprised to find out that the material used to create the non-stick effect has been linked to liver damage, cancer and other hormone related diseases.

What’s in a Non-Stick Pan?

The primary substances used to make non-stick pans are called, PFC’s, also known as Perfluorinated Chemicals. The problem with these substances is that when they are heated up (as they inevitably will be), the coating starts to break down and releases toxic carcinogens into the air… and consequently, into your food. Some of these toxic gases include chemicals known to be deadly to humans, even at small doses.

Although these non-stick substances are used in many other household items like water repellent carpet, furniture, shoe sprays and cleaning products…

I think we can all agree that these substances do not belong in our bodies.

Startling surveys have shown that these synthetic chemicals are present in the blood of over 95% of Americans. This fact is not so surprising when you find out that the EPA has acknowledged this effect and states that PFC’s have “persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree.”

Even DuPont, the original creator of Teflon, acknowledges this and has warning labels on their products in regard to their cookware being known to kill pet birds that are unable to handle the toxic fumes.

The solution? Invest in quality cookware.

Regardless of how frequently you cook with Teflon or any other non-stick cookware, it is still important to review the quality of your metal pots and pans and to upgrade to the least reactive cookware made available.

When navigating the cookware aisle, it is inevitable that you will run into an endless amount of options.

However, it is important to note that “non-Teflon”, does not equal “better for your health”

Alternatives, such as aluminum cookware, have their drawbacks. Studies have linked this metal to neurological disorders, and even stainless steel is not exempt from this; as all stainless steel is not created equal.

If you’re looking to upgrade your cookware without breaking the bank, a high-quality stainless steel is a great alternative.

TIP: To test if you’re stainless steel is optimal quality and not reactive, try to attach a magnet to the bottom. If the magnet sticks, your stainless steel is non-reactive and Organic Opulence approved!


Organic Opulence’s Pick

Enameled ceramic and cast-iron cookware is truly the best option when upgrading to non-toxic cookware. By purchasing a well-known brand like Le Creuset or Staub you can ensure that your cookware is the least reactive and will not leach chemicals into your food or your home’s air. This is made possible because of the layers of enamel that protect the cast iron from any oxidizing effects. Furthermore, the best part about this high-quality cookware is that it is built to last decades, truly giving you the “best bang for your buck”.


For more information regarding the topics discussed in this article, feel free to visit the following resources:

Ultrastructural alterations of rat lung exposed to pyrolysis products of polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE, Teflon)
Case of polymer fume fever with interstitial pneumonia caused by inhalation of polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon)
Teflon and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
Aluminum involvement in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
Aluminum disruption of calcium homeostasis and signal transduction resembles change that occurs in aging and Alzheimer’s disease
Acute toxicosis of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) caused by pyrolysis products from heated polytetrafluoroethylene: clinical study
Human detoxification of perfluorinated compounds



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