Since it’s introduction into the kitchen, plastic has become a household staple. Other materials such as PFAS (non-stick coatings) and styrofoam are used every day without a second thought by most. But are these highly engineered materials really an improvement? I’ve purged my kitchen from these materials. Take a look at why I don’t consider these to be safe cookware materials and the 5 best alternatives.
What Not To Use
Plastic leaches xenoestrogens into food, especially if it’s heated. Never, never, never heat plastic, especially if it’s touching food. The chemicals in the plastic will get into your food. It’s just not worth it when there are other options! That doesn’t even consider the pollution problem that plastic causes .
Non-stick coatings have a similar problem. Heating PFAS releases a cancer causing chemical PFOA which then gets into your food . Also over time, the coating itself on your pots and pans wears off into your food. This problem gets worse as the pan gets scratched. Gross.
Styrofoam? Do we even have to talk about why this is a problem. Not only does it look like the opposite of nature, but it doesn’t decompose and is a major pollution problem. Just recycle it? Not so easy. It costs $3000 per ton to recycle. And the US alone is producing 3 million tons of styrofoam a year . Just say no.
Safe Cookware Materials
These are my top 5 safe materials to keep in the kitchen. They can handle heat without leaching chemicals into your food and are overall much more sustainable than plastic and other synthetic materials.
- Stainless Steel
- Cast Iron
Now, I know that set of non-stick skillets wasn’t cheap. They probably came from a reputable brand and were considered “better” than the regular, metal, have-to-grease-it-yourself pots and pans. But consider whether than couple hundred dollars is really worth carcinogens coming in contact with your food.