Are You Cooking With Toxic Cookware?

Are You Cooking With Toxic Cookware?

If you’re trying to be more health-conscious when it comes to food, then you probably started cooking more meals at home.

And kudos to you for doing so! Cooking for yourself and those in your life is one of the best and easiest ways to take control over your health through diet by knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body.

Even more, integrating certain types of food can get your body’s immune system back on track and become better prepared when it’s under attack and prone to illness. With 70-80% of the body’s immune cells in the gut, you really are what you eat.

With that said, what you cook with is just as equally important. You could be making yourself the most delicious, organic, superfood-inspired recipes out there yet be spoiling it with hidden toxins that are found in a lot of common cooking materials.

This counteracts the whole point when it comes to home cooking for the overall health and wellness of our body.

Want to know if you’re cooking with toxic cookware and how you can easily make the switch? Let’s dive in.

What Is Toxic Cookware?

If you find yourself using any pans marketing themselves as “non-stick,” we have some bad news.

While nonstick cookware might seem like a good option to use while cooking because it often avoids the need of added oils to “grease” up a layer to cook with, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In exchange for that “non-stick” functionality is a layer of harmful and poisonous chemicals.

The most commonly used chemical? Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon.

Created in a lab back in 1938 at the start of World War II, Teflon was originally used as a corrosion-resistant substance that was used in the atomic bomb.

Yup, you read that correctly. It went on to be trademarked and used in Dupont’s non-stick cooking pans due to its durability and slippery consistency that is resistant to corrosion.

Seems weird that an actual warfare chemical ended up as commonly-found household cookware right?

How Harmful Is Non-Stick Cookware?

Years after Teflon was introduced to household kitchens across the United States in the early and mid-1900s, people started getting sick.

Factory workers were getting the “Teflon Flu” by inhaling the toxic fumes emitted when it was produced.

Livestock were getting black teeth and dying suddenly by weird illnesses and large tumors due to Teflon water runoff from the Dupont factory.

Intensive research on these chemicals finally began in the ‘60s with the findings being quite stark.

Even small exposure to these chemicals led to overwhelming finds of liver failure, birth defects, cancer, and more (via Chefs Foundry).

While Teflon was officially banned in the production of cookware in 2014, the replacement chemicals have also been found to be toxic.

Seems counteractive right? It is. Instead of Teflon, non-stick cookware is now using new chemicals under the name GenX and PFBS which belong to an overarching group of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs).

According to recent studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GenX has been associated with harmful effects on the kidneys, blood, immune system, liver, and has led to infertility, problems with weight management, and overall development and longevity in humans.

Additionally, the exposure to Teflon and GenX chemicals has been shown to increase the risk of cancer.

Think it can’t get worse? When cooking with non-stick cookware, these chemicals can often leak into the food we’re cooking.

This happens through normal “wear and tear” of the cookware as well as scratching of the non-stick layer by metal utensils like spoons, forks, and knives.

Because of this, the FDA has found that over 5,000 synthetic compounds are present in the blood of 98% of the United States population due to the exposure within our food from this toxic cookware.

These “nonstick forever” pots and pans literally contaminate and poison the food that touches it and stays in our body for decades.

The FDA also found that these same chemicals can be found in food packaging as a way to “repel oil and water.”

Additionally, these chemicals are still being leaked into runoff water in nearby farms and land, resulting in the contamination of water supplies as well as the livestock and produce that we eat.

Make The Switch To Safer Alternatives

If you find non-stick cookware in your kitchen, it’s never too late to make the switch to a safer alternative.

Consider it an investment in the long-term health, wellness, and longevity of yourself and family.

There’s plenty of options that can cook your food just as nicely without all the poisonous chemicals added. 

  • Cast Iron - A proprietary mix of molten pig iron, steel and other ingredients are poured into a mold made of sand. Since sand melts at a higher temperature than iron, the mold holds its shape. Once the cast iron pan or pot has cooled, the sand mold is broken, leaving behind a brand new piece of cast iron cookware. These pans heat slowly and evenly, overall saving money and energy. The pans must be regularly seasoned in order to properly cook without sticking or burning.
  • Ceramic - Contains a metal core, usually made of aluminum or copper, that is coated with several layers of ceramic coating. First labeled as “green” cookware, ceramic cookware is often scratch and stain resistant, and does not hold food odors. Oftentimes these are also naturally non-stick! 
  • Stainless Steel - Combination of metals, called an alloy, which typically includes iron, chrome and nickel. Always safe and effective and often reasonably priced.

Why We Believe Stainless Steel Is The Best Option

Because of its durability and true absence of chemicals, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel cookware.

Stainless steel cookware retains heat well, cooks food evenly, and is also extremely easy to clean! Because it contains no top layer, you can wash and scrub with steel wool and hot water without the worry of stripping away any of the cookware’s layers.

It’s also extremely easy to find affordable, matching stainless steel sets, including pots, frying pans, griddles, lasagna pans, roasting trays, muffin tins, and baking sheets.

It’s important to note though that stainless steel cookware does contain a mix of iron, chromium, and nickel, so if you’re sensitive to nickel and metals then this may not be the best option for you.

While durable, stainless steel can be susceptible to corrosion over time.

We recommend getting stainless steel cookware in the 300 series range that contains titanium and/or molybdenum to increase resistance to salt water erosion over time and is overall more resistant to corrosion.

Also read: 6 fall foods & recipes to boost immune health

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