Oh how we love our non-stick pots and pans, those that make our kitchen life so easy. But did you realize that even your most prized and favourite non-stick utensil could be extremely dangerous to your and your family’s health, not to mention the harm it does to the environment?
Non-stick cookware and utensils are essentially coated with some or the other form of plastic. In fact, the non-stick that you love so much is coated with polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), which is a type of synthetic polymer and is also known as Teflon (and we thought that was the best one to go for!). One of the main components that is used in PTFE is perfluorooctanoic, which is also known as C8. The main source of C8 comes from fluorotelomer, which is yet another range of chemicals. Once inside your body, these chemicals break down into smaller synthetic chemicals. Over the years, these do get out of your body, but there may still be traces left inside. 
Some serious health issues that could arise out of the remaining traces in your body include some types of cancer, high levels of cholesterol and an increased risk of stroke .
When you use your non-stick wares at high temperatures, the chemicals that are released in the form of Teflon chemicals actually mix with the air and can cause flu-like symptoms in humans. Additionally, they are so harmful that they can even kill the birds who come in contact with the contaminated air. The worst part is, you don’t have to cook in the non-stick for an hour to make it reach its dangerous heat levels, just a few minutes, as less as two to three minutes of cooking is enough to release the fumes.
What Other Options You Can Use To Cook
Cast iron or enamel-coated cast iron cooking wares are a great option that you could try. If you take care to clean them properly and cook with care, these can last for a very long time, often for a lifetime. The coating will not scrape off as it happens with non-stick, making it a product that you can use for long, without having to throw away (that creates waste) and buying a new one (costs money). You can also opt for clay or earthen wares that are especially made for cooking on a gas stove. These are also meant to last a really long time, but just be careful with handling, as they are likely to break with a fall. Ceramic, stainless steel and aluminium wares are some other really good options you could go for.
I have switched to cooking in stainless steel and aluminium cookware and trust me, it is really easy to maintain and use. If you’re using anything else other than non-stick, do tell me what you would recommend.
1: Serex T, Anand S, Munley S, Donner EM, Frame SR, Buck RC, Loveless SE.Toxicological evaluation of 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol. Toxicology. 2014 May 7;319:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2014.01.009. Epub 2014 Feb 24. PubMed PMID:24576572.
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