Choosing an eco-friendly cookware set for the kitchen is the dream of every planet-conscious cook. But among the many options available, is it easy to find the one that cooks healthfully while also being healthy for the planet? Certainly not! This article aims to examine different cooking pot options in the market and determine which one is truly green and worth adding to your cart.
What Makes a Cookware Set “Green”?
A truly green and eco-friendly set of cookware fulfills healthy cooking needs, while also being environmentally friendly at every stage of its lifespan: from raw material procurement, to the making of the cooking pots and pans, to its usage, to its eventual disposal. Here are the factors that decide whether your cookware set is green and eco-friendly:
1: The Choice of Raw Material
The raw material a cookware is made from is at the core of what the final product will be. Conventional metal and ceramic pots are made from metal ores, alloys, and oxides, and they cause a huge impact on the environment. Keep reading to discover how.
Metals are extracted from the earth through mining. Many times, these metal ores are mined from deep beneath the surface of the earth, where they formed countless years ago. These deposits are non-renewable, meaning the earth does not make more of it. The mining process calls for large scale deforestation that disrupts wildlife and the ecosystem. Additionally, the extraction and processing of metals requires immense amounts of energy that also come from non-renewable sources. On top of that, there is so much toxic waste released into the environment during the processing of this raw material into a pot. Although metals have their place in in our world because of their strength and tenacity, they don’t make a good choice of raw material for cookware – a product made for everyday day use, in almost every household, that needs to be changed every few years. Unfortunately, ceramic is no exception from environmental harm. Ceramic material is a mixture of part clay (5 to 7%), and the rest of the material is composed of oxides and minerals – which are obtained through fracking, impacting the environment in similar ways.
2: The Cookware Manufacturing Process
The manufacturing process of conventional metal and ceramic cookware involves use of machine-based processes that usually call for use of toxic chemicals and large quantities of CO2. Use of glazes and enamels means there are more chemicals involved. The toxic gases released while molding these materials into usable pots pollute the environment and deteriorate air quality. The toxic waste, also known as tailings, released from such manufacturing plants enter nearby water resources like lakes and rivers, thereby polluting the water and eventually our beautiful oceans. Sometimes, this toxic pollution can end up in lands that may be used for irrigation or household use!
3: The Manufactured Cookware Sets’ Origin Point
The raw materials or finished products for metal and ceramic cookware can travel across vast distances between mining sites, production factories, and store shelves. In the case of overseas shipping, exhaust gases and waste from giant ships pollute the sea and marine life. Additionally, they run at a high speed, harming or killing already endangered whales and small and large marine life alike. In other words, the ships leave huge carbon footprints when they travel long distances. To minimize this carbon footprint, buying cooking pots from locally sourced and produced companies help reduce extensive travel, with the added benefit of supporting your local economy.
4: Cooking Energy Efficiency
One important consideration with cookware is how much energy it takes to cook your meals. Using the stove or oven can expend large amounts of energy in the form of gas or electricity, as well as generate a lot of heat. Unfortunately, in order for most metal cookware to function optimally, high heat settings are needed to cook food thoroughly. This burns a lot of precious energy, which depending on the household, may have originated from the burning of non-renewable and polluting fossil fuels. Depending on the pot, cooking can consume an overwhelming amount of energy, and not only that, but this directly impacts your electricity bill, too!
5: Their Disposal Capabilities
Although many of these cookware sets are made and marketed to last for long, they don’t in reality. With several of them, their coating wears off, the nuts and bolts come loose, and- to the savvy cook who knows about this- they start weighing less in just a year of use due to the metals that leach into food every time they’re used. On top of that, they are prone to nicks and dings, not to mention the warping, too! So, there comes a time when you can no longer use your cooking pot and you must dispose it. Disposal of metal and chemical waste has become a huge challenge for the whole world because they are non-biodegradable. It is preferred to recycle metals, but that requires a lot of energy and releases toxic waste, too.
Is there a truly green and eco-friendly cookware set? Yes, there is!
Miriam’s Earthen Cookware (MEC) is a US-based pioneering cookware brand that offers pots and pans made from lab tested primary clay sourced from secluded lands in Massachusetts. Their cookware sets present a viable solution to all the issues explained above. Keep reading to discover how.
MEC makes pots and pans from the purest form of clay, primary clay, after testing it in a reputable lab, and this cookware is made without any additives, glazes, or chemicals. Primary clay is naturally free from contaminants and is completely inert. The lack of additives help make sure that the pots turn out 100% non-toxic like the raw material.
The makers harvest clay, a renewable material from earth’s crust where it is reproduced through a natural process between air, water and land. There is no impact on wildlife or the ecosystem because the clay soil does not sustain a strong root system, meaning plants and trees do not grow on this soil. With this in mind, the unique properties of clay soil are as though it was made only for our use and not for cultivation, like other soils!
MEC refrains from adopting any heavy machinery as it would call for the use of toxic chemicals. Instead, they make pots and pans through the ancient method of placing this clay on a potter’s wheel and using skillful hands to shape it into usable pieces. This requires more labor, but it is fully worth it because there is no environmental contamination from heavy production, whatsoever!
Cooking with Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is more energy efficient, too! MEC’s clay heats food through unique far-infrared heat with far better heat retention than metal pots and pans, meaning food can cook thoroughly using far less heat. When cooking a meal on the stove with MEC, only a low heat setting is needed to make delicious meals in about the same time (or less!) than a metal cookware set. This saves both energy and money, and drastically minimizes the heavy environmental impact of frequent cooking!
For all these reasons and the fact that MEC cookware sets are 100% US-based, they leave the smallest carbon footprint compared to any other cookware, guaranteed. When shipping their orders from within the US and around the world, MEC uses fully bio-degradable packaging material (like egg cartons, cardboard, pulp, and paper rolls instead of plastic wraps). MEC chooses carbon neutral shipping at no additional cost to help offset the impact on the planet.
And at the end of their useful lifecycle as cooking pots, this cookware can be re-used for micro-gardening, sprouting, and fermenting. They go back to the same earth where they come from, because they are fully compostable!
All these measures ensure you get 100% eco-friendly and green cookware sets that are as healthy for the planet as they are for food. Make the planet greener by using this unique, US-made, 100% “Green” cookware set. Head over to our online store and get your set of green clay pots today! Feel free to contact us for any questions.
PEOPLE ALSO ASKED: Which green pans are the best?
The pans made from an eco-friendly material like pure clay and made in a planet-conscious way (no toxic waste and without consuming immense amount of energy) are the best green pans. MEC offers pans made from pure clay that follow all the safety measures explained above to ensure they are truly eco-friendly and healthy.
What is the safest cookware for your health?
The safest cookware would be the one that is made from a 100% non-toxic and pure raw material without using any toxic additives, glazes, chemicals or enamels. Because they are going to be used for cooking food, there must be no contaminants even in “safe levels”. The cooking temperature increases the chances of leaching by at least 10 times, which is why, the safest cookware must be completely inert. The only such known all-natural cookware material is primary clay. MEC makes cookware from lab tested primary clay without any additives whatsoever.