In the heat of summer, maybe cooking is not at the top of your list, but during our last few months at home, if you are doing more cooking, and maybe now you are doing a bit more entertaining, this info may be timely.
I find lots of people ask questions like "what is best to cook with?”.
There are a number of cooking options, but some contain toxic materials that may leach into your food so this is important to know what these materials are and what the better options can be.
In addition to the toxin factor, having quality cookware will also ensure better results and thus more interest and motivation to cook which can add health and years to your life.
So, which ones are the safest?
The big thing is aiming to cook clean. Using natural and non-reactive materials is always best. These can be more expensive, but, considering they will last MUCH longer, as well as create better cooking results, which will definitely save you money to cook at home, and not toss uneaten food out into the garbage.
I know some who use the less expensive teflon pans, have to replace them each year. We have had cast iron and ceramic pans as well as stainless steel pots and pans and glass for over 20 years now and they are still going strong with no desire or need to replace. I love my pans.
So, if you have any low quality or non-natural materials you may want to consider replacing them with any of these items: high quality cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, stainless steel, glass, or ceramic. Just make sure the ceramic is from a well known quality company as some can contain lead.
Why are some materials are not good?
Teflon (non-stick) pans, consider that the EWG (environmental working group) reports that the PFC found in non-stick have been associates with kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid issues, obesity, low birth weights, and preeclampsia. PFC can last for years in humans. These are best to avoid.
You can get great non-stick results from enamel coated cast iron. As well, using oil or fat, like butter or olive oil, in stainless steel will absolutely keep your eggs from sticking.
Aluminum can leach into foods when cooking, especially acidic foods like tomato sauce, etc. As aluminum is a known neurotoxin, it is best avoided. It is related to developmental disorders as well as alzheimer’s and reproductive and autoimmune issues.
Copper looks great but it too can leach into your foods. We do want some copper in our diets, but too much will cause a zinc deficiency so there is a fine balance.
Note: If aluminum or copper is in the CORE of the pan which means it is embedded and not touching your food, that is ok.
What about Green Pans?
Some of these just need to be reviewed as there can be a different materials used. Thermalon is mostly silicon dioxide, it is not clear of all components of these pans may or may not be an issue. Best to find ones made of properly glazed ceramic cookware made by a quality company as lead is a concern for cheaply made ones.
Some may be hesitant on cast iron, but you can look up how to easily care for cast iron. Doing meats and sautéing in a cast iron makes one feel like a chef - it’s just a great feeling! The cleaning and care is not hard and that pan will outlast you.
Looks for sales, and when you find a quality pan, even one for now, invest and it will save you much in how long it lasts, and how much more enjoyment you will get by using it and creating meals in your kitchen!
Have a great week!