Non-Toxic Cookware: What to Know Before You Shop

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Non-Toxic Cookware: What to Know Before You Shop

Staff Writer · Apr 27, 2011

Using non-toxic cookware in your kitchen will help you keep your family healthier. Using the wrong type of cookware to prepare meals can allow dangerous chemicals to leak into your food, alter taste and may cause health problems. Here are some things you should know before you shop for cookware.

Cooking Is a Chemical Process

When you heat up foods, whether you’re frying, simmering, broiling, baking or sauteing, it’s like having a chemistry experiment in your kitchen. Heat is conducted through the cookware, and a chemical reaction happens where  ingredients in your food are changed from one form to another. Depending on what you’re cooking and the materials the cookware is made of, the pots and pans can actually react with the food. This is something you want to avoid.

Reactive vs. Non-Reactive Cookware

If you’re concerned about using non-toxic cookware, you’ll want to buy pots and pans that are non-reactive. Reactive cookware is more likely to leak heavy metals and toxins into your foods, especially as it ages and becomes scratched. Good non-reactive materials for pots and pans include glass, ceramic and stainless steel. Reactive cookware you want to avoid include aluminum, non-stick, silicon, and cast iron pots and pans.

The Types of Foods You Cook

Some types of reactive cookware can still be used safely depending on what you’re whipping up in the kitchen. For example, cast iron is great for cooking as long as you’re not making soup or other “wet” foods The iron eventually leaks out of cast iron when it reacts with water. Silicon cookware is perfectly safe to use at lower temperatures, but it starts to melt when used above 428 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use these tips when you’re shopping for non-toxic cookware, and your cooking will be worry-free.

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