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You’ve probably heard about the dangers of Teflon cookware. I’m here to tell you the rumors are unfortunately true. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is what makes Teflon so non-sticky, but it also releases a whole host of toxic compounds, including lethal gases used in chemical warfare (like PFIB). DuPont themselves did a study with PTFE-laced cigarettes, which resulted in 9 out of 10 participants developing polymer fume fever, a condition similar to the flu. PTFE is also known to kill birds very quickly, by causing their lungs to fill with liquid.
Here are some of the most popular green cookware choices.
- Cast iron. Cast iron is one of the oldest green cookware materials, and has been used throughout history. It also has a long lifespan, and gets more stick-resistant with use, as oils and residues build up on the pan (this is called “seasoning”). Cast iron is also a great choice for people with anemia, since it adds iron to your diet.
- Stainless steel. It’s one of the most inert metals, which makes it great for cooking. Some reports say stainless steel can leach nickel and chromium when heated, so if you have nickel allergy you may want to choose another option.
- Ceramic. Ceramic is generally termed green cookware, but there are a few things to watch out for. Some ceramics use a potentially toxic non-stick coating. To be safe, choose ceramic cookware from American made sources, make sure they are guaranteed lead-free, and replace it if you notice chips, scratches or abrasion.
A number of companies sell green cookware, including Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, and The Pampered Chef. The Pampered Chef allows individuals to represent their green cookware, instead of selling directly out of stores. Visit their site to find a representative–or look into becoming one yourself!
For assistance with your green jobs search, check out the Career Builder Resource Center at U.S. Green Technology. There you can get help crafting your resume, tailoring your job hunt, and connecting with employers who will share your values and appreciate your skills.
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