I had the opportunity to talk with one of America’s most recognized TV personalities and as she came on the phone line, I would recognize that voice anywhere, ‘Hello, this is Joan Lunden’. For nearly 20 years she was the trusted voice of Good Morning America, a broadcast legend that has done everything but slow down since GMA days. An award winning journalist, best – selling author, international speaker and mother of seven, balancing a career and keeping health a top priority in her own home, it’s a message she is taking to the American consumer.
Joan Lunden’s new line of cookware, Twiztt, addresses the important needs of busy people who want to be healthy, which begins in the pots and pans you are cooking with. If you think all pots and pans are created equal, think again. Joan Lunden is educating Americans on the importance of the innovative technology highlighted in the Twiztt brand. Twiztt cookware has a PFOA and PTFE- free surface. This affordable line is available at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Q. When did your passion for healthy living begin?
A. I grew up a doctor’s kid, my father was a Seventh-day Adventist, so eating fruits and vegetables to protect your health was taught when I was very young. My first science projects in school around the age of eight were the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and not smoking. Since my father was an oncologist, I grew up thinking I would be a doctor, it never occurred to me I would be anything else. I got a job at a hospital when I was in high school and quickly learned that I was not cut out for stitches and scalpels. Interesting that I ended up in a career that was essentially disseminating information to people to help them make better decisions.
Q. How did you turn this passion into a cookware line?
A. The Belgium company that designed this technology came to me because they wanted a health advocate who was also a truth seeker. We’ve known for years that the non-stick design is not possibly linked to cancer it is definitively linked. I remember doing this story even 30 years ago on the toxicity of non-stick. So, when this company came to me presenting the Twiztt line, I knew I wanted to be apart of this.
Q. As a health and wellness advocate, how does your cookware line highlight this important issue?
A. At this point in time I think people want to make the healthiest choice in their homes, feeding their children and protecting the next generation. It’s amazing it has taken the cookware industry four decades to come up with a healthy alternative to the old traditional non-stick pans which we have known for years are toxic. The old non stick pans are made with chemicals called PTFE and PFOA. PFOA is something called a persistent chemical which means in takes 88 years to break down. It is almost unfathomable how we have polluted the earth with this substance. When these substances are heated up, they release toxic fumes that can kill a small bird. The label warns not to heat the pan above 500 degrees, but often times we do. Frankly, there has never been an alternative until this Belgian company came up with a non-toxic, ceramic non-stick coating that acts like the traditional non-stick but it is all natural, there are no toxins. I jumped on board to make a difference in the way Americans cook and make sure they got rid of the old toxic pots and pans. I have a high regard for the American consumer and I believe the American consumer will make the decision. If I can get the word out enough, consumers’ have a decision. There is non-stick design that has health hazards or this choice without toxic chemicals. It comes down to education. We’ve done this before with smoking and I think we can do it with non-stick pans.
Q. What advice can you share with busy moms looking to get healthier in the kitchen for themselves and their families?
A. Little steps make a big difference. First, anyone that reads this, I want them to get up and be compelled to go to their kitchen to throw out those old non-stick pans. You could cook all the healthy recipes you want, but if it is with a traditional non-stick, that’s a problem. Next, when shopping at the grocery store, stay on the perimeter of the store where all the fresh food is. Not the isles with the processed items. Once you’re home with the fresh fruits and vegetables, cut them up so they are ready to eat. If its just stored in the refrigerator, we tend to forget and pull it out 10 days later, all molded. So, if your grandma wouldn’t recognize the ingredient, don’t buy it.
Q. What are your favorites in this cookware line?
A. For one thing, the locking lids on the pots and pans, you walk over to the sink and drain the water safely without losing half your dinner down the sink or burning yourself. All pots and pans are sold with these beautiful melamine bowls. These bowls are so incredible because you can take a hot pot and drop into one of these bowls and serve at the table. Not dirtying another dish, plus the lid can be used on top of the bowl, keeping the food warm for up to two hours, then stored in the refrigerator. The whole line makes cooking easier, faster, safer and more convenient. Every piece in this line has a new twist on it, that is why the name is Twiztt. Also, the beautiful colors. The old non-stick pans are always gray or black on the interior. This line has fry pans with a creamy white interior. It looks so pretty when cooking that egg, or red and yellow peppers. Finally, all the pots and pans stack up. It takes up so little room. Really allows you to make everything look neat. There is a lot of value in decluttering your life.
Q. How long has the process of starting this line taken?
A. The Belgium company first came to me about two years ago, and there wasn’t even a sample of the product made at the time. Then we started the development and I can tell you it was fascinating. I flew overseas and went to the manufacturing plants. I learned everything about how they were made. That is where I learned that ceramic is so much safer and healthier too. The industry needed to find a new way, an alternative that was convenient, but healthier, than traditional non-stick pots and pans. This is exactly what the Twiztt line offers, that innovative alternative.
Q. What legacy do you wish to leave behind?
A. My father was killed in our private plane coming back from speaking at a cancer convention when I was only 14. This very much impacted me to fulfill his legacy. I had a desire to make a difference in the world. If I can only be remembered for one thing, as an oncologists’ daughter helping to prevent cancer, brings it full circle to my father’s legacy. I consider myself fortunate to have this position from being in people’s living rooms every morning for nearly 20 years. Now I can go out and get their attention to make a difference. It is amazing opportunity, a chance to be a part of a movement that can make one small change in the lives of Americans that can make such a huge difference.