Is your cookware toxic?

Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging enough, but no matter which foods you choose, your cookware could still be doing you harm – it may even be poisoning you.

Here are five common cookware materials that could be making your food toxic.

Plastic
Using plastic spoons and spatulas at high temperatures can cause them to melt. Even if plastic utensils appear intact, higher heat can release toxins from the plastic into your food, which will not only affect the taste of your meal, but also have a negative impact on your health. Get yourself some wooden spoons instead.

When it comes to cutting boards, plastic may be good for your knives, but once they become rough and scraped they harbour dangerous bacteria – no matter how well you wash them. Again, wooden cutting boards are preferrable, especially hardwood ones that are more resistant to cuts and scratches. When they are well-looked after, wooden chopping boards are a much healthier option.

You may have heard the old ‘BPA’ argument. BPA refers to a chemical called Bisphenol A which is often found in plastics, and has been linked to brain damage and other serious health issues. It’s better to save your glass jars and use glass containers to store food rather than plastic ones; or at least containers marked ‘BPA-free’.

Aluminium cookware
Aluminium pots and pans are usually inexpensive and, therefore, quite common in many kitchens. But the money you save could cost you dearly. Aluminium exposure has been linked to dementia, autism and other diseases. Non-anodised, aluminium cookware is prone to leaking harmful metal into highly acidic or basic foods. So, pairing aluminium cookware with foods such as tomatoes or anything that contains baking soda can be doing you serious harm. 

Copper
Copper is a favourite for its superior conductive properties, so it’s another common cookware metal. As with aluminium, copper can leach into food during cooking and too much copper in your system can lead to serious health problems.

Scratched stainless steel
Typically considered the best metal for cookware and kitchen surfaces, once stainless steel becomes scratched it leaches harmful metals such as iron, chromium and nickel into your food.

Teflon
Even those people who don’t know about the dangers of Teflon, have some Teflon cookware. Teflon may be easy to clean, but it contains a high amount of highly toxic chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic. And it doesn’t have to leach into your food to do you harm. The fumes from cooking with Teflon have been known to kill pet birds, so imagine what it could be doing to you. Teflon is quite possibly the most harmful cookware material in your kitchen.

Read more about toxic cookware

What cookware do you use in your kitchen? Do you know if it’s safe?

Related articles:
Food safety at home
Foods to replace multivitamins
Foods to help reduce bloating

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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