Cooking Hint of the Day - How To Choose Cookware : LUSENET : Cooking & Crafts : One Thread


Did you know that the type of cookware you use may affect the nutritional content of foods? Here is a guide to how different cookware materials affect the foods cooked in them:

Aluminum cookware is wonderful for cooking but do not heat/cook acidic foods in it because they can cause aluminum to leach out into the food. Acidic foods would include tomato-based products, citrus products, or coffee.

If your diet is lacking in iron, cooking acidic foods in this type of cookware will help add iron to your food. Cookware made of cast iron is safe. Only small amounts of iron leach out into food.

Do not use pottery made with lead-based glaze. This is could prove to be hazardous to your health. Lead poisoning has been associated with memory loss, slowed reaction time, high blood pressure, and lowered IQ in children. If you have pottery that was made in Mexico, Hong Kong, and India, you should not use it for cooking. To check the safety of your ceramic dishes, write to:

Environmental Defense Fund
257 Park Ave. S
New York, NY 10010

You can request from the EDF a list of lead-safe ceramic brands of cookware.

It is not advised to cook with copper cookware that is unlined or has worn linings for it can lead to copper poisoning which is characterized by vomiting and diarrhea. Copper cookware is much better used as decoration than cooking!

Nonstick cookware is very safe. Teflon and other coated cookware does not react with foods. If you were to scratch or chip the surface and it got into the food, it would just pass through the intestines, unabsorbed.

If you are allergic to nickel, then you need to avoid this type of cookware. Stainless steel pots are typically lined with nickel. Again, cooking with acidic foods causes the nickel to leach into the food. Unless you are allergic, nickel is harmless.

-- Karen (, April 19, 2002

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