Gulp. This study caught my eye and I’m now suspiciously eyeing the non-stick pans hiding out underneath my stove. A Virginia University School of Medicine study of 12,476 children and adolescents noted there was a correlation between chemicals called perfluoroalkyl acids found in waterproof clothing and non-stick pans and high levels of bad cholesterol and children.
I’m a bit nervous because I rely on non-stick pans regularly for “cheesy eggs,” a dish that pinch-hits often for supper or to sauté onions and celery in for a pasta sauce. My reasoning is using these pans let me skip starting my dish with drizzles of oil or plops of butter and that makes my cooking just a few calories lighter. But after spotting this study, I wonder…what’s a healthy cooking obsessed girl to do? How about get some advice from Kim Slauenwhite, a registered holistic nutritionist in Halifax.
Q: So instead of our beloved non-stick cookwear, what do you suggest doing instead?
A: You don’t need a lot of oil to cook food in a stainless steel or cast iron pan. There are wonderful olive oil sprayers that let you use oil effectively without adding a lot of additional fat to your cooking. Virgin coconut oil is another alternative great for cooking since it is over 90 per cent saturated fat, which makes it very stable to heat. Or you could try baking or poaching your food instead of cooking it in a frying pan. With the approaching winter, slow cookers are a wonderful way to make low fat, healthy and flavourful meals.
Q: How about when I bake—should I grease up my cookie sheets?
A: My favourite is the Pampered Chef stoneware. They have a great selection of bakeware made from clay that rarely need to be treated and has a great, non-stick surface that is easy to clean. Or you could try ceramic or cast iron.
Hmmm…I do have stoneware tucked away somewhere that I bought via my sister-in-law about 10 years ago. It worked fine, but somehow I slipped back in the habit of dropping my double chocolate cookie dough on metal non-stick cookware sheets. Plus, I remember now that I wasn’t keen on the fact that Pampered Chef advised you not to wash your stonewear with soap and water—rather just water and use a scraper to scrub all the extra bits off. (I washed mine in soap anyways—too much of a yuck factor for me.)
But given how much baking I do around here, I’m going to dig through my cupboard of lost cookwear (including an ice cream maker and a waffle iron I swear I’ll use one day) and pull out that old stonewear. And I’m still going to wash it with soap.