Nontoxic Cookware | Best Nontoxic Cookware
Although they are easier to use and clean than those old school pots and pans, nonstick pans can be harmful to your health, as they are coated with a toxic chemical known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is made from a toxic acid, called perfeluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been connected to many health problems, such as pregnancy issues, infertility and thyroid complications.
Watch out for labels. Teflon, Excaliber and Silverstone, are the usual names nonstick cookware is marketed under. Even if the nonstick pan says it has no teflon, they are still made with PTFE. Stay away from cookware and even small appliances that are sold under names like, Fluron, Supra, Greblon, Duracote, Rsistal, Autograph, Unison, Swiss Diamond and T-Fal as these also contain the nonstick PTFE coatings.
In some cases, when these Teflon pans are heated to 100 degrees F to 104 degrees, the PFTE coatings release micro particles, which can trigger body aches and chills– the symptoms of “Teflon Flu.”
Another material to avoid while cooking is anodized aluminum. Research has associated the use of anodized aluminum to bone damage, poor brain functioning and even breast cancer. To avoid the metallic taste on food, manufacturers began to anodize the aluminum, a process in which the cookware is dipped into an acid and currents of electricity are sent through it, creating a hard coating that prevents food from reacting with the metal. However, these anodized aluminum pots and pans can deanodize with consistent exposure to acidic foods. And you don’t want that to happen. It’s unlikely you’ll find non-anodized pots and pans, unless you go to antiques shop.
What to Use
Those bulky, heavy and archaic cast iron pans are actually the best thing you can use. Thank you, Grandma. They are not made of any nonstick coatings, and they actually add a little bit of flavor to your cooking, as bits of food tend to stick and caramelize on the cast iron. Just make sure that it’s made in the USA, as cast iron elsewhere has been made with recycled metal.
Enameled cast iron is also great, especially for cooking sauces and roasting meats. The enameled kind is essentially iron with a glass coating over it. Le Creuset and Staub are some of the top brands in enameled cast iron– and they offer lifetime warranties! If you’re a real cooking fanatic, those pots and pans can be passed down in the family for generations to come.
Stainless Steel is always a safe bet. There are no health risks when you’re cooking with this kind of material, as stainless steel doesn’t react with food. These are clad pots and pans, meaning that they are created from layers of heat conducting metals, and then enclosed by stainless steel. All-Clad is a fabulous brand that will also provide you with a lifetime warranty on your products.
Glass and Stoneware: You can never have too many baking pans. Glass Pyrex dishes are great for making those holiday breads and pies. Stoneware is another good option. If you choose to bake your cookies with aluminum cookie sheets, remember to line them with parchment paper coated with silicone, not paraffin wax.