Healthy Diets Call For Healthy Cookware

When I attended a Saladmaster demonstration/dinner at an acquaintance’s house last year, I hadn’t eaten cooked food for weeks and–as an aspiring raw chef–wasn’t sure whether I would “cook” again.

Since the audience were mostly vegan, the chef prepared a multiple course plant-based meal using the company’s namesake Saladmaster machine (a sexy art-deco manual food processor) and advanced line of titanium stainless steel cookware. The food was naturally delicious and nutritious, by virtue of  cooking at low temperatures with minimal or no use of water and oil. It is for this reason that Saladmaster products are used in PCRM’s Cancer Project cooking demonstrations.

What stands out most about the dinner was not the menu, but the demonstration we received: the toxic metallic smell and taste of water that had been boiled in the non-Saladmaster cookware made of Teflon, alumininum, enamel, cast iron, copper, glass, etc. You can try this test at home by yourself–just by boiling water and smelling/tasting it.

I used to own this hazardous cookware, and I see it in homes everywhere I travel. We use it everyday without thinking about safety. At the same time, we put so much attention into choosing healthy ingredients and making healthy meals for ourselves, our families and friends.

Recently, I found an article titled “Is Your Cookware Killing You” on Naturalnews.com, which discusses differences between different kinds of cookware, and concludes that Titanium cookware poses the least health risks. On the other hand it declares Teflon the all-time worst. Author Craig Stellpflug cites a 2006 article from consumeraffairs.com that says

A chemical used in manufacturing Teflon is found in the bloodstreams of nearly everyone in the U.S., and now a new study suggests the potential carcinogen is present in many people at birth. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center say the chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA, was found in nearly every blood sample taken from umbilical cords. Of 300 cords tested, 298 tested positive for PFOA, according to the study.

Stellpflug adds that “early studies suggest that high PFOA blood levels in humans are linked with cancer, high cholesterol levels, thyroid disease and reduced fertility.”

After being on a raw diet for over a year, I realize I will always have occasions to prepare cooked foods. For example, to make soups, cook cereals and grains, and heat water for tea, at least. The amount of raw food I eat certainly changes based on location and seasons, but I try to eat 60-80% of my calories from raw food (vegetables and plants that are raw or have been heated to no more than 115 degrees, give or take).

There may be products from other manufacturers that are equally safe and less pricey than Saladmaster (which costs and arm and three legs). When choosing what cookware to use, there is a lot more to consider than the price. It is a long-term investment in your health.

Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with Saladmaster, and do not own their cookware.

2 thoughts on “Healthy Diets Call For Healthy Cookware

  1. Tommkok

    I’d never paid attention on cookware how it affects our health. This is for me new and interesting. I may have to replace mine to titanium stainless ones…

  2. william Post author

    Thanks for reading. It truly is scary that governments have low safety standards (not only for cookware but foods and drugs as well) and allow manufacturers to regulate themselves. In 2006, the US Environmental Protection Agency invited companies to voluntarily commit to phasing out PFOA by 2015.

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