Non-Toxic Cookware

Updated: Sep 4, 2020


PHOTO CREDIT: CARAWAY COOKWARE


Have you ever heard the saying,


"a good carpenter is only as good as their tools"

This applies to more than just building the perfect table. After all, if you have decided to invest extra time and money on high-quality ingredients, it is essential to ensure that the products you are using to prepare your foods do not pose a risk to your health.


Certain types of kitchenware can discharge toxic chemicals and other hazardous components, particularly when heat is applied. This allows for those harmful substances to infiltrate into our foods, and ultimately accumulate in our bodies. The resulting impact that these substances can have on our health can be severe, ranging from neurocognitive issues (think brain-fog), hormone dysregulation (including reproductive and developmental concerns), and certain types of cancer.


Here are some easy swaps to make the most of that high-quality food that you invested in:


1) Cutting Boards - Plastic cutting boards contain bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates which are known to be hormone-disruptors and potentially cancer causing. Substituting for “BPA-free” plastic is not the solution because there is growing evidence to suggest that it is made with other bisphenols that cause the same harmful effects.


Swaps: wood or bamboo. Be sure to wash well with soap (Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap is my favourite) and air-dry to reduce bacterial build-up.


2) Cookware - Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of scraping their morning eggs

off of a pan can attest to why non-stick cookware became so popular. However, some of the most popular non-stick brands contain toxic coatings that can seep into your food over time.


Swaps: Look for PTFE and PFOA-free labels. Food-grade stainless-steel, cast iron/porcelain-enameled cast iron, stainless-steel lined copper, oven-safe glass baking dish, high-quality ceramic-lined, and stainless steel-lined copper.


3) Dishes - Studies have shown that plastic (including melamine) dishes have been linked to an increased susceptibility to certain types of cancer. This issue is compounded by the fact that melamine dishes are often mass-produced for children (who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of chemical exposure).


Swaps: ceramic, porcelain, glass, wood, type 304 stainless steel, and 100% food-grade silicone (no plastic fillers).


Click here to access my Amazon list of all my favourite non-toxic cookware!

Caraway cookware and Our Place pans are also great brands that offer clean ceramic cookware.




References

1. Ak N, Cliver D, Kaspar C. Cutting Boards of Plastic and Wood Contaminated Experimentally with Bacteria. J Food Prot. 1994;57(1):16-22. doi:10.4315/0362-028x-57.1.16

2. American Cancer Society. Teflon and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). Cancer.org. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html. Revised January 2016.

3. Grades of Stainless Steel that are Safe for Food. Canadian Family. https://canadianfamily.ca/parents/grades-of-stainless-steel-that-are-safe-for-food/. Published 2018. Accessed August 30, 2018.

4. Hu XC, Andrews DQ, Lindstrom AB, et al. Detection of Poly-and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in U.S. Drinking Water Linked to Industrial Sites, Military Fire Training Areas, and Wastewater Treatment Plants. Environ Sci Technol Lett. 2016 Oct 11;3(10):344-350.

5. Huang M. Ask a Toxicologist: Is it safe to use Teflon pans? TIBBS Bioscience Blog, Tibbs.unc.edu. http://tibbs.unc.edu/ask-a-toxicologist-is-it-safe-to-use-teflon-pans/. Published July 2015.

6. Jacewicz N. Can Your Ceramic Cookware Give You Lead Poisoning? NPR Choice page. Npr.org. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/12/08/563808879/can-your-ceramic-cookware-give-you-lead-poisoning. Published Dec. 2017.

7. Tomljenovic L. Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link? J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;23(4):567-98. doi:10.3233/JAD-2010-101494. Review.

8. Wu CF, Hsieh TJ, Chen BH, Liu CC, Wu MT. A crossover study of noodle

9. “Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Teflon, and Related Chemicals.” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html.


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