All of us wonder how to make our kitchen a healthier place to prepare, serve, and store real food. The way you cook and store your food is as important as what you eat! We all know that our food choices are vital for our health; but did you know that choosing the right cookware is also of great significance? The top among the kitchen cookware is aluminium; it is a great conductor of heat which makes it an ideal choice. Aluminium utensils are very common because they are lightweight, cheap, rust-free and easily available.
If serving nutrient-dense and healthy food to your family is on your priority list, then you must check on the utensils as most of the utensils we use to cook are not good for health and they often work as a catalyst for various chemical reactions that take place in our body, and affect our health! Well using aluminium cookware for a long time can pose health risks for your health.
Cooking in an aluminium vessel is not a wise idea since it readily reacts with oxygen present in the atmosphere and produces aluminium oxide which then forms layers on the utensil’s surface. When we eat the food which is made in aluminium utensils, the aluminium enters and gets accumulated inside our body and affects us. It’s generally recommended to avoid using aluminium cookware for highly acidic or salty foods like tomato sauce, salt, tea, soda, lemon, tamarind or sauerkraut unless the cookware has been anodized.
Some of the unpleasant effects of prolonged use of aluminium cookware for cooking or storage include:
- Aluminium oxide can affect the brain, neurons and cause dementia. The first signs of its toxic effects on the brain include loss of short-term memory.
- It can also result in kidney and renal failure and causes hyper-acidity, indigestion, and flatulence.
- Aluminium reduces the growth of bone and it also predisposes to osteoporosis.
Pots and other cookware tend to be oxidized, which provides an inert layer that prevents the aluminium from leaching into food. The problem is, scrubbing the pots after cooking worn away the layer and the aluminium can seep into your food. This can be easily avoided by boiling water in new aluminium pots until the base becomes matt. This creates natural oxidation that prevents leaching.
It is not difficult to replace aluminium cookware from your kitchen as there are several substitutes available such as:
- Iron cookware- is a good choice as it increases the amount of iron in the diet. By forming haemoglobin, it improves brain and muscle function.
- Copper- on the other hand, is good for cooking and storage of food.
- Stainless steel- cookware does not cost much, does not easily worn out and can be used at high heat.
- Glassware- is often cheaply available and has the advantage of being stackable.
- Earthenware- Cooking in utensils that are made of clay has amazing benefit for our health and well-being. Clay requires less oil and keeps the taste. It is inexpensive and easily available.
- Brass- Brass is used if you want to keep the nutrition of your food above 90%. It is a rich source of copper and zinc.
- Waxed Paper for wrapping- This is an excellent alternative to film for wrapping cold foods. The thin layer of wax on each side makes it moisture resistant and non-stick. Do not use it with heat though, or the wax will melt.
- Seaweed is one good covering for food while being roasted. You can forage for it if you live near to the sea, and it imparts a lovely flavour and added nutrients to the food you’re cooking.
Over to you
Our challenge to you is to make one small change and stop using aluminium cookware and see how it goes. It might surprise you that it’s actually doable, with little effort. Yes, you might have to invest a little in buying some reusable products, but in the long-term it will saves your cash, keeps your family food healthier and helps the planet!