Environmental Working Group: “The Dangers of Teflon”

In both my cookbooks and on my website I caution against the use of nonstick cookware.

This article from Environmental Working Group (EWG) describes the dangers of “Teflon flu,” which develops from inhalation of the polymers released into the air when nonstick surfaces become overheated.

Healthy Home Tip 6: (Still) skipping the non-stick

The article doesn’t mention ingestion of nonstick materials, but that’s something I’ve mentioned. Anyone who’s used nonstick cookware has observed that the coating wears away as you cook, no matter how careful you are with it. Perhaps some wears off into the dishwater — I almost said “harmlessly,” but then I thought about the fact that this pollutes our water with plastic molecules. The rest must be wearing into the food you’re preparing in the pan. Yummy. If anyone can point me to studies showing how much of the stuff winds up in food and what consequences have been shown, I would greatly appreciate it. Meantime, my common-sense reaction to this line of thinking leads me to stay away from nonstick cookware.

The EWG recommends cast-iron and stainless-steel cookware, as do I.

The EWG also gives tips for minimizing dangers if you can’t get rid of your nonstick cookware. I go them one better: I say, just get rid of it.

Hat tip to Alice DiGioia on the Amazon Cooking discussion group, who pointed out this article in a thread about stainless steel versus nonstick cookware

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