25746143_mPlastic chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are commonly used in cookware. PFCs are used to create non-stick surfaces, such as Teflon.[1] Although PFCs making cooking easier, non-stick surfaces release toxic fumes if exposed to excessive heat (at a very low threshold). For example, the resulting fumes from Teflon are known to cause flu-like symptoms in humans (called “polymer fume fever” or “Teflon flu”) and, interestingly, cause near-instantaneous death in pet birds.[2] Do you recall why canaries were used in coal mines? Unfortunately, cookware is not regulated by the FDA, and thus non-stick surfaces are not evaluated for health effects. You can avoid potentially toxic chemicals in plastic cookware by using stainless steel, wood, cast iron, or glass cookware.[3] (Ovens are also frequently lined with a non-stick surface. These chemicals can be released when using very high temperatures, particularly when using “self-clean.”)


Non-Toxic Pots and Pans


Stainless Steel Cookware


Cast Iron Cookware



Non-Toxic Cooking Utensils

Non-toxic utensils are readily available in wood, bamboo, and stainless steel.  When selecting a wooden utensil, ensure that the manufacturer used sustainably harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.


FSC-Certified Wooden Cooking Utensils


Bamboo Cooking Utensils


Stainless Steel Utensils



Non-Toxic Cutting Boards

Epicurean produces a wide range of high-quality, dishwasher-safe cutting boards using recycled paper, cardboard, and FSC-certified wood. Their products have also been certified by Greenguard, which indicates that the cutting boards do not have toxic emissions. Bamboo cutting boards are also available but are not dishwasher safe.


Epicurean Cutting Boards


Bamboo Cutting Boards