If preparing wholesome healthy food is something you aspire to, your choice of cookware may be a crucial link in the chain of your culinary choices you have overlooked.
We all know that when you heat things they change. What happens is that the atoms in solids become more energized and move about and so there is more space between them and they have weaker bonds. So when you heat your cookware, what may seem like a pretty solid pot or pan can start releasing things into your food that you wouldn’t necessarily have on your favourite ingredients list! What does it mean to cook with healthy cookware?
Non-stick pans have become common place and are so convenient. But the coating used for most non-stick is known as Teflon, and this substance has become cause for some concern. Cooking with Teflon coated cookware has implications for your health.
PFTE is polytetrafluoroethylene, a synthetic compound often used as a non-stick coating for cookware. And PFTE is what you get with Teflon. When it’s heated it release toxic fumes that get into your food and the air you breathe. The developers of Teflon have even admitted that Teflon heated to high temperatures can kill a bird within a few minutes! Some people have also reported flu-like symptoms when heating Teflon to high temperatures.
PFOA stands for perfluorooctanoic, otherwise known as C8 and is a synthetic compound that is involved in the manufacture of Teflon that creates that non-stick slippery surface we want in a non-stick pan. It has been linked to serious changes in organs.
If you’ve used Teflon coated cookware before you will know that it usually starts flaking away at some point. This means you’ll have little pieces of non-stick Teflon mixed into your meal. That’s because it isn’t very durable and scratches very easily. You have to be super careful about what utensils you use and how you clean the surface and once your Teflon coating is scratched, the best thing to do is throw your pan away.
Aluminum is a metal that has been linked to all sorts of nasty health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. It collects in your body tissues and can make you very sick. When it’s heated it reacts and leeches into your food and it especially reacts to acidic foods like tomatoes. Cheap Aluminum cookware is the worst of the lot. You get a new type of Aluminum called anodized aluminum that uses a special process that locks in the aluminum that is meant to be a better bet. Cooking with tinfoil is also something that exposes you to the dangers of aluminum, something we tend to do without thinking much about it.
There are other options for cooking in a healthier way that won’t pepper your meal with extra unwelcome elements.
Ceramic cookware doesn’t flake or chip the way Teflon does and doesn’t give off harmful toxins. Glazed ceramics can be a problem if it contains lead though, make sure you get it from a reputable brand. High quality ceramics are a good option and our Sola Green range comes with top quality durable ceramic coatings that are made with natural stone dust and deionised water. The surface is extremely scratch resistant and durable too.
Stainless steel is much less reactive and prone to leeching. You need to make sure that you buy good quality Stainless steel that isn’t high in Nickle.
Cast iron is also a safer bet and it can last indefinitely. Cooking with cast iron is a time-honoured tradition. You need to “season” it properly. This is a process of allowing the cast iron surface to absorb oils that accumulate over time and form a natural non-stick coating. You can season you cast iron cookware by gently washing it, drying it immediately and wiping it with a light coat of oil, just enough to give it a sheen.
Cooking is such a nourishing and enjoyable art, using good quality cookware is an added dimension to creating dishes you can love cooking and eating with peace of mind.