What’s The Problem With Tradition Cookware?
Due to the nature of cooking, some cookware requires more caution than others when being used around birds.
The main concern with using non-stick cookware around parrots is that certain chemicals from the non-stick coating may leach into the food you are preparing for your bird.
Specifically, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). These chemicals can be found in some non-stick coatings, as well as stain resistant carpets and clothing. In humans, some of these chemicals have been linked to certain cancers as well as other health conditions.
In an effort to reduce exposure to environmental toxins, and to promote overall health and well-being for our pets, we sometimes look toward non-traditional means of providing nutrition and natural remedies.
This is where the practice of cooking food in ceramic dishes can help eliminate concerns about ingesting PFOA or PFOS chemicals present in some cookware.
Please Note: This post is for informational purposes only, and normal cooking precautions should still be taken.
Why Not Teflon?
Teflon is a brand of non-stick coating that is manufactured by DuPont, a company that is heavily involved in research and development for environmentally friendly products. In fact, as far as cookware goes, the Teflon used in non-stick cookware is considered to be relatively safe for human consumption.
However, Teflon products contain chemicals that are known carcinogens. For instance, the chemical PFOA used in Teflon production has been linked to cancer and birth defects in laboratory animals as well as humans.
It should also be noted that DuPont was fined $10.25 million by the EPA for concealing decades-worth of data on the health effects associated with PFOA exposure.
As far as toxins are concerned, ceramic cookware without a non-stick coating is safer to use around birds than any Teflon product. For this reason, many parrot owners are switching to using ceramic dishes for food preparation and serving.
Promoting Health With Ceramic Dishes
Ceramic cookware is not a new invention. In fact, ceramic materials have been used in cookware and other household items since ancient times.
Our ancestors used ceramics because they could withstand heat without quickly deteriorating, were relatively inexpensive to produce, and when properly glazed, they were watertight and could be used in the oven or on the stovetop.
Today’s modern, high quality ceramic cookware is also made to withstand heat; but unlike its ancestors, is non-toxic (and even lead free). If you are looking to upgrade your parrot’s dishes, there is a wide variety of ceramic items available, including baking dishes, mixing bowls, plates, mugs and serving ware.
How To Protect Birds From Hot Ceramic Cookware?
If you are concerned about the possibility of your bird causing harm to themselves or their surroundings by playing with the cookware while it is still hot, there are a couple simple solutions that can help prevent this problem.
One option is placing all ceramic dishes in a cupboard or on a high shelf while cooking, where the parrot has no access to them.
Another option is to use ceramic cookware that has been designed with “pet-friendly” features, such as rubber feet on the bottom of the dish, flat bottoms without ridges or sharp edges, or more rounded corners.
In addition to being non-toxic and pet-friendly, ceramic cookware is also free from harmful chemicals such as PFOA that are found in Teflon products. In other words, you can enjoy cooking delicious meals for your family while maintaining overall good health for yourself and your parrot.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, ceramic cookware does not produce toxins; however, it can get extremely hot while cooking.
Therefore, you should take normal precautions when cooking with any type of cookware (i.e., use oven mitts to remove dishes from the oven and keep your hands away from the edges while serving).
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