The Truth About Nonstick Pans
Excerpted from Radical Metabolism by Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S.
Avoid Teflon like the plague! Teflon is the DuPont brand name for polytetrafluoroethylene, best known for its use in nonstick coatings in pans and other cookware. In a study published in the Journal of Dental Research, researchers found that water boiled in a Teflon nonstick pot contained three times the amount of fluoride when compared with water from the same source boiled in stainless-steel, Pyrex, or aluminum vessels.2 Teflon contains a carcinogenic chemical called PFOA, which can now be detected in the blood of nearly every single person in the United States, as well as in the umbilical cord blood of newborns.3 Studies link PFOA with cancer, elevated cholesterol, thyroid disease, and infertility. If you want a nonstick pan, luckily there are Teflon-free varieties. And keep your cooking temperatures as low as possible because most coatings are said to begin breaking down and releasing gases after only two to five minutes at temperatures around 464°F.
Glass, ceramic (such as Xtrema), Pyrex, or dairy tin (an old-fashioned baking material) are also options for kitchenware; however, some ceramic, enamel, glass, and Pyrex are manufactured with lead. Baking equipment should be heavy-duty tin or black steel. Avoid brass containers for food storage because they usually contain copper. Avoid copper cookware (lined or unlined) due to the risk for copper overload, and copper pan linings usually contain nickel, which is highly allergenic.