Why Sustainable Cookware Is Important—and the Brand That's Inspiring Me To Get in the Kitchen

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Caraway Home Cookware
Photo: Caraway Home

If you've ever accidentally left a nonstick pan on a hot burner, you might have experienced that smell. The one that once it hits your nose, makes you dart across the kitchen and fling the pan off the flame silently vowing to never again become engrossed in a group text with your mom and sisters while simultaneously trying to get dinner started. Up until recently, I didn't know much about the composition of the pots and pans tidily tucked into my cabinets, but I did realize that anything that smells like once it gets too hot might be worth exploring.

Around the same time that I started Googling what was really in my pans, I was introduced to Caraway Home. They're a brand-new-on-the-scene cookware brand that's dedicated to crafting non-toxic cookware that looks good and won't give you major sticker shock. It turns out, the impetus behind their launch began with an experience similar to my group-text fiasco. The only difference? I didn't then launch a cookware brand as a result—big missed opportunity.

"Cooking can be chaotic, especially when you are dealing with 500 degree flames and trying to cook three things at once," says Caraway Home founder and CEO Jordan Nathan. "For those who are not expert chefs, you are going to make mistakes—overheat the pan, scratch the pan surfaces, etc.—and you shouldn't have to worry about your health if accidents happen."

Been there, and I've got the scratched and singed pots to prove it.

Some non-stick cookware has been known contain PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and similar scary-sounding chemicals. According to the American Cancer Society, emissions from these products, whether airborne or ingested through food, can last in the body and the environment for lengthy periods of time. But rest assured, as of 2015, cookware made in the U.S. no longer calls on questionable PFOAs.

While I'm not averse to the nonstick cookware I've used for years, I'm increasingly pulled toward eco-friendly ceramic cookware, like the variety Caraway Home brings direct to consumers.

Ceramic cookware is comprised of a natural sand derivative that is used to coat pans, which are then cured to create a nonstick surface. According to Nathan, the process releases 60% less CO2 than other popular nonstick options.

Yes, I love the idea of cleaner cookware—it's a no-brainer if the price is right—but what really sucked me in to the small-space friendly line were the spot-on colorways. Perracotta, anyone?

WATCH: Alton Brown Has An Entire Wall of Cast Iron Pans in His Marietta Kitchen

Cleaner cookware that's fun to look at has inspired me to get in the kitchen with even more vengeance than before—now on to find something that'll inspire me to do the laundry.

Caraway Home's Cookware Set retails for $395 at CarawayHome.com. The set includes a fry pan, sauté pan, sauce pan, and dutch oven and comes in five color options: Perracotta, Gray, Sage, Cream, and Navy.

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