Feb. 15, 2021

The History of Cooking and the Class Action Lawsuit Against Teflon


Sarah starts the episode off with the fascinating history of cooking, including how fire led to strides in human development. She then highlights the connection between the invention of the dishwasher and the women’s liberation movement. 

Becca discusses the discovery of refrigerants like Freon and how it resulted in the creation of non-stick pans. She then dives into the true story of a Teflon manufacturing plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the massive corporate cover-up that led to thousands of lawsuits.

Becca leaves you with some actionable steps to take to become a conscious consumer when it comes to kitchen gadgets. Sarah leaves us with a teaser about multilevel marketing schemes and Becca confesses to having joined one.

For a full list of references, visit our website.

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This podcast was produced by Geoff Devine at Earworm Radio. Follow Geoff @ewradio on Instagram or visit earwormradio.com.

References

 

Adler, J. (2013). Why Fire Makes Us Human. The Smithsonian. Retrieved from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-fire-makes-us-human-72989884/

American Cancer Society. (2021). Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Teflon, and Related Chemicals. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html 

Bellis, M. (2019). The History of Freon. Thought Co. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-freon-4072212 

Bellis, Mary. "Josephine Cochran and the Invention of the Dishwasher." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, www.thoughtco.com/josephine-cochran-dishwasher-4071171 

Berger, M. W. (2019). How the appliance boom moved more women into the workforce. Penn Today. Retrieved from: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/how-appliance-boom-moved-more-women-workforce 

Brown, J. (n.d.). How nonstick cookware works. Howstuffworks. Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/nonstick-cookware1.htm 

Government of Canada. (2016). Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in Drinking Water. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa-in-drinking-water/document.html 

Koebnick, C., Strassner, C., Hoffmann, I., & Leitzmann, C. (1999). Consequences of a long-term raw food diet on body weight and menstruation: Results of a questionnaire survey. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 43(2), 69-79. doi:10.1159/000012770 

Lyons. R. D. (1994). Roy J. Plunkett Is Dead at 83; Created Teflon While at Du Pont. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/15/obituaries/roy-j-plunkett-is-dead-at-83-created-teflon-while-at-du-pont.html 

Nair, A. S. (2017). DuPont settles lawsuits over leak of chemical used to make Teflon. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-du-pont-lawsuit-west-virginia/dupont-settles-lawsuits-over-leak-of-chemical-used-to-make-teflon-idUSKBN15S18U 

Product Release Europe. (2019 Mar 29). Teflon’s Role In World War 2. Retrieved from https://www.product-release.com/product-release-news/teflons-role-world-war-2/ 

Rosati, A. (2018). Food for Thought: Was Cooking a Pivotal Step in Human Evolution? Scientific American. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/food-for-thought-was-cooking-a-pivotal-step-in-human-evolution/ 

Rupp, R. (2015). A Brief History of Cooking With Fire. National Geographic. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/food/the-plate/2015/09/02/a-brief-history-of-cooking-with-fire/ 

Soechtig, S. & Seifert, J. (Directors). (2018). The Devil We Know [Film]. Stephanie Soechtig.

Thompson, J. (1979). Housework & Technological Change, Australian Left Review, 1(69), 10-19. Retrieved from:https://ro.uow.edu.au/alr/vol1/iss69/3 

Warneken, F., & Rosati, A. G. (2015). Cognitive capacities for cooking in chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, 282(1809), 20150229-20150229. doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.0229

Zanolli, L. (2019). Why you need to know about PFAS, the chemicals in pizza boxes and rainwear. The Guardian. Retrieved from  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/23/pfas-everyday-products-toxics-guide