Non Stick vs Cast Iron

Cast Iron or Non-Stick?

This is a really quick, yet possibly very important write up on Non-Stick / TEFLON pans and Cast Iron Pans. 

"Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), linked in laboratory animals to an increase in tumours of the liver, pancreas and testicles and reduced fertility, is one of the chemicals used in the chain of reactions that makes the common non-stick surface Teflon." (The Guardian, 2015)


Teflon Flu is a term given to an illness caused by inhaling the chemicals released when TEFLON (DuPont) nonstick pans are used to cook foods.

There is even a study showing birds dying from inhaling Polytetrafluoroethylene (TEFLON)

Birds are known for having a sensitive respiratory system so it does not necessarily mean that TEFLON non-stick pans are going to kill us but the birds dropping dead is definitely a warning sign. Remember 'canary in the coal mine' being used to let miners know if the air was safe or not?

Remember when Non-stick pans became all the rage? I don't wonder who it was that created the 'rage' or marketing hype.... it was of course the manufacturers, or moreover, their marketeers.

This is another case of our grandparents and generations before being on the right side of health, the right side of the boom in marketeers selling us things we do not need and that could be deadly. Generations before used cast iron for cooking.... and thankfully it's coming back!

The dangers around non-stick pans appears to be linked to the fumes that come from them and the leaching of Polytetrafluoroethylene into food.


4 Tips from various sites, reputable newspapers and studies just in case you still have non-stick/teflon for while you save up the 20$ or to get a cast iron pan:

1) Pre-heating non-stick/teflon is likely to release the fumes which can kill birds and could make humans sick. Non-stick/TEFLON pots and pans quickly reach the temperatures which produce toxic particles and gases (which can enter your lungs). For more on this research "Teflon toxicosis"

2) Do not use non-stick in the oven because ovens will easily reach the higher temperatures.

3) Use an exhaust fan over the hob (knowing that will only suck out the Polytetrafluoroethylene that does not embed itself in your dinner)

4) Find $20 or so to buy a cast iron pan. Boiling water in cast iron is not recommended because it can rust them, almost everything else you might use one for in the kitchen is cool. Boil water in a suitable glass or ceramic kettle.

A couple of tips on cast iron:

1) Season it.  A lot of people are saying to soak the pan in flax seed oil for 18 hours, I will look more into this and let you know.

2) The handle can get HOT so make sure you use the right towel / glove to use when holding it.

IMPORTANT: Often people will say "Can't I eat or do anything???" Well, you can of course, you can do whatever you wish and please, and even if you eat foods known for causing illness you can think your way out of it (google 'The burning monk' for a case of mind over matter - the Monk meditated and did not move or make a sound as he burned from life to death. The thing I'm interested in is exotic possibilities for humans, imagine what could be possible for you, your friends, your children, your family, the human race if we were only eating foods and using utensils etc that were good for us, imagine the extra resources we'd have individually and collectively.... the more of us that are thinking and taking action taking into consideration past (production methods) present and future implications of purchases and the foods we eat, the more space there will be for______________ <fill in the blank with whatever your greater desires are for you, your family and the planet>

And a little note to depart:

" Environmental hazards: Manufacturing PFCs and the consumer products that contain them poses great risks to the environment and wildlife. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says PFCs present "persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree." "

Resources for this write up: