Green Cookware: Is Ceramic Cookware Safe?
Cooking for the whole family is one way you can express your love and concern for them. You can ensure that you cook healthy and delicious recipes that you and your family will love. For you, ensuring that the ingredients you prepare are healthy and safe is second nature. But have you ever wondered if the cookware you are using is safe? There’s a lot of hype in the marketing world surrounding all kinds of cookware. Today we’ll be dealing with ceramic cookware.
If you’ve ever done any research on safe cookware, you probably heard about the many dangers of certain materials and chemicals that are often used in today’s pots and pans, including non-stick varieties. Of course, non-stick isn’t the only dangerous kind of cookware, but it’s the easiest to recognize. Toxic chemicals, such as the notorious Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), are often found in many non-stick cookware varieties and are known to be unsafe.
So what happens when you and your family are exposed to small amounts of these chemicals over a long period of time? Well, let’s just say that the answers to that question range wildly from causing detrimental health conditions like cancer or Alzheimer’s to the idea that every kind of cookware is probably safe as long as it’s being sold. After all, if the cookware and chemical manufacturers tell us their products are safe, they must be telling us the truth, right?
I think we all know that plenty of dangerous substances and materials have been sold in the past that were anything but safe.
Unsafe cookware must be avoided at all costs for three reasons:
1,) The potential adverse health effects aren’t worth the “benefits” of more “versatile” cookware that contains dangerous chemicals or other reactive substances.
2.) Questionable cookware is easy to avoid as long as you’re ever-so-slightly informed, especially since safer cookware varieties are readily available.
3.) Research, lawsuits, and regulations have provided plenty of evidence that there’s been enough incriminating data over the years to give you a reason to doubt claims of safety regarding today’s widely sold cookware.
The good news is that there are safer kinds of cookware that can replace your non-stick pots and pans! So today, we’ll be discussing ceramic cookware. There is absolutely no reason to continue to cook with toxic cookware. There are other kinds of safer cookware that I prefer, but ceramic is definitely one solid alternative.
History of Ceramics
Ceramic cookware is one of the oldest kinds of cookware that has been used repeatedly through the centuries. The word “ceramics” originated from the Greek word keramikos meaning “of pottery”, and from keramos meaning “potter’s clay”.
History tells us that the earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects made from clay, bone, bone ash, and animal fat. The earliest uses of ceramics in history aren’t known, but what is believed to be the oldest ceramic figurines were discovered in Czechoslovakia.
Down through the millennia, ceramics were used for art, storage, and cooking. Ceramics have indeed played an integral role in human history.
Is Ceramic Cookware Safe?
Ceramic cookware is generally made of inorganic and non-metallic materials that are known to be non-toxic. That means that they don’t typically contain lead, cadmium, or other toxic metals. This is why many people are opting to use ceramic cookware rather than non-stick pans, aluminum, copper, or other kinds of toxic cookware.
However, the questions surrounding the safety of ceramic cookware can’t be answered quite that easily. There are a few very important factors that you need to consider before purchasing any kind of ceramic cookware. As long as you take the following considerations into account, ceramic cookware is a great non-toxic option.
- Only Purchase 100% Ceramic Cookware
- Many Foreign Ceramics Contain Lead or Other Contaminants
- Ceramic Cookware is Fragile
- 100% Ceramic Cookware is Non-Reactive and Non-Toxic
- Non-Stick Ceramic Coated Cookware Isn’t the Same as Ceramic Cookware
- Never Use Ceramic That Isn’t Clearly Indicated as Safe For Food Use.
When it comes to purchasing quality ceramic cookware, a few things need to be observed. As we mentioned in the list above, it’s important that you only purchase your ceramic cookware if it’s 100% ceramic. It’s also crucial that the glaze doesn’t contain any toxic metals or other contaminants like lead. If you purchase ceramic products made in the US, this usually isn’t a problem.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that non-stick ceramic-coated metal cookware should not be considered a safe alternative to other potentially toxic cookware. Essentially, this kind of cookware is primarily metal, coated with a few layers of non-stick ceramic material that flakes off or is easily scratched over time, potentially allowing underlying materials and metals to leach into your food.
Why Should You Use Ceramic Cookware?
Using ceramic cookware for meal preparation ensures safe and healthy cuisine for you and your loved ones. By using safe cookware alternatives, ceramic in this case, you can have full assurance that the food you put on the table is safe and healthy. What we cook isn’t the only factor when it comes to food safety. We must also question the safety of what we cook with.
When it comes to performance, ceramic cooks quite well. It has good heat retention properties, and many varieties are dishwasher safe as well. Besides that, it’s also environmentally safe.
Ceramic cookware is also quite versatile. It can survive heat that would melt stainless steel, but it can also be used to store food inside the fridge and freezer. Even microwaving is an option when it comes to ceramic cookware. Furthermore, this kind of cookware looks beautiful when serving meals.
When it comes to ceramic, you shouldn’t settle for anything but high quality. That being said, the higher the quality, the more expensive you’ll find products become. Consequently, sub-par foreign ceramics that may contain lead are readily available online and elsewhere, so it’s crucial that you don’t cut corners. If you can’t afford high-quality ceramic cookware, there are other safe options less expensive.
Disadvantages Of Using Ceramic Cookware
Sure, ceramic cookware is safe, easy to clean, evenly cooks food, and is toxin-free. However, there are some disadvantages of ceramic cookware. First, the surface of ceramic cookware can be damaged by scrubbing. Secondly, it can be quite heavy compared to other kinds of cookware. Third, it easily cracks, so it’s recommended to use extra care when handling.
As noted a bit ago, high-quality ceramic may be very expensive compared to other safe cookware alternatives like cast iron or stainless steel. While somewhat durable, you will find that the longevity of ceramic cookware is also naturally not quite as robust as cast iron. It’s rather easy to accidentally break a ceramic pan, but it’s pretty impossible to break a cast iron skillet.
When it comes to our family’s health and safety, we always want the best. We want to cook healthy dishes, buy fresh ingredients, maintain the cleanliness of our kitchens, and avoid the introduction of any potential toxins in our food supply. We tend to overlook the kind of cookware we use when striving to maintain a healthy kitchen.
With so much conflicting information and clever marketing techniques, it really can be difficult to wade through the options. But, when it comes to ceramic cookware, it’s important to remember that quality is paramount. As long as you purchase high-quality ceramic cookware, you can have assurance your pots and pans are no longer providing you with your daily dose of toxins.
The key to purchasing any healthy cookware alternative is that there’s more than one option. Personally, ceramic isn’t my favorite cookware choice. But I also don’t mind the plain bulky look of cast iron. Quality ceramics are also expensive, so that’s a consideration too. Therefore, there are many great choices when it comes to safe cookware. Your choice should be made on which of those kinds of cookware will meet the vast majority of your cooking and personal preferences.
For more details on cookware to avoid and safe cookware alternatives, click here.