While you may have ditched your BPA bottles, Styrofoam plates, and plastic utensils, you may still have your toxic cookware at the ready. Choosing safe, non-toxic cookware is just as important as consuming healthy foods and avoiding the foods that make you sick. Most people, however, do not consider the harmful effects of toxic cookware and often purchase products that contribute to toxin accumulation in the body.
The convenience of a non-stick pan has become popular for the average home cook. In fact, some of the most popular and commonly used cookware products are of the nonstick variety. Did you know that nonstick cookware contains a chemical that could be jeopardizing your health? Nonstick cookware releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is a carcinogenic chemical, when heated. Additionally, most nonstick cookware contains harmful heavy metals that flake off into your food during the cooking process.
Is Nonstick Cookware Making You Sick?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reproduction, liver damage, and growth and development were affected in laboratory animals that were given large amounts of PFOA. This chemical is considered dangerous because it can exist in the human body for long periods of time. The American Cancer Society has said that PFOA is “…present worldwide at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood.”
Unfortunately, toxic nonstick cookware products are present in many homes, despite the reported health risks of using them. Some people choose to ignore these dangers because nonstick cookware is cheap and easy to clean. Well, let us say that you should not skimp on cookware. Invest in some of the following non-toxic cookware options, so the healthy food you eat actually remains healthy.
You can’t go wrong with cast iron. Historically used to prevent iron deficiencies and anemia, cast iron cookware has become increasingly popular in the modern culinary world. Cast iron is one of the safest cooking options on the market and it is praised for its ability to retain heat at a lower temperature. It can also withstand a very high temperature that nonstick pans typically cannot tolerate. Free of PFOA and other chemicals, cast iron is a safe cookware option. Learn how to season it and clean it properly by looking it up online.
Enamel is a form of glass, and most enameled cookware is cast iron with an enamel coating. The most common form of enamel cookware is the Dutch oven or stockpot, and like cast iron, they can handle high heat and retain heat extremely well. Keep in mind that enamel coating can be made from clay, which can leach lead into food. Don’t go the cheap route when buying this type of cookware and make sure that it doesn’t contain lead.
Along with cast iron, stainless steel is one of the safest cookware options, especially when high-quality stainless steel is used. Make sure that you are purchasing food-grade stainless steel cookware because there are many grades of stainless steel. Some people view stainless steel cookware in a negative light because it contains nickel, which helps to ward off rust or other corrosions. If you are concerned with the nickel percentage, opt for either 18/8, 18/10, or 18/0 stainless steel, the first number specifying the percentage of nickel and the second number indicating the percentage of nickel. Be sure to use non-abrasive cleaning materials when you wash stainless steel to avoid damaging the lining.
Before we delve into the benefits of titanium, you must understand that certain titanium cookware manufacturers coat their titanium with non-stick finishes. Be advised: non-stick coated titanium is not healthy! Titanium is used for medical instruments and joint replacements because it is a biocompatible metal that is non-toxic. Legitimate titanium cookware is lightweight and evenly distributes heat across the non-porous surface.