We've always suspected that eating off of and cooking in non-stick cookware, as well as using waterproof and greaseproof kitchen products, was a pretty terrible idea. Well, now scientists are officially saying that, yes -- non-stick cookware and containers are bad.
According to Civil Eats, fluorinated chemicals (there are over 3,000 of them) are showing up in the environment, and in meat, produce, and dairy. Some of these chemicals can stay in the environment for thousands of years. There's also evidence that these chemicals are showing up in humans. Civil Eats reports that "there is a large and growing body of evidence linking this class of chemicals to a spectrum of health problems. These include certain cancers, as well as impacts on development, on the immune and neurological systems, and on hormones."
While all the above information is scary enough to freak you out for days to come, a large group of scientists -- more than 200 from 38 countries -- have come together to "express their concern about the ongoing and widespread use of these chemicals and to call for policies that would limit their production and use—and encourage development of alternatives. These scientists have signed on to what’s being called the Madrid Statement, published today in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)," reports Civil Eats.
In addition to the Madrid Statement, another recent report that was released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sheds light on another disturbing fact about these chemicals: No one has really tested the compounds to see how they break down or what their long-term side-effects may be.
It doesn't get much more official than that.
Now, you may be thinking that if you don't use these kitchen products that you're in the clear… Not so. Civil Eats reports that fluorinated chemicals are also in the majority of fast food wrappers, baked goods packaging, pizza boxes, clamshells, and more.
So, what's a health conscious food lover to do? Well, first off, you can stop using all your non-stick cookware. Also: Next time you order takeout, order at the restaurant and provide your own food containers. It may not be convenient and the restaurant workers may look at you like you're a bit nuts, but limiting your exposure to these chemicals is important.
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Non-stick cookware image from Shutterstock