With all the concern over whether certain foods are healthy or contain harmful pesticides, another issue that is not covered as often is the problem of harmful cookware. Many forms of cookware have metals or coatings that can leach into the food when heated to a certain point, potentially contaminating the food. Some of the better options might be expensive, but can often be purchased online at a lower price by using coupon codes.
The Problem with Aluminum
One example of a harmful type of cookware is aluminum. Aluminum is highly reactive and is very likely to leach into food. It is toxic and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, one form of aluminum, anodized aluminum, is much safer because it is exposed to both a chemical solution and an electrical current that creates a non-reactive surface.
Teflon is Potentially Dangerous
Another potentially dangerous form of cookware is Teflon-coated and non-stick pots and pans. There are many pans available and some are carcinogenic and will leach into foods, accumulating over time to poison people. Some of these chemicals have been linked to developmental disorders and cancer. If the non-stick pan has a coating that is coming off, it should definitely not be used.
Ceramic Can Crack
Ceramic dishware that is cracked also can be harmful because the lead used in the glazes can contain lead. Lead poisoning can have harmful effects on the nervous system and on kidneys. Long-term exposure of lead can be especially harmful and is more dangerous when children are exposed to it.
Glass is Perfectly Safe
Fortunately, there are plenty of forms of cookware that are perfectly safe and will not leach chemicals into the food. The absolute best option is glass, since it is highly inert and does not leach anything into the food. However, not everything can be cooked using glass.
Stainless Steel is Mostly Safe
Anyone familiar with the nature of stainless steel will know that it is filled with different metals that are used to protect the steel from corrosion. However, stainless steel will not leach very many metals into the food unless it has been damaged. The rule of thumb is that cookware should not be used at all if it is damaged. Some forms of stainless steel are clad, which means that they have layers of copper or aluminum that can effectively conduct heat while also having layers of stainless steel. This makes them safer than cookware that is only aluminum.
Porcelain is Safe Until it Cracks
Another good option for cookware is porcelain-coated cookware, since it can distribute heat evenly throughout the cookware. However, it usually has an iron base and when the cookware cracks, it will rust.
Cast Iron is an Old and Safe Favorite
Cast iron is an old and popular type of cookware that is very safe and will also last a very long time if it is cared for. The disadvantage of a cast iron cookware is that it has to be seasoned, which can be troublesome. Another option is enameled cast iron, which is easier to cook and clean and does not require seasoning.
Homeowners will need to pay careful attention to finding and keeping safe cookware. Fortunately, there are plenty of options that are safe as long as they are in good condition.