Eco-Friendly Non-stick Cookware

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With health and environmental concerns over the non-stick coating on conventional pots and pans, you may think your only option is to cook with regular, uncoated metal pans.  In that case, many times, you’ll find the food you cook will stick to, and make a mess in, the pan unless you use a good deal of oil, butter or cooking spray.  Now, a few manufacturers make cookware that doesn’t contain the questionable industrial chemicals PFOA and PTFE (also called Teflon).

“While PTFE itself is chemically inert and non-toxic, it begins to deteriorate after the temperature of cookware reaches about 500 °F (260 °C), and decompose above 660 °F (350 °C). These degradation products can be lethal to birds, and can cause flu-like symptoms in humans.”

PFOA is a compound used to make PTFE and in 2005 had been found to be a “likely carcinogen” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  It has also been linked to contaminated ground water near Dupont’s manufacturing plant (the only maker of PFOA in the U.S.).  PTFE cannot, as of yet, be made without the use of PFOA. (PTFE is also used in stain-resistant carpeting and clothing).

So, if you’re concerned about the environmental and human/animal impacts that PFOA and PTFE have, here are some alternatives:

  • Cuisinart’s Green Gourmet.  This ceramic-based (free of PFOA, PTFE and petroleum), non-stick, scratch-resistant cookware is even packaged in 100% recycled, and recyclable, cardboard materials.  It is oven and broiler safe too, and the coating will not peel or flake off.  It comes with a limited lifetime warranty as well.  I’ve used the 12″ skillet and found it to be fanatastic.  It cooks evenly and no butter or oil is needed at all.
  • I’ve also tried and loved the 8″ frypan by GreenPan, invented by chef and restaurateur Todd English.  Also, PFOA- and PTFE-free, this pan is lightweight, non-stick (even when cooking a sticky gooey concoction like I did!), scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe.  It’s coating will not peel or flake either.
  • Another brand, Starfrit Alternative Cookware, is dishwasher safe, is made with 99% recycled aluminum and is also ceramic-coated to provide a non-stick surface.  Its label is made of recycled paper and sets of pans come in re-usable, recycled plastic bins.
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Tag(s): Food, Hazardous Products / Health Issues


5 Responses to “Eco-Friendly Non-stick Cookware”

  1. Ken on March 17th, 2009 1:00 am

    Why not try a well-cured cast iron skillet? They last forever, and you can even pick them up second-hand.

  2. Bob Bergstrom on August 11th, 2009 3:11 pm

    Metal Cookware cannot be Green! The manufacturing of metal is one of the main pollution causers on the planet. Just because the inside coating may be green according to the manufacturer the other 98% of the product is NOT.

    Check out Xtrema 100% Green and mot Toxic to humans and the planet.

  3. Dahlia on August 25th, 2011 10:46 pm

    Why don’t they think about cast iron? It’s also best for green cookware. It’s rather easy to maintain and durable (I’ve chosen pre-seasoned). The best thing is heat evenly.

  4. dahlia on October 20th, 2011 3:24 pm

    To those who mention cast iron:

    Cast iron is great. I’ve used it for decades but now I’m older and I take less fuel. I’ve switched to water-based cooking methods for the most part or oven based cooking but..

    > saute is fast and gives a texture you cant imitate.

    A cast iron pan stays slick and wonderful but..

    > at the cost of using lots of oil.

    Takes all kinds of opinions to make a village and more to make a city and more to make a country and even more to make a world.

    I am always thinking about being wide, inclusive and kind.

  5. Tod English Las Vegas on January 2nd, 2012 7:39 pm

    Useful information. Fortunately for me, I discovered your website by accident, and I’m stunned why this twist of fate did not come about earlier! I bookmarked it.

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