In our previous blog ‘PFA’s and its use in non-stick cookware’, we discussed the necessity to avoid PFA’S for your family’s wellbeing. None of us want these nasty chemicals off gassing or finding their way into our food.
Whether you are frying an egg or making pancakes, we all know the grief of poor-quality cookware. The nightmare of pans that stick. However, there are alternative cookware options that when used correctly (as instructed by product guides) they work equally as well. These brands are also transparent about their production practices and most importantly, they are chemical free.
Ceramic- Is one of the best replacements to Teflon as they can be treated in the same way and yet they are free of toxins. In recent years technology has advanced and ceramics have become stronger, long lasting, and durable. Be sure that you are getting authentic 100% ceramic rather than ceramic-coated metal or non-stick ceramic which could contain lead and cadmium. These products advised to not heat them to high temperatures. They are perfect for low-temp cooking.
Cast Iron- These pans are heavy and require a bit more maintenance at the start of their life, however a well-cared for cast iron pan can last you a lifetime. Although they may not be as non-stick as Teflon, they have many benefits such as being extremely durable, they brown food effectively and can be used in the oven for high temperatures.
Porcelain Enameled Cast Iron such as Le Creuset enameled cast iron pans is one example that is highly durable and dishwasher safe. It is advised to hand-wash and avoid acidic food
Stainless steel- Although these pans have very little non-stick properties, there are no known health risks associated with stainless steel and these cans can last decades if they are kept in good condition. Advantages include that they have no food reactivity and that they have been shown to brown food more effectively. 3
Examples Of 3 Quality Brands:
Caraway – Offer a wide variety of ceramic cookware with an emphasis on being manufactured without PFAS (including GenX). May include some a magnetic rack and canvas lid holder.
Green pan – Thermolon ceramic non-stick coating for incredible non-stick performance without PFAS, PFOA, lead, or cadmium. It is reported to not release toxic fumes, even if overheated. GreenPan has also taken strides to make its production methods as green as possible, emitting 60 percent less CO2 during manufacture.
Xtrema – These are100% Pure Ceramic Cookware focusing on the environment and health. Compatible with oven, microwave, grill as well as being dishwasher safe. The products are also heavy metal free, an issue many ceramic products have.
When cheap non-stick coatings wear out, the exposed core is typically made from a reactive metal (e.g. Aluminium or copper) which may leach heavy metals (e.g. Aluminium, copper, lead, cadmium). Let us not forget that non-stick coating can flake into your food!
Aluminium- During cooking, Aluminium dissolves most easily from worn or pitted pots and pans and can be reactive to acidic foods. Elevated Aluminium content has been found in the brains of persons with Alzheimer’s disease as well as conflicting evidence on carcinogenicity.1
The World Health Organization estimates that adults can consume more than 50 milligrams of Aluminium daily without harm1. It is certainly not worth the risk of leaching though to use Aluminium when there are better options available.
Copper- Although known for its superior performance, uncoated copper cookware has shown to be harmful. Copperiedus (copper toxicity) can be caused by consuming acidic foods cooked in uncoated copper cookware which can be leached into food.2
Yours in health,
Bach. Chiropractic, Bach. App Clinical Science
Registered internationally, no longer practicing as a chiropractor in Australia.
Research Assistant & Student
Barcelona College of Chiropractic
- The Health Effects of Aluminium Exposure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5651828/
- Copper toxicity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557456/