Despite following a healthy lifestyle, people are falling sick and facing health problems of so many kinds, and the list is too lengthy to mention here! This is a serious problem people are facing all over the world and we must examine what we are doing wrong.
Besides pollutants present in the environment, there is one major cause for toxins to enter into our body, that often goes unnoticed – the toxins leaching from cookware. All metals are reactive in nature and leach metal ions that react with food’s nutrients at cooking temperature. They contaminate the food and when you eat such food on a regular basis, the toxins keep accumulating in your body and cause detrimental changes to cells, tissues and body organs, and cause health problems.
It is important to understand what elements leach from different kinds of cookware and how they affect our body:
Titanium is often considered non-reactive, which is a misconception. Here is a list of some elements that Titanium (Ti) is reactive to:
Oxygen: Ti(s) + O2(g) → TiO2(s),
Nitrogen: 2Ti(s) + N2(g) → TiN(s),
Water: Ti(s) + 2H2O(g) → TiO2(s) + 2H2(g),
It also reacts with nutrients present as halogens like iodine, bromine, fluorine and chlorine found mostly in packaged food and also with acidic food. This is the reason why it is not the best material for making cookware.
2. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is made up of a combination of various metals like iron, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon etc. which are all toxic in the body. For example, nickel alone can cause kidney dysfunction, low blood pressure, muscle tremors, oral cancer, skin problems etc.
Studies have proved that there is a strong connection between Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic aluminum exposure has contributed directly to hepatic failure, renal failure, and dementia (Arieff et al., 1979). Other health issues faced by people due to high aluminum concentration in body are colic, convulsions, esophagitis, gastroenteritis, kidney damage, liver dysfunction, loss of appetite, loss of balance, muscle pain, psychosis, shortness of breath, weakness, and fatigue (ATSDR 1990).
4. Non-Stick Cookware
A synthetic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is commonly used in non-stick coatings. When heated, it releases toxic fumes that may cause damaging effect to brain, prostate, liver, thymus kidney, and pituitary glands.
5. Ceramic Cookware
Ceramics is the second most popular cookware material used after metals. It is made from many metals, minerals and chemicals like barium, cadmium, chrome, cobalt, lead, lithium, nickel, selenium and vanadium, silicon dioxide, feldspar, silicon carbide, magnesium oxide, petalite (an ore of lithium). Ceramic cookware is further coated with glazes and enamels – more chemicals including lead and cadmium. All these metals and chemicals are mild to highly toxic, and ideally must never come in contact with food.
6. Pure Clay Cookware
Pure Clay is unglazed primary clay harvested from unfarmed and non-industrialized lands. This all-natural material is free from metals or chemical toxins – thankfully! The roots of using pure clay as a raw material goes back to our first ancestors when people used only clay pots to cook food. This material has been tested for all kinds of contaminants and is found 100% non-toxic. If you want to cook food in an inert material – this is exactly the cookware you should be cooking in!
How To Know If You Are Using The Right Cookware?
It is not possible to know if a certain pot or pan contaminates your food while cooking just by looking at it, or by rub-the-surface sheets that are commercially sold for testing lead, etc. in other surfaces. This is where this home test comes handy:
The alkaline baking soda test can check the toxicity of your cookware. Because most foods – at least 80% of them – are alkaline, using baking soda simulates cooking food in the pot. All you need is some water and baking soda:
- Boil 1 glass of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Boil for 5-7 more mins. Turn stove off.
- Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that’s what you’re eating! If water has a rubber/paint taste it’s the chemicals from enamel/glaze.
As a control, stir 1/2 of baking soda to 1 glass of water take a sip — you will taste just the baking soda.
On testing different kinds of cookware, only the pots made from pure clay did not leach. This makes it evident that pure clay cookware is 100% inert and non-reactive – A fact known by the healthy and long-living ancients!