Choosing cookware today can be very confusing as there are so many varieties in the market. I’ve described the main ones and indicated which you should or shouldn’t use.
Clay Cooking Pots: Clay contains lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium. All these can leach into your food especially if it is acidic in nature. I have always wondered if one of the reasons for the insanity of the later Roman Emperors was because of toxic poisoning from drinking wine out of clay amphoras.
Aluminum Cookware: This sort of cookware is not advisable as aluminium is soft and reactive. When it comes into contact with strong alkalis, acids and salt the metal dissolves and forms pits. This leaching of the metal into your food is hazardous to your health as aluminium is toxic.
Non-stick Cookware: These pots and pans have non-stick coatings that actually comprise of a combination of aluminium and non-stick polymers. So we are talking of toxic materials risk again.
Copper pots are not advisable as acidic foods dissolve this metal. Using unprotected, copper-lined pots can be a health hazard as copper leaches into the food and copper is toxic.
Cast iron: Cookware made out of cast iron is beneficial. When material does leach from cast iron it is good for you as iron is an essential mineral for your body.
Enamel-coated iron and steel cookware is excellent for cooking. These pots and pans spread heat out evenly and are scratch resistant. This type of cookware will last you a lifetime if handled with care.
Stainless steel pans are also good to cook in as the alloy in stainless steel cookware is more stable than other cookware materials. So there is less chance of the metal leaching into your food. These pans often have an inner core of aluminium or copper. This is due to the fact that these two metals are great heat conductors. The aluminium or copper is sandwiched between layers of stainless steel so they do not come into contact with your food. Stainless steel pans are also good owing to their strength, durability and easy handling.
Stainless steel, cast iron and enamel coated pots and pans are all safe for cooking purposes. They do not leach toxins into your food. What you put into your body reflects on your skin so avoid those toxins and change your cookware if required.