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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Non-stick Pans and Canaries - Urban Legend?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Non-stick Pans and Canaries - Urban Legend?

I'm sure you've already heard about the lady with the canaries who killed them off by using non-stick, sometimes known by its brand name Teflon, cookware. I know that's why I haven't bought any. If it could kill a bird, what could it do to me and my family? I know birds are sensitive, but I just couldn't get over that minor detail. I happened to do some reading here and there..more here than there lately, and found out there are some myths and things are not totally what they appear to be.

The bottom line is that, yes....non-stick cookware can be dangerous, BUT only if used improperly. Good Housekeeping ran some tests and found out that the coating of these non-stick pans tends to disintegrate at a certain temperature. So, for those of you who like to fry or cook on high heat...nay, nay...don't do that. In their tests, safe temperatures ranged from about 200 deg F to about 470 deg F. When you start getting hotter than that, things start to go badly and the chemicals that can kill birds get leached out and create hazardous polymer fumes...among other things. This is harmful stuff to humans too, not just to Tweetie Bird and his friends.

To eliminate these hazards, keep these things in mind if you plan to continue using non-stick cookware:

  • Don't use Teflon (or other non-stick coating) surfaced pots or pans on all! Even an empty pan with or without oil will heat up to over 500 deg F at high heat in under two minutes!
  • Don't pre-heat an empty pan.
  • Choose a heavier pan over a lighter one.
  • Don't use damaged or chipped pans. Throwing them out equals peace of mind.
  • Keep the airflow going in the kitchen with either a fan or open window.
To read more about non-stick cookware and the latest research, please visit here.



Anonymous Brandt said...

I read that too about the birds and wondered if it was true. That really makes sense. Obviously, if you use them properly, they are safe. It is just like anything else. Use your head

January 29, 2008 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger Marine Wife said...

I knew you weren't supposed to use them on high, but wasn't sure of the reason. I thought it had something to do with damaging the pan. Thanks!

January 30, 2008 at 4:15 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

I was misinformed too...I thought any use of a non-stick pan would release stuff into the air. Glad to see they are not completely harmful...but still...I ended up throwing mine away.

January 30, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

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