02/03/2021 Reading time: minutes remaining

4 Safe Cookware You Should Use And 4 To Avoid

Discover four safe cookware you should use to prepare your food. Also, learn four toxic materials you should avoid now when cooking.

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The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer.This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.

Five Safe Cookware

1. Stainless steel

The first safe cookware you should use is stainless steel. Stainless steel is a substance made up of two or more chemical elements. There are more than 57 stainless steel alloys. Some common stainless steel additives include:

  • Nickel
  • Manganese
  • Nitrogen
  • Copper
  • Carbon
  • Molybdenum
  • Sulfur
  • Silicon

You can find stainless steel in commercial cookers, pasteurizers, and other equipment.

Its main advantages include easy cleaning, good corrosion resistance, and durability. For stainless steel to resist rust, it needs 12 to 20% chromium. 

Stainless steel starts with melting scrap metals and additives in a furnace. The furnace heats the metals many hours to create a molten, fluid mixture. Exact temperatures vary based on the grade of steel created.

stainless steel pan

Stainless steel is a safe metal for cooking

Carbon increases the hardness and strength of iron. But, too much carbon can create problems. Therefore, manufacturers need to reduce the carbon content. After that, they ensure that the metal meets the requirements for its intended grade.

Nickel-containing stainless steels do not alter the food's taste or color. It's also safe to cook or store food in it. Another benefit of stainless steel is that it is easy to clean and sterilize. There are several stainless steel standards. 

Types Of Stainless Steel

200 Series
This stainless steel series is food grade. To lower costs, manganese may replace the nickel. You should avoid this series because they are more prone to corrosion.


300 Series
300 series stainless steel are safe for food preparation. The 304 SS is the most common stainless steel grade used. It has more chromium and nickel content.

Compared to the 200 series, the 304 SS has better rust and corrosion resistance. Its disadvantage is that it tends to rust when exposed to salt.


Sometimes, the flatware grading system describes 304 SS as 18/10 and 18/8. The first number represents the amount of chromium in percent. And the second number is the amount of nickel.


So 18/10 stainless steel means 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Likewise, 18/8 stainless steel has 18% chromium and 8% nickel.


The difference in nickel between these standards is only 2%. You will not notice much performance difference between 18/10 and 18/8. 


316 SS is high-end stainless steel with excellent corrosion resistance. Another name for it is marine stainless steel since it is resistant to corrosion caused by salt. The 316 SS has many medical uses and is also known as surgical stainless steel.

What makes the 316 SS so durable is the addition of a small amount of molybdenum. 316 SS consists of 16–18% chromium, 10–14% nickel, and 2% molybdenum.


This type of stainless steel is quite expensive, so there isn't much cookware that uses it.


430 Series
The 430 SS is a magnetic and nickel-free grade of stainless steel. In the flatware grading system, 430 SS is 18/0 since it has 18% chromium and almost 0% nickel.

It still contains a negligible amount of nickel at about 0.75%. Because of the absence of nickel, 430 SS is more prone to corrosion.

Even if stainless steel is safe to use, it may leach metals under certain conditions.

How To Avoid Stainless Steel From Leaching Nickel

According to the FDA, stainless steel is safe as long as it has at least 16% chromium. Stainless steel cookware may leak chromium and nickel if you make acidic dishes such as tomato. Even if you're sensitive to these metals, you can still use stainless steel cookware. 

If you're looking for stainless steel cookware with less nickel, you can do the magnet test. Check if a magnet will stick to the sides, bottom, and inside of the stainless steel pot. If the pan is magnetic, it is nickel-free. 

Mother and daughter cooking in stainless steel pots

Stainless steel cookware may leak chromium and nickel if you make acidic dishes such as tomato

To minimize the risk of nickel leaching, buy stainless steel grades like 18/8 or 18/0. Or purchase 400 series stainless steel or 300 series. Stay away from the 200 series.

Stainless steel

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Great durability
  • Food safe

Cons

  • Food may stick
  • May leak nickel or chromium if you cook acidic foods
  • Not the best conductivity

Sometimes stainless steel pots and pans have layers of aluminum in them. So if you have stainless steel cookware, take special care not to damage the surface. If that happens, it's best to recycle it.

Another safe material to prepare food in is glass.

2. Glass

The art of making glass is ancient. Glassware dates back as far as 2500 BC. Manufactures use small grains of quartz crystals to create it. Quartz consists of silicon dioxide or silica. 

Soda-lime glass is the combination of soda, also known as soda ash or washing soda, limestone, and sand. Adding soda (sodium carbonate) reduces the melting point of the sand.

Man manufacturing glass

To create glass, you heat sand until it melts and turns into a liquid

To create glass, you heat sand until it melts and turns into a liquid. The melting temperature of the sand needs is around 3090°F (1700° Celsius). 

When the molten sand cools, it doesn't return to its original state. Instead, the heating causes it to undergo a complete chemical transformation. The sand turns into a frozen liquid. 

Tempered glass is an extra-strong glass. You make it by sandwiching many layers of glass and then cool the molten glass rapidly. Pyrex is one of the best-known names in glass cookware. 

The Corning Glass Company invented this glassware. Pyrex is a heat-tempered glass that can manage temperature changes. It was first used as lantern glass for railroads. The glass needed to handle the heat of a flame and the cold winter air.

The wife of a Corning scientist recognized the potential for Pyrex as cookware in 1913. She asked for some glass to use in place of a casserole dish. The wife baked a sponge cake in a sawed-off battery jar made of Pyrex.

Glass has many pros and some cons.

The Benefits And Cons Of Glass

Glass cookware never absorbs odors or flavors when you cook food. It is non-toxic and durable. Always be sure you're using tempered glass, which is extra strong material made for cooking or baking. 

Glass is clear, clean, cheap, and unreactive. The major disadvantage of glass is that it breaks if it's too brittle. 

Mason jars containing dried foods

Mason jars are great for storing food for a long time

Rapid changes in the temperature may also shatter it. Adding hot liquid to cold, dry glass splits the glass. Despite these drawbacks, glass are durable. They keep the heat for a long time. 

Glass

Pros

  • Responds well to most oven based cooking
  • Does not react with acidic foods
  • Great for storing food
  • No food reactions
  • Durable

Cons

  • May break if you drop it
  • Can't add hot liquid to cold, dry glass
  • Doesn't disburse heat evenly
  • Not good for stovetop

One key advantage of glass is that it responds well to most oven based cooking. Another benefit is that it does not react with acidic foods. You can also store food in mason jars for a long time. There are also no adverse side effects from cooking in it. 

Although glass is a good conductor of heat, it doesn't disburse it evenly. Therefore glass utensils are not at all efficient for stovetop cooking. 

Cast iron is another healthy alternative to glass and stainless steel.

3. Cast Iron

For over 2500 years, we have used cast iron as a reliable and sturdy cooking surface. Early Europeans hammered pots and pans into shapes. The Chinese found out that you could pour iron into molds. 

The making of cast iron begins with a combination of raw materials. Iron is rarely found in its pure form. Therefore, you often find it in combination with other elements, called iron oxides. Mining pulls most of the iron from iron ores. Iron ores are then converted into various types of iron. 

iron cast

Many people prefer cast iron cookware because of its durability and strength

First, you process the ore in a blast furnace to produce pig iron. Cast iron begins its life as pig iron, often combined with large amounts of scrap iron or steel. 

Contaminants are then removed from the melted pig iron. The iron, once melted, is then cast. Casting is the process of pouring the iron into a mold, thus giving its shape. 

Iron is a soft metal that doesn't make sturdy pans. To combat this problem, manufacturers add carbon to harden the material. Even with added carbon, cast iron pans have around 97-98% pure iron.

There are many types of cast iron cookware. Other than skillets or frying pans, you'll find cast iron saucepans, Dutch ovens, and crock-pots. 

So what are the significant benefits and cons of cast iron?

Cast Iron Benefits And Cons

Many people prefer cast iron cookware because of its durability and strength. All you need to do is pick up a cast iron skillet and feel the weight of it.

Iron retains heat well and can manage high temperatures. This material can go from the stovetop into the oven. 

Iron cast cooking food

Iron cast cookware can withstand high heat and distributes heat evenly

Cast iron is cheap and can last a lifetime if you take care of it. To make it durable, the coating of any cast iron cookware needs seasoning by the manufacturer. It's a process of adding some layers to the cookware. 

The seasoning prevents the cookware from chipping away during normal usage. It also stops food from sticking to the pan. Seasoned cookware is less likely to rust or corrode. This process is what makes cast iron cookware so durable and reliable.

Cast Iron

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Durable
  • Can withstand high heat
  • Can be used in oven

Cons

  • Cast iron cookware needs seasoning
  • Heavy
  • May leak iron into food
  • Metal may scratch it

To prevent this from happening, you can season the pan with oils. Heat the pan in a warm oven for at least one hour. Repeat this a few times to add more seasoning layers. 

Another potential problem with cast iron is that it can leech iron into the food.

When You Shouldn't Use A Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware may leach iron into your food. Acidic foods with a high moisture content can increase iron leakage. Iron is an essential dietary mineral. Whether you want to use a cast iron pan comes down to improving your dietary iron intake. 

Cooking with cast iron may be dangerous for men and women who already have high iron levels. If they also cook with cast iron, the extra iron may raise their levels too high, causing iron toxicity.

It is a potential safety concern, particular with: 

  • Hemochromatosis patients
  • Regular red meat eaters
  • Adult men
  • Postmenopausal women

When iron toxicity is severe, a person may get grey skin and develop heart, liver, and blood sugar issues.

Iron cast with Brussels sprouts

An iron cast may leak iron into the food.

If you want to reduce the iron leaching, you can season the pan. Or, avoid cooking acidic food. When you cook acidic foods such as tomatoes in a cast iron, you end up with more iron in your dish. Your food may taste metallic and take on a greyish color.

Another way to protect the surface is not to scratch it with metal utensils. Also, make sure never to wash cast iron pans with soap to preserve the protective layer.

Enameled cast iron has been popular since the 1800s. It involves coating regular cast iron with a thin porcelain glaze. Cheaper enameled cookware from countries without any regulation may contain lead or cadmium. 

This problem should not be an issue when buying products from reputable manufacturers. Ceramic products sold in the United States need to be free of lead and cadmium. 

Stoneware is the third way you can store and cook food safely.

4. Regular Stoneware/Porcelain/Ceramics

Stoneware dates back thousands of years. Some of the earliest pieces come from the 1900 BCE, in what is now India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Other early examples come from the Shang dynasty, which ruled China from 1600 BC–1046 BC. They used it to store food, liquids, and spices. 

Stoneware is dense pottery fired at high temperatures. This process makes it resistant to liquids. Stoneware gets its name from its stone-like qualities. You can find it in household items like beer steins, crocks, and coffee mugs.

Stoneware pottery is durable, elegant, and versatile. It can also stand up to the heat from a microwave, dishwasher, or oven. Stoneware also distributes and retains heat more evenly than other types of pottery. 

Ancient stoneware

Stoneware dates back thousands of years

Several factors set stoneware apart from other types of pottery. Pottery only uses clay. However, ceramics can have clay and other minerals that fortify them. 

It can come in the form of glazes, mineral additives, and other ingredients in the clay. Ceramics can also use minerals that aren't clay, like zirconium oxide or plaster.

Because pottery consists of only clay, it is porous and not watertight. It's also more fragile than ceramics because there are no other minerals or glazes to fortify the mug.

There are three main methods for creating stoneware today: molding, slipcasting, and a pottery wheel. Continue to the next section to learn more about these methods.

How Stoneware Is Made

For stoneware, molding is the act of inserting clay into a mold before firing it. Manufacturers use similar processes to produce goods like plastics at scale.

Molding is a common way to mass-produce pottery. It's a cheap, easy method to produce thousands of uniform products. Factories can also use molds to print on designs with a heat press or other printing equipment. 

To create mugs and other stoneware products, manufacturers make a mold. It then dries and goes into the oven.

One of the biggest complaints with molded stoneware is that it's fragile. Printed designs on these mugs also tend to fade away with time, after years of use and cycles in the dishwasher.

Stoneware

Pros

  • Non-reactive
  • Retains heat well
  • Good for baking
  • Toxin-free

Cons

  • Some stoneware are fragile
  • Heavy
  • May not withstand thermal shock
  • Not so good on the stovetop

Slipcasting involves pouring liquid clay into a mold and letting it form a cast inside. This process allows for more complicated shapes than a pottery wheel. 

Once the clay is in the mold, it hardens and forms a hollow cast until it can keep its form. This step can take hours to complete, depending on weather conditions. After the piece is dry, makers can glaze it and fire it in the furnace.

Animation of slipcasting

Slipcasting involves pouring liquid clay into a mold and letting it form a cast inside

This type of pottery is fragile. It breaks easily and doesn't withstand high temperatures. So it's not always safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, or oven.

The third way to create stoneware is with a pottery wheel. Artisans have been doing this for thousands of years. Potters use their hands to create various shapes.

pottery wheel

Potters use their hands to create various shapes.

Once the potter shapes the clay, they cut it from the pottery wheel with a thin metal wire. Soon after, the mug, stein, or bowl gets a handle or other decorations. Earthenware is one cousin of stoneware.

What Is Earthenware?

Earthenware is cookware made of clay fired at low heat. Unlike stoneware and porcelain, it only needs firing temperatures of 1200° F(649° C) or lower.

To make it watertight, some potters who work with earthenware glaze their products. However, you can still scratch and damage it with a knife due to the lower firing temperature. 

earthenware pottery

Earthenware is made of clay fired at low heat, picture by Frugan

Stoneware appeared after earthenware. It requires higher firing temperatures than earthenware, ranging from 2000° to 2400° F(1093-1316° C). That is hotter than lava. 

Another close relative to stoneware is porcelain.

The Difference Between Porcelain And Stoneware

Porcelain grew in popularity in Europe and North America during the 1700s. China used it even longer for its durability and strength. 

Back in the day, potters fired porcelain at even higher temperatures than stoneware. The final firing temperature ran around 2600° F(1427° C).

Porcelain

Porcelain grew in popularity in Europe and North America during the 1700s

Today the only real difference between porcelain and stoneware is the white clay. Although it often includes the white mineral kaolin, almost any white clay or even bone ash can do the trick. 

However, this kaolin is harder for potters to work with and less forgiving than other clay types. It's also more fragile. 

One of the best benefits of stoneware is for baking stuff.

Bakers Love Stoneware

Stoneware is still a household item even today. It is a popular choice for plates and dinnerware. Stoneware retains heat well and is also good at keeping beverages cold. It is also the favorite material for bakers across the world. 

stoneware form for baking

One of the best benefits of stoneware is for baking stuff

Stoneware are perfect for baking everything from bread to pizzas. High-quality stoneware is non-toxic, safe, and can last forever if you take care of it. It is more for baking than cooking on the stove. 

Another secure way to prepare food is to use 100% ceramic cookware.

Why You Should Use Ceramic Cookware

Ceramic is an inorganic and non-metallic material. It is one of the best natural cookware materials. Ceramic cookware is naturally non-stick. While cooking, you'll find that food releases quickly and easily. You don't need to coat the cooking surface with oil, water, or butter.

Flipping pancakes or sauteing vegetables is a piece of cake. Cleanup is fast. All you need to do is wipe the pan clean with a cloth and soapy water. 

Ceramic cookware cut in half

100% ceramic cookware is one of the best ways  to cook food

Ceramic cookware does not react with acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemons, or vinegar. With ceramic cookware, you can cook with any ingredient.

The word ceramics refers to various items made from clay. Ceramic is a broad category that includes earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. 

Stoneware uses high firing temperatures to mold it, while ceramics use lower temperatures. This high firing temperature makes stoneware strong and durable. 

What type of ceramic cookware you choose is vital if you want to avoid getting poisoned.

The Safest And Best Ceramic Pans To Use

There are two types of ceramic cookware. One is 100% ceramic, and the other has a ceramic non-stick coating. One natural ceramic cookware brand is Xtrema. Staub is another ceramic cookware range. 

The Xtrema Range contains no metals or toxic substances, according to the manufacturer. It makes it one of the healthiest cookware.

100% ceramic pan

Xtrema is one of few brands that create 100% ceramic cookware

Each piece is cast in a mold under high pressure. It is then triple-fired at 2500º F(1371º C) for strength and durability. It The whole process takes 20 days to complete.

High-quality 100% ceramic cookware is non-reactive and non-toxic. Ceramics wear well over time and offer consistent heat. Surfaces don't corrode or need special seasonings like cast iron or stoneware. 

Pure ceramic cookware is a safe choice. But you must be careful when you are handling it as it cannot withstand many impacts.

Make sure not to buy ceramic-coated cookware. Here is why.

Avoid Non-Stick Ceramic Cookware

Ceramic-coated cookware is not only made from ceramic or clay. Instead, the cookware is often made of metal and has a glaze of ceramic coating. 

In the non-stick ceramic cookware, the manufacturers use sand (silica) on the surface. They often use a glass-like ceramic finish. The texture is smooth, with no microscopic pores where food particles can stick. 

Ceramic cookware

Pros

  • Non-stick
  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to clean
  • Does not corrode
  • Durable

Cons

  • Make break if you drop them
  • Expensive
  • Hard to find 100% ceramic cookware
  • Non-stick variants can be toxic

Thermolon, GreenPan, and GreenLife use ceramic coatings. Thermolon is an inorganic ceramic polymer based on silica. It is a mineral-based coating made out of a combination of silicon and oxygen. 

Ceramic-coated cookware loses its non-stick properties much sooner than Teflon non-stick cookware. It's also less durable than traditional non-stick cookware.

Black ceramic non-stick pan

Non-stick ceramic cookware often has an aluminum base with a thin ceramic coating

When the coating disappears, the cookware can leach the metal underneath it. The base often contains aluminum, which is toxic. Therefore you should use 100% natural ceramic cookware without any metal.

Now that you know what cookware to use let's learn four variants you should avoid.

Four Cookware You Should Avoid

1. Aluminum

Aluminum has a long history dating back thousands of years. It is strong, light, resistant to heat, corrosion, and incredible ability to conduct heat. On top of that, it is plentiful and inexpensive.

Aluminum is the most abundant metal on Earth. It is also the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon. It was not until 1809 that English chemist Sir Humphry Davy identified and named it.

Today, aluminum is the most used metal in the world after iron and steel. It is a vital component of almost every part of our lives. 

aluminium

Aluminum is the most abundant metal on Earth

Aluminum is most useful when combined with other metals to form aluminum alloys. The alloying process gives aluminum improved properties for a range of applications.

Aluminum tends to combine with other elements. It's rare to find it in nature in its pure metallic form. The most valuable aluminum ore is bauxite. 

It's a rock containing about 52% aluminum oxide and iron oxide, silica, and titania. Bauxite is often found in deposits on or close to the Earth's surface. 

90% of all mined bauxite turn into alumina and then aluminum. It takes four tons of high-quality bauxite to produce one ton of aluminum.

Aluminum cookware can be toxic and cause health risks.

The Health Risks Of Using Aluminum Cookware

The amount of aluminum leaking from cookware depends on a variety of factors. Acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, cause more aluminum to leach from this cookware. It can also happen if you cook or store the food in it for a long time.

The body derives no benefits from aluminum. This metal can cause lung damage if you inhale large amounts of it. Excess aluminum damages the brain tissue and increases the risk of Alzheimer's.

Aluminium cookware

Aluminum cookware can be toxic and cause health risks

Most of our aluminum exposure comes from processed junk food. You can find it in:

  • Aluminum-containing food additives
  • Baking powders
  • Drugs
  • Personal products
  • Aluminum foil
  • Processed cheeses
  • Cake mixes
  • Frozen dough
  • Vaccines
  • Pancake mixes

About 20% of the daily intake of aluminum may come from aluminum cooking utensils. People using aluminum cookware have twice the level of aluminum in their blood. 

They also have more free radical damage to their body fats and proteins. People with high aluminum levels tend to have more DNA damage too. 

Aluminium cookware

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Light
  • Easy to clean
  • Does not corrode
  • Conducts heat well

Cons

  • Make leak toxic aluminum
  • Aluminum increases the risk of Alzheimer's
  • Acidic foods cause it to leak more metal
  • Food may stick

Avoid all aluminum pots, dishes, and aluminum foil. The only time you can use it is if the cooking surface has a stainless steel coating.

Another cookware you should avoid is Teflon.

2. Teflon(Non-Stick)

Teflon is the registered trade name of the plastic material polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is one of a class of plastics known as fluoropolymers. A polymer is a chemical reaction that combines particles into groups of molecules. 

PTFE got discovered by accident in 1938 by a young scientist looking for something else. Roy Plunkett was a chemist for DuPont. Plunkett's worked with refrigerants. 

Old Teflon ad

Advertisement of the Happy Pan, a Teflon-coated pan from the 1960s

Many chemicals used as refrigerants before the 1930s were dangerous and explosive. DuPont and General Motors developed a new type of non-flammable refrigerant. It was a form of Freon called refrigerant 114. 

The technical name for refrigerant 114 was tetrafluorodichloroethane. TFE itself was a little known substance, and Plunkett decided his first task was to make a large amount of this gas. It was then he made an accidental discovery.

How Teflon Was Accidently Invented

Plunkett stored the gas in metal cans with a valve release. He kept the cans on dry ice to cool and liquefy the TFE gas.

When Plunkett wanted to release the TFE gas from the container, he couldn't get it out. Overnight the gas transformed into a white, flaky powder. The TFE polymerized. 

Polymerization is a chemical process in which molecules combine into long strings. One of the best-known polymers is nylon, which was also discovered by researchers at DuPont. 

Teflon pan

The Teflon coating found in many pans was discovered by accident

Polymer science was still in its infancy in the 1930s. Plunkett believed that TFE could not polymerize, and yet it had somehow done so. He sent the strange white flakes to DuPont's Central Research Department. 

The polymerized TFE did not react with any other chemicals. It resisted electric currents, and it was smooth and slick.

Plunkett was able to figure out how the TFE gas polymerized. He took out a patent for the polymerized substance, polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE. 

PTFE was expensive to produce in the beginning. But it came into use in World War II, during the development of the atomic bomb. 

DuPont The Company Behind Teflon Helped Create The Atomic Bomb

The atomic bomb required scientists to handle large amounts of toxic substances. DuPont provided PTFE-coated gaskets and liners that resisted uranium. 

The company also used PTFE during the war for making nose cones of other bombs. DuPont registered the trademark name Teflon for its patented PTFE in 1944. 

Atomic bomb explosion

PTFE was used to create the atomic bomb

PTFE has many unique properties, which make it valuable in several applications. It has a high melting point and is stable at low temperatures. 

PTFE is resistant to corrosion and is also slick and slippery. This feature makes it an excellent material for coating machine parts exposed to heat, wear, and friction.

Other popular Teflon brand names include:

  • Excalibur
  • Silverstone
  • Xylan
  • Ultralon

PTFE coatings are one of the world's most sought after non-stick products. It has outstanding release capabilities and can withstand temperatures up to 500°F(260° C). 

But Teflon can become toxic under one specific condition.

Teflon Releases Toxic Gases When Heated

Teflon becomes a problem when it gets too hot. As Teflon breaks down, it releases toxic gases. Breathing in these chemical fumes can cause polymer fume fever. 

This condition causes a high fever, shortness of breath, and weakness. Other symptoms include chills, sore throat, coughing, headaches, and muscle aches. These gases are also deadly to birds.

Teflon pan with toxic fumes

Teflon releases toxic fumes when it gets too hot

Some brands Teflon brands may use Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is one of the chemicals released when Teflon heats up. In 2015, the U.S phased out PFOA. But the chemical is still used in China. PTFE can also create PFOA when it breaks down.

Another toxic gas in Teflon is Perfluorooctane sulfonate. EPA found that PFOS and PFOA may cause cancer. The World Health Organization has also said that PFOA is possibly carcinogenic to humans. 

Teflon

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Non-stick
  • Easy to clean
  • Can handle high heat

Cons

  • Releases toxic fumes at high temperatures
  • The coating gets destroyed by metal utensils
  • Health risks

Apart from the gases released during heating, the Teflon can start chipping off. Teflon can then make its way into the food. 

Copper cookware and utensils are something else you should avoid.

3. Copper

Copper is the first metal humans mined in quantity. We used it as early as 10 000 years ago. Early copper workers found the metal easy to use.

They could hammer the copper into thin sheets and then form sheets into complex shapes. These became more complex as the skill level of workers increased.

Today, the United States and Chile are the world's top copper producers. Pure copper is rare because most of it combines with other chemicals to form copper ores such as sulfur. 

copper ore

Native Copper from the Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

Sometimes copper ores contain gold, silver, or nickel, although in tiny quantities. Pure copper melts at 1981° Fahrenheit (1083° C).

Copper is a mineral that plays a vital role in our everyday lives. It is highly flexible, electrically conductive, and resistant to corrosion. These properties make it an essential industrial metal. It's also a critical dietary nutrient.

Copper ranks third in the U.S., behind only iron and aluminum, in quantity consumed. Brass and bronze are the most well-known families of copper-based alloys.

Brasses consist of copper and zinc. Bronzes are copper alloyed with tin, aluminum, silicon, or beryllium.

Even if cooper has excellent cooking abilities, it can become toxic if it leaks.

Why You Shouldn't Use Copper Cookware

Copper is an excellent conductor of heat. That is why it is popular in professional kitchens. Copper heats evenly across the pot or pan, which makes it easy to control the temperature. But copper cookware might leak too much of this metal into our food. 

Some copper cookware has other metals to prevent the copper from leaking into the food. Over time this lining can often dissolve through scouring, acidic foods, or old age. 

Copper cookware now has two types of lining, such as tin or stainless steel. The cookware is safe as long it has another metal lining.

Copper cookware hanging on the wall

Copper cookware can cause copper toxicity

Uncoated copper pots and pans can be dangerous to use because they may leach copper into food. High copper levels in the body can lead to a severe condition called copper toxicity. Alzheimer's disease victims have higher levels of copper in their blood and brain. 

Copper cookware

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Excellent conductivity
  • Heats evenly
  • Durable
  • Rust resistance

Cons

  • May leak copper
  • Copper toxicity can cause health issues
  • Expensive
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • High heat can damage the color of the cookware

Only buy copper cookware with copper on the outside and a thick stainless steel coating on the inside. Never get copper cookware that has copper on the inside surface!

The final substance you should avoid is plastics.

4. Plastics

The word plastic comes from a Greek word meaning "capable of being molded or shaped." Plastics consist of elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, or sulfur. To produce plastics, manufacturers use crude oil, cellulose, natural gas, coal, or salt. 

Plastics can be toxic to the body if it contains Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is part of hard-plastic food containers and baby bottles. But you can also find it in eyeglass lenses, compact discs, electronics, and other items. 

Candy plastic bag

One risk factor of plastic is BPA

BPA coating lines food and beverage cans. It helps protect the food from corrosive metals. When these containers end up in landfills, they can leach BPA into rivers and streams. 

BPA may cause: 

  • Infertility
  • Premature delivery
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Miscarriage
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Altered immune function
  • Heart disease

When the word came out about BPA's negative health effect, the industry had to do something. They switched from BPA to similar compounds like BPF and BPS. So, our diets now contain everything from BPA to BPF. 

BPS and BPF affect male hormones like BPA. So, even if something is BPA-free, it may contain BPS instead. BPA-replacement products also affect estrogen in women. 

Other substances you should avoid are melamine and Tritan. 

Melamine And Tritan In Plastics May Cause Kidney Issues And Cancer 

Melamine is part of hard plastic cups, plates, bowls, and utensils. In the U.S., you can find it in food packaging and animal feed. Melamine can migrate straight into the food upon exposure to heat. 

Plastics

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Many shapes and sizes
  • Doesn't break when dropped
  • It can help prevent food from spoiling

Cons

  • May contain toxic BPA
  • BPA alternatives are also toxic
  • Becomes toxic when heated
  • Scratches easily
  • May alter the taste

Therefore it is not suited for microwaves and cooking. Melamine might cause kidney disease. All sorts of different plastic kitchen utensils use this material.

Plastic containers

Plastic containers can have toxic melamine and Tritan, picture by mcrecycles

Tritan is another plastic you should avoid. When scientists dripped it on human breast cancer cells in a petri dish, Tritan accelerated their growth. 

There are steps you can take to limit your exposure to plastics. 

How To Avoid Plastics

To avoid plastics, use glass, ceramic, stoneware, or stainless steel containers instead. Or stir your food with wooden cooking utensils.

A plastic container inside a microwave

Don't microwave plastic containers or put them in the dishwasher.

Drink your water from glass or stainless steel bottles. I always drink from my stainless steel bottle. When I drank from plastic bottles, the water tasted and smelled weird. The water also had a strange color.

If you must use plastics, don't microwave them or put them in the dishwasher. You should also not leave plastic containers in the sun, a hot car and not use them if they're scratched. 

Summary

Stainless steel is a substance made up of two or more chemical elements. Its main advantages include easy cleaning, good corrosion resistance, and durability.

To create glass, you heat sand until it melts and turns into a liquid. Glass cookware is non-toxic, durable, and doesn't absorb odors or flavors

Iron retains heat well and can manage high temperatures.

Stoneware is dense pottery fired at high temperatures.

There are three main methods for creating stoneware today: molding, slipcasting, and handcrafting.

Earthenware is cookware made of clay fired at low heat.

Ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic material and safe for cooking.

Aluminum is the most abundant metal on Earth. Excess aluminum damages the brain tissue and increases the risk of Alzheimer's.

Teflon is the registered trade name of the plastic material polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). It releases toxic gases when it's too hot.

Copper is highly flexible, electrically conductive, and resistant to corrosion. Pots and pans can be dangerous to use because they may leach copper into food.

To produce plastics, manufacturers use crude oil, cellulose, natural gas, coal, or salt. Plastics can be toxic to the body if it contains BPA, BPF, BPS, melamine, and Tritan.

How To Make Your Food Safe

1. Don't use aluminum, copper, and Teflon cookware

2. Reduce your use of plastics

3. Cook your food in stainless steel pans or cast irons

4. Use 100% ceramic cookware or utensils

5. Don't eat animal products

6. Avoid adding fats to you cooking

Action Steps

If you want to prepare food safely, avoid toxic cookware like aluminum, copper, and Teflon. Also, reduce your use of plastics, and never heat your food in plastic containers.

Reheat and store food in tempered glass or stoneware containers instead of plastics. Cook your food in safe cookware such as stainless steel pans or cast irons. Or, if you can afford, buy 100% ceramic cookware.

Remember that your greatest health risk comes from the food that you eat. So make sure to eliminate animal products and fats in your cooking. When you prepare vegetables in safe cookware, you get the best protection from toxins.

Download A Cheat Sheet Of This Blog Post

Download a free cheat sheet of this blog post to discover 4 safe cookware you should use And 4 you must avoid!


Resources:


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  • you are telling that stainless steel is good but it is very very bad and it is even worse than aluminium to be used for cooking and i am very much surprised to know that stainless steel is good to use for cooking so first find out about stainless steel if it is good or bad and then write so first do research and tell me about it.my email: sunildollard@gmail.com please reply back on my email.

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