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Welcome to Non-Toxic, a blog that focuses on helping you keep your body in mind.

Put Down The Pan

Put Down The Pan

Drop that non-stick Teflon covered pan. While these inexpensive and convenient cooking vessels keep your eggs from sticking and make doing your dishes easier, there’s quite a downside to non-stick pans. 

What’s the problem?
Most non-stick cookware is coated with the synthetic polymer, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), that’s the Teflon. PTFE is a perflurorochemical (PFC). PFCs have been shown to be carcinogenic and disrupt hormones. When you overheat Teflon (which is easy to do when you’re cooking) it produces nasty fumes. These fumes can kill pet birds and cause flu-like symptoms in humans. Teflon flu (though rare) and potential carcinogens are definitely on the more toxic side of living. 

The real issue is that it’s been shown that PFCs are concentrated in human blood. In our modern day non-stick and waterproof everything world, PFC exposure is becoming a serious talking point.

Exposure to PFCs is linked to unbalanced thyroid hormones, liver inflammation, compromised immunity and kidney/testicular cancers. The more you can avoid PFCs, the better. 

What to do instead?
Two things. First, use a better, healthier pan. The best options are cast iron and fully ceramic pans. It’s clean cooking with the added benefit of infusing your food with iron. Seriously. Plus, after a little use and proper care, a cast iron skillet or grill becomes seasoned and adds some great flavor to anything you cook in it. Second, cook with plenty of healthy fats. Cook eggs in grass fed butter, ghee or coconut oil. Sautee veggies in avocado oil. Save your (pastured) bacon grease and roast your potatoes in some seriously flavored fat. 

Since there are easy alternatives -- better for you, the environment and your birds, giving up the non-stick pans is an easy non-toxic win.

 

Non-stick pan alternatives:

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