Monday, September 17, 2012
Food for thought: Cookware, what's in yours?
Have you ever thought about your pots and pans? Eating organic is one thing, however have you ever thought about what you are cooking your (organic) produce in and whether it is safe or not?
After reading this I decided to look into changing our cookware. I spent a lot of time going back and forth, however the other week I sat down while the girls slept and read as much as I possibly could. Looking at different articles and forums of discussions surrounding the topic of cookware.
For a few years now we have only used stainless steel (18/10) and le cresuet for slow cooking. So I didn't need convincing that teflon was not safe (well actually I have read that it is very safe until you heat it...ironic huh!) However I did need convincing that stainless steel wasn't what we should be cooking with.
Stainless steel is composed of iron, nickel, chromium and small quantities of other metals. The most common Stainless Steel is 18/10. The first number indicates the percentage of chromium in the stainless steel and therefore the hardness/ strength of the steel. The second number indicates the amount of nickel. The nickel is added to prevent corrosion, therefore the less the nickel content, the more the pan will be prone to rusting.
Nickel is commonly allergenic (showing up as contact dermatitis) but can be destructive and ageing in accumulation even for those not technically “allergic”. It is a heavy metal that, just like lead, mercury, cadmium (and iron too for that matter), produces free-radicals. All heavy metals are very toxic, potent enzyme poisons and cross the blood-brain barrier, causing diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS, etc. Nickel has been shown to be more toxic than mercury (Dr. R. Peat) - Emma Sgourakis
After everything I read, we purchased the cookware you see in the image - a le cresuet fry pan and saucepan (where the lid doubles as the frypan), a ceramic Silit saucepan and fry pan and a stone baking dish. Added to the two le cresuet pots and one frypan we already own, this is enough for all the cooking I do. I purchased online from here.
RACO offer a range of 18/0 steel pots and pans which are cheaper than 18/10 stainless steel.
Our new pots and pans can only be cleaned with a soft brush which makes cleaning a bit of a pain, however I have found that leaving them to soak before attempting to wash up makes using a soft brush much easier. Other than this I am loving using them, they conduct heat so much better and are so gentle to cook with.
If you are interested I would recommend reading this article here for more details. Plus a great article here on the dangers of iron.
Just a little food for thought......love to hear your thoughts and experiences in relations to cookware.
Did you read my 'controversial' post on why I didn't quit sugar?.......I will be doing a follow up post in the next few days.