Which is the Safest Cookware?
March 22

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I often get asked “what cookware should I use?” It’s a great question because apart from being aware of the pesticides on produce, the mercury in fish and the chemicals generally in our food, it is important to realize that your choice of kitchenware can make a difference too, because they can contain chemicals which can leach into your food, Teflon in particular but also aluminum and lead and even PVC Plastic.

Here are my guidelines

  1. Avoid non stick pans, pots, bakeware and utensils because they contain Teflon. Although non stick kitchenware is very convenient, Teflon is made from perfluorinated compounds which have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.
    http://www.ewg.org/pfcdictionary
    http://www.ewg.org/node/8766
  2. If you use non stick kitchenware and the coating is coming off, you should not use it. Get new ones.
  3. If you use non stick kitchenware and the coating is intact, avoid heating them above 450F because above this temperature, they release toxic gases.
  4. Avoid aluminum pots and pans as it may cause aluminum to leach into food. Although the dangers of ingesting aluminum are disputed by some, I think it is silly to use them as we don’t know they are safe.
  5. Avoid ceramic dishware that is cracked or chipping because the glazes used in ceramic dishware often contain lead and cracked or chipping glazes may be more likely to leach lead into foods and liquids.
  6. Avoid dish racks made of plastic-coated wire, substituting instead stainless steel dish racks

So I suggest using glass bakeware and stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans. Stainless steel and glass mixing bowls are great too.

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  • http://www.drfranklipman.com/where-do-the-chemicals-in-our-food-come-from/ Where do the Chemicals in our food come from?

    [...] Check out my blog on the safest cookware http://www.drfranklipman.com/which-is-the-safest-cookware/ [...]

  • http://www.stainlesssteelbanding.co.uk stainless steel banding

    Thanks!! Every form of cookware has pros and cons. Stainless steel is probably the best choice for everyday cookware due to its low cost and high durability. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  • Li Shamas

    can you recommend a few brands?

  • EdnaJ

    What do you think of enameled cast iron, like Le Creuset? Also, do you think a stainless steel or clay-pot rice cooker would be healthier? Thanks!

  • http://www.bes.co.uk plumbing

    I didn't know non- stick pans are related to cancer. Sheesh! I've always cooked my breakfast on those. Thanks for the warning.

  • Visitor

    Thanks.. I was feeling weird about about throwing out my trusty T-Fal nonstick pans, but not any more…

  • copasetic

    To #4, this has also been a concern with Stainless Steel.  There are quite a few articles about both metals, as they aren’t fully absorbed by your body and can lead to health issues later.  Your “coming off” idea is prudent for any surface I think except cast iron.  If cookware starts to pit, chip or peel can go into the recycle bin, the sandbox for your children, or the sculpture scrap heap. :-)

  • John

    I use non-stick stainless….I used to dislike cooking with it, but now I buy grass-fed butter (full of heart-healthy CLA) and put a dab in my skillet, and I don’t have a sticking problem. I don’t like cooking with olive oil anymore because when the heat would invariably get too high, I would get dizzy over the stove from the changing of chemical structure w/olive oil.

  • bigdog

    So T-Fal is not recommended Dr. Lipman. I’m going to buy a new set of cookware. Have had Macy’s “Tools of the Trade” for 20 years now. Stainless steel. Was looking into T-Fal…Can you compare the two for your readers.

  • safecook

    for me its the original cookware — the one made from natural clay — a mineral rich potent and inert raw material from nature. all these metals ones are 100% reactive. man has always cooked in clay, all the way up until just 2-3 generations ago and that’s when all these crazy health problems began. i got some from MEC clay cookware. they have some of the best natural cookware.

  • safecook

    the enamel is like a paint like substance. if you don’t like to eat paint then avoid enameled cookware. whether you like it or not some of it does get into food. just a little bit at a time but that’s enough to make organs dysfunctional over time. with cookware ,remember its just not the food and the pot, its also the heat that is a cytalist to all reactions. 100% unglazed natural clay is the best. choose the one that has no additives even mica (sodium silicate). there are some nice brands out there, I’ve been using MEC clay cookware and love it. am so much more healthier now.

  • Irina

    Good day, thank you for the info. I was googling MEC clay cookware but cannot find anything. Is this a brand and where may I find it? Thank you

  • Irina

    Good day, thank you for the info. I was googling MEC clay cookware but cannot find anything. Is this a brand and where may I find it? Thank you

  • George

    I have learned that It is not advisable to use metal utensils on stainless steel cookwares, because they will scratch and the nickel particles will leach into food and that is very dangerous to peoples’ health. Myself, I only use bamboo utensils, because they are eco-friendly and very safe and they do not scratch on stainless steel cookwares.