Nearly everyone has a non-stick saucepan in their kitchen. And for good reason – they make life much easier.
But it has been known for some time that the material used to make the non-stick coating – PolyTetraFluoroEthylene or PTFE – can release toxic fumes when heated to high temperatures. A particularly nasty chemical called PerFluoroOctanoic Acid or PFOA is released in these fumes and is potentially carcinogenic. Not nice at all. How do you know if you’re cooking at the temperature at which this toxic chemical is released? Well, you don’t really unless you habitually cook at a lower temperature or have a thermometer handy to check the temp.
I realise that when you start to investigate, a lot of modern time-saving inventions turn out to be toxic or unhealthy, and usually I take a balanced view, believing that ‘there’s only so much you can do’ to protect yourself from the hazards of modern living. However, for me, cooking with plastic or a non-stick coating that’s potentially toxic has never felt particularly great and I am very glad to have found a solution.
A whole range of cookware is now available which is completely free of the toxic non-stick coatings. GreenPan manufacture saucepans and cookware which are coated with a non-stick ceramic lining made of minerals, rather than plastics containing PTFE. The ceramic coating is completely safe at high temperatures and has fantastic non-stick properties. The whole range is available online here, but my favourite is this wok which is on its way to me as I type!