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Which Pots and Pans Are Safest – Unearthing My Mother’s Cookware

Posted Aug 24 2008 5:24pm

Sometime in my early twenties I entered what one might laughably call, “my cooking phase”, which in retrospect, was nothing of the sort. Like many young career women, I assumed I would be single for an extended period of time prior to having that big wedding that would result in gifts of household essentials and so set out to acquire the needed accoutrements by raiding my mother’s cabinets.

It turns out I was right…which is neither here nor there but, means that I never ended up pitching many of the pots and pans my mother bequeathed to me. And now I’m glad.

As a paranoid health conscious parent, I tend to evaluate anything that comes into contact with my son’s body. My latest concern is food preparation brought about, in part because of my regrettable tendency to put food in a pan on a hot stove and promptly forget about it.

The last episode required not only an evaluation of cookware but, the need for new. So, I began my research and found this helpful information.

Non-stick pans – Don’t even go there. In 1997, the National Toxicology Program reported that tetrafluoroethylene – a major component in Teflon ®causes "carcinogenic activity " in rats and mice (nonstick Silverstone and Excalibur coatings are the same resin).

Aluminum – .. . possible association between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease ( though anodized aluminum is apparently safe)

Copper cookware is esteemed for its heat conductivity but should not be used unless it is lined with tin or stainless steel. Copper residues in foods can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Very expensive too as I found out after a trip to my local cookware store.

Anodized aluminum is generally considered safe …manufacturers claim that a final stage in the anodization process seals the aluminum, preventing any leaching into food.

Stainless steel cookware is made from a combination of iron and other metals. The result is a durable product that is safe to use. .. most stainless steel cookware is made with copper or aluminum bottoms. But…this stuff isn’t cheap either!

And then…

Glass, stainless steel, and cast iron are all tried and true for safety . In fact, cast iron can add needed iron to your diet. Enamel-coated cookware is stain and scratch resistant, does not absorb odors, and is safe to use

Wait a minute! Don’t I have some of these?

Sure enough a little digging revealed:

A set of three cast iron skillets

Two big enamel (Corning) pots

Three glass baking pans

Hey Mom! I’m almost set! Do you have any stainless steel small and medium post you’re not using?

For more great Works For Me Wednesday ideas check out Rocks in My Dryer .

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