Safest Cookware: Steel Stoneware Glass or Cast Iron?
There are Many Factors Which Influence Which Pots and Pans are the Safest
Ease of use, the safety of the material that the pots and pans are created from and your family's cookware needs are factors that need to be taken into account when deciding if a bake ware product is right for you.
When selecting the best cookware and bakeware for your household there are a number of factors to consider and a few distinct issues that may need to be worked around for the products you choose to use.
There are hundreds of brand name pots and pans out there and thousands of products available to consumers. The trick is to successfully select the products and brands that will best meet your family's needs. These tips for choosing the safest cookware may help you to decide which ones are right for you.
Safety is Always the Most Important Factor in any Purchase
Factors to take into consideration in choosing cookware for your home will include product reviews, availability of sizes and styles to meet your needs and wants, versatility of the product, and its ability to fulfill your household's cooking requirements.
Any health concerns surrounding a product that you might be considering purchasing must be taken into account before you take that item home with you. There are still a number of cookware products selling on store shelves even today that have health hazards attached to them. You should be aware of these issues so that you are able to safeguard yourself and your family.
It is important to be informed by arming yourself with the information that is out there and available. Having all the information at your fingertips allows you to make informed choices in the areas that matter most to you and your family. Knowledge is indeed power.
It is What we Don't Know About Aluminum That is Scary
The health risks associated with the different cookware are definitely something very important to take into account when you are shopping for pots and pans for your household. Young children can be especially sensitive to toxins and pollutants.
Keep in mind that whatever they are exposed to today will have an impact on them tomorrow. Where children are concerned always choose your safest option. Aluminum pots and pans are a product line that is found in abundance on store shelves and yet it is a product that comes with some serious health concerns attached to it.
For years researchers have been trying to discover the link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). The experts know that health problems exist with exposure to aluminum but they are not sure yet as to what degree it affects human health. You can read more on safety concerns of the materials used in cookware at: Government of Canada: The safe use of cookware
Some Stoneware or Terra Cotta Cookware can Have Lead Issues
Newer stoneware, pottery, and terra cotta made in the USA and Canada are regulated to insure its safety. Problems arise with this type of cookware if it is older, is home made, or manufactured in a country which may not have as strict safety standards as our own. So know your manufacturing source.
Stoneware has been around for generations and with good reason. Its ability to retain heat provides for even cooking over low or high heat.
Popular with country minded individuals stoneware's old fashioned charm makes it a delightful gift for newly married couples or those celebrating an anniversary. Pottery is the suggested traditional gift item for the 9th wedding anniversary.
Toxic C-8 in Pre-2015 Teflon Nonstick Cookware and Bakeware
Today non-stick pots and pans are expected to meet stringent health standards but it wasn't all that long ago that this cookware had some serious worries attached to its use.
A type of cookware that comes with some scary safety issues is the old Teflon nonstick coated cookware. A chemical used in the manufacture of these products has been found to contain a toxic chemical that has the potential to seriously affect the health of those who use this type of cookware.
The chemical has been linked to birth defects and cancer in humans and was regulated to be eliminated by the year 2015 in all products involved with the human consumption of food. It is important to note that many of your older Teflon products will still contain this chemical.
Considering that both the government and DuPont knew the dangers one has to wonder why the government allowed for such a lengthy transitional period. It is beyond my reasoning. Perfluoroctanoic acid or C-8 as it is referred to in the scientific world is a chemical composition used to bind the nonstick coating to the pan.
This nonstick surface is commonly found on bakeware and fry pans. Up to fifteen toxic chemicals, two of which are carcinogenic can be released into household air from one single use of a nonstick coated pan containing Perfluoroctanoic acid.
The death of household birds from the inhalation of C8 brought the toxicity of this chemical to light. Because birds have a much smaller lung capacity compared to humans they are therefore more susceptible to smaller degrees of toxins in the air. Household birds were dying from the gases released from these pans when over heated. Studies into their deaths left no doubt as to the toxins source. The chemicals in non-stick cookware were toxic.
It is estimated that currently 95 percent of people have C8 present in their body. You can read more further on this subject at these links: Teflon and C-8 and information from The Environmental Working Group. This health related information re: nonstick pots and pans is information that you should definitely take into consideration when you are making a choice in the type of cookware that you will be using in your home.
New Glass Cookware Yes - Older Glass Cookware No
Fortunately in the US and Canada we have some of the highest standards in place for glass cookware, but there are still a few issues that you should be aware of and especially if you have younger children in your home.
New glass pots and pans are generally considered safe for food consumption purposes. The only real danger involved with these is breakage and hurt from burns or shattering glass. Older types of glass bake and cookware should not be used as these may contain high concentrations of lead.
Take care when using old glass dishes that you have inherited or have purchased at garage sales or thrift stores. Glass dishes that come into the US and Canada with new immigrants from other countries may also not be of the same high standards that are set for products sold here. To be safe older glass and pottery should be used only as display pieces.
Stainless Steel Has Issues When it is New
Stainless steel is another form of cookware that is considered to be one of the safest forms of cookware to use. However it is important to note that stainless steel pots and pans will leach chromium and nickel into the foods cooked within them.
Studies showed that the amount of nickel and chromium leached into the food was dependent upon how new the stainless steel cookware was and how long the food was cooked it. New cookware showed significantly higher leaching within the first 6 uses and leveled off to an even plateau after the 10th use. The longer a food was cooked in the stainless steel than the higher the concentration of chromium and nickel was.
The amount of nickel and chromium released into food is considered to be a small amount and generally considered to be a safe amount for humans to digest. The main health warning for stainless steel pots and pans is for individuals who are sensitive or allergic to nickel or other components of metal. It is recommended that these individuals use other products for their cooking and baking.
Read further on this subject at this link: Stainless steel cookware: Chromium and nickel leakage.
Cast Iron Cookware a Heavy Weight and my Personal Favourite
Cast Iron Cookware is generally considered safe no matter how vintage it is. Iron pans tend to improve with age so are a popular heritage item passed down from hand to hand in families.
It is considered by many to be a healthier alternative as a nonstick cooking option. A well seasoned cast iron pan will be virtually nonstick and this feature tends to improves with age and use.
Concerns? Cast iron cookware does release some degree of iron into the food that is cooked within it but this amount is not considered to be unsafe. It is estimated that cooking on a regular basis with these pots and pans will supply an individual with twenty percent of their daily requirement for iron. If you or one of your family members has allergies to iron or a sensitivity to metals in general then you may want to take this into consideration when you are selecting the cookware to be used within your home.
Is Silicone a Safe Material for Cookware?
Silicone cookware has recently begun to emerge onto store shelves and into the cupboards of homes around the globe. Is it safe? Thus far studies indicate that it is. If this is the form of cookware that you decide on keep in mind a few simple precautions until all the evidence is in on this new cookware.
1. Do not cook at extremely high temperatures. If the cookware is exposed to high temperatures try to ventilate the room immediately with fresh air and avoid breathing any smoke produced.
2. Do not use the cookware if the surface is cracked or broken in any degree.
3. Remove foods immediately after cooking and never store food in the bake ware.
4. Be careful when removing cooked foods from silicone bake ware as the silicone is very flexible and foods can slip out quickly and cause burns.
Investigate your options thoroughly before you decide on the right type of cookware for you and your family. It is your body, your health, and any health consequences will be based on the choices you make today. Always err on the side of caution. Keep in mind that your product choices are likely to remain a part of your home environment for many years into the future.
Writer, blogger, wife, mother, and grandmom. I love to write and I love to shop, combining these elements just seemed logical so here I am.