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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, 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:

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Circulon Elite Cookware

Circulon Elite cookware is hard anodized aluminum with a durable metal utensil safe DuPont nonstick surface both on the interior and exterior. Circulon Elite cookware has the Circulon patented TOTAL hi-low food release system. The interior bottom surface has grooves to provide better nonstick performance.  Circulon Elite is made of hard anodized aluminum covered in a nonstick surface that Circulon guarantees will outperform all other nonstick cookware. The hard anodized aluminum is heavy gauge to heat quickly and evenly, and to make sure there are no hot spots.   Edges of vessels are flared for easy pouring. 

Circulon Elite Cookware

  • Riveted 18/10 stainless-steel handles with silicone Comfort Grip inserts provide easy, slip-free grasp
  • See-through tempered glass lids with stainless-steel rims allow for watching foods cook
  • Oven safe to 400 degrees F; limited lifetime warranty; nonstick interiors and exteriors clean up easily

Circulon Elite Cookware

Circulon Elite cookware is solid performing traditional cookware. Like most nonstick cookware it is not recommended to use higher heat levels. 

Healthy? Dishwasher Safe? Induction Ready? Price?
NOT Healthy Cookware NOT Dishwasher Safe NOT Induction Ready Medium Price
Outside Material? Inside Material? Oven Safe? Clad?
Traditional Nonstick Traditional Nonstick 400 Degrees Not Needed

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Circulon Elite Cookware Details

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The All-Purpose Nonstick Cookware Set

The nonstick cookware set is popular because it is easy to use. Health matters aside, nonstick cookware is a consideration for everyday cooks who want food to slide off the cookware followed by an easy cleanup. Even when using stainless steel skillets to get that great fond for sauces, experienced cooks will use nonstick cookware for delicate meals like fish and eggs.

What is the actual cookware material?

The quality of cookware is not determined as much by the external or internal coating, as it is by the main cookware material itself. Too many shoppers looking for ease of use will get nonstick cookware without any regard for the more important core material. Today, nonstick surfaces are being applied to anodized aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and other materials. A quality piece of cookware will have aluminum or copper clad inside the cookware.

What should I get in a nonstick cookware set?

Scanpan CTX Nonstick Cookware Set

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Here is an example of what you should get in a quality nonstick cookware set. This one, at the time of this writing, is the Scanpan CTX 10 piece nonstick cookware set. Please note that this is a premier nonstick cookware set, chef grade, that is eco-friendly and considered healthy. One can use high heat and metal utensils on Scanpan CTX cookware.

  • 2 quart sauce pan w/ lid
  • 2 3/4 quart sauce pan w/ lid
  • 10 1/2 inch saute pan w/ lid
  • 7 1/2 quart stockpot w/ lid
  • 10 1/4 inch skillet
  • 8 inch skillet
  • 5-Layer clad recycled aluminum-stainless steel construction
  • Suitable for all stove tops including induction

Quality Nonstick Coating

Several manufacturers claim to have the “toughest” nonstick surface. DuPont, the maker of Teflon, has the Autograph 2 nonstick coating as their top of the line product. It is found on a number of quality cookware products including Anolon. T-Fal is known to be very tough. Circulon advertises their Total line to outlast all other nonstick surfaces. If you are going to go with nonstick, stick with a high quality manufacturer.

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Heating and cleaning nonstick cookware

Circulon Infinite Nonstick Cookware Set

As with most nonstick surfaces, use low to medium heat. Higher heat can not only damage the cookware itself and the coating, but also possibly release harmful fumes. Read the care and use instructions of the cookware. If it claims to be dishwasher safe, is it safe all the time, or just some of the time. Most nonstick surfaces have instructions to clean by hand.

As seen in our exclusive article on Matching Cookware to the Cook, nonstick surfaces are suitable for the Reluctant Cook and the Busy Cook. These surfaces are attractive for frying foods up without sticking and an easy cleanup. There are good deals out there, but be sure you get a quality set made of quality cookware materials. One quality material to consider is stainless steel clad with aluminum inside. Check out our article on A Powerful Blend – Stainless Nonstick.

Happy Cooking!


Healthy Nonstick Cookware for Your Health and Cooking

Healthy nonstick cookware exists and can make a huge difference in your health and ease of cooking. I recommend 2 brands with excellent products. One might think using the terms healthy and nonstick together may seem like a contradiction. Times are changing, and DuPont in my healthy nonstick cookware selections. It has long been considered that the healthier cookware choices are glass, cast iron, and stainless steel. Enameled cast iron is very popular, and with a non-porous enameled surface, it is nearly nonstick. Today there are two cookware brands I’d like to introduce you to that offer healthy alternatives to nonstick performance.

Healthy Nonstick Cookware

Scanpan Pro Healthy Nonstick CookwareScanpan Cookware is a company from Denmark that makes a carbon steel core cookware coated with a ceramic/titanium surface. This ceramic/titanium surface is nearly as good a nonstick as what DuPont makes. The cookware is relatively light, and it is priced reasonably well.

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Check out the details about Scanpan Cookware. Scanpan now makes 8 product lines, in stainless steel and healthy nonstick cookware. 

NOTE: I have been using Scanpan classic cookware for several years now and it still has an excellent nonstick surface. The best part: it’s dishwasher safe! Yes, a healthy nonstick cookware that is dishwasher safe.

Cuisinart GreenGourmet Healthy Nonstick CookwareCuisinart GreenGourmet is a healthy nonstick cookware that is very good quality. I’ve been testing a GreenGourmet skillet for several years and the performance is still excellent. I would not put it on the same level as the DuPont style nonstick, but it does still slide food off remarkably well. Cuisinart GreenGourmet comes in 2 varieties, a stainless steel outside or anodized aluminum. The one I’m testing is anodized aluminum. It heats very evenly and retains heat exceptionally well. 

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Here are a couple alternatives for those looking to use healthy cookware and something different from the usual cast iron, glass, or stainless steel. There will be much more info on these brands coming in the near future.

Happy Cooking!