Blog, Cooking Newbies

It’s What’s on the Inside that Matters: Making Smart Cookware Choices

Much attention is given to the healthiness of the foods we feed our families. We much pay attention to pesticide residue, growing practices, antibiotic use, and more. But the cookware we prepare all of these healthy food choices in could be working against our healthy intentions.

Non-Stick Coatings. Less mess to clean up in pots and pans sounds appealing, but it turns out the popular Teflon non-stick coatings that make food slide of the pan are full of risky chemicals. Specifically, the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in Teflon has been linked as a possible carcinogen, particularly from the fumes released at high heat. The link is not absolute, but when safer options exist, why expose yourself and your family?

Other common complaints associated with non-stick coatings include flu-like symptoms, dubbed the “The Teflon Flu.”  The bottom line is with children’s delicate systems still developing, taking extra steps to protect against harsh chemicals, taking extra care is particularly worthwhile.

Instead Try: Use regular stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans with healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil to protect from sticking.  Ceramic coated pots and pans also provide a no stick surface without the added chemicals.

Heating in Plastic. The phthalates and other chemicals found in plastics leach these chemicals into the food and drinks they hold. Though BPA has been removed from plastics in recent years, the safety of the replacement chemicals is not well established.

While there is believed to be some leaching with any contact with all plastic use, that risk increases when plastics are heated.  While it can be convenient to cook something in the microwave in a plastic dish, it only takes a few extra seconds to transfer it to a safer dish.

Instead Try: Stick with glass dishes for cooking or reheating anything in the microwave. Glass is easy to clean, safe, and does receive or transfer odors to food.


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