Today, many cookware manufacturers claim to have the best non-toxic cookware. They falsely claim their products do not contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Research by Consumer Reports found that undisclosed PFOA and PFAS coatings are common in cookware, even for brands that use “PFOA-free” in their branding and advertising.
In this way, cookware brands often mislead customers by implying that they do not contain an illegal toxin. By stating this, they try to hide the fact that there are other harmful materials present in their cookware.
Therefore, you should always be extra careful when shopping for safe cookware and non-toxic bakeware. In this article, we will try to guide you on determining whether you can trust claims of non-toxic cookware.
1) Teflon pans
Teflon pans stand out for their non-stick properties, heat and corrosion resistance, and easy cleaning. They are mostly advertised as being “non-toxic” and “safest non-stick pans.” For years, perfluorooctanoic acid was used to manufacture Teflon, a substance better known as PFOA. According to The American Cancer Society, studies suggest possible links between PFOA exposure and increased risk of testicular, kidney, and thyroid cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified it as “possibly carcinogenic” based on limited tests on humans and animals. Even if you use Teflon pans, take special care not to scratch the coating of the pan. Also, use the pan only at low or medium temperatures. The coating starts to break down at high temperatures, releasing toxic chemicals into the air.
2) Aluminum pans
Aluminum cookware stands out for its lightness, easy cleaning, and economical price. Its surface is sealed so that metal does not penetrate the food. If not sealed well, it is capable of leaching harmful substances into food during cooking.
Aluminum cookware is generally less durable since it is more prone to corrosion over time. The most recommended are those made of anodized or forged aluminum, which is more resistant and less porous.
3) Stainless steel pans
Stainless steel pans do not have chemicals, are low-cost, and do not rust. They also allow their use at high temperatures without problems and have a solid surface that does not wear out. However, the stainless steel pan is not a good conductor of heat, so it is not distributed evenly over the entire surface.
Research indicates that its use can leach nickel and chromium into acidic food, although health problems caused by this material are rare.
4) Ceramic pans
They are cheap and offer acceptable anti-seize, but they deteriorate quickly and must be changed frequently. They are generally free of heavy metals, but a coating of ceramic usually hides harmful materials. It may also start chipping after several months of use.
5) Cast iron skillets
Cast iron skillets are considered the best example of non-toxic cookware. They are resistant, withstand high temperatures well, do not release toxins, and distribute heat evenly over their surface.
Cast iron skillets are not nonstick. However, once they are cured, and the “seasoning” is formed, which is what they call in North America, that layer of fat that forms on the bottom of the pan, the cooking quality increases, and no food will stick to it.
6) Titanium pans
They are distinguished by their great non-stick power, so adding a large amount of cooking oil is not necessary. This helps to eat healthier. They also offer uniform heat across the entire surface and are more durable.
If you don’t know how a non-stick pan is cured, these models have the advantage that they don’t need to go through this process to use them.
7) Other dangerous pans
Cookware made of lead and copper is associated with diseases since they leach more easily into food and can cause poisoning. Therefore it is important to avoid pans made of these materials.
For more safety, you can opt for pans that do not have a non-stick coating, although their use requires practice and knowledge so that the food does not stick.
You should know the pros and cons of each cookware option since your family’s health depends on it. Even if the products are advertised as “non-toxic cookware,” you should still be vigilant and look out for any hidden toxins that may be present.