Centuries ago, when man first started to make his own food in farms and villages, food was prepared in the simplest of vessels.
Clay pots, stone plates, and even the earth itself were appropriate tools for food prep.
And while we’ve come a long way since the time of the agricultural revolution, it’s essential to realize that buyers should beware that purchasing these common cooking utensils could lead to cancer.
How Modern Cookware Can Leach Harmful Chemicals Into our Body
In our continuing quest to improve the environment around us, scientists have made it so that eggs don’t stick to pans without considering whether or not the chemicals they use on modern cookware may harm us.
As it turns out, impregnating metals with space-age materials doesn’t always come away with a clean bill of health.
Recent research shows that many of the materials used to make nonstick and regular cookware could actually be deadly.
Here’s what makes them so dangerous:
Nonstick cookware contains chemicals called perfluorochemicals (PFOA) that break down at high temperatures.
These chemicals can then contaminate food as well as enter into the air we breathe.
Tests by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have concluded that animals and humans exposed to these chemicals (a popular one goes by the name “Teflon”) can lead to serious illness.
In their write up they note, “In cases of “Teflon toxicosis,” as the bird poisonings are called, the lungs of exposed birds hemorrhage and fill with fluid, leading to suffocation.
DuPont acknowledges that the fumes can also sicken people, a condition called “polymer fume fever.”
And the American Cancer Association suggests PFOAs may lead to cancer:
“PFOA has the potential to be a health concern because it can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods. Studies have found that it is present worldwide at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood.”
Studies on animals suggest PFOA exposure will lead to cancer development.
Aluminum leaches into food. Recent research into cooking with aluminum at high heat should give health-conscious individuals concern.
Easily one of the most popular cooking utensils in use today, aluminum also breaks down at medium to high heat, and its reactivity causes it to decay and leak molecules of aluminum into food.
Research supports the notion that aluminum accumulation in the blood can lead to toxicity that manifests in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Though silicon cookware hasn’t been determined to exhibit dangerous effects on human health, quite a few health practitioners and researchers are cautious to recommend it, citing an absence of data supporting its use.
Though people have used iron skillets and other iron cookware for centuries, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Humans have a very low threshold for iron absorption, and too much can interfere with hormone levels and may lead to toxicity.
Cooking with iron skillets can be done safely provided a person doesn’t scrape the surface during food preparation and doesn’t cook with acidic foods.
Simply cooking food in it is safe since particulates can’t be loosened during the cooking process and won’t make its way into food.
Wondering What to Use Then?
Considering that so many of the conventional cooking utensils may be unsafe, it leads one to ask what then should we use?
Generally, stainless steel and glass are considered the safest.
Additionally, new, “green cookware” may be useful, although the jury is out on whether or not the ceramic material many of them are made of is safe.