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Is Aluminum Cookware Safe?

Aluminum cookware is a lightweight option for cooking but has side effects as well. They are also long-lasting kitchen cookware at the lowest price.

In that regard, aluminum is a plentiful product in the world. We can find it in anything such as food, water and daily medicines with this metal.

People absorb a little amount of aluminum on a regular basis, but it is not harmful. It only becomes harmful with acidic items. Accordingly, this cookware has a huge habit of reacting with acidic food items. Vinegar, tomatoes, etc. foods can easily create a toxic effect on food when it is processed with aluminum.

However, aluminum is not so harmful for every situation but has a higher rate of destruction in some cases. It can create diseases for human beings and even cause death. Here is a detailed brief on its safety levels when it comes to cookware.

Sources of Aluminum

You can find aluminum in soil, minerals and even in rocks. Many processed items and foods have aluminum in them. The organization named “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” surveyed and estimated the result of the consumption of aluminum for the adult person is a minimum of 7gm to 9gm in regular foods.

This amount cannot show the amount of aluminum that comes from cookware, though. You will find aluminum in several products like medicines and tools. Buffered aspirin, antacids, nasal spray, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc. are examples of these types of products.

An antacid contains around 100gm to 200gm aluminum, which is a big amount of consumption. No chance of avoiding it as seen here.

Aluminum Cookware Leaching

Leaching into food from aluminum products is not constant. It depends on the situation and items being used for cooking food. It usually reacts more with acidic items. In that case, the leaching process increases to the maximum level. In other cases, it remains normal and safe.

All kinds of meat are a little acidic, and these have the habit of making aluminum cookware leach into them. Normal leaching can increase when there is heat involved.

Accordingly, a survey shows that comparatively newer aluminum pans are safer than the previous ones found in the market.

Safety of Aluminum Cookware

In every kitchen, you will find aluminum non-stick cookware. There is no place where you can get rid of aluminum. Every type of branded or non-branded aluminum product has a seal about the guarantee of not leaching into the food.

On the other hand, using aluminum cookware is actually adding aluminum into your food, especially when you are cooking acidic items in the pan; and thus leaching occurs. If you have any sickness of your brain, it is very harmful to you because it settles into the tissues of your brain.

In that regard, taking aluminum salt is not safe for your brain. If you have renal sickness and heart problems, intake of aluminum in this way can deteriorate your health.

Normally aluminum cookware has a non-stick layer to prevent leaching. However, when the cookware becomes hot, leaching can occur anyway. Boiling water in the pan is a way to fix this situation, but it is not that much helpful.

Therefore, new non-sticks are introduced with safer facilities, but you cannot be sure about them. Damaged tissue usually catches aluminum, but a healthy tissue does not do the same.

Likewise, the direct use of higher aluminum processed products indicates dangerous risk factors like diseases. Hence, the human body has no benefits from this metal. It can damage the lungs, kidneys, and brain. Kidney diseases are usually due to aluminum.

About only 1 percent of the metal goes into the stomach and the rest of the amount is passed through urine. In other words, a human being can take the only 40mg of aluminum per kg of their own weight. But no one takes this much. Everyone ends up taking a lot more than this amount, which is very harmful to our health.

Aluminum cookware has a layer of protection between the food and the pan. However, aluminum foil does not have that type of a protective shield and that is more dangerous. If you have contracted any diseases due to aluminum, just avoid aluminum-rich products and processed foods at the same time.

In addition, aluminum foil has a higher number of risk factors than the cookware. It can take you towards many more health issues such as bone problems and anemia. So it is good to be careful and avoid these types of situations.

Alzheimer’s Disease

In 1960, experts suspected that Alzheimer’s disease was caused by aluminum. At that time people thought of using aluminum cookware and items. In May 2014, a report was published on this matter. The report showed that aluminum is the main reason for Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, it is responsible for brain diseases as well.

Cancer by Aluminum

This is not a direct process. Reports have shown that aluminum cookware can lead to kidney problems instead of cancer. Things like tumors or brain diseases can lead to cancer. As a side effect of aluminum, the aforementioned types of diseases occur, and afterward, that turns into cancer.

Safety Works

When you find that aluminum cookware is not 100% friendly in cooking healthy food, you should avoid it. You also should avoid acidic foods. Don’t even store your food in aluminum metal containers or boxes.

However, the processed aluminum on the surface of the cookware may be safer than the raw version of aluminum. If that processed aluminum gets any damage, the damage will be the same for your overall health.

Talk to your doctor about avoiding aluminum from your daily life. You should also check your health and fitness matters to ensure your health safety. Try to use glass or steel cookware in that case.

Conclusion

It is a threat to healthy people when they have aluminum exposure. You can choose better cookware and other products for your good health. You also have to take care of your food habits in the meantime.

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Dangers of Using a Nonstick Cookware – Are There Any?

By the term “nonstick cookware”, we mean the pans and skillets that has a nonstick coating that allows cooking food without making it sticky to the pan. It is a famous type of cookware nowadays because of its quality and for easy cleaning and maintenance. Even it will allow you to cook food without the use of butter or oil.

Inspite of that, the question comes if they are really safe to use or not. In the USA, very recently, almost seventy percent of the cookwares sold was nonstick.

A lot of consumers show health-related concerns that arise from the emissions of the harmful chemicals of nonstick cookware. There were a good number of studies and reports from various sources and industries that lead to conflicting issues.

This article will mainly talk about the dangers of using nonstick cookware.

Dangers of Nonstick Cookware

The main danger of nonstick cookware lies in the ingredients of the pan used to make it nonstick. There are a good number of harmful toxins and chemical bonds that can cause serious health complications.

Even the chemicals that are being used for making the pan nonstick can be considered as carcinogenic to health. In order to have a glimpse of its seriousness, just think about that 95 % of the Americans who were identified to be carrying small levels of these harmful substances when their blood was tested.

When it comes to the environment, the main concern remains about the manufacturing plants that make cookware coated with Teflon. A professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania continued studying the water supply close to a Teflon plant in Ohio.

He aimed to find out the effects on people who got exposed to those water. His study found out that those who were exposed to that water supply were affected sixty to eighty times more than that of the general people.

Are Nonstick Teflon Coated Cookwares Toxic?

Various researches are being conducted to know about the danger related to the use of nonstick cookware. The EPA conducts continuous monitoring on the use of this cookware because of the chemicals that get released from it while cooking.

However, EPA hasn’t given any specific guidelines relating to the threats for health. The 2 chemical substances, PTFE and PFOA are considered as responsible for several health threats. Nevertheless,it remains a bit vague whether to blame the nonstick cookwares as a whole for this or not.

Dangers of PTFE & PFOA

Here are all the dangers that you will have to keep in mind.

Polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE)

Teflon is used as a coat in many of the nonstick cookwares. Its full abbreviation is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). When Teflon is exposed to very high heat, it starts emitting poisonous gases. This gas can be really very poisonous for your lung to inhale.

They can also lead to organ failure, infertility, reproductive damages or, even cancer. Researchers say that when cookwares are heated to 600 degrees or, higher than that, various types of toxic gases get released in the environment.

There is another concern about these coatings to get flaked off. As a result, there will be a chance of ingesting this harmful substance. Mostly, this risk lies when poor or, cheap quality cookwares are used.

In addition, when metal instruments like spoons, flippers, spatulas, etc. are used on the cookware for cooking purpose, it increases the risk of flaking to a great extent. This flaked pieces can get mixed with your food while cooking later on, which is really unhealthy.

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

One of the key ingredients in case of nonstick Teflon cookware is PFOA. This substance was under inquiries and examinations by EPA because of the chemical found in the human blood and in water supplies.

Although EPA is not sure enough about the exact threats that are being exerted by this chemical, they are assuming that it might have a close relation to the formation of cancer in body cells.

On the other hand, the British researchers conducted a study for disease control where they tested the blood of around 4000 adults. As per the research, those whose tested blood samples were positive for PFOA were found to be twice as likely to form the disease called thyroid in them.

The counterparts also had the same risk of developing thyroid disease, but that was lower than these people who had a high risk of developing the disease. From this, the researchers called people to get exposed to as less PFOA as possible.

However, keep in mind that PFOA can stay in the body for a couple of years. As per Environment Working Group, if someone stops the exposure to PFOA completely, it’ll take almost about four years for his body to totally eliminate the accumulated PFOA that got entered into his nerves and tissues.

Toxic Fumes from Nonstick Cookware

At very high heat, the nonstick cookware coat can break down into several chemical agents known as PFIB. It might even form a chemical analog of WWII nerve gas named phosgene. That means the one whom you are considering to be your best friend in the kitchen may be the worst enemy for you and your family’s health.

Therefore, don’t forget that it takes only about 5 minutes for nonstick cookware to release 6 different types of harmful gases.

Conclusion

Cooking is a passion for some people and a kind of labor done out of love. Nevertheless, nonstick cookwares are making that labor turn into a health risk. You can continue using your nonstick cookware or, can eliminate these dangerous products from your life and start living healthy.

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The Plus and Minus Points about Hard Anodized Cookware

Hard anodized cookware goes through a natural process called anodization where the aluminum is lined with a corrosion-resistant oxide agent. For manufacturing hard anodized cookware, the process is enhanced and accelerated.

Anodization is an electrochemical process which gives aluminum a durable, corrosion-resistant and an aesthetically pleasing finish. Anodization ensures that the surface of this material gets a negative electrical charge which leads to an increase in the thickness in the oxide layer.

The oxide layer makes the aluminum surface harder, more durable and corrosion-resistant. It also makes the cookware scratch proof and non-stick.

One of the concerns with using hard anodized cookware is the aluminum base. Aluminum is harmful to the human body, and its consumption can lead to cancer. The hard anodized surface ensures that the material will not migrate to the food.

The use of aluminum yet discourages consumers from buying hard anodized cookware.

User Guidelines

Hard anodized cookware is fairly easy to use and is very convenient for cooking. As they are dipped in an acid bath for purposes relating to electrical charges, the cookware needs proper care in cases of cleaning and drying. Even though they are stick-resistant and boast a very long lifespan, they require proper care.

Before Use

Having purchased a new hard anodized cookware, the first task is to wash it thoroughly in hot, soapy water. Then rinse and allow it to dry.

Taking Care Of The Stainless Surface

Hard anodized cookware can withstand the use of metal utensils such as spoons, whisk or even metal spatulas, but the use of sharp knives or hand mixer on the hard anodized surface will form scratches on the surface. Hence, it is better to avoid the use of those.

Temperature Adjustment

Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat. As a result, the hard anodized pots and pans heat up fast. For cooking in these kinds of pots, a lower temperature is necessary. Use a lower setting than you use for other types of cookware.

Avoid Throwing In Frozen Food Straight Out Of The Fridge

Even though hard anodized cookware is non-stick, cooking refrigerated food will lead to the food sticking to the pan. Allow the frozen food to melt and reach room temperature before placing them on a pan as this will ensure the food is cooked evenly without sticking at the bottom.

Refrain From Keeping Food Stored In The Cookware

The lids of hard anodized cookware don’t come with air-tight seals. Storing food in one will lead to it getting spoiled.

Keep It Clean

Hand washes your pans and pots after each use with dishwashing soaps. Make sure old food residue is completely scrubbed off to ensure the spoilage of food is avoided.

Hard anodized cookware is a convenient, user-friendly appliance but it comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at those:

The Pros

The Hardness Of The Surface

The most impressive feature of hard anodized cookware is its durability. The anodized aluminum does not scratch or peel and is twice as hard as stainless steel. It does not chip or break easily and are long-lasting.

Less Toxic

The anodization process is natural and the smooth surface is from the electrochemical processes which create the layer of non-stick oxide. The pans are environment-friendly and recyclable.

Non-stick

The oxide gives the pan surface a smooth and non-stick finish which makes it very convenient for cooking. It saves time and cooking oil and is easy to clean.

Lightweight

As the pans are made out of aluminum, a lighter metal, the overall appliance is lightweight, making it easier to use and store.

Aesthetics

Having exterior thick shiny coating gives the anodized cookware a gorgeous look. If maintained properly, this look lasts very long. The color stability from oxide and metallic finish does not wear off easily.

Efficient Cooking

Aluminum is a good conductor of heat and electricity ensuring fast, efficient and proper cooking of the food.

The Cons

Expensive

The price range of anodized cookware is a concern to many. They are generally more expensive than anodized cookware.

Not Safe For Induction

Induction stoves require a magnetic referral in the bottom of the pan, which aluminum pans do not have made them unsafe for induction.

Cleaning Can Be A Hassle

Unlike traditional cookware, anodized cookware requires the use of soft and mild detergent and careful handwashing for purposes of cleaning.

Conclusion

Aesthetically pleasing, convenient to use and long lasting, hard anodized cookware is rapidly gaining popularity. Although they need sophisticated handling, they are a very useful utensil and are a cook’s favorite.

It is recommended for anyone looking for cookware that cooks efficiently and can last longer. It is a great investment.

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Is Stainless Steel Cookware Worth?

Stainless steel is a mixture of iron, chromium, and nickel. Stainless steel is known for its durability and attractive appearance. The word stainless is given a name for its rust-resistant properties. It does not stain or develop rust. Moreover, it also resists corrosion and oxidation. The presence of water or oxygen cannot damage it as well.

The stainless steel cookware is known for their aesthetics. Their pots and pans look gorgeous and are ideal for searing, sautéing, browning, etc. These types of utensils are trendy and seen in almost every kitchen.

Accordingly, stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat. Experts suggest to buy cookware which has copper cores or copper body as copper heats up very fast and cools down quickly. However, cooking in a utensil made entirely of stainless steel will give you hot spots.

Recognizing the Quality of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware is recognized to be safe for cooking. Any good quality stainless steel is a better choice than other substitutes available in the market. The metal steel itself is much stronger than plain iron, which makes the steel stainless is chromium.

In that sense, to measure the quality of stainless steel, you should check the amount of chromium present in it. The higher the amount of chromium in the steel has a better resistance to corrosion.

Consequently, there are different kinds of stainless steel used for making cookware. The certified types are AISI 200 series, 300 series, and 400 series. The 300 series has 304 and 316 types. The 400 is magnetic. For the 200 series, the creators replaced the nickel with manganese because it’s cheaper.

What to Look before Buying?

While buying or even considering purchasing a stainless steel utensil, you should measure the market and consider some things before making the purchase. Here are some points to keep in mind before you make your decision:

The Grade of the Steel

You don’t have to be a scientist to measure the grade of stainless steel. Make sure the cookware is made with 18/8 or 18/10 as these are the standards for good quality cookware. These numbers will be stamped at the bottom of the cookware or stated on the box.

Weight of the Utensil

A good quality stainless steel cookware will have a significant weight. A heavier pot means that it contains more materials. In addition, if it’s sturdy, there are fewer chances for dents and dings. If you are shopping online, check the reviews.

The Material Used in Core

Stainless steel is a very poor conductor of heat. You would want a set that has copper or aluminum as the core. This combination will give you the high heat conductivity of the two metals, and also the longevity of stainless steel.

Benefits of Stainless Steel Cookware

To make a decision about whether stainless steel cookware is worth it or not, you must leverage the benefits and disadvantages of the cookware. Stainless steel does offer lots of advantages.

Durability

You can scratch it, throw it, scrub it roughly; it will still work. The steel is also harder than copper or aluminum and has a higher melting point than both metals. This cookware is the most long-lasting of all the cookware in the market. It lasts longer than them and withstands more.

Maintenance is Easy

These types of cookware do not need special care. They don’t lose their shining very easily; even if they do, just take a cup of water and vinegar to regain the shine.

Does not React

Unlike other metals used for manufacturing cookware as aluminum and copper, stainless steel does not react with any of the acidic foods out there. It is very inert. It does not react with any kind of food.

Great for Searing and Sauteing

Steel can withstand higher heat and temperature better than the other metals. So cooking processes like searing and sauteing can be done in stainless steel with no issue.

Versatile

Stainless steel is not just suitable for searing and sautéing, it’s also great for frying, boiling, braising, stewing, poaching, and even steaming. You can do just about everything in it.

Aesthetics

Stainless steel looks good. The cookware made of it looks very classy and gorgeous. The shiny, polished luster is hard to beat.

The Core Can be a Different Metal

As the heat conductivity of steel is low, it can be paired with copper or aluminum as its core. This is done frequently so the cookware can provide the best of the two kinds of metals.

Price Benefit

The durability of stainless steel cookware offers at a cheap price and that is one of the best deals of kitchen appliances. They are generally very affordable. The value lies in its durability. If you buy one set, you can use it for years.

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Cookware

With amazing benefits, there also come some disadvantages. To make a good solid decision, you should consider both sides of the coin.

Poor Heat Conductor

Stainless steel cookware must have copper and aluminum to be good conductors. Without the copper or aluminum core, cooking with steel cookware is extremely hard as the pan does not heat up. It wastes both time and energy.

Discoloration

Stainless steel can withstand higher heat than copper or aluminum, but it comes with a cost. When exposed to high heat, the color of coating changes and the steel does not look very shiny anymore. High heat makes it ugly.

Salt Damage

Saltwater can cause pitting on the pans. Pitting is extremely localized corrosion caused by salt that can create a hole in the pot. So you will have to throw the pot away if you use salt water.

It’s not Non-Stick

This is one of the most classic issues while cooking with stainless steel, food tends to get stuck to the pan. Stainless steel cookware is really bad for cooking delicate foods. It requires a lot of oil or fat for creating a non-stick surface. You can never use it to cook eggs, fish, and lean meat.

Conclusion

Stainless steel cookware offers more benefits than disadvantages without depending on who is making the purchase. At the same time, if it’s a person whose diet includes more eggs, they should not buy it.

However, for others, it’s a great asset to the kitchen.