Healthy Cookware Decisions

I thought I’d take a break from Christmas related posts to share some information and some tips for making smart decisions about bake ware and cook ware.

There are so many different materials out there nowadays, and TV personalities sharing conflicting information, it can be scary for the average joe to make a purchase. Is silicone bake ware safe? What’s the deal with ceramic coatings on frying pans? They still use aluminum?

There are a lot of articles online on the topic as well, also with conflicting information. The site I’m most confident quoting is from Health Canada. They go into each material commonly found in the kitchen and talk about any risks, and what factors may influence that risk. Mostly, it seems we’re pretty safe if we use some common sense and use products for what they’re intended. Here are their suggestions:

  • Do not cook or store food for long periods of time in aluminum cookware.
  • Do not use badly scratched or un-coated copper cookware to cook or store food. If you do have some older tin or nickelcoated cookware, use it for decorative purposes only. Do not scour coated copper cookware.
  • If you know you are allergic to nickel, do not use nickel-plated cookware.
  • If you are sensitive to nickel and are having difficulty managing your allergy, discuss options with your doctor. Foods known to contain higher levels of nickel include oats and oat products, peas, beans, lentils and cocoa products, such as chocolate, particularly dark chocolate.
  • Do not store foods that are highly acidic, such as stewed rhubarb or stewed tomatoes, in stainless steel containers.
  • If you bring in glazed ceramic cookware from abroad, be aware that it may not meet Canadian permitted levels for lead and cadmium. Do not use it to serve or store food. Use it for decoration only.
  • Don’t use plastic bowls or wrap in the microwave unless they are labelled as microwave safe.
  • If you reuse plastic items for storage, such as dairy product containers, let the food cool before storing, then refrigerate it immediately. Avoid visibly damaged, stained or unpleasant smelling plastics and containers. Never heat or store food in plastic containers that were not intended for food.
  • Do not use silicone cookware at temperatures above 220°C (428°F) as it will melt if exposed to high temperatures . You should also be careful when removing hot foods from flexible silicone cookware, as the food may slide out very quickly.

(source: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/cook-cuisinier-eng.php)

Note that good quality silicone bake ware is safe to use. I did find mention of cheaper products using plastic as a filler that may not be as safe. A quick test is to bend the silicone and look for any inconsistencies in the color, as this could be a sign of poor quality.

Our products are (of course) only of the highest quality. We do the research so you don’t have to! If you have any questions related to any of our products, please feel free to ask. If we don’t know, we can find out. (That’s usually how we learn the more obscure details, from a customer asking us!)

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