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How To Cook Without Teflon (And Why You Should)


Who doesn’t love scrambled eggs that slide easily out of the pan leaving nothing but a faint glimmer of grease behind? Cooks across the country relish this moment often made possible by Teflon, the most common non-stick surface that infallibly produces this magical moment of culinary delight. So, why try to cook without it? Read on to find out.

What is Teflon?

Teflon is a coating typically made from polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE) and manufactured using perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C8) – both of which come from the perfluorochemical (PFC) family. PFCs have become a regulatory priority for scientists and EPA officials due to a growing body of evidence showing them to be highly toxic, extraordinarily persistent chemicals (some NEVER break down in the environment) that pervasively contaminate human blood and wildlife all over the globe.

Although manufacturers will tell you that Teflon pans do not release these chemicals “under normal conditions,” even they admit that overheating can cause the chemicals to off-gas. Manufacturers also argue that US Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports tests have shown that any potential PFC exposure from Teflon pans would be nominal. But, I have a couple of questions:

• Since there are safer options, why take any chances with “nominal” exposures?
• Do the families who live near these manufacturing facilities really only get a “nominal” exposure? (The citizens of Cottage Grove will tell you “no.”)

What are some safer options? Read the rest of this article at to find out!


Healthy Child Healthy World is a national non-profit inspiring a movement to protect our children from harmful chemicals. With a growing body of evidence linking everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more, Healthy Child translates the science and empowers parents and caregivers to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish. Visit for more information.


Join the Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Audric Moses says:

    my family uses either cast iron or the GreenPan brand — both work very well and are non-toxic. Just be sure to wash and care for the cast iron as directed…and as a scientist, yes I think it’s important :-)

  2. Darma and Greg says:

    I went from teflon to cast iron. Scrambled eggs had been my nemisis, and just recently the only eggs that my 2 year old would agree to eat. My second son was born not too long ago, and I bought liquid lecithin to help reduce plugged ducts – while researching lecithin, found that it helps make regular pans non-stick when used with another oil/butter.  My husband was so impressed, he said “the hippies finally got something right.” One of my friends says we’re Darma and Greg. 

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