Here at Les 3 Vignobles, we are always looking for things that can makes us healthier…but also exploring those that take our health away.
AS such, I have had several folks ask me the same question over and over again:
Are non stick pans safe or not?
So are they safe?
Look at your non-stick pans collection and think what you would have done without them. You would have been really fine without them. Believe it or not, there was a time when non-stick pans were not yet invented and cooks were doing just fine without them!
But today is different, we advancing in all departments and cooking techniques need efficiency where appliances are concerned.
So apart from just pots and pans, what other kinds of things can affect our health?
Well have you considered the metal in you cutting knives? Although they are usually OK in the more expensive versions, cheaper ones can have a huge effect on our health.
There is also the lessor known fact of the actual handles that they are made of…are they food safe?
I know that for example, this Victorinox knife set has what is known as Fibrox handles…aka a very strong ergonomic plastic that holds up very well to heat.
However…and this is a biggie, you are better off going for a knife that either has a corrosion free, metal handle, or possible even wood.
Back to the meat 😉
We have recently heard a lot of debate about non-sticks being harmful for health but what we need to know is if it is really true and why.
Unfortunately, it is true.
Yes, we are exposed to harmful fumes when using non-stick pans but this is only true for Teflon based non-stick pans. Good news is there are a lot of other non-stick appliances available out there that we can still use. For example, anodized aluminum non-sticks.
Check out this video:
What to do straight away
What you need to do is avoid buying TFOA based non-stick pans because it liquefies and gets mixed with food posing health risks.
Fumes that are given off are not just bad for you but really bad for pet birds if you own any. Yes, if you have a bird that is your cooking partner in the house, never use Teflon based non-stick pans because they can kill your birds as per recent research.
Why can’t we avoid non-stick pans altogether? We can. But non-sticks are convenient for high protein food that sticks to pans at high flames. Trust me, it’s next to impossible to tear them off once they get stuck. So n on-stick is a must for foods like eggs, pancakes, risottos etc. A good initiative towards safe cooking would be to use these pans where absolutely necessary only.
Here are a few tips for using non-stick pans
Keep an eye on your pans because they start chipping off with time. That is the point where you absolutely should get rid of them and look for new cookware. At most they are good to go for a couple of years but not more.
Keep your metal utensils away from these pans because they scratch on the coating which could eventually lead on contaminating the food being cooked in them. Also, avoid using aerosol spray oils.
For the same reason, avoid using metal pads for scrubbing them off while washing. Instead use nylon based pads that wouldn’t damage the coating.
There aren’t many alternatives to non-stick pans out there but the least we can do to minimize health risks is to be mindful when using them.