How To Choose Safe, Healthy
And Non-Toxic Cookware
Are you focused on making healthy choices for yourself and your family? Have you considered what impact the cookware you are using can have? Safe cookware is something that has gotten a lot of attention recently due to the dangers of chemical coatings.
Studies discovered that our food can be affected by the cookware that we use. That means the attention you pay to picking up fresh farm food, going organic, and reading labels to ensure you don’t add toxic ingredients into what you feed your family can all be negated by the pots and pans you use.
Not only can they affect the taste of what you cook, but the pots and pans you are using may be leaching metal toxicities into your food. In addition to affecting your food and your family, they can even harm your pets if you aren't careful! For example, Teflon-coated pans have been shown to cause sickness and even death in pet birds.
So, how do you make sure you use only safe cookware?
In my search for non toxic cookware, I discovered that there are several options available, some are quite expensive but I’d say are worth it, health-wise.
Your mom must have known that ceramics are likely the best non toxic cookware. They are not found to have harmful chemicals that may seep into food as they are being heated. For a full discussion of ceramic cookware and reviews of some of the best products, read my review.
Here are more reasons why ceramics make a healthy cookware:
- Easy to clean using almost anything cleaning pad; surface is practically scratch/scrape-proof.
- Non-scratch cooking surface heats evenly, able to keep food flavor intact.
- Does not leach anything toxic or harmful into food.
- Dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.
What I would consider the only downside to this type of cookware is that they break when dropped so be careful when handling. You might want to warn your kids to be careful too.
When it comes to boiling meat to fall-off-the-bone tenderness or for deep frying, cast iron cookware is some of the best that you will find.
- Seasoned well and properly, cast iron can function as non-stick cookware. Just be sure not to scrub and scratch the surface during cleaning.
- Heats and cooks food very evenly.
The one disadvantage I can find about cast iron is that tomato products don’t do well in them. The acidity in tomatoes interacts with some of the chemical components of the cookware giving the food an off-flavor.
Stoneware is a typical cookware used in third-world countries. For most of us, they are best used in the oven rather than on the stove. Stoneware makes a great cookware alternative to aluminum baking pans or sheets.
- Gives food amazing flavor.
- Can last a lifetime if well taken-care of. They also break though so be careful when using.
- Best for reheating food and for grilling vegetables for they add in creating a unique aroma and flavor.
One downside to this cookware is that it absorbent (the reason in lends such amazing flavors) so use of soap for cleaning should be avoided.
Cared for well and properly cleaned, stainless steel cookware can last for many years and still look brand new. Although some people have expressed minor concerns over the safety of stainless steel I think it should still be included on this list and I would still prefer it over aluminum.
The price range of stainless steel is affordable. If you are in the process of switching to a safer, healthier cookware, you might want to start with this kind to soften the cost. Another benefit of stainless steel is that it is very sturdy but also light weight in comparison to some of the other options above.
While stainless steel is an all-around good choice, I would suggest that you don’t use stainless steel for long period cooking of acidic dishes. I might also add that this cookware is not made non-stick and is therefore not recommended for egg frying.
My Parting Words
We all aim to cook good, flavorful and healthy food for ourselves and our loved ones. And to make sure everything stays healthy, make sure to choose safe cookware as part of your health investment. I know that switching from what you now own may mean a dent in your savings so I suggest that you do it one small replacement at a time.