New Here, & Curious (nonstick Cookware)
Q: New here, but not to Usenet. I lurked for a long time here and in the barbecue group before life got too busy. So I've been back here, reading for a bit and I have a question about nonstick cookware, specifically frypans/skillets. Right now, we have three different nonstick pans in the house. The one that I thought would be the best, a Calphalon 'Professional' nonstick, has been disappointing. Maybe I shouldn't expect more than three years out of a pan that gets used maybe three times a week, but it's got most of the Teflon coating flaking off, and it's pretty much no longer nonstick. The other two, a 'Club' pan that we got at Walmart five or six years ago, has been great but it's kind of a bad shape - too shallow and too 'rounded' at the bottom. It's flaking too, but just a little. The third is a Farberware Classic that is a great omelet pan for one person, but also starting to deteriorate. I'm not sure I'm willing to spend fifty or sixty bucks on a pan that won't last. We are very careful to only use nonmetallic utensils and not run anything through the dishwasher. Still, they don't live long. So I'm torn between buying cheap pans at Wal-Mart (they don't sell the 'Club' pans anymore) and getting a year or so out of them, or finding a decent Nordicware or Johnson-Rose nonstick at the local restaurant supply, and babying it. Any suggestions? Really, all we them for are egg dishes and the occasional saute'.
A: Yesterday's news reported that the EPA is pressing the investigation of Teflon by Dupont as a cancer-causing and genetically altering chemical. For the EPA to investigate anything, it has to be very dangerous. I have sworn off the cheap non-stick pans and am learning how to use the old cast iron skillets because they are safer. I would advise you to do the same. "The Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft assessment of the potential risks of perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA, or C-8. The report, based on animal studies, says some evidence exists that PFOA is carcinogenic in rats, but the cancer hazard for people is less certain." "While PFOA is used to make Teflon, it is not present in Teflon itself, which is applied to cookware, clothing, car parts and flooring." The investigation is centered around the possible groundwater contamination of the area surrounding factories which manufacture Teflon. There is nothing wrong with Teflon itself; the concern is for factory workers and residents in the factories' neighborhoods who might have been exposed to PFOA. Amazing the things you learn when you bother to READ the article rather than just jerk your knee. I suppose you've already thrown your Teflon pans away, haven't you? By the way, what makes you think that the cooked-on grease seasoning of cast iron pans is safe? Hasn't burnt toast been shown to be carcinogenic?