I often get asked “what cookware should I use?” It’s a great question because apart from being aware of the pesticides on produce, the mercury in fish and the chemicals generally in our food, it is important to realize that your choice of kitchenware can make a difference too because the materials can contain chemicals which can leach into your food–Teflon in particular but also aluminum and lead and even PVC Plastic.
Here are my guidelines:
- Avoid non stick pans, pots, bakeware and utensils because they contain Teflon. Although non stick kitchenware is very convenient, Teflon is made from perfluorinated compounds which have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.
- If you use non stick kitchenware and the coating is coming off, you should not use it. Get new ones.
- If you use non stick kitchenware and the coating is intact, avoid heating them above 450F because above this temperature, they release toxic gases.
- Avoid aluminum pots and pans as it may cause aluminum to leach into food. Although the dangers of ingesting aluminum are disputed by some, I think it is silly to use them as we don’t know they are safe.
- Avoid ceramic dishware that is cracked or chipping because the glazes used in ceramic dishware often contain lead and cracked or chipping glazes may be more likely to leach lead into foods and liquids.
- Avoid dish racks made of plastic-coated wire, substituting instead stainless steel dish racks
So I suggest using glass bakeware and stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans. Stainless steel and glass mixing bowls are great too.
Related: Non-Stick Cookware: Easy Greening