The Top 5 Most Toxic Cookware (and what to use instead)

The type of cookware you use on a daily basis can determine your health. Many of us have started paying close attention to what our food is being sprayed with, the ingredients that are added to our foods and especially, if it has been genetically modified.

We also need to take a look at our cookware and make sure our costly whole foods are being prepared in quality materials. Some cookware is better than others and some is just very toxic.

The Top 5 Most Toxic Cookware

1. Non-stick

The non-stick coating is made of fluoropolymers. This has been shown to give off perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) when it is heated. PFOA produces various types of tumors in rats. It builds up in our systems because our bodies cannot metabolize PFOA. The EPA has not yet “determined” if PFOA is a carcinogen. I find this scary considering, it is more than likely detectible in every persons’ blood, in the developed world. I was happy to hear by 2015, cookware manufactures will be eliminating PFOA from their products.

2. Copper

Copper is a soft metal and is often partnered with nickel. Both of these metals release metallic toxins when heated. These pots and pans will seep toxins into your food when it is cooked in these pans. Copper is actually an essential trace mineral that strengthens bones, immune systems, boosts energy, and strengthens connective tissue.

But, Dr Lawrence Wilson has debated that an excess of copper can actually be harmful to the body. Vitamin C deficiency, various cancers associated with high levels of estrogen, and connective tissue problems, are his concerns.

Excessive amounts of nickel can cause the development of thyroid disease, heart disease and even cancer. These two soft metals, in excess are very problematic for our health.

3. Lead

This may be surprising but some ceramic glaze, glass and enameled cookware can contain lead. Lead is used to give the cookware strength and an uniform color. Children under 6 years of age are most at risk of lead poisoning. And as you probably suspected, lead does leech into our food when heated. Especially anything labeled with “for decoration only”, never cook or serve food with this product. It is labeled that way for good reason. Even low amounts of lead can cause damage to brain development among other health dangers.


4. Aluminum

The dangers of aluminum have been discussed for many years. Excess of aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Today, aluminum pots and pans are better anodized aluminum and leeches less but for the safety of my mind and body, I chose to avoid aluminum cookware.

5. Stainless steel

What about stainless steel? Stainless steel is made of metals including nickel, iron, chromium, titanium, copper, molybdenum and vanadium. Lesser quality (especially when scratched or scored) stainless steel cookware can leech these alloyed metals into our food.

Top safe cookware options

1. T-304 stainless steel
This alloy is non-leeching and evenly distributed heat. It does require large amounts of oil when cooking to create a non-stick surface.

2. Xtrema ceramic
This ceramics’ glaze is made with non-toxic, 100% inorganic mineral and oxides. Xtrema glaze contains no metals, no lead and no candmium. The company has even released their products’ test results for heavy metal leeching. If you are interested, I have included the links to their test results and a PDF file below.

3. Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware is the only cookware that provides you with nutritional benefits. It releases a small amount of iron into food every time you cook. Cooking food with cast iron will help boost your iron levels especially when you are cooking with highly acid foods like tomatoes.No matter how high the purity and quality of the food we purchase, we need to make healthy choices when it comes to how we prepare our food.  Consider replacing your current cookware if it is not a healthy option, to something you can feel good about cooking family’s healthy food in.

Article originally published on: