Cookware Dangers and Safer Alternatives

Perhaps you have made the decision to eat healthier and have been paying a lot of attention to what you are cooking these days.

Have you taken the time yet to make sure that you are cooking your healthy food in healthy pans?

Not-So-Good Choices

Here is what we uncovered about some of the popular types of cookware that turned out to be not such great choices.

Cast Iron

Although many people swear by how good their food tastes cooked in cast iron pans, cast iron is still the most porous of all metals. Over time, grease can get stuck in the pores and become rancid. This is not really something you want mixed in with your fresh food.

Glass/Enamel Coated

When you cook with glass or enamel coated pans, food tends adhere to the pan and burn. From a health and safety perspective, these pans contain lead which may cause reproductive health disturbances and learning disabilities.

Non-Stick/Teflon Coated

A study by the Environmental Working group has found that pans coated with Teflon reach 721 degrees F in five minutes. Reports from the manufacturer, DuPont, note that dangerous chemicals are released when the pan reaches 680 degrees F. Two of the six chemicals released are known carcinogens. The same toxic fumes released were used for chemical warfare in World War II.

Exposure to these chemicals can cause a condition known a polymer fume fever. Symptoms of this chemically-induced condition are much like the typical flu and include chills, fever, vomiting, body aches and chills.

In addition, the coating in these pans has been linked to birth defects, immune, liver, reproductive and thyroid problems in humans and cancer in lab animals. The toxic chemicals in these pans build up in the human body over the years. If you are presently cooking with a Teflon coated pan, it is time to make a change.


We want to start off by saying that Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Brazil and Switzerland all ban the sale of aluminum cookware. When foods are heated in an aluminum pan, a chemical reaction occurs.

Vegetables that are cooked in aluminum produce a hydroxide poison which neutralizes digestive juice and produces stomach and gastrointestinal problems such as colitis and ulcers.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware can be made from a variety of different alloys, including scrap metal. The stainless steel sold in stores is usually the type that allows chrome and nickel to bleed into foods when salts and acids in the foods react with the pot. It is recommended that if you cook with stainless steel that you use only high-grade surgical steel.

Better Options

Don’t fret, there are several better options to consider when cooking. Each of these companies has created a safe alternative to the Teflon coated pan so that you can cook your food evenly and safely.

Green Pans

panGreen Pan makes non-stick pans that are coated with Thermolon, which will not break down at temperatures below 450 degrees C and is created from minerals instead of the dangerous chemicals used in Teflon. Just be sure to use non-metal utensils with these pans. The only downside to these pans is that they are kind of pricey.

Farberware Earth Pans

Farberware’s Earth Pan II line of pans have an attractive terracotta look and a safe coating called SandFlow. This coating will not break down and is made without harmful chemicals.


These pans are fairly inexpensive to purchase and have aluminum on the bottom, and a non-toxic coating that is applied with water, as opposed to a dangerous solvent. These pans are easy to clean and can be placed in the dishwasher.

-The Alternative Daily


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