The Non-Toxic Kitchen Blog

Explore the journey to a non-toxic kitchen with our insightful blog. From safer cookware choices to eco-friendly cleaning tips, we're here to help you create a healthier home environment for you and your loved ones.

Safer Cookware: Minimizing Toxins in Your Kitchen

Safer cookware


In our quest for a healthier lifestyle, it's essential to consider all aspects of our daily routines, including the cookware we use. By investing in non-toxic cookware made from safer materials, we can reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals and minimize our toxic load for better overall health and well-being. Let's cook up a healthier future—one safe, non-toxic pan at a time.

The Significance of Non-Toxic Cookware:


Our bodies constantly encounter various sources of toxins, from processed foods to environmental pollutants. This accumulation of toxins is known as our toxic load and can have detrimental effects on our health over time. While we may not be able to control all sources of toxins, we can take proactive steps to minimize our exposure, starting with our cookware.

Materials to Avoid:

Certain materials commonly used in cookware can leach harmful chemicals into our food, contributing to our toxic load. These include:

  1. Teflon/Non-Stick: Teflon-coated cookware contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and is in 95% of non-stick pans!  This forever chemical is linked to very serious health concerns such as cancer, reproductive issues, thyroid hormone disruption and immune system issues.  
  2. Aluminum: Aluminum cookware can react with acidic or salty foods, leading to aluminum leaching into the food, which has been associated with neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsons's and Multiple Sclerosis.
    1. Instead of cooking on aluminum foil, use non-bleached parchment paper
    2. Don't bake in the cheap disposable aluminum trays
    3. Ok to use aluminum foil to cover foods or to line a baking tray that food is not directly touching.
  3. Plastic: Cooking with plastic utensils or containers can release harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates into our food, disrupting hormone balance and posing other health risks.
  4. Clay: While clay cookware is often marketed as natural and healthy, some types may contain lead or other contaminants that can leach into food during cooking. It is made from clay that is dug from the earth, so it may contain heavy metals and toxins that have leached into the water, soil, or rock. Beware of old clay pots or those from China, as they used to use lead in the glaze to make the products shinier and brighter.
  5. Copper: Cooking with unlined copper cookware can result in copper leaching into food, leading to copper toxicity and related health issues like liver diseases, Alzheimer's disease and postpartum depression. 
    1. If you have copper pots, make sure that they are lined with stainless steel or tin but if the coating gets scratched, copper may leak into your food.  

Materials to Use Caution:

While these materials are generally safe, it's essential to be mindful of potential risks:

  1. Cast Iron - seasoned cast iron pans are great.  They can leach iron which is ok in some foods.  Don't simmer acidic foods like tomato sauce in this type of pan.
  2. Stainless Steel - also a good option though there are concerns with nickel and chromium leaching.  This may be an issue for sensitive people.
  3. Glazed Bakeware - Glazed bakeware from China is at high risk of containing lead as are old clay pots.  
  4. Silicone -Silicone is an inert material, meaning nothing used in its manufacturing will leach into foods. So far, no safety problems have been reported when used as molds. But silicone bakeware when used at temperatures above 200°F, has been shown to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde into the air, along with siloxanes into foods.  Therefore, I prefer to err on the side of caution and only use silicone kitchen tools such as spatulas.  

Choosing Safer Alternatives:

Consider these non-toxic materials for your cookware plus some recommended & reliable brands:

  1. Cast Iron:  Cast iron is a great choice for just about any cooking situation.  It's inexpensive, indestructible and seriously versatile.  They do a great job at cooking foods and can go into oven.  Just remember not to use them you cook acidic foods, like tomato sauces or anything with citrus.  
  2. Carbon Steel: More expensive than cast iron but known for its durability and excellent heat retention.  Carbon steel is a favorite among professional chefs and home cooks alike.
  3. Ceramic coated: Cookware made from clay and other natural materials, offers a safe and non-reactive cooking surface without the use of harmful chemicals.  
  4. Lava Rock: Cookware made from lava rock, such as volcanic stone pots, provides even heat distribution and a natural, non-toxic cooking surface.
  5. Porcelain Enamel: Porcelain enamel-coated cookware features a durable and non-reactive surface that is safe for cooking a wide range of dishes.
  6. Tempered Glass: Glass cookware, such as baking dishes and casserole pans, is non-toxic and versatile, ideal for both cooking and serving.

Wondering if you're current cookware makes the cut? 

Check out my favorite site Mamavation where they have tested and created a comprehensive list of cookware that is safe and not safe to use.  

Safest Cookware in Simple Terms

Best & Worst Non-Toxic Cookware & Bakeware

 

My Favorite Cookware Items:

  • Stainless Steel: Instant Pot, Saucepans, Soup Pot
  • Ceramic: Always Pan Frying Pan
  • Glass Bakeware - Pyrex
  • Cast Iron - Lodge Frying Pan

 Conclusion:

 Remember, transitioning to safer cookware doesn't have to happen all at once. Start with your most frequently used pot or pan and gradually update to better options over time. By taking small steps, you can minimize your exposure to harmful chemicals and create a healthier cooking environment for you and your family.