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Consumer Advocate Mark Jala Issues Warning About New PFOA Free Nonstick Cookware

PFOA free nonstick cookware should be healthy cookware, right? It might not be. Consumer advocate Mark Jala issues a warning to all buyers of healthy and safe cookware that just because a cookware advertises as PFOA free that it may not be healthy or safe cookware. The problem lies in that huge companies making millions of dollars on PFOA over the years are not going to stand by and just watch that money go away. DuPont, 3M, and other makers of PFOA have replaced PFOA with another chemical compound. Time will tell just how good, or how bad, it really is.

Is PFOA Free Nonstick Cookware Healthy?

PFOA in Our Bodies Today

PFOA has been manufactured in industrial quantities since the 1940’s. It is not a new product. It helps create a slick surface. Today, PFOA is applied to pre-treated carpets, carpet care liquids, apparel, upholstery, textiles, medical garments, floor wax and wax removers, tile sealants, food contact paper, dental floss and of course, cookware. Studies show 98% of all people have PFOA in their bloodstream right now.

Imagine you come home from work, tired and exhausted. You take your coat off and walk on your ScotchGuard protected carpet and plop down on your stain resistant sofa. It feels so good to relax. You take in a good deep, relaxing breath. Little did you know that the dust you stirred up walking on the carpet and sitting down on the sofa lifted up tiny particles of PFOA that is now being inhaled in that relaxing deep breath. Congratulations, you are now one of the 98% that has PFOA in your system.

A good history about PFOA and how deceptive the manufacturers have been over time can be found here at Environmental Working Group.

PFOA Free Nonstick Cookware Consumer Warning

Consumer advocate, and founder of www.YourCookwareHelper.com, issues a warning to all buyers of PFOA free nonstick cookware. “If you think the new PFOA free nonstick cookware you are buying is healthy cookware, you may want to look again. DuPont, 3M and other manufacturers of PFOA products have replaced PFOA with another chemical compound. That new chemical compound may be what is in that new cookware you are considering. The bottom line is no one knows the health implications of that new chemical compound. PFOA started being made in the 1940’s and it wasn’t until the late 1990’s to early 2000’s before any action was even considered about PFOA. PFOA will have been in production 75 years before being voluntarily removed from products. How long will it take for the PFOA replacements to be fully vetted for health concerns?” says Mark Jala. “We just don’t know yet about these new products.”

Healthy Cookware Recommendations

Mark Jala recommends, until these new PFOA replacements can be fully vetted, to stick with the known healthy and safe cookware products. These products include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic
  • Cast iron and enameled cast iron
  • Clay
  • New variations in “green” cookware

Until the PFOA free nonstick cookware is fully vetted for safety, this website will show on the dashboard the following graphic(this change will be fully implemented in 2014):

Maybe Healthy Cookware  For more details on healthy cookware please see the other articles on this site:

  1. Healthy Cookware and Safe Cookware Trends
  2. Healthy Nonstick Cookware for Your Health and Cooking
  3. What is Safe Cookware and Healthy Cookware
  4. Is Anodized Aluminum Cookware Considered Safe Cookware?

Some of the favorite healthy cookware items recommended on this site include the following:

Scanpan Classic 8 Piece Cookware Set Scanpan Classic 8 Piece Cookware Set
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Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
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Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Review

You may not have seen a Scanpan CSX cookware set review before. Scanpan cookware is becoming very popular and rightfully so. Scanpan CSX cookware is a 5-ply brushed stainless steel exterior, aluminum layers on the inside and stainless steel as the cooking surface. It has a clean contemporary look. Glass lids have stainless steel edges and are vented. A great feature of Scanpan cookware is their PFOA free nonstick surface. It is a high quality healthy nonstick surface made of titanium and ceramic. Scanpan CSX cookware is induction capable, even though some reports show it is not. Scanpan is made in Denmark.

Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Review

New cookware has a way of bringing out hidden creativity in people!

Perhaps you have some old scratched nonstick cookware and concerned over health reasons. Maybe they are slightly warped and don’t lay flat. Perhaps you have mismatched cookware or some that is chipped or peeling. Maybe yours sticks too much, doesn’t perform the way you would like it to, and perhaps you want a cookware set that is healthy.

If you are like me, I have some cookware that has been passed down from my parents and other family members. I have a little bit of everything. I know I get tired of some pieces that are warped and don’t lay flat. It would be nice to have cookware with comfortable handles that stay cool, heats evenly and all the way up the sides of the cookware, and maybe even uses less heat. And it would be great if it could last for many years to come!

Healthy Cookware Sets

Healthy cookware sets tend to be stainless steel, cast iron, enameled cast iron, stoneware or clay. Stainless steel is common and popular because they can be put into the dishwasher and the cooking surface does not leech into the food. I reviewed a lot of cookware to come up with the one cookware set that is better than all the rest. I am very comfortable with my selection, even after looking at cookware from All-Clad, Le Creuset, Staub, Emile Henry and Calphalon.

Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Review

The Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Wins for Best Quality Healthy Cookware Set

Scanpan cookware is fast become my favorite cookware. I like the look and feel of Scanpan. It is very solid cookware that is built to last. The stainless steel is solid and very attractive. Because it is built so well and includes 3 layers of aluminum in the core of the cookware, it heats very quickly and evenly. Home cooks of all caliber will love the cookware because it is easy to use. The set comes complete with just about every piece one might need:

  • Fry Pan – 10.25″
  • Fry Pan – 12.50″
  • Fry Pan – 10.25″ with Titanium Ceramic nonstick surface
  • Covered Sauté Pan – 11″
  • Covered Sauce Pan – 1 qt
  • Covered Sauce Pan – 3 qt
  • Covered Stock Pot – 8 qt
  • Pasta Insert – 8 qt

Cooking enthusiasts will like the pasta insert for making and draining pasta quickly. With 3 skillets, one being nonstick, a cook can whip up any kind of meal quickly.

REVIEW: What I Liked

  1. The PFOA-free nonstick skillet included in a stainless steel cookware set is a huge advantage allowing one to saute for the fond and cook delicate eggs or fish in the nonstick skillet
  2. Vented lids work exceptionally well and reduce mess when cleaning up
  3. The 12 1/2″ skillet is a great size and rarely included in cookware sets
  4. The glass on the lids is very handy to see what is cooking
  5. It is very well built and solid
  6. Very flat non-warping bottoms are great on any stove, especially flat top stoves
  7. Dishwasher safe
  8. The handles are very comfortable and stay cool

REVIEW: What I Didn’t Like

  1. It’s hard to find anything wrong with this cookware. If anything, I wish it had a steamer insert. The pasta insert can work but one has to watch the water level.

YCH Cookware Dashboard

Healthy? Dishwasher Safe? Induction Ready? Price?
Healthy Cookware Dishwasher Safe Induction Ready Premium Price
Outside Material? Inside Material? Oven Safe? Clad?
Brushed Stainless Steel Stainless Steel 500 Degrees Fully Clad

 

Scanpan CTX 14-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Stratanium Nonstick Coating Scanpan CTX 14-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Stratanium Nonstick Coating
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Features How It Benefits You!
checkmark Stainless Steel Flat Bottom Great for all FLAT top stoves>
checkmark Aluminum core Keeps it lightweight and even heat distribution
checkmark PFOA-free Nonstick Excellent healthy nonstick surface that can take higher heat levels
checkmark Brushed stainless steel exterior Attractive and doesn’t show spots like regular stainless steel
checkmark Cast stainless steel handles Easy to hold. Stays cool.
checkmark Induction ready Future proof for induction stove tops
checkmark Oven safe to 500 degrees Expands the cooking techniques you can use
checkmark Dishwasher safe Easy to clean.
checkmark Lifetime Limited Warranty It’s a risk free purchase

Scanpan 67801200 12-Piece CSX Pan Set

Scanpan 67801200 12-Piece CSX Pan Set Rating:
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Details

  • Compatible with all cooking surfaces; including induction; Oven safe to 550 Degree F
  • Securely riveted; stay-cool handle is gently curved for a comfortable grip and easy maneuverability
  • Smooth to the touch; the rim fully conceals the inner layers of aluminum
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Made in Denmark

The Most Useful Cookware Christmas Gifts

Cookware Christmas gifts are well received and here is my Christmas gift giving guide. I do a good job of stress testing cookware. I’ve discovered cookware that is durable and useful in the kitchen. I only recommend cookware as gifts that are functional or something I would use. The Christmas Gifts listed below is cookware or related kitchen items I use or recommend giving as a gift and the reason why I recommend it. As a cook, I love to receive cookware and give it as gifts. With Christmas around the corner, this is my “Christmas Gift-Giving Guide.” The prices from Amazon.com are always up to date.

My Christmas Gift-Giving Guide

1) Serving Platters

Christmas gifts - Clay Art PlatterWe eat with our eyes first. Any dish can whet the appetite when served on a nice platter. Pfaltzgraff and Fiesta serving platters make beautiful Christmas gifts that can make any dish look fantastic. I use them when taking pictures of my work for my Home Cooking Academy. There are many beautiful ways to present your masterful, or even ordinary, creations. Find serving platters here.  Here is another example:

Fiesta 9-5/8-Inch Oval Platter, Cobalt Fiesta 9-5/8-Inch Oval Platter, Cobalt
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2) NonStick Frying Pan Combos

All-Clad ComboNonstick frying pans wear out. Quickly. It’s always better to replace them before they get too many cuts or peeling. I prefer the 10″ and 12″ combo’s as they are more useful. Here is a quick listing of NonStick Frying Pan Combos.  Here is an All-Clad combo I use myself and am VERY happy with. Comes in 10″ and 12″ nonstick. VERY good quality.

 


 

3) Combo – Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet & CIA Masters Collection Wire Cooling Rack

Christmas gifts - NordicWare Baking SheetThis is a 2-item combo. Each are great, but when given as a gift together, the possibilities are endless. The Nordic Ware baking sheet is very durable. When friends see this they think it’s commercial grade. It is. I love it. The CIA Masters Collection cooling rack is also commercial strength and very strong.

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet and Big Sheet Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet and Big Sheet
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CIA 23304 Masters Collection 12 Inch x 17 Inch Wire Cooling Rack, Chrome Plate Steel CIA 23304 Masters Collection 12 Inch x 17 Inch Wire Cooling Rack, Chrome Plate Steel
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4) Lodge Color 6qt Dutch Oven

Lodge Color Dutch OvenLodge makes terrific enameled cast iron cookware rivaling the French Le Creuset or Staub and at significantly less money. A 6qt Dutch Oven is a versatile piece of cookware that can be used on top of the stove or in the oven. Lodge enameled cookware makes excellent Christmas gifts! They come in a variety of attractive colors and are a steal at these prices. The price varies depending on color. Pick from a variety of colors. HIGHLY reviewed!

Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Blue Enamel Dutch Oven (Blue) Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Blue Enamel Dutch Oven (Blue)
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5) Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron CookwareCast Iron cookware has been a fan favorite for generations, and nothing has changed. Even with all the new styles and nonstick formulations, cast iron cookware remains a fan favorite and very inexpensive. Whether you go native or the enameled variations, cast iron is always a favorite. Here is the full selection of cast iron cookware. Here is one of my favorite pieces:

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware Set - Grill Pan with Tempered Glass Lid (10.25 Inch) Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware Set - Grill Pan with Tempered Glass Lid (10.25 Inch)
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6) Le Creuset 1.5 quart Enamel Cast Iron Oval Baker

Le Creuset Oval BakerLe Creuset enamel cast iron is beautiful and functional. The rich color and even heating characteristics makes this 1.5 quart oval baker a go-to piece of cookware. Baking potato au gratin, warming left-overs, or cooking a small roast is easy with this oven to table cast iron oval baker. A perfect Christmas gift.

Le Creuset Enamel Cast Iron Signature Oval Baker, 1.5 quart, Cerise (Cherry Red) Le Creuset Enamel Cast Iron Signature Oval Baker, 1.5 quart, Cerise (Cherry Red)
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7) All-Clad Brushed Stainless Steel D5 10-pc Cookware Set

All-Clad D5 Cookware SetAll-Clad is the absolute best American stainless steel cookware manufacturer. If you need to get a gift for someone you know who likes to cook and is adventurous, this is a fantastic gift! This is the new D5 brushed stainless steel outside. It has 5 layers to evenly distribute heat. You not only need but also can’t beat stainless steel skillets for saute and deglazing sauces. I recommend folks who want a nonstick cookware set to also get a stainless steel skillet for sauteeing. The 10-piece set gives you all the necessary pieces. No, it is not cheap. If you want the best quality, look no further.

 


 

8) Scanpan CTX 12 ¾” Nonstick Eco-Friendly PFOA-Free Skillet

Scanpan CTX SkilletWhen it comes to healthy or eco-friendly cookware, I love Scanpan. While the surface still uses PTFE in the manufacturing process it is PFOA free and uses an environmentally friendly cast aluminum core. It is a very good nonstick surface given it does not have the PFOA’s. Best of all, it is also dishwasher safe. Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch PFOA Free Fry Pan.

Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch Fry Pan Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch Fry Pan
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9) Emile Henry Flame Top Stewpot Dutch Oven

Emile Henry Dutch OvenI love Emile Henry Flame Top products. This is the only clay cookware that can be used on the stove top as well as in the stove since the old Cornflower Corningware cookware. It is pretty, useful, and the clay surrounds the food with a steady even heat that is great for braising or slow cooking. This Dutch Oven is very versatile and makes a great presentation from stove to table. Best of all, it looks like an enameled cast iron piece, but it doesn’t weigh a ton like cast iron! All Emile Henry products are wonderful. Here is the Emile Henry page.

Emile Henry Flame Round Stewpot Dutch Oven, 4.2 Quart, Burgundy Emile Henry Flame Round Stewpot Dutch Oven, 4.2 Quart, Burgundy
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10) J.A. Henckels International Definition Knife Set

Henckels Knife SetEvery home cook needs a good knife set. Sharp knives are safer. This Definition knife set includes 3″ Paring Knife, 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, 5″ Hollow Edge Santoku, 8″ Chef’s Knife, 4x 4.5″ Steak Knife, 9″ Sharpening Steel, Kitchen Shears, and Hardwood Knife Block. This machined knife set is beautiful and perfectly functional.

J.A. Henckels International 19480-012 Definition Knife Block Set J.A. Henckels International 19480-012 Definition Knife Block Set
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11) Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 12-Pc Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Cookware SetI love stainless steel for cooking. It is healthy, durable, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe. As I’ve stated before the best brand is All-Clad. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is next on this list. As you see, All-Clad is premium quality and premium priced. For a near performance equivalent, the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro is unbeatable for performance and price. I use Cuisinart MultiClad Pro and love it. To complete the set I recommend the All-Clad nonstick skillets above or the Scanpan skillet to provide a very complete and dishwasher safe cookware set.

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
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12) Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Cookware Set

Scanpan ClassicFor the discerning cook who wants the best performance and style, Scanpan Classic is it. At around $500 it is not cheap, but it is a great value. The PFOA free nonstick interior is amazing. I use the Classic skillet myself and LOVE it. It works great on flat top stoves. The aluminum core surrounds the food with an even heat that makes cooking a joy. Check it out here:

Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set
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Healthy Cookware and Safe Cookware Trends

Healthy cookware has come of age. I see more safe cookware on the market than ever before. Here are the trends I see.

First, let me confirm that there are no changes in the safety of teflon or other traditional nonstick coatings that contain PFOA and PTFE. On their website, DuPont continues to claim that their coating is safe to cook with using normal temperatures. When overheated they acknowledge the fumes are toxic and cause a condition in humans called polymer fume fever. The potential danger comes from overheating the pan, scratches through the coating to the real cookware material, and harm from ingesting peeling flakes of the nonstick coating. More information can be found in my original article about safe and healthy cookware.

Second, let me confirm there are no changes in the safety of anodized aluminum. All manufacturers still advertise the material as safe. The potential danger comes from scratches in the surface that can lead to aluminum leaching into your food. More information on the aluminum issue can be found in my article about Anodized Aluminum Cookware.

Healthy Cookware is Safe Cookware

If you want the assurance you are cooking with healthy cookware for you and your children, you have alternatives. You don’t have to be afraid high heat or scratches in the cooking surface are leaching harmful chemicals into your food. There are many selections that are considered healthy cookware.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Cookware SetStainless steel cookware is still some of the healthiest cookware available. One choice you will have to make when it comes to stainless steel is the non-clad, clad, and if clad, how much. Stainless steel cookware that is not clad will be inexpensive, but not very good cookware. Stainless steel by itself does not distribute heat very well. Consequently, cookware manufacturers insert a layer of aluminum and sometimes copper, in between the layers of stainless steel. This is called clad. The inserted aluminum is perfectly safe and cannot touch your food. Some stainless steel clad cookware only has the aluminum on the base where it distributes heat very well across the bottom. The more expensive and best performing cookware has aluminum fully clad not only on the base but also up the side walls. This surrounds your food with excellent heating and usually takes less heat to properly cook food.

Stainless steel clad cookware is usually 3 or 5 layers. Sometimes you will find 7 layer cookware. The added layers can help, but usually just add to the cost.

My favorite Stainless Steel Cookware Set is the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro. It is reasonably priced and the quality is near All-Clad quality. I’ve been using some pieces for a long time and love them.

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
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Cast Iron Cookware

Staub Coq au VinCast iron cookware comes in 2 varieties: preseasoned or enameled. The old standard is the preseasoned which builds up a near nonstick surface over time. Enameled cast iron cookware is very attractive with a variety of colors, and offers a near nonstick surface also. Cast iron cookware is heavy. It is not great to use on flat top stoves because of the weight and possible scratching.

My favorite cast iron cookware comes from Lodge. Whether preseasoned or enameled, Lodge is excellent quality and offered at bargain prices compared to the very high quality Le Creuset or Staub.

Lodge L Series E2OC30 Enameled Cast Iron Oval Casserole, Liberty Blue, 2-Quart Lodge L Series E2OC30 Enameled Cast Iron Oval Casserole, Liberty Blue, 2-Quart
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Ceramic Cookware and Clay Cookware

Healthy Cookware - Emile Henry BrazierCookware manufacturers are offering more ceramic type cookware, usually as an interior coating. It tries to compete with the nonstick coatings and some do a pretty decent job. While most clay cookware is for inside the oven, there is 1 brand that has an excellent product for stovetop use also. Clay cookware offers superb heating characteristics.

My favorite Clay Cookware is the Emile Henry Flame Top Cookware.


 

“Green” Cookware

Lastly we have a selection of cookware advertised as “green” or eco-friendly. Some of these have ceramic interiors. We have to be careful of some advertised as “green” because while they take some measures to be eco-friendly, they still have chemicals either in the product or used in the manufacturing stages. Not all of those are bad either, making the choices even more difficult. The only ones I suggest being really careful of are the ones advertised on TV having marble, concrete, or diamonds in the cooking surface.

My favorite “green” cookware is Scanpan. More than just a coating, the cooking surface is an integral part of the cookware and very good at being nonstick. And it is dishwasher safe.

Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set
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Another one I like that has survived my long-term testing is the Cuisinart GreenGourmet.

Cuisinart GGT-10 GreenGourmet Tri-Ply Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart GGT-10 GreenGourmet Tri-Ply Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set
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A Complete Healthy Cookware Set

As a final word I’d like to recommend a tip. As the founder of the Home Cooking Academy, offering online cooking classes, I push my cookware to the limits. My personal preference is stainless steel, but stainless steel is horrible for delicate dishes like eggs and fish. Add cheese to your omelet and you’ll have a cleaning mess as it will stick badly to stainless steel. Regardless of which route someone takes, I always recommend a stainless steel and a nonstick skillet, preferably 12″. A stainless steel skillet is excellent for saute and searing food where you’ll deglaze the pan with a cold liquid to make a great sauce. The nonstick skillet will be used for your omelets and fish fillet dishes at lower heat levels. Scanpan and Cuisinart GreenGourmet are excellent choices for the healthy nonstick skillets. A Cuisinart Multiclad Pro skillet is great if you have a set of something other than stainless steel.