I've been reading a lot of blogs about minimalism lately. (More about how I'm incorporating that into my life in a later post.) Yesterday I stumbled across an entry about the toxins in our life that we should be more aware of and do more to make sure our health isn't impacted by them. One of the toxins listed was Teflon and other non-stick surface cookware. This blog claimed that they can cause infertility, especially in women, along with other assorted health issues.
Immediately my mind is thinking- this person must be a strange hippy. I've never heard such a silly thing. Surely if Teflon were a danger to our health, we would have heard more about it, right? I've never heard anything bad about Teflon. In fact when I got my first apartment, I was told by many women that I should upgrade my cheap pots and pans to nice Teflon ones.
So I consult Google, my trusty research partner.
Countless news articles appear; all investigating the "Teflon- Bad for Your Health" claim. And every article I read came to the same conclusion (though to varying degrees.) That Teflon is a danger to your health. The manufacturer of Teflon, DuPont, publicly acknowledges that when Teflon is heated, six dangerous gasses are released, two of which are known carcinogens. A carcinogen is a substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.
The more research I do, the higher the shock factor. Heated Teflon is linked to birds dying when they inhale the released gases. In addition, the PFC's (perfluorinated chemicals) used to make Teflon, are known contributors to thyroid, liver, and immune system problems. These factors are even more damaging to toddlers, children and expectant/nursing mothers. On top of this, every article I read also sites that Teflon and other non-stick cookware likely contributes to an increase in female infertility. Noted- Teflon is dangerous not as it immediately affects the body, but as the chemicals buildup in your body over time (I've been using non-stick cookware my entire life!)
As a woman whose infertility is unexplained, I am always curious about lifestyle changes that may contribute to or help alleviate my condition. This is one factor I had never considered. Maybe it's a small factor, maybe it's a big one. Either way, I am glad to have the knowledge I needed to form my own opinion on the issue.
Hopefully you do some research for yourself and do what you find best for you and your loved ones. Personally, I see myself replacing my cookware within the year. You can read the article I found most helpful in educating me on the issue here. If replacing your cookware is something you're interested in, consider these safer alternatives-
1) Stainless Steel
2) Enamaled Cast Iron
3) Glass Bake Ware
Important note- A lot of ceramic cookware is made with aluminum. Your health risks are not being alleviated unless you steer clear of aluminum, an important thing to factor into your search. If you have any suggestions on healthy cookware options, please share! I've started online window shopping already and I'm finding that most of the healthy options are quite expensive and have to be bought as individual pieces instead of as sets.
Favorites thus far-
Le Creuset Signiture 5pc Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set in Caribbean.
Mario Batali 4pc Light Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set
Le Creuset Signiture 9pc Enameled Cookware Set
Both of these lines are high quality and would last more than one lifetime. Found at Macy's (Le Creuset) and Bed, Bath, and Beyond (Mario Batali).
I've also read that coconut oil is a great natural nonstick alternative to butter if you're eating on the healthy side.
If you have any concrete information on the topic, or on other unexpected contributors to infertility, I'd love to hear or read about them! Happy Wed, friends. Stay safe :)