Just How Safe Is Your Cookware???
For most people, choosing cookware basically entails playing a mental game of eenie meenie minie mo which one should I choose from the store, or choosing the most attractive set auctioned on the rack or the one which pardons their pockets the most without the slightest clue that their seemingly offhanded decisions might have longterm effects on not just their clamped pockets, but the inevitable turn out of their meals as well as their health.
There is a vast range of cooking appliances being belched out sporadically in the market, and with every new appliance introduction an added amount of confusion. It is no new news, however, that many cooking appliances found in the market today have toxic substances and chemicals in their coatings as well as materials.
How safe is your cookware? Many people are oblivious to the fact that each cookware works differently according to its composite material. While some cookware are better heat conductors, others might be more durable than others, and a few easier to care for; while some materials on the other end react with acidic food. The popular saying ‘eat to live’, implies way more than just the type of food you eat but the methods through which you prepare that food. Your health should always be a priority, and because we want only the best for our readers, we have researched and compiled a list of the best and safest cookware available in the market as a trusted guide on your next cookware shopping trip.
Materials To Choose:
- Enamel: Enameled cast iron and stoneware is one of the safest types of cookware and is relatively non stick. Cookware made from this material are considered non reactive, preventing dangerous chemicals from leaching into the food while you cook. Enamel takes a long time to heat up, though particularly good at retaining and evenly distributing the heat across the surface of the cookware and is suitable for both stovetops and ovens. Enamel cookwares are great for cooking meals which require a slow cook such as casseroles and soups. Though leaning on the expensive side, enamel cookware does mean toxic free cooking and is worth every penny of the investment, lasting many years; as the saying health really is wealth. Enameled cast iron is a great choice but in the absence of this, enameled ceramic or steel are good choices too.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is one of the oldest, hardy and most durable cookware products available. These products are completely non reactive which also means that the metal does not interfere with the final flavour of the dish (one of the few metal cookware items that can claim this). Perfect for cooking any type of dish though not a great heat conductor because it heats up quickly but does not evenly distribute across the pan(look for pans with copper cores), this product is ideal for those 5minutes and on the go dishes. Also, it is important to note that stainless steel is not non-stick so oil must be added while cooking to prevent damaging the cookware and to ensure the food does not stick (cooking pancakes, omelettes, fritters might be a challenge). Stainless steel is a less expensive choice than ceramic, and is easier to clean and maintain than cast iron.
- Cast Iron : This product is a great conductor and is excellent at retaining heat, being a popular choice of cookware for many years.This product is ideal for dishes that need to be transferred from stovetop to oven and is great for for frying omelettes, pancakes, searing meats and oven cooking. It is important to note that inorganic iron can leach into your food when cooking with cast iron especially when cooking with acidic ingredients (tomatoes, lemons, e.tc.) so its best to avoid tomato based dishes when cooking with this product. Consulting your health practitioner is advised if you feel consuming too much iron may be an issue for you. Cast iron does, however, require some extra maintenance. You can cover your pan in coconut oil or lard (not butter) and place in your oven at 200degrees C for 2hours, removing twice during the process to wipe clean and regrease to create a natural non stick coating that will give your pan longevity.
Materials To Avoid:
Materials like teflon and aluminium are encouraged to avoid whilst choosing a cookware. These are usually the least expensive options and are rather easy to clean but their health risks do infact overshadow their presumed benefits. The teflon material contains a non stick plastic coating, made of out a chemical known as PFOA and studies show that this chemical is a CARCINOGEN! With the addition of heat, teflon releases dangerous chemicals while cooking and is highly toxic. Aluminium, on the other hand, is not as toxic as teflon but has been shown to leach chemicals into food while cooking, and is poor in terms of wear and tear and has a relatively short life span.
Yes, we’d like to save some bucks and go for the most attractive, but not all that glitters is gold. Our health as well as our family’s should be the number one priority always, so the next time you go cookware shopping, please endeavour to take the time to be more meticulous and critical when choosing pots and pans because it does has great effects on your health!
cred: www.secretenergy.com, google images.