Anne Hathaway threw away her nonstick pans: ‘I try not to blame myself’

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Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo star in Dark Waters, which just opened in theaters. The movie is based on the true story of Rob Bilott (played by Ruffalo), a lawyer representing a farmer whose cattle are dying from drinking contaminated water from the nearby DuPont plant. Anne plays Rob Bilott’s wife, Sarah. Anne spoke with USA Today about the movie’s real-life origins and mentioned her admiration for Greta Thunberg and her own activism:

On the true story behind Dark Waters
“It’s heartbreaking and infuriating on a human level. There wasn’t really any acting required, in terms of playing someone who was learning of (corruption) and was equal parts aghast and terrified and angry and emotional.”

After reading the script, “I opened the drawer where I keep my pans and pots, and there was a non-stick pan,” Hathaway says. “And despite reading an article when I was pregnant with my first child that said ‘don’t use non-stick,’ there was one that had somehow slipped through the cracks and I’d been feeding my family with it for years.

“I try not to blame myself too hard in those circumstances, because I believe that we as human beings and as Americans should never be put in that position where we’re just trying to do our best, and we’re inadvertently poisoning ourselves and the people we love.”

On how she learned activism from her parents
“I was born in the early ’80s, and there were still things I was told I couldn’t do because I was a girl. I was really lucky I was raised in a household where that sentence was never uttered. It seems strange to me that anybody would try to put me in a box based on the way I was born, when it’s so much easier to just accept other people for how they are. So I guess that was my first awareness that the world wasn’t a fair place for everyone.”

On Greta Thunberg and young environmental activists
“I’m so inspired by them – their priorities are exactly right,” Hathaway says. “They are focused and doing all the things we tell young people to do. So I don’t understand people’s negative reaction to this generation, except to say they must be very comfortable with the greed innate in the status quo.”

[From USA Today]

I saw the trailer for this a few weeks ago when I saw Harriet (amazing!) and it looked good, though disturbing. I moved recently and bought a whole new set of pots and pans that are non-stick, which I am slightly regretting now. The amount of dangerous, deadly practices that companies can get away with astounds me. It shouldn’t, but it does. The New York Times Magazine article is worth a read. I can’t imagine that DuPont is thrilled that Dark Waters is being released nationwide. Rob Bilott is still fighting the company. I’ve always liked Anne and Mark, so I’m going to try to see this in the theater, and perhaps look for some new pans.

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24 Responses to “Anne Hathaway threw away her nonstick pans: ‘I try not to blame myself’”

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  1. lobstah says:

    We switched the ceramic pans – you have to hand wash, and can’t use abrasive sponges, but they’re apparently safe to use.

    • Megan says:

      Once seasoned, cast iron pans are also non-stick.

    • escondista says:

      A classic 18/10 nonstick stainless pan is the best thing i have ever cooked on.

      • Lwt00 says:

        Yup. Have had mine for 10 years and if you know how to use them* they’ll look new forever.

        * let the pans get hot before adding oil for a nonstick effect. If you have baked on food leftover, cover with some water and set on a lower burner; it’ll deglaze itself. Loosen with a wooden spatula and wash as normal.

      • L84Tea says:

        Yep! I got an amazing full set of stainless tri-ply pans when I got married almost 12 years ago and those babies still are in primo condition and cook fantastic.

    • lucy2 says:

      I LOVE my ceramic pan. So easy!

  2. Susan Mitchell says:

    Her maternity outfit is really stunning!

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      Yes! She looks amazing in that.

      And honestly, even though I don’t think there’s any reason to disguise a pregnancy belly, the outfit does that remarkably well. If she didn’t have her hand on her bump, I might legitimately have missed the fact she’s pregnant.

  3. Mignionette says:

    I’ve just done this. Switched out all my non stick to stainless steel. And only use ceramic/ pyrex in the oven.

    I’ve also switched out food containers for the IKEA glass ones.

    If people understood the dangers of non-stick, they’d never use them again, especially at high temperatures.

  4. KL says:

    Cast iron 4 life, baby.

  5. Heather H says:

    I have not used non-stick in over 15 years, I guess I was an early adopter of believing how bad those coatings are for our health.
    I use a combo of cast iron, enameled iron (le creuset) and stainless steel. Never any sticking issues with any of them. I am also strict about not buying pots and pans made in China. For those on a budget, classic Lodge cast iron is the least expensive option, work great and are made in USA! However, Lodge’s enameled line is done in China so I would avoid those.

  6. Andrea says:

    I never heard that non stick is bad for you….so what should I buy/use instead?

    • Suze says:

      I’m the process of switching over to stainless steel. You can also use cast iron.

    • Ksquared says:

      I second what people said above about loving ceramic. I suck at using cast iron and even have problems with stainless steel, but ceramic works like magic.

    • Sara says:

      Really? You must be living under a rock.

    • Joanna says:

      I never have either. I don’t feel like googling what’s wrong with them. I’ve had a long week at work, I’ll look it up later. I’ve been reading and thinking what’s wrong with non stick? Feel better knowing I’m not the only one.. 😊

  7. Mumbles says:

    She’s a real social justice warrior. Loved her work when her formal boyfriend was dressing up in cardinal’s robes to rip people off. Never asked why he had them in her closet.

    • lucy2 says:

      That guy conned a LOT of people, and I think Anne was one of them. He really built quite the facade.
      There’s a pretty good Vanity Fair article on the whole thing.

  8. Janis says:

    Look up Solidteknics – they make amazing wrought iron pans (at half the weight of cast) and terrific stainless ones too – I’ve switched out all my nonstick and replaced them with this brand – American or Australian made -

  9. Agirlandherdog says:

    DuPont also had a large plant in my hometown. There were several manufacturing plants here, and during that time period, DuPont was the number one employer in this area (70s-80s). The property where the plant was is now one of the largest subdivisions in the county. I don’t think the people who live there even realize there’s a document recorded in the local courthouse outlining the “possible” ground contamination of the property their houses are built on.

    • Ali says:

      If you don’t know, you don’t know.

      I was looking out the window with a realtor in a new city looking to buy this house and he said over there in those hills is where the Rocketdyne plant was. United States’ worst nuclear reactor meltdown and I’d never heard of it.

  10. Call_me_al says:

    I tried to make pancakes this morning on my stainless pan and it’s really sticky! I guess I can get used to it if I can get a decent dishwasher.

  11. Dorothy says:

    She’s beautiful pregnant woman’s just saying! Preheated stainless steel or cast iron with oil is nonstick,
    Nothing else needed