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It’s not easy being green.

PFOA

It really isn’t.  I try my best.  I like to think/hope that most people do.  However, with all of the information/misinformation out there, it is incredibly easy to get confused and overwhelmed.  In terms of cookware, there have been significant commitments by cookware manufacturers to reduce and ultimately eliminate harmful chemicals from the production processes.  I will try not to get too geeky technical about cookware manufacturing but instead try to give you the cliff notes (keep in mind I was a Kitchenware buyer not a scientist).

The Issue– PFOA.  PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid ) is a polymer used in the manufacturing process to adhere the nonstick chemicals (PTFE i.e. Teflon) to the vessel (the cookware).  The bulk of the PFOA-like emulsifiers are driven off to a fume vent system from the high temperature manufacturing ovens.  To further clarify, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is really just the scientific name for the more user-friendly name Teflon.  Many people get PTFE/PFOA and Teflon all confused.  Not really sure this helps clear it up.  Essentially if PTFE (or Teflon) is cured properly, no traces of PFOA should remain.  Key word: should.  In my mind, the bigger issue is the residual that the factory workers may be exposed to vs. the tiny amount of residual that may/may not remain on the pans.

The Bottom Line– This goes back to my cooking spray blog.  Essentially, if you are concerned AT ALL, you really need to take care of the nonstick surfaces of your pans.  This means NO cooking sprays, NO metal utensils and do NOT overheat your pans.  Everyone seems to be in such a hurry these days, that they set their pans on high immediately.  Take a few extra minutes and cook your food at medium temperatures.  It’s better for your pans and for your food/recipe as well.

Alternatives– If you can’t commit to taking care of your cookware you really do have other options:

  • Buy Stainless Steel cookware (wthout non-stick)
  • Buy Cast Iron
  • Buy ‘green’ cookware – The two brands that I am personally familiar with and impressed with are GreenPan and Ecolution.  They are completely PTFE (or Teflon) free and do not use PFOA solvents in their manufacturing process.

The Good News- As I stated earlier in the blog, changes are happening.  In February 2007, DuPont (the sole manufacturer of PFOA in the US) committed to no longer make, use or buy PFOA by 2015 or earlier, if possible.

Complicated and controversial but important stuff.  Happy safe-cooking everyone!  Ribbit.

About MincedReviews

I am a former buyer of Kitchenware and Dinnerware for a major US retailer. I am now the owner/blogger extraordinaire of MincedReviews. Hope you enjoy the blog! Thanks for following! Happy cooking!

5 responses »

  1. In what category does hard annodized fall? Any suggestion for that type of cook ware?

    Reply
    • Hard Anodized is actually a process done to the outer portion of the cookware vessel to make it incredibly strong. Essentially the aluminum pan is dipped in an acid solution which causes a chemical reaction that makes the pan stronger while still remaining light weight. Typically, hard anodized cookware still has a non-stick inner surface that still needs to be treated accordingly. The last thing I will say about hard anodized is that, unless it says otherwise, you need to handwash your cookware. Please let me know if this answers your question. If not, I will try again. 🙂

      Also, I will be doing a blog on the different types of cookware (stainless, aluminum and hard anodized) very soon.

      Thanks for following!!

      Reply
  2. This does answer my question. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. You know WAY too much info!!! :). And I am a high heat, Pam kinda girl. Guess stainless it is after I kill what I have now.

    Reply

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