Best cooking utensils for health
When selecting kitchen utensils do take into consideration what the products are made of.
Nonstick cookware and utensils – Many of us older than 35 would remember what happened with Teflon!Teflon in all cookware was a huge selling point for many years until it was realized the health implications.
There were 2 main issues with Teflon that came to light.
The first main issue is that Teflon is plastic based and fumes were emitted from the cookware when heated at high temperatures and the second issue was the coatings also flake and scratch. Do you really want flakes of nonstick plastic coatings in your food? Scratches also mean that food and bacteria can get a foothold and the surface is no longer food safe.
Non stick surfaces have improved from the original Teflon…….But my advice is just avoid non stick utensils and cookware – Especially when cooking at high heats or when there is a chance the surface will be scratched.
You can read more about Teflon in this American Cancer Society article
Plastic stuff – Yes it lightweight and colorful – BUT!!
Plastics and food are not a great mix. When plastic touches food there will tiny bits of plastic ending up in or on the food. The process is called “leaching’ or “migration”
Until recently BPA was considered safe to use but now it is known to have health implications especially when the container has been heated. BPA for humans has been shown to be an endocrine disrupter. (It disrupts Estrogen production)
BPA has been replaced with another compound called BPS – BUT there are concerns that this is just as harmful as BPA. The other plastic everywhere are the soft style plastics and these leach phthalates again they disrupt hormones (They disrupt Testosterone production)
All experts agree – Do not heat food in plastic containers or with plastic cling film.
Avoid putting boiling water into plastic containers due to “leaching”
Do not use plastic ware that is scratched and scuffed. The surface can harbor food particles and bacteria
Aluminum – Is also a material that has been linked to health concerns when it is used for pots and pans. Avoid using utensils or pots that are pitted or worn and storing food long term in aluminum containers.
There is a link to Alzheimer’s and I always will err on the side of caution. If there is a link and I can make an easy switch – then that is what I will do!
Ceramics and porcelain – I love many of my ceramic items…BUT some ceramics are not food safe. Pigments that cause the color in the glazes can contain lead or cadmium and ceramics made in China and Mexico are the countries often with unsafe glazes used and I would avoid bringing back items from these countries or buying cheap ceramics found in Asian supermarkets
If an item has hooks or holes for hanging or decoration, then it is not meant for food use.
Items should also be labelled as food safe and do not continue to use items with cracks or glazing as this is no longer a food safe surface.
This article has some great info including a link to the FDA’s current ceramic importers ban
Copper – it is the new big thing and it does look beautiful when displayed.
But should you be using it in your kitchen?
Copper should not be used for acidic food storage.
To make copper food safe it will often have a food safe lining – do not scour the lining as you will remove it.
Some copper pieces will also use nickle or tin as a lining, something to be aware of if you have nickel sensitivities.
If you are going to use copper, ensure it has a stainless steel inner lining
My take on this – it looks great as a decorative pieces but don’t over use them as your everyday utensils.
Silicone – I am still not sure about silicone with cooking – especially when used at high temperatures and the experts are still out on the matter as well with no reported issues.
I have 2 silicone utensils that I do use on a regular basis. The first one is a silicone pot boil over lid. I love love love this lid as it has meant I only need this to cover all my saucepans and pots. The other silicone utensils are my silicone spatulas that I LOVE but I made sure they were the best quality and I avoided the cheap ones I found in the dollar stores.
I have found that some cheap silicone cake molds that I was given awhile ago, went all sticky and these I threw away. There have been reports of cheaper silicone products losing color and breaking down.
One thing – if the silicone layer or coating is split or torn – it is no longer food safe and should be replaced
This article on Scientific American describes what silicone is and how it is used
To keep things easy – Go back to the basics
We know glass and stainless steel are safe to use and many utensils can be found made of these and the best thing is that they are high quality and will last you a life time. People are also aware that the better made utensils will also last years and as people are moving away from single use plastics and being a “throw away” society, spending a little bit more on your kitchen utensils , will save you money in the long run….Plus be better for your health.
Pantries and food safe storage options are something that brings a lot of satisfaction to many homeowners. Glass and ceramic canisters have made a huge comeback with many pantries using mason style jars and canisters to store food and ingredients.
Glass and ceramic airtight containers, will ensure ingredients are kept fresh with no plastic leeching into the food. All commonly used pantry items can be decanted into glass jars or containers and when they are labelled, the pantry will look and work better for food storage and finding all food items easily and of course – this includes all your spices as well.
To read about how to overhaul your pantry – Read our in depth Article here. ( Article Releasing end of November)
There are food safe plastic containers – But to be honest I have not done a lot of research into them so if I can avoid them – I will.
Here are our picks for quality stainless steel utensils that you can buy on Amazon and they will last you many years or even a life time and are a better health and sturdier option than a cheaper plastic version.
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