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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 CTX Cookware Set Review

If you haven’t seen a Scanpan CTX cookware set review before, prepare to be amazed. Scanpan cookware is becoming very popular and rightfully so. Scanpan CTX cookware is a 5-ply brushed stainless steel exterior, aluminum layers on the inside and the Scanpan titanium/ceramic GreenTek PFOA-free cooking surface. It has a clean contemporary look. Glass lids have stainless steel edges and are vented. Scanpan CTX cookware is identical to the Scanpan CSX cookware line except that all CTX products have the nonstick interior instead of mostly stainless steel. Scanpan CTX cookware is induction capable. Scanpan is made in Denmark.

Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Review

New cookware has a way of bringing out hidden cooking talents 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!

Nonstick Cookware Sets

Virtually every cookware manufacturer makes nonstick cookware. Unfortunately most are not very durable and cannot be used on higher heats. Experienced cooks know that certain cooking methods, like saute, require a higher heat level. Traditional nonstick surfaces even gave off harmful fumes that kills birds and gives humans a condition known as polymer fume fever. Fortunately PFOA-free nonstick surfaces are becoming more popular and the dangers of harmful fumes should disappear. In searching for the best nonstick cookware set in terms of quality I looked at and cooked with a lot of cookware. I wanted a cookware that was durable, attractive, lays perfectly flat, could take high heat, had advanced features and also could be put into the dishwasher. Even though that was a tall order, I was successful in finding a brand that makes just what I was looking for.  

Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Review

The Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Wins for Best Quality

I really like Scanpan cookware. Having used their nonstick surface for several years now, I know it is durable and the nonstick surface lasts. I am please that the Scanpan CTX cookware set with a brushed stainless steel exterior is just as solid and durable as I expect from Scanpan. Cooks of all caliber will love Scanpan CTX cookware because it is easy to cook with and very easy to clean. The nonstick surface can take high heat, but you’ll be surprised you won’t need to jack up the heat very high because the layers of aluminum in the core of the cookware heats quickly and distributes that heat very well. This is an outright winner for many reasons.

REVIEW: What I Liked

  1. The PFOA-free nonstick surface is top quality and long lasting
  2. Vented lids is just one of the advanced features I liked
  3. The contemporary styling is really slick. Rounded corners make it easy to handle and look at.
  4. The glass in the lid makes it easy to see what’s cooking
  5. It is very solid, and even though it is not very heavy, you know you are holding on to solid cookware
  6. Dishwasher safe
  7. The handles are an excellent size and shape. They stay cool.

REVIEW: What I Didn’t Like

  1. No 12″ skillet in this cookware set. If you have to cook a lot of food a 12″ fry pan is necessary.
  2. Sauce pans are a similar size. There should have been a bigger variety in sizes

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 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set
Average Rating:
List Price: $659.99
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  Features How It Benefits You!
checkmark Stainless Steel Flat Bottom Great for all FLAT top stoves
checkmark Aluminum core Heats quickly and distributes heat well
checkmark Scanpan PFOA-free Nonstick Durable, long lasting and healthy
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. Rare for nonstick cookware
checkmark Lifetime Limited Warranty It’s a risk free purchase

Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set

Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set Rating:
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Details

  • Patented non-stick coating sears, browns, and deglazes with ease. More flavor, effortless clean-up.
  • Suitable for all stove tops including induction.
  • Manufactured with a 3 ply/5 layer construction with stainless steel and pure aluminum at its core.
  • Patented non-stick coating is 10 times harder than stainless steel and scratch resistant.
  • Built to last in Denmark with a limited lifetime warranty for your piece of mind. PFOA-Free and dishwasher safe

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
Average Rating:
List Price: $999.95
Sale Price: $999.95

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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

What is Safe Cookware and Healthy Cookware

Can certain cookware be considered safe cookware or healthy cookware? I go over what makes cookware safe and healthy. You might be surprised at a couple cookware materials! We’ve all heard the phrase “We are what we eat.” We probably haven’t thought of that in terms of aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, glass, or polytetrafluoroethylene. 

Introducing the Your Cookware Helper Exclusive “Healthy Cookware” Logo

Healthy Cookware

Your Cookware Helper tries to make your cookware decisions as easy as possible. We were the first to introduce a logo to easily identify dishwasher safe cookware. Now, I am happy to introduce you to the Healthy Cookware logo. Soon, you will be seeing it on all the pages identifying the cookware known to be safe and healthy.

You Are Ultimately Responsible For Your Health

Safe Cookware Healthy CookwareAs I write this article and summarize the facts, I don’t need to remind you that ultimately it is you who has to take control and responsibility for your health. As you review this information, you have to decide if what you are presented with makes sense for you. Understand that cookware manufacturers are always going to claim their products are safe. There are industry associations, representing manufacturers, who may conduct some tests and claim certain product lines as safe cookware. Regardless of these claims, it is still you who has to decide whether you believe the tests and arguments presented. History is prolific with examples of products claimed to be safe, tested as being safe, but ultimately recalled or slowly banned from use. Doctors once advertised and promoted cigarette smoking as good and safe. That is one example the medical community would love to forget. So as you read what is presented, it is OK to be skeptical of certain claims and tests. It is your health, and you know you are responsible for your own health.

What Makes Healthy Cookware or Safe Cookware?

Nonstick Skillets are NOT Considered Healthy CookwareThe most important health factor to consider is the transfer, or leaching, of the cookware cooking surface to the foods being cooked. External surfaces that do not come in contact with food are not a health concern. Copper cookware was once used as a common material to cook food. It was later discovered that native copper interacts with foods, especially acidic foods, and is highly toxic. Today copper is only used clad in between other cookware materials or on the outside, and not on internal cooking surfaces. Another factor is not just the internal cooking surface, but what happens to that cooking surface when it is heated. Heat changes the composition of materials. What may be safe at room temperature can be extremely toxic when applied to a heat source.

Is Nonstick Cookware Healthy and Safe Cookware?

That is the million dollar question, and most probably, millions of dollars have been spent arguing each side. Additional information can be found on our Nonstick Cookware page. Here’s a synopsis of what we know:

  • Teflon is a patented product, discovered in 1938 by DuPont, and approved for cookware by the FDA in 1960.
  • Many lawsuits have been filed over the nonstick surface both as a cookware and in its manufacturing.
  • “In 2004, DuPont agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle another class-action lawsuit brought by Ohio and West Virginia residents who contended that releases of PFOA from a plant in West Virginia contaminated supplies of drinking water.” 
    New York Times, Alina Tugend, October 14, 2006
  • DuPont acknowledges that when their non stick surface is heated beyond a certain level, it can kill birds and create a sickness in humans they call Polymer Fume Fever. It produces symptoms resembling a cold.
  • All nonstick surface manufacturers claim their products are safe. The FDA does not OK a product as “safe” but rather that it is safe for use in cookware.
  • There have been no published studies on the effect of ingesting chipping and peeling non stick surfaces have on humans.

I do not consider traditional DuPont nonstick style surfaces to be considered healthy cookware or safe cookware. There are safe and healthy nonstick cookware alternatives, however. DuPont style nonstick cookware has chemicals used in production and use, like PFOA and PTFE, that are known cancer causing agents.  

Safe Nonstick Cookware

I do recommend Scanpan as a safe and healthy nonstick cookware. I have been using Scanpan classic cookware for several years now and I love it. It is durable and the nonstick surface is nearly as good now as it was when I bought it. And the best part is that it is truly dishwasher safe. Check this out:

Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set
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Is Hard Anodized Cookware Safe Cookware?

Anolon Advanced Cookware SetSince the 1970’s when Canadian researchers reported that the brains of Alzheimer’s disease victims contained abnormally high levels of aluminum, aluminum cookware has been under fire. “Now cookware manufacturers have developed a process for treating aluminum that retains the heat conductivity properties of the metal, but changes aluminum in other ways. The process, called anodization, involves a series of electrochemical baths that thicken the oxide film that forms naturally on aluminum. This supplemental coating hardens the metal, making it more scratch resistant. Food barely sticks on the hard, smooth surface of this altered aluminum, making it easier to clean.” FDA Consumer Magazine.

In reference to anodized aluminum cookware, I am not referring to the variety that has a nonstick surface applied to the inside. When it comes to health matters, the reality is that there are no published studies indicating safety one way or another. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Manufacturers and industry lobbyists all claim it is safe. There is a strong argument in their favor in that the aluminum has been treated, albeit electrochemically, and what the food is cooking on is technically no longer standard aluminum.
  • Aluminum is ingested from so many food sources today, the amount leached from cookware, about 35 micrograms, is a fraction ingested from a single antacid tablet, as much as 5,000 micrograms.

Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware that is in perfect condition appears to be safe cookware. My caution comes under 2 circumstances: 1) Avoid anodized aluminum cookware once it has become scratched and the native aluminum can leach through, and 2) Avoid it if your health routine already has you avoiding aluminum from your diet. Additional information can be found on our Anodized Aluminum Cookware page, or the article Is Anodized Aluminum Cookware Safe.

UPDATE: Since I originally wrote this article, most anodized aluminum cookware comes with a nonstick surface at least on the inside. There are very few product lines available today where food is cooked on the anodized aluminum surface. When it comes to the health aspect, you have to consider the nonstick surface.

Is Stainless Steel Cookware Healthy Cookware?

Cuisinart Chefs Classic Stainless Steel Cookware SetStainless Steel is considered a safe and healthy cookware, with one caveat. It is usually recommended that the inside cooking surface of stainless steel cookware be 18/10 stainless steel. That 18/10 means 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The published safe intake rate of chromium is 50-200 micrograms per day. One meal prepared in 18/10 stainless steel cookware gives you about 45 micrograms. So, that is fine. When it comes to nickel, some people are allergic to nickel. It is thought that the average adult consumes between 150 to 250 micrograms of nickel per day. Even when cooking highly acidic foods like tomatoes or rhubarb, it does not give off anywhere near that amount. If someone is highly allergic to nickel, an alternative is to use a stainless steel cookware with less nickel, like 18/8 or 18/0. Additional information can be found on our Stainless Steel Cookware page.

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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What Cookware Materials Are Considered Healthy and Safe?

Most cooks desiring to cook with healthy cookware will usually use glass/ceramic/stoneware, cast iron, and stainless steel. There is a reason why glass is used in lab experiments. It is not porous and does not react with its contents. Glass cookware has been around for a long time and still used heavily today. Ceramic cookware, though can chip, can have excellent heating properties and be easy to clean. Stoneware can be shaped and colored to be suitable for many decors. Though used primarily inside the stove, there are some pieces that can be used on the stovetop. Additional information can be found on our Glass Cookware page.

Cast iron, plain or enameled, is an excellent choice because of its long lasting heating abilities. The enamel surface is glass based, not paint based. Additional information can be found on our Cast Iron Cookware page.

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2 Quart Round French Oven, Cherry Red Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2 Quart Round French Oven, Cherry Red
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In this article I summarized the findings on the health aspects of dominant cookware materials. Be sure to check out the links to the individual materials of interest. It is important that everyone take charge of their health, and become knowledgeable about healthy and safe cookware materials.

Happy Cooking!