When it comes to shopping for your kitchen, you often have no idea where to start. We would all like to be able to find an easy-to-use guide to containers and kitchen utensils that are friendly to our body and the environment, that is, they are not toxic while we use them to cook or store our food.
And while we are in that process of choosing the best pans we can take progressive steps in the right direction, such as changing the pots and pans one by one, it can still greatly benefit our health.
Healthy and toxic kitchen utensils
The list below describes 4 toxic materials to avoid and 4 kitchen materials to incorporate into your home.
Toxic kitchen utensils to avoid
The following list includes some of the pans that are commonly used in kitchens and that can pose health problems.
1 . Ceramic coated pans
Ceramic coated pans and flatware are various metals coated with a synthetic polymer that is softer than metal. This coating can fade and usually only lasts for about a year.
Once the coating starts to wear off, toxic metals can start to seep into your food, depending on the material underneath the coating.
2. Non-stick cookware (Teflon)
Nonstick or Teflon cookware contains a similar synthetic coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is a plastic polymer that can release harmful and carcinogenic gases at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
In humans, these gases can cause flu-like symptoms several hours after exposure, resulting in a condition known as polymer smoke fever that is often misdiagnosed as viral flu. The gases are so toxic that they are fatal to most birds.
3. Aluminum cookware and aluminum foil
Aluminum cookware is often coated to prevent aluminum seepage, however these protective coatings can chip and wear off very easily.
Aluminum cookware can be very affordable economically, but it’s not worth the risk of aluminum leaching into food and contributing to possible aluminum toxicity.
Aluminum can accumulate in the brain , lungs, bones, and other tissues, causing entanglement in nerve fibers that leads to muscle dysfunction and memory loss.
Aluminum has not been shown to be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease , but increased levels of aluminum in the brain have been observed in autopsies of Alzheimer’s patients, suggesting that aluminum toxicity may be a risk factor in Alzheimer’s. disease.
Common sources of aluminum include: deodorants, some toothpastes, aluminum foil, aluminum cans, and aluminum cookware. Simply stopping using the aluminum foil to cover a glass baking dish can help you cut down on aluminum consumption.
4. Copper pots
Copper cookware heats up very evenly which is wonderful, however it is not recommended to use it in your home. Uncoated copper can leach into your food and even protective coatings break down over time.
Non-toxic utensils you should use
These are the most recommended kitchen utensils because they can avoid the aforementioned evils.
1. Enameled cast iron
Coated cast iron pans offer the non-stick benefits of Teflon without the harmful gases. Enameled cast iron pots are easier to care for and available in multiple colors, but if you want the benefits of iron, then opt for bare pots.
2. Bare cast iron
When properly seasoned, bare cast iron is the ideal non-stick surface. You can also leach small amounts of iron into food when cooking acidic ingredients. This can be beneficial for those who suspect an iron deficiency and the need to increase iron intake.
Cast iron requires only a little more care than enameled cast iron, but is more affordable and tends to heat more evenly than its enameled counterpart. Bare cast iron can also be used in an oven or on a grill.
3. Stainless steel
Stainless steel cookware is affordable and highly stable at high temperatures. This utensil is non-stick, lighter than cast iron, scratch resistant, and lasts much longer than coated materials.
Like cast iron and stainless steel, glass is a tough material that will not release toxic chemicals or metals into food.
Glass plates are ideal for cooking and storing leftovers. I recommend using glass storage containers instead of plastic tupperware to avoid toxins like bisphenol-A (BPA), which can mimic estrogen.