You Are What You Eat…. And What You Cook With

I’ve wrote plenty of articles about you are what you eat. Eat a donut and you’ll be soft and fluffy like donut. Eat a carrot and you’ll be firm and hard like a carrot. Well, not exactly. The food we eat are building blocks for new cell growth. Healthy, whole food makes us feel and perform better each day.

I’ve also wrote articles that we are not only what we eat, but what the plants and animals we eat.  If the animals or plants we are eating are fed toxic chemicals or the wrong foods for their genetics, we know that this animal will not be healthy for us to eat.

But today’s topic goes a step further. Have you ever thought of the fact that you are ingesting portions of the cookware you are using? Look at your nonstick frying pan. Do you see all of the scratch marks?

Where do you think the top layer of that pan went to?

What about the plastic cutting boards in your kitchen? That plastic board is cut up with grooves and slices. Where did that plastic go?

If you answer in your belly, that’s correct.

Besides the fact that you’re ingesting fractions of cookware, many of these household items are from toxic chemicals.

Here is a list of the WORST Cookware to use:

NON-STICK COOKWARE

Non-stick cookware is the most popular type cookware in America. Non-stick cookware is made Teflon which contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used in production creates the non-stick.  When a non-stick pan is heated, it begins to release these toxic fumes in the air. PFOA’s are linked to the following health issues:

– Changes in organs like the brain, prostate, liver thymus and kidneys

– Death in several rat pups due to PFOA exposure

– Alters pituitary gland function

– Cancer

– In animal tests, PFOA is linked to tumors.

– Hypothyroidism

ALUMINUM.

Aluminum cookware is also highly toxic. Aluminum cookware has been shown to leach high amounts of aluminum when heated. Aluminum toxicity is bad for the nervous system and is linked to degenerate brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. If you are using aluminum cookware, make sure to avoid cooking highly acidic foods like tomatoes because these foods tend to absorb the most aluminum.

PLASTIC CONTAINERS & UTENSILS.

Plastic is usually the go-to for storing or stirring foods. Plastic containers and utensils often contain BPA’s (bisphenol-A) and phthlatates. These toxins disrupt the central nervous system and reproductive organs. The problem is the chemicals do not stay in the plastics and leach into the food we eat. A cut into the plastic or heating the plastic contributes to the chemical leaching process. Acidic foods again will leach more of the chemicals than non-acidic foods.

So what should we cook with? We need to find safe, nontoxic cookware to use.

Here are some great suggestions of HEALTHY cookware products to use:

STONEWARE.

Stoneware is the best because it is made from natural clay. Make sure that the glaze is lead free. My favorite stoneware is Pampered Chef Stoneware.  Pampered Chef has a wide variety of stoneware products for baking and cooking. From muffin sheets to baking dishes, you’ll be pleased with how well stoneware cooks and browns your dishes. I love using my stoneware for reheating leftovers in the oven. (Since I don’t use a microwave)

GLASS.

Glass cookware and storage containers are very safe. Glass dishes are great for baking and roasting. I also store and freeze some food in glass containers. Instead of using a microwave, reheat food in glass dishes in the oven.

ENAMEL COOKWARE.

My dutch oven is made from cast iron and coated with enamel. The enamel prevents the leaching of metals from the cast iron skillet. Enamel cookware is either ceramic or cast iron base. If you’re use to using nonstick cookware, enamel is the healthy alternative.

STAINLESS STEEL.

Stainless steel is a great for cooking because it is non-reactive and safe to use. Stainless steel takes a bit of time to get used to. Cook using lower temperatures to avoid sticking. Stainless steel is great for browning meats or a quick warm up. Stainless Steel cookware is easy to clean up. For the tougher stains, I grab my Norwex cleansing paste to do the job.

BAMBOO UTENSILS.

From spatulas, spoons and cutting boards, bamboo or wood is the best. Wooden utensils are very gentle on cookware.  Since cooking utensils are often immersed into hot entrees for cooking and serving, it’s best to use something that will not leach chemicals.

When it comes to cooking, treat it like you do when you select food. Make sure it’s made out of components you can pronounce. If they need to abbreviate the name of the compound, guess that it’s pretty toxic to use. Also look for cookware that is made from simple materials. Wood, steel, clay are great examples. Whole food eating and real material cooking is the safest way for you and your family to stay healthy.