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Cooking is a joy and, for most people, an essential part of their day. But the toxic chemicals used in nonstick cookware like Teflon can leach into food and make them more susceptible to chemical changes that are harmful to your health. So when choosing new cooking utensils, pay attention to how functional they are and what kind of materials they’re made from so you don’t have to worry about ingesting dangerous substances when making meals with loved ones or friends at home.
If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you’re undoubtedly well aware of what foods are good and which are hazardous, but have you ever given your cookware any thought? Do you presently use non-toxic cooking utensils? I have to warn you: the materials you regularly use to make nutritious meals might be hazardous!
We live in a fast-paced, convenience-oriented era. We don’t want to waste time melting butter or coconut oil on our pans to prevent food from sticking, so we use nonstick cookware. Unfortunately, nonstick cookware from some of the most popular and commonly used brands contains a chemical connected to severe health risks, including cancer.
I’m sure you’ll agree that using harmful cookware to prepare healthy meals is illogical. So is your kitchenware causing you to get ill? Let’s look at the poisonous cookware you should avoid and the safest cookware you should use instead of starting now!
The Importance of Cookware
You may believe that your pots and pans accomplish the job they’re supposed to do or that since they’re expensive, they must be excellent, but are you using healthy cookware?
For example, did you realize that heating your meals in nonstick pots and pans might be hazardous to your health? That is correct. Perfluorooctanoic acid, generally known as PFOA or C8, is a man-made substance found in almost all nonstick cookware. “PFOA has the potential to be a health problem since it may linger in the environment and in the human body for lengthy periods of time,” according to the American Cancer Society. According to studies, it’s present in almost everyone’s blood at extremely low levels all throughout the globe.” PFOA exposure has also been linked to the development of cancer in animals.
“In laboratory animals given excessive quantities of PFOA, it may disrupt growth and development, reproduction, and harm the liver,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, in addition to cancer worries, we’re also talking about liver damage, infertility, and delays in growth and development.
Nonstick cookware, which contains PFOA, is one of the key reasons I want to encourage you to evaluate the cookware you’re using. Many individuals believe that replacing all of their kitchenware would be a hassle. However, I would want you to consider the cost of cancer and other major health issues connected to hazardous cookware.
Let’s look at the cookware. I suggest avoiding as much as possible (preferably, entirely!).
6 Health Risks
Unfortunately, it’s really simple to pick up a pot or skillet that might be hazardous to your health if you walk into a department shop these days. These are some of the most unsafe cookware alternatives, which I strongly advise you to avoid:
- Nonstick cookware is without a doubt one of the most dangerous types of cookware. According to tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, nonstick cookware containing perfluorochemicals can reach temperatures on a conventional stovetop in as little as two to five minutes, causing a breakdown in its coating and thus the release of toxic particles and gases linked to bird deaths and human illnesses (EWG).
- Cookware made of aluminum is notorious for being very reactive and leaching into meals. Any cookware with an aluminum cooking surface should be avoided, including nonstick anodized aluminum and ceramic nonstick aluminum.
- Aluminum has also been shown to seep from speckled metal bakeware and enamel cast iron skillets.
- Silicone cookware is constructed of linked silicon and oxygen in synthetic rubber. Although the FDA has authorized it and many people believe it is safe, I avoid silicone cookware since there hasn’t been enough scientific study to determine if silicone may seep out of cookware and contaminate food.
Toxic cookware constructed from these materials has been linked to a variety of significant health issues, including:
1. Delays in Child Development
Prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) has been related to developmental abnormalities in children, according to a UCLA research conducted by Chunyuan Fei. The research discovered that moms with higher blood levels of PFOAs had toddlers and newborns who were less likely to meet developmental milestones on time.
2. Excessive Cholesterol
According to research, the chemicals used to produce nonstick cookware may cause serious health problems. Cookware chemicals, for example, have recently been linked to elevated cholesterol. A total of 12,000 youngsters from Ohio and West Virginia were tested for PFOA and PFOS levels in their blood (the two chemicals commonly found in non-stick cookware). According to the researchers, the youngsters with the highest amounts of these two harmful substances were also more likely to have unusually high levels of total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol.
3. Toxicity to the nervous system
Aluminum is often used in cookware because of its ability to swiftly transmit heat. What exactly is the issue? Aluminum is quickly leached, particularly when exposed to heat and/or acidic foods.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry claims that: a person who consumes a lot of processed meals with aluminum additives or often cooks acidic foods in metal pots may be exposed to greater levels of aluminum than someone who eats mostly unprocessed foods and uses pots made of other materials (e.g., stainless steel or glass).
Because of the contentious link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, several scientific investigations have been conducted to determine whether there is a link between aluminum buildup in the body and neurotoxicity. Therefore, just to be safe, I would stay away from aluminum cookware, even nonstick anodized aluminum, and ceramic nonstick aluminum. As previously reported, aluminum has also been found to seep from speckled metal bakeware and enamel cast iron skillets.
4. Thyroid problems, inflammation of the liver, and a weakened immune system
There are many more compelling reasons to avoid nonstick cookware that contains perfluorochemicals, which may leach into your food. According to the Environmental Working Group, perfluorochemicals are linked to lower birth weight and size in newborn newborns, higher cholesterol, aberrant thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation, and weakened immunological protection against illness.
5. Allergies and Symptoms of the Flu
According to Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist at EWG, Nonstick pans emit harmful vapors that may cause allergies and flu-like symptoms in users.
Cancer must be added to the mix if this list wasn’t already depressing enough. A probable relationship between PFOA and cancer has been discovered via scientific investigation.
According to the American Cancer Society: according to studies, exposure to PFOA raises the likelihood of various malignancies of the liver, testicles, mammary glands (breasts), and pancreas in experimental animals. In general, well-conducted animal studies are effective in predicting which exposures cause cancer in humans.
The 4 Best Non-toxic Cookware Types
After reading all of the above, it doesn’t seem that difficult to melt a little butter or coconut oil in your pan, does it? It is that simple to protect yourself and your family from the health risks associated with nonstick pots and pans. You can easily select a healthier, non-toxic choice and make them nonstick in a matter of seconds!
Are you looking for the greatest pots and pans for cooking? First, choose any of the kitchen cookware varieties listed below, add a healthy fat source, and start cooking. These tried-and-true kitchen cookware options have been around for a long time. Sure, you’ll have to pay closer attention to ensure that food doesn’t cling, but it’ll be well worth it in the end. In addition, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re shielding your loved ones from another of today’s numerous harmful pollutants. So prepare to throw out that dangerous kitchenware as soon as possible!
I presently solely use the following four varieties of non-toxic cookware:
1. Iron (cast)
If you go back 100 years, you’ll discover that most people regularly used non-toxic cookware like cast iron pots and pans. Many health experts think that cast iron cookware is one of the healthiest cooking alternatives available, and it is an old-fashioned favorite made of cast iron. As a result, it often appears at the top of non-toxic cookware rankings.
Cast iron holds heat very well, allowing you to cook on a lower heat setting and preventing food from adhering to a pot or skillet. You may use cast iron cookware on the stovetop or in the oven since it can withstand considerably greater temperatures than nonstick cookware.
Other chemicals should not be present in cast iron cookware that is devoid of PFOA and PTFE. However, with this style of cookware, one thing might wind up in your food: iron! It’s fairly common to suffer from an iron deficiency, and cooking with cast iron is a natural approach to boost your iron levels.
The only persons who should avoid cooking with cast iron regularly are those who have excessive iron storage.
To season cast iron, just add a thin layer of a high smoke point oil, such as avocado oil, to the cookware’s surface while it’s clean and somewhat heated. To maintain an excellent cooking surface, season your cast iron cookware after each use.
2. Stainless Steel
Is it safe to use stainless steel cookware? It’s frequently regarded as one of the safest non-toxic cookware alternatives, alongside cast iron. Because it’s intended to withstand harmful leaching and reactivity, real, high-quality stainless steel cookware is the ideal choice for many of your culinary demands. The moniker “stainless” steel comes from the ability of this cookware material to resist corrosion. Nonstick products may flake off and wind up in your meal, but it won’t.
Because there are so many different types of stainless steel, be sure you’re choosing cookware that is at the very least food-grade. Carbon, chromium, nickel, and/or manganese are all present in stainless steel. Stainless steels in the food-grade range include 304, 316, and 430. In addition, stainless steel grades of 18/8, 18/10, and 18/0 are also available. The first value represents the chromium %, while the second number is the nickel quantity. Although nickel makes stainless steel even more resistant to rust and corrosion, some individuals are worried about nickel leaching from stainless steel cookware, so pay attention to those statistics if you’re concerned about nickel content.
Stainless steel pots and pans are considered to be more stable and less prone to leak nickel or any other metal into food due to the mix of metals in them. Stainless steel cookware that is cleaned harshly with abrasive cleaning chemicals, on the other hand, might harm the lining. It’s no longer a healthy cooking appliance after it’s been broken since metal leaching is probable. I would avoid over-cleaning stainless steel and discard any stainless steel equipment with damaged cooking surfaces.
Glass cookware is not only non-toxic and environmentally safe, but it is also very durable. Another way to cut down on the usage of cookware that contains polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or highly fluorinated compounds is to utilize this method. Unfortunately, to make clothes, furniture, carpets, cookware, and other items nonstick, waterproof, and/or stain-resistant, these harmful chemicals are added, so keep an eye out for them in your cookware and elsewhere in your house.
The EWG recommends oven-safe glass, cast iron, and stainless steel cookware for safer cooking. Glass containers are a far better alternative for keeping meals than plastic containers, and utilizing glass is a smart method to prevent BPA hazardous consequences.
When it comes to the finest non-toxic cookware, copper falls somewhere in the middle. While it may be safer than other choices, utilizing 100 percent, copper cookware carries the danger of excessive copper intake. However, many diets are poor in copper, and a copper shortage is conceivable, particularly if you have a digestive disease that limits nutritional absorption. Copper poisoning from copper cookware is uncommon, but you wouldn’t want to use 100% copper cookware if you want to prevent receiving any additional copper in your diet.
Copper cookware that has copper on the exterior (excellent for transmitting heat) but has a non-reactive stainless steel lining on the inside is widespread, giving you the best of both worlds. However, cooking should not be done with older copper cookware since it may have a tin or nickel covering.
What’s the Deal With “Green Cookware”?
When searching for the finest non-toxic cookware (for example, “non-toxic cookware 2016” or “safest cookware 2017”), you’ll come across a lot of manufacturers. Some of the newest “green” brands seem to have devised healthier methods for making nonstick cookware. GreenLife and Green Pan cookware, for example, both feature Thermolon, a ceramic nonstick coating created from sand. Ozeri Green Earth, for example, employs a nonstick coating called Greblon that is free of PFOA and PTFE.
Another brand that pops up is Xtrema cookware, which is a ceramic cookware line. An independent lab determined that Xtrema’s products are “non-leaching.” Ceramcor’s Xtrema cookware is created from “a unique ceramic clay mix that is 100 percent natural,” according to the company. Xtrema cookware is also stated to be devoid of lead, cadmium, and hazardous heavy metals, as well as PFOA and PTFE-free, scratch-resistant, non-toxic, and nonmetallic.
The notion of nonstick ceramic cookware, in my view, is now in the “gray zone.” Nanoparticles, which are small, invisible particles having the capacity to penetrate the skin and breach the blood-brain barrier, are known to be present in some of them. Engineered nanoparticles, like GMOs, are found in items on shop shelves today, and we’re typically unaware of it. “Nanotechnology-enabled items are quietly growing on U.S. shop shelves, despite persistent uncertainties about the safety of synthetic nanoparticles and the products that include them,” according to a scholarly paper published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Companies include nanoparticles in their formulations despite emerging data suggesting that nanoparticles might have toxic effects because of their ability to enter the body’s cells, according to Phil Landrigan, MD, professor and chair of community and preventative medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
The concern is that there are no long-term studies on how nano-ceramic may affect human health, and it wouldn’t be the first time something was made accessible to customers before we knew for sure whether it was safe. I like to use more classic cookware such as cast iron to be safe.
If you have any questions about whether a particular cookware brand includes nanoparticles, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer. You have the right to know what’s in the cookware you’re purchasing or owning. If you are concerned about the existence of a certain substance in your cookware, you should conduct your research and contact the manufacturer directly. It’s also a good idea to look at third-party cookware assessments.
- The findings of hazardous cookware research so far should make us wonder what these harmful compounds may do to our bodies, particularly when exposed regularly.
- Any nonstick cookware containing man-made hazardous chemicals like PFOA and PFOS, as well as cookware with any form of metal cooking surface, should be avoided.
- Both nonstick and aluminum cookware are renowned for hazardous leaching when used for cooking.
- Despite the fact that speckled metal bakeware and enamel cast iron skillets do not include the word “aluminum,” they have been demonstrated to leach aluminum.
- Some cookware includes nanoparticles, which have yet to be shown safe in long-term testing.
- Using non-toxic cookware with grass-fed butter or coconut oil to produce a nonstick cooking surface is much healthier than using harmful nonstick cookware.
- The finest non-toxic cookware can cook your meals to perfection while providing no significant health concerns to you or your family.
- Cast iron, stainless steel, glass, and copper are the only non-toxic cookware alternatives I use.
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding your current non-toxic cookware or are considering purchasing new non-toxic cookware, I strongly advise you to contact the manufacturer immediately. Look for third-party reviews on cookware companies as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which non-stick pans are toxic?
A: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, non-stick pans are not considered toxic.
What is the safest cookware for your health in 2020?
A: The safest cookware for your health is stainless steel. Stainless steel has been shown to not add any harmful elements into the food you are cooking with it and be non-toxic and easy to clean.
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