As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!”. We live in an age of instant gratification and convenience, and with so many things, choosing health often takes a little bit of elbow grease, or *gasp* inconvenience. In absolute terms, though, the price that we pay for so many of our conveniences, when assessed objectively, is actually not really worth it, and so we realize that it is really an illusion we are letting go, and not a true convenience.
Non-stick, Teflon®-coated cookware belongs to this category of apparent conveniences which actually are a burden to our health. I’ve written about the toxic nature of fluoridated products, including many municipality’s public drinking water, as well as most commercial toothpaste. Perflurooctanoic Acid (PFOA, or simply “C8”) is the compound used to make Teflon® pans, and is linked with numerous cancers and other health risks. Workers at the Dupont factory who are exposed to this, for example, show much higher rates of kidney cancers and other kidney diseases. In general, the kidney is one of the organs where this chemical tends to accumulate.
A Teflon® pan becomes toxic particularly if it has been overheated, or if there is a scratch in it. Given the high toxicity of PFOA, it is not at all worth the risk, in my mind, of keeping any Teflon® products in your kitchen.
If you really think about it, a big part of how Teflon® became so popular, was based on the myth of low-fat diets being healthier for us, and a need to cook without oil in pans that wouldn’t stick. Once you understand the truth about our need for oils to be healthy, and learn how to cook with them on safe cookware (including stainless steel, cast iron, or titanium-ceramic pans), the “convenience” of non-stick cookware very quickly will appear to you as the illusion it actually is.
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