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Is your cookware poisoning your food?

Anne Baker

Ozeri pan5 1 More and more people are learning how to shop and cook healthier these days. I see people making an effort to consider how their food was grown and raised which is great. ...

But please don't destroy the goodness in the food by cooking it in toxic cookware! Many people still use aluminum cookware and Teflon coated cookware.

Both of these leach toxins into your food!

Cookware to avoid using - just toss this junk!


  • This coating is made of PFOA. PFOA has been shown in animal studies to cause cancer, liver damage, growth defects, immune system damage, and death in lab rats and monkeys.

  • The EPA advisory panel reported that PFOA is a likely carcinogen in humans. These toxic chemicals leach into your food and they also produce fumes that enter the airspace around your stove so your eating and inhaling potential carcinogens!

  • Dupont the manufacturer, has admitted that when Teflon is heated to temperatures above 662 degrees these fumes are toxic to humans.

  • That means that even those higher priced pans with Teflon coating that are supposed to be safe for the oven are emitting poison fumes if you use them under the broiler.


Aluminum also leaches into food during cooking that can pose a health threat. Because aluminum affects the nervous system many holistic practitioners (including me) are suspicious about the real danger of this metal and believe that neurological conditions such as Alzheimer Disease are linked to using aluminum cookware.

Changes in Brain Anatomy

According to the Analytical Research Lab in Phoenix, Arizona "Aluminum appears to accumulate in most brain cells. About 80% binds to the chromatin in all cells, but induces change only in certain vulnerable neurons, particularly those with dendritic trees."

Increased aluminum accumulation is known to be associated with neuro-fibrillary tangles in some species. The term neuro-fibrillary tangles refers to thread like tangles of slender fibers within a nerve cell. Not all species develop these tangles when exposed to aluminum. Humans with Alzheimer's disease develop a different kind of tangle (twisted helix) that is not identical to the tangles induced by aluminum in other species."

Likewise canned goods; especially acidic vegetables such as tomatoes in aluminum are to be avoided.

Fluoride is also a waste by-product of aluminum manufacturing so I would avoid toothpaste that has fluoride. This is the advice of Sam & Michael Ziff, D.D.S and Mats Hanson, PhD. authors of Dental Mercury Detox.

A word about heavy metal toxicity :

There are around 35 (known) metals that can accumulate to toxic levels in the body. While I am not going to get into specifics in this post about toxic metals you should be aware that these can pose a real health hazard. Heavy metals become toxic when they are not metabolized by the body and accumulate in the soft tissues. Heavy metals may enter the human body through food, water, air, or absorption through the skin when they come in contact with humans in agriculture and in manufacturing, pharmaceutical, industrial, or residential settings. Industrial exposure accounts for a common route of exposure for adults.

This is an area that is overlooked by most physicians and toxic metals contribute to a host of serious health issues. Know that there is reliable testing methods to determine if you are toxic. And, there are ways of safely removing me if you want more information.

~~ Think you might have heavy metal toxicity? You should consider one of my Detox Programs

A word about Microwaving :

Please do not use the microwave to cook! Microwaving kills all the nutrients in your food an turns it into toxic soup. I wrote about this in an earlier post and you can read complete details on how this kills all the good nutrients in your food here: how-do-you-cook-your-food

Safe non-toxic cookware alternatives

Stainless steel cookware

Stainless steel is unlikely to leach any metals into food mainly due to the way these products are manufactured. Stainless steel is really a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods. However, unless your stainless steel cookware is dinged and pitted, the amount of metals likely to get into your food is negligible. Stainless steel pans often have an inner core of aluminum or copper (and some have a copper-clad bottom). The reason this is done is because these two metals are very efficient heat conductors. Since the aluminum or copper is sandwiched between layers of steel and neither come in contact with the food. Avoid using anything to clean this type of cookware that might scratch and damage the surface - like steel wool! And read and follow the manufacturers recommended washing instructions.

Anodized Aluminum Cookware May Be a Safer Alternative

Many health experts and healthy chefs prefer anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative to stainless steel. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookwares base metal, aluminum, so that it cant get into food, and makes for what many cooks consider an ideal non-stick and scratch-resistant cooking surface. This happens to be one of my ideal choices to cook with because of it's even heating and ease of cleaning. Calphalon and All Clad are two quality manufacturers but many stores like CostCo, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond (and many celebrity chefs!) offer their own lines at reasonable prices. You'll also want to take care with cleaning these products and not use anything that might scratch or damage their surface.

Cast Iron cookware

While some people have a concern about the iron from cast iron leaching into foods (and a small amount certainly does) this is not much of a concern for me. Cast iron heats evenly, easy to maintain so it lasts forever and a good value for the money. While cast iron is heavy it's relatively easy to clean once you have it properly seasoned.

Ceramic and Ceramic Enameled cookware

Ceramic enameled cookware provides the even heat distribution properties just like cast iron but its surface is smooth and relatively easy to clean. Top of the line ceramic enameled cookware like Le Creuset, World Cuisine can be expensive.

Ceramic cookware is safe and does not leach into foods, however you need to research the manufacturing process to ensure they are using 100% natural, inorganic non- reactive minerals that are eco-friendly. One such company that has built a reputation for its green practices is Xtrema Ceramic Cookware. Here's their link: ceramic Like all ceramic cookware you need to remember these will break and can crack. Once that happens you have compromised the integrity of the product and it should be replaced.

Aeterum non-toxic non-stick cookware - the new kid on the block

The latest entry into the non-stick category is touted as eco-friendly. According tho their website Aeternum cookware line is free of PFOA, free of PTFE and free of Cadmium.

But what's it made of? The manufactures website states it has a non-stick coating made of a "nano-ceramic" coating which is a water-based coating made of titanium and suspended silicate micro-particles (the main component of glass); one of the purest and most ecological materials in nature. They claim the material resists scratches, abrasions and offers a smooth, compact and uniform surface that makes it easier to clean. Here's the website: BialettiAeternumCookware.html

You can also find this line at Bed Bath and Beyond. I bought one and I am "checking it out"...

Other resources on healthy cookware:


Read more about the dangers of microwaves:



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