Healthy Cooking 101: The Science behind Cooking Explained 

Have you ever been to a science laboratory? When chemical reactions are carried out in a laboratory, a great deal of care is taken to choose even the apparatus. This is because if the material of apparatus is reactive, it will react with the elements being tested to yield inaccurate results. Consequently, the final reading could be inconclusive and erroneous.

Same is the case with food. Cooking food is a science, it involves a number of bio-chemical reactions. If the container or cookware you are using is reactive, it messes with the ingredients used and the food you get is not what you were trying to cook in the first place. So, it’s very important to choose the cookware – the material it’s made of, one that is safe for cooking and doesn’t contaminate your food with its own ingredients.

Conventional cookware is made from metals (aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, titanium etc.) and ceramics (ceramic clay, porcelain, and stoneware.) The glazes and enamel used for coating are a composition of different chemicals, oxides, and metals. Food’s nutrients come in the form of hydrogen & oxygen molecules, halogens, acids and bases and almost all metals are reactive to these elements. At cooking temperature, metals break into ions and react with food while heat acts as a catalyst. Here are some of the reactions:

ALUMINUM (In Stainless Steel & Aluminum Cookware): 
With oxygen: aluminum oxide 4Al(s) + 3O2(g) = 2Al2O3(s)
With halogens:
2Al(s) + 3Cl2(l) → 2AlCl3(s)
2Al(s) + 3Br2(l) → Al2(s)
2Al(s) + 3I2(l) → Al2I6(s)
TITANIUM:
With nitrogen: 2Ti(s) + N2(g) = TiN(s)
With water: Ti(s) + 2H2O(g) = TiO2(s) + 2H2(g)
COPPER (STAINLESS STEEL & Copper Cookware): 
With oxygen:
2Cu(s) + O2(g) → 2CuO(s),
2Cu(s) + O2(g) → 2CuO(s)
With halogens:
Cu(s) + Cl2(g) → CuCl2(s) [yellow-brown],
Cu(s) + Br2(g) → CuBr2(s) [black]
NICKEL (STAINLESS STEEL):
With oxygen: 2Ni(s) + O2(g) → 2NiO(s),
Ni(s) + Cl2(g) → NiCl2(s) [yellow]
Ni(s) + Br2(g) → NiBr2(s) [yellow]
Ni(s) + I2(g) → NiI2(s) [black]
Ni(s) + H2SO4(aq) → Ni2+(aq) + SO4 2-(aq) + H2(g),
With halogens:
Ni(s) + Cl2(g) → NiCl2(s) [yellow],
Ni(s) + Br2(g) → NiBr2(s) [yellow],
Ni(s) + I2(g) → NiI2(s) [black]

These reactions should not take place while cooking as their products are toxic and get assimilated with food and accumulate in tissues and organs. When this continues for long, it affects the immune system and plays a key role in causing various health problems.

When you are out buying the safest cookware, it’s important that you choose the one that is made from a non-reactive material so that it leaches no toxins into food.  Choosing healthy and safe cookware is equally important with choosing the right ingredients, both together determine the real goodness of your food, its usefulness in the body and help in the prevention of many illnesses.

MEC’s pure-clay™ is known to be naturally inert and 100% non-toxic material used for making the safest cookware.

Their cookware goes beyond my wildest expectations. Besides feeling confident about the safety and health benefits of cooking with clay cookware, the dishes are incredibly delicious and richer and the cooking time is greatly reduced.“, says Victoria, who considers MEC’s pure-clay cookware the safest for her family.

MEC makes pure-clay cookware without using any chemicals, glazes or enamels to make sure it stays safe for cooking. They are the healthiest and safest cookware available out there! Head over to MEC to buy this safest cookware for your family and enjoy healthy cooking.

Cook Healthy with Pure Clay Cookware

The way you cook plays a key role in keeping you and your family healthy and free from diseases. Healthy cooking not only involves using healthy ingredients but also healthy cookware. Conventional cookware is made from metals or ceramics – both leach toxins into food while cooking. Metals like aluminum, iron, nickel, magnesium, molybdenum, lead — all subject to react with water, nutrients, vitamins & minerals, proteins and carbs that are in the form of halogens, acids and bases. Here are some of the reactions that take place at cooking temperature with heat acting as a catalyst:

ALUMINUM (In Stainless Steel & Aluminum Cookware):
With oxygen: aluminum oxide 4Al(s) + 3O2(g) = 2Al2O3(s)
With halogens:
2Al(s) + 3Cl2(l) → 2AlCl3(s)
2Al(s) + 3Br2(l) → Al2(s)
2Al(s) + 3I2(l) → Al2I6(s)
TITANIUM:
With nitrogen: 2Ti(s) + N2(g) = TiN(s)
With water: Ti(s) + 2H2O(g) = TiO2(s) + 2H2(g)
COPPER (STAINLESS STEEL & Copper Cookware):
With oxygen:
2Cu(s) + O2(g) → 2CuO(s),
2Cu(s) + O2(g) → 2CuO(s)
With halogens:
Cu(s) + Cl2(g) → CuCl2(s) [yellow-brown],
Cu(s) + Br2(g) → CuBr2(s) [black]
NICKEL (STAINLESS STEEL):
With oxygen: 2Ni(s) + O2(g) → 2NiO(s),
Ni(s) + Cl2(g) → NiCl2(s) [yellow]
Ni(s) + Br2(g) → NiBr2(s) [yellow]
Ni(s) + I2(g) → NiI2(s) [black]
Ni(s) + H2SO4(aq) → Ni2+(aq) + SO4 2-(aq) + H2(g),
With halogens:
Ni(s) + Cl2(g) → NiCl2(s) [yellow],
Ni(s) + Br2(g) → NiBr2(s) [yellow],
Ni(s) + I2(g) → NiI2(s) [black]

These metal toxins then accumulate in the body organs, tissues and blood. If this goes on for a long time, they become the foundation for many health problems ranging from minor illnesses to dangerous diseases. Also, the immune system is compromised and doesn’t fight diseases efficiently.

Moreover, metals damage the delicate nutrients; try touching a metal pan five minutes into heating, it burns tissues and leaves a scar. Same thing happens to the nutrients in food – the harsh heat destroys by dissolving the nutrients. To make matters worse, water-soluble nutrients evaporate as steam, further depleting the nutritional value of food. What’s left is food with toxins lacking in nutritive value.

If you really want to cook healthy, the first thing you must do is use a healthy cookware made of a healthy material – A material that is 100% non-toxic and also keeps the nutrients intact is perfect for making healthy cookware. MEC’s pure-clay™ is one such material. The idea of using pure-clay is inspired by the historical methods of making cookware from clay.

Pure-clay is the only material known to be naturally inert and scientifically proven for making healthy cookware. It doesn’t leach anything into food while cooking. Besides being non-reactive, MEC’s pure-clay pots preserve the delicate nutrients in food by their unique far-infrared heat that penetrates deep into each grain and is distributed evenly and thoroughly.

Pure-clay is not to be confused with glazed clayware, terracotta or ceramics as unlike the latter, no chemicals are used in manufacturing pure-clay cookware. An impressive 4.6 rating in Google reviews and a number of satisfied customers stand witness to the health benefits of using pure-clay cookware. “They are fantastic. I love them much and enjoy cooking. Having healthy cookware is such a blessing for me.“, says Marina — a healthy cook who is a fan of MEC’s pure-clay cookware.

To get familiar with truly healthy cooking, head over to MEC and find a healthy pure-clay cookware for your kitchen.

 

Why You Need to Ditch Toxic Cookware Right Away

Whenever you go to the market to buy cookware, you can see a wide range of cookware of different shapes, sizes and designs, made from metals or ceramics. Despite their popularity and wide acceptance, they are not appropriate for cooking. In fact, not very long ago, nobody used these materials for making cookware, as they were only made from clay. As the approach of manufacturers became profit-centric, they started paying more attention to the look and design of cookware instead of their prime purpose – to cook food in the healthiest way possible.

Today, most cookware is made from either metals or ceramics. Chemicals glazes and enamels (that are a composition of different chemicals, oxides, and metals) are used to make ceramic cookware look shiny and beautiful. They certainly attract the customers who are unaware of their possible ill effects on food. You might be surprised to know that all metals (aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, titanium etc.) and ceramics (ceramic clay, porcelain, and stoneware) leach toxins into food while cooking.

Food is a biochemical entity that consists of nutrients, vitamins & minerals, proteins, and carbs that are in the form of oxygen, hydrogen, halogens, acids, and bases. As cooking involves heating, it acts as a catalyst for the metals to reactively leach into food. These metal ions are assimilated with food and accumulate over time in the organs and tissues. They damage our cells resulting in an unhealthy body and various diseases. That’s why you should ditch this type of toxic cookware right away!

Instead of getting into all the details, you can easily test if a cookware is toxic by this a simple alkaline baking soda test. This is how it’s done:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda, boil for 5 more mins. Turn stove off.
  2. 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 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip — you will taste just the baking soda. Truly non-toxic cookware would not leach anything into food…

Looking for alternatives? Here’s the answer!

MEC’s pure-clay™ pots are the perfect non-toxic cookware. They are made from certified pure-clay that is naturally inert, so there’s nothing leaching while cooking. There are no chemicals, glazes or enamels used in the manufacturing process, therefore they are 100% non-toxic. You can perform the same test on them and they won’t disappoint you!

Miriam’s cookware is AMAZING!!“, says Pagane, an enlightened cook “The food that I cook in the 3 pots I bought from her is delicious and absolutely healthy.

Head over to MEC to find a healthy alternative for your conventional metal/ceramic cookware and switch to 100% non-toxic cookware.

MEC’s Pure-Clay Pots: Healthier and Faster Slow Cookers

A conventional slow cooker (also known as a crock pot) consists of a pot made of metal or ceramic that is used for cooking foods like soups, stews, and meats slowly for long periods of time. Slow cooking is considered healthy and convenient, especially for those who are busy all day and would prefer to have their food ready as soon as they reach home in the evening. But what if you could make your slow cooking healthier and a lot faster? Keep reading to know how! 

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is a company in the market today making cooking pots from the safest raw material – 100% tested, pure-clay.  Not only is food cooked in it healthier than conventional crock pots but also greatly reduce cooking time. Recipes that take around 6-8 hours in a slow cooker are cooked in just 40-50 minutes in medium heat or less – all thanks to the unique far-infrared heat generated by the walls of this natural raw material. By reducing cooking time, they also protect delicate nutrients that get damaged due to long hours of cooking.  

Finally something absolutely healthy on the market! I used to love slow cookers but there was too much of lead leaking into my food.“, says Vanessa, on a google review who has found a healthier way of slow cooking with MEC’s pure-clay pots. “Miriam cookware is AMAZING!! The food that I cook in the 3 pots I bought from her is delicious and absolutely healthy. On top of it, Miriam have great warranty and great customer service.” She concludes. 

Also, MEC’s pure-clay pots are excellent heat retainers. Unlike conventional crock machine that needs to run on low temperatures to keep food warm, they can serve this purpose by retaining heat naturally for a long time even after the stove is turned off.

MEC’s pure-clay pots are made from tested and certified pure-clay without using chemicals, glaze or enamels. They are 100% non-toxic and inert, so they don’t leach toxins into food while cooking.

Food (a biochemical entity) consists of water, nutrients, vitamins & minerals, proteins, and carbs that are in the form of halogens, acids, and bases. At cooking temperatures, all metals break into ions and react with these halogens, acids, and bases while heat acts as a catalyst. These metals assimilate with food and accumulate in organs and cells. If this continues over a long period of a time, serious health problems may arise. 

Conventional ceramic cookware made from ceramic clay, porcelain, stoneware and the glazes and enamels used for coating are a composition of different chemicals [like Cadmium, Lead, Petalite (Lithium)], oxides and metals. They also leach toxins into food while cooking, even at low heat. 

But MEC’s pure-clay pots neither leach metal ions into food nor contain harmful chemicals that may contaminate food in any other way. They are the healthiest and best slow cookers available in the market. Head over to MEC to get a pure-clay pot for your kitchen and try this healthier and faster way of cooking all your meals.

How to Cook Healthy Food?

In order to cook healthy, the first thing to keep in mind is to use healthy ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients. They are not only necessary for proper functioning of all the system but also keep our immune system strong so that it can effectively fight diseases. Of this fact, many are aware and make it a point to carefully choose a balanced diet and choice ingredients! But there are some equally important aspects of healthy cooking that unfortunately get ignored – mostly due to lack of awareness.

For one, the cookware we use greatly affects the quality of food cooked in it. Consider conventional cookware that’s made of different metals and ceramics that are not appropriate for cooking albeit being so popular. Why is it not appropriate? Read on:

Food is a biochemical entity. All metals are reactive to nutrients that are in the form of oxygen, hydrogen halogens, acids, and bases. At cooking temperature, metals break into ions and react with food. They are then digested with food and accumulate in tissues and organs. When this continues for long, it becomes the foundation for various health problems that may range from minor illnesses to chronic diseases. The immune system is compromised as well which makes it difficult for the body to fight diseases on its own.

Try touching a metal pan five minutes into heating, it burns tissues and leaves a scar. Same thing happens to the nutrients in food when cooked in metal or ceramic cookware. On one hand, the harsh heat damages the delicate nutrients by dissolving them. On the other, water-soluble nutrients evaporate as steam and depleting the nutritional value of food. What’s left is food lacking in nutritive value and full of toxins.

There is no healthy cooking without healthy cookware! – one that doesn’t leach toxins into food and doesn’t mess with the nutrients. MEC’s pure-clay™ is a healthy material that is appropriate for making healthy cookware. It is harvested from unfarmed and non-industrialized lands in the USA by MEC, as it is found in purest form at those places. Pure-clay has naturally inert properties making it the most non-reactive of all cookware’s in the market.

This was the ONLY all natural and completely non-toxic pan I could find”, says Ginna, after a long and hard search looking for the best for her family. “It gave me such peace of mind cooking my family’s food in it.

Also, they radiate a unique far infrared heat that penetrates deep into every grain and gently cook without destroying the delicate nutrients. They are known for their excellent steam management properties that play a key role in preserving water-soluble nutrients. Thus, the nutritional value of food remains intact, making pure-clay the best choice for making healthy cookware. If you want to experience healthy cooking, head over to MEC and find the perfect healthy cookware for your kitchen!

MEC’s Pure-Clay Pressure Pot – A Healthy Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker is a cookware that uses steam pressure to force food to cook quickly. Dishes like soaked dry beans, lentils, meats, and vegetables that may need a lot of time to cook in regular cookware, take a lot less time in a pressure cooker. The structure of a pressure is a bit complex though, it consists of a metal pot made of Aluminum or Stainless Steel and has several other parts to it:

  1. A metal pot handle covered with either rubber or silicone
  2. A lid and its handle with a locking mechanism
  3. Gasket or a rubber sealing ring
  4. Steam vent and release valves

Excessive steam pressure is built up inside the pot that forces food to cook with a lot of heat and thereby reducing cooking time. ALL the steam is then released through a vent in the lid before the pot can be opened. This is pretty much the whole process of cooking in a pressure cooker. No doubt, it’s a useful piece of cookware but sadly, it comes with certain consequences.

The pressure cooker pot is made of metal. At cooking temperature, these metals react with food (a biochemical entity that consists of water, nutrients, vitamins & minerals, proteins and carbs that are in the form of halogens, acids, and bases.) and leach in. These toxins are then assimilated with food and accumulate in organs and tissues. Keep eating such food over time and your immune system is compromised forming the basis for many illnesses.

Another big problem is the heat that radiates from the metal walls of pot and the excessive steam pressure damage the delicate nutrients in food. The water-soluble nutrients evaporate as steam from the vent. As a result, we get nutritionally depleted food that is smashed, mushy and tastes quite bland. Clearly, using a pressure cooker is not the healthiest way of cooking.

The alternative way of pressure cooking

MEC’s pure-clay™ pressure pots are the healthiest alternative. Besides being made from pure-clay, which is a healthy material, the way they work is also healthy. Pure-clay is a naturally non-reactive material that doesn’t leach anything while cooking and thanks to the makers, who do not use any chemicals, glazes or enamels to manufacture them – MEC’s pure-clay pots are 100% healthy and safe for pressure cooking.

I had my doubts about the lentils cooking as soft as they cook in my (metal) pressure cooker, but the lentils cook a whole lot better in the clay pot – they are deliciously soft and yet remain whole, never become a mushy paste…. I must tell you, I have never had food cooked so rich and delicious and moist before. My whole family has noticed the difference in flavor of the food since I have started cooking in my clay pots, and they all love it…“, says Tanushree, who chose this healthy way of cooking and switched to pure-clay pressure pot from metal pressure cooker.

The strategic design of these pressure pots cooks food in a healthier way. The steam locker lid lets steam build up inside and keeps it there. The steam that builds up slowly with the unique far infrared heat that radiates from these pots coax food (instead of forcing) to cook without causing nutritional damage. Also, the steam doesn’t need to be “emptied out” before opening the lid like with conventional metal pressure cooker, so the water-soluble nutrients stay inside.

The food cooked is just delicious and doesn’t require additional seasoning to taste better – another big reason MEC’s pure-clay pressure pots are a healthy alternative to conventional pressure cooker. Intrigued? Head over to MEC to find the best pressure pot for your kitchen and experience the benefits of healthy cooking with your family.

How to Know If Your Dutch Oven is A Safe and Healthy One?

A Dutch oven is a very useful piece of cookware and can be found in almost every kitchen. It’s a two-piece cooking utensil that includes a pot along with its well-fitting lid. It has thicker walls than a regular pot and some of these can be used on the stove top or in the oven. You can cook a variety of dishes in them – from soups, stews to all kinds of rice and other casseroles dishes. But what’s important is if your Dutch oven is healthy for you. Let’s find out:

All you need to do is perform a simple baking soda test at home to know if it’s safe to cook in your existing Dutch oven. If it fails the test, it isn’t healthy and you need to look for an alternative. This is how the test is done:

The Alkaline Baking Soda Test for Leaching in Cookware:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda. Boil for 5 more mins. Turn stove off.
  2. 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 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip — you will taste just the baking soda.

Baking soda is a high pH ingredient. For a healthy diet it’s recommended that you eat mostly high pH foods; almost all vegetables, a lot of grains, lentils, beans, are alkaline. If your pot is leaching when cooking the baking soda, it most definitely is leaching into your food as well.

A healthy Dutch oven would be one that doesn’t leach toxins into food. The popular and commonly used Dutch ovens are typically made from metals like cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel etc. and ceramics, that is made from ceramic clay, porcelain, stoneware and the glazes and enamels are used for coating. All of which leach into food.

All metals, chemicals, glazes, enamels etc. leach toxins [chemicals like Cadmium, Lead, Petalite (Lithium) and metal ions like Al-Aluminum, Ni-Nickel (steel), Ti- Titanium (steel), Mo – Molybdenum (steel), Cr-Chromium (steel), Fe-Iron (steel)] into food while cooking, even at low heat. What happens is metals break into ions at cooking temperature and react with food while heat acts as a catalyst. These are then assimilated with food and accumulate in organs and tissues. This toxic accumulation in the body is the foundation for many illnesses, a compromised immune system and the production of weak hormones for the management of the body.

In order to find a healthy Dutch oven, you first need to look for one that’s made of a healthy, non-toxic material that doesn’t leach while cooking. MEC’s certified pure-clay™ is one such material that is scientifically tested for being naturally inert, so it doesn’t react with food. MEC harvests pure-clay from unfarmed and non-industrialized lands in USA and refrains from using any chemicals or glazes while making their pure-clay pots to keep them 100% non-toxic.

I love my MEC pure-clay pots! It feels good knowing there are no metals or chemicals leaching into my healthily cooked meals.”, says Michelle – an MEC cook who chose pure-clay pots to cook healthy for her family.

In case you are wondering, they do pass the baking soda test which makes it evident that they make the healthiest Dutch ovens in the market. Visit MEC to find the perfect size healthy Dutch oven for your kitchen and enjoy healthy cooking!

Until next time…

My Journey from Cooking ‘Bland’ Rice to Cooking ‘Healthy & Delicious’ Rice

I consider myself a healthy cook. I am usually careful about the ingredients I use in my recipes – their nutritional value, effects on health etc. But I was never particularly happy with cooking rice. I am careful in choosing not-overly processed, non-enriched, unbleached rice but it cooks very unevenly and either gets mushy or too dry. This is when I started doing some research on healthy ways to cook soft and fluffy rice. What I found was an eye opener:

The commonly used rice cookers are made of metals and ceramics. I have been using a metal rice cooker. I found out that both metals and ceramics leach toxins into rice while cooking. At cooking temperature, all metals leach ions that react with food, a biochemical entity that consists of water, nutrients, vitamins & minerals, proteins and carbs that are in the form of halogens, acids and bases.

Conventional ceramic cookware made from ceramic clay, porcelain, stoneware and the glazes and enamel used for coating are a composition of different chemicals, oxides, and metals. They leach toxins into food while cooking. Also, the heat from these pots destroys the foods delicate nutrients. Surprised? So was I.

I started looking for alternatives – something that doesn’t leach toxins into food and is not harmful to the nutrients. Luckily, I found a healthy rice cooker that is naturally inert and 100% non-toxic. MEC’s pure-clay™ pots make excellent rice cookers. They are handmade from certified pure-clay without using any chemicals. I did this baking soda test at home to confirm if they are really non-toxic. This is how the test is done:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda, boil for 5 more mins. Turn stove off.
  2. 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.
  3. As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip — the taste of this water will be very different from that of the pots. And similar to the water boiled in MEC pots.

AND the rice cooks fluffy, soft and each grain separate from the other – that too without using any fats or additives, the pot takes care of everything! The semi-porous breathable pot lets excess moisture evaporate and cooks with a unique far infrared heat that is food-friendly and keeps nutrients intact. MEC’s pure-clay pots are ideal rice cookers. I can now proudly say that I cook healthy and delicious rice, that is not only well cooked but is also free from metal or chemical toxins. Try MEC’s healthy rice cooker yourself and enjoy healthy rice cooking.