Dear SafeMama: Safer Non-Stick Cookware

By Kristie Turck •  Published 10/08/08 •  2 min read

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:13 pm

Q: I am curious what is the safest type of pots and pans to use?  I was also wondering if there are any types of spoons, spatulas, etc. (other than metal that scratch your pots and pans) that are safe to use while cooking?   Can you please help me?

Teflon and non-stick surfaced cookware has been in the green news before for being not so green, or healthy. The problem is that non-stick coatings are not meant for very high heat, and on many cookware labels they actually say “for low to medium heat”.  That doesn’t mean people adhere.  You figure its a pan, for cooking, its going to get hot.  Duh.  Apparently when overheated it can be a potential health hazard.  The EWG links the chemicals used in nonstick coatings to cancer, stroke and high cholesterol.  It’s a lot of information but a basic breakdown of the chemicals that are part of this Body Burden problem in Americans can be found on the EWG website.

So what do we do? Look for cookware that is void of this family of chemicals known as PFC’s (Also called PFOA, PFOS, C8, PTFE, and Teflon).

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Eco-Friendly Nonstick Hard Anodized Piece Cookware: Features an aluminum alloy core and exclusive PTFE- and PFOA-free nonstick surface that’s ceramic- rather than petroleum-based, so it helps to conserve existing oil reserves.  Available on Amazon.com!

GreenPan™ Cookware: This cookware is now available at some Target stores.  Features Thermolon™, a PTFE and PFOA free coating and releases no fumes when overheated.  Find it at Target.com!

Cast Iron Cookware: Cast Iron has long been around so finding it won’t be a problem.  Cast Iron distributes heat evenly and they can become “seasoned” into a perfect non-stick cooking option without any fancy coatings.  Coast Iron can also add some valuable iron to your diet!  Lodge Logic has some available on Amazon.com, but you can probably find cast iron at any local cooking supply store.

Safer Utensils: Try bamboo.  bamboo is a sustainable material and is naturally resistant to bacteria.  Find some at Pristine Planet.

Added to note: Regular stainless steel cookware isn’t an issue since it doesn’t have any non-stick coatings so for those of you wondering why it’s not mentioned here, there you go.