5

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storing/reheating in plastic versus cooking on nonstick

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 26, 2012 at 2:54 AM

I listen to Robb Wolf's podcast and it seems he is very much against storing/heating food in plastic (even avoiding plastic water bottles). And as far as I can tell, this even applies to BPA-free plastics. But, he cooks his bacon on a nonstick griddle and I believe has said he thinks the risks are relatively low from cooking on nonstick. I don't mean to single him out, as I think this is a fairly common them across the paleosphere, though I don't have any other specific references to cite.

To me (a layman), both of these are similar risks. I.e., not enough long-term use/studies to prove risk or no risk, but some good evidence they may be dangerous. At home, it was relatively easy for us to replace our plastic food containers with glass, so we did. For stovetop cooking, we've made an effort to use cast iron and stainless more, but it's been much harder to completely get rid of nonstick (and we just got a nice new big nonstick electric griddle as a gift).

Anyway, if it is a common theme that nonstick is less dangerous than storing in plastic (is it?), I'm nervous that maybe it's just because it's much easier to get rid of plastic than to completely replace nonstick? Or, is the evidence for plastic (even BPA-free) being dangerous actually much stronger than the evidence for nonstick?

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on December 26, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Since they don't have any crazy chemicals, I would assume so (but, again, I don't have any proof/citations). Another option is a very well seasoned cast iron (even non-enamel coated) pan is virtually non-stick (google how to season a pan, it's pretty easy to do in the oven-- or just cook greasy/fatty foods in it, such as bacon, and never, ever clean it with soap-- just wipe it clean). For oven cooking, I also use clay/stoneware which, when well seasoned, is also virtually non stick. Hope that helps.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on December 26, 2012
at 01:13 PM

We have some enameled cast iron pots. While not as nonstick as true nonstick, they are much easier than cast iron or stainless. So those are almost guaranteed to be safe?

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:32 AM

You can also find less expensive enamel coated cast iron at Macy's, Sur La Table-- or look for Le Creuset on clearance (Willams-Sonoma clearances out last year's colors, usually in February-- I got all of my Le Creuset for ~70% off of retail because the colors were discontinued)

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:30 AM

Have you tried an enamel coated cast iron pan? My saute pans (not skillets) from Le Creuset are coated and they're essentially non-stick (and super easy to clean!)

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:04 AM

Thanks. Yeah, we got a cast iron skillet and a stainless steal pan. Both are great, but I still find the nonstick to be much easier to use for a lot of what I'm used to cooking...

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1 Answers

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707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

on December 26, 2012
at 03:53 AM

My theory (completely unproven and without citations) is that what you're cooking on might more important than what you store in-- I have to believe that the application of high heat might release/transfer whatever evil lurks within non-stick far faster/more efficiently than storing cold food in plastic (again, totally theorizing).

That said, I only use glass for storage and cast iron for cooking. You can get cast iron for next to nothing (Lodge cast iron cookware is sold on both Amazon and Walmart and most pieces are under $20-- or you might get lucky in a thrift store and find some cast iron)-- and glass storageware, while more expensive initially than plastic storageware, lasts a heck of a lot longer: buy it once, buy it right and all that good stuff-- plus it saves effort and energy as it is (usually) freezer, oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:32 AM

You can also find less expensive enamel coated cast iron at Macy's, Sur La Table-- or look for Le Creuset on clearance (Willams-Sonoma clearances out last year's colors, usually in February-- I got all of my Le Creuset for ~70% off of retail because the colors were discontinued)

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on December 26, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Since they don't have any crazy chemicals, I would assume so (but, again, I don't have any proof/citations). Another option is a very well seasoned cast iron (even non-enamel coated) pan is virtually non-stick (google how to season a pan, it's pretty easy to do in the oven-- or just cook greasy/fatty foods in it, such as bacon, and never, ever clean it with soap-- just wipe it clean). For oven cooking, I also use clay/stoneware which, when well seasoned, is also virtually non stick. Hope that helps.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:04 AM

Thanks. Yeah, we got a cast iron skillet and a stainless steal pan. Both are great, but I still find the nonstick to be much easier to use for a lot of what I'm used to cooking...

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:30 AM

Have you tried an enamel coated cast iron pan? My saute pans (not skillets) from Le Creuset are coated and they're essentially non-stick (and super easy to clean!)

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on December 26, 2012
at 01:13 PM

We have some enameled cast iron pots. While not as nonstick as true nonstick, they are much easier than cast iron or stainless. So those are almost guaranteed to be safe?

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