I like cooking and the happy feeling it makes me feel when doing it. I like it even better when the food I was cooking turned out to be delish. Having nice ingredients and great tools for cooking are the keys to making my life easier in the kitchen.
Non-stick pans are one of those great tools I was talking about. Those times that you have to cook the garlic or fry some rice (fried rice) and they don't actually stick to the bottom of the pan... is just so cool.
I can easily consider this non-stick cookware, popularly known as Teflon as sent from above. And so are they, really?
Recently, I have come across articles on the web where they were talking about the dangers of the chemicals in these non-stick pans or cookware that are made of Teflon. The reports are told that Teflon apparently is deadly for humans and for even our pet birds if you have any.
The culprit -- chemical name of Teflon is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which contains compounds that are considered toxic but is the reason why our meat or our garlic doesn't stick to the pan. This has been used commercially since the 1940s. Another chemical used to make Teflon is called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This particular chemical has been linked with cancer in lab animals, a possible link to higher cholesterol level, thyroid disease, and infertility.
It turns out that non-stick pans made with these chemicals release toxic, which is also carcinogenic, particles and gases when heated at a certain temperature. As your pan's coating begins to break so as the small particles, that you cannot see, begin to be released in the air that causes the contamination, not to mention the direct contact with the food on the pan that is being cooked.
A non-stick brand cookware manufacturer had declared that their pans are safe if it is "under normal" use. This is due to the findings that the problem in these Teflon wonders is that when they are over-heated, their coatings break and when that happens, it is like we are having a home-style chemical warfare going on in our own kitchen. Yes, the same chemical they omit once over-heated are the ones linked with WWII nerve gas phosgene. Isn't it shocking? I know I was, and made me have a good look on my pans...boy, they are all non-stick!
The sickness (which a leading manufacturer acknowledged) that can occur with ingesting fumes from over-heated non-stick pans include:
Shortness of breath
Now, after reading all these dangers of using non-stick pans, your next question is maybe like mine -- what do I use to cook with now? I don't know for sure yet. But I know the thought of aluminum or stainless steel or even copper cookware seems to give me a caution sound. Ceramic or glass seems nicer or even clay (although it sounds so outdated). I have to look and read more about this. Maybe you can give some suggestions? Anyway, good luck to all of us cooks or wanna be cooks!