Nowadays, many of us want to make healthier choices. Whether it be choosing the grilled chicken over the fried chicken or just simply implementing more fruits and veggies into our diets, society has slowly but steadily become more health conscious. Without a doubt, most times the healthiest and most affordable options can be found at home, in our kitchens. When we cook our own foods we know exactly what’s in it and where it’s coming from. But sometimes, the utensils that we cook with can actually be counterproductive to our goals.
Keri Glassman is a certified nutritionist and founder of Nutritious Life in New York City and it was during an interview with Fox News where she described the best and worst things to cook with. According to Fox News, a lot of Americans tend to use nonstick pans, such as ceramic pots, which use a special coating known as Teflon or PTFE that forms the non stick surface. However, when these pans are heated for too long the PTFE can release toxic fumes which have been shown to cause flu-like symptoms in humans and death in birds.
In that same Fox News article, it showcased how perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can feed onto the food that is being cooked on a nonstick pan. PFOA is a chemical that is used in the making of teflon and has been shown to contain carcinogenic properties. But according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration,) PTFE as a coating is safe to use when done properly. Keri Glassman said: ‘although these chemicals in nonstick surfaces are in very small amounts, they do still stay in our bodies. And that’s not to scare people, you are getting a teeny bit in there. But when there are other great options out there, you have a choice.’
According to Healthy Holistic Living, aluminum cookware can be just as detrimental to one’s health as teflon is. Aluminum cookware is usually coated to prevent leaching and it is this precise coating that can seep into food and then accumulate in the human body. The same goes with copper pans. Copper pans that have been coated usually contain nickel and nickel can potentially seep into your food and then into the human body. But copper pans that have not been coated can still seep into your food, making copper pans a poor choice for cooking with.
A safe alternative to cook with would be cast iron. Cast iron is good in that it is PTFE and PFOA-free and has no added chemicals or coatings on the cast iron. Keri Glassman said: ‘you’re not going to get those chemicals in your food with cast iron. What you will get, even if you scrape it at the bottom a bit, is a little bit of iron, which is a good thing!’
Keri also recommends the use of stainless steel since steel is resistant to corrosion and won’t flake or contaminate the food that is being cooked. As reported by Fox News, stainless steel is a combination of a bunch of metals so it is important to choose high quality stainless steel to limit the amount of cheap metal fillers such as nickel.
Keri went on to explain that storing our food is just as important to cooking our food. It is essential to store our food in NON plastic containers like glass. Keri explains: ‘we know that plastics with BPA have been linked to cancer, [poor] brain health, and [poor] heart health, so we really want to be careful and get everything with BPA out of our kitchen. And we certainly don’t want to microwave with it. When you microwave your food in plastic, the high heat really increases the release of those chemicals.’
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