"Oil is the original non-stick coating." - Ellen Sandbeck
In 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency began studying the health risks and effects of using Teflon, or non-stick cookware. Studies indicated flu-like symptoms can occur when cooking with Teflon-related products. "It feels like the flu," said Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group, an activist organization, "headaches, chills, backache, temperature between 100 and 104 degrees." The "Teflon flu" could be causing millions of Americans to get sick each year and may be responsible for several birth defects in newborns, according to a report by ABC's "20/20" news program.-EWG.org Fumes from Teflon have also been known to kill caged birds. Officials from Dupont (the makers of Teflon) said, "You get some fumes, yes, and you get a flu-like symptom, which is reversible. The flu is temporary and lasts, at most, for a couple of days. A warning about the flu, while not on the pans themselves, is on the DuPont Web site." Dupont said the Teflon fumes are not that harmful to humans, but did admit they are harmful to pet birds kept in a home. -EWG.org
I don't know about you guys, but I sure as heck don't want anything in my house that the manufacturers admit causes flu symptoms! What else is it doing to your body if it's causing symptoms like that? We got rid of ours about 7 years ago, actually around the time the study came out. Thankfully we chose one of the safest alternatives, stainless steel. Other safe alternatives include cast iron or glass (for baking.) Seth started cooking with cast iron a couple years ago and really likes it. I love my waterless cookware that we've had for 7 years now, and is still as good as new. Stainless steel doesn't have to be expensive. You need to the look for the numbers "18/10" and to make sure it has an aluminum core for good heat conductivity. Here are a couple that I pulled up on Amazon... Mine are super easy to clean. For really sticky things, I spray with vinegar and let sit for a few minutes first though.
|7 piece set for $54...|
|Maxam, 9 piece "waterless" cookware for $200 (this is what we use.)|
Cast iron - this stuff is pretty cheap or at least goes on sale a lot, because my mom is always giving it to us. In fact, I have an extra dutch oven if anyone local wants it. Food cooked in cast iron absorbs a little bit of iron, so it should be removed immediately after cooking. One time, I didn't do this and the food had to be thrown out because it tasted so metallic. There is a special way to clean cast iron that I know Seth does but I never pay attention. While researching this post, I learned how! Here it is from Ellen Sandbeck's book, Green Housekeeping. "Choose a clean, neutral flavored oil, pretend it is soap (soap after all, is made of oil or fat). Pour a little in the pan and scrub vigorously. Scrape the dirty oil into your drippings can, then wipe the pan clean with a paper towel or rag. Rinse the pan with hot water, shake it off, then heat it on the stove over a low flame until dry." Easy peasy. :)
|Cast iron skillet for $13|
Please stop using non-stick pots and pans, griddles, cookie sheets...oil is a much healthier alternative for non-stick cooking!