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Throwing Away Your Aluminum Pots and Pans

Updated on June 4, 2016

A Non-Toxic Kitchen

Our family went on a health kick some time back. I started buying organic produce and free-range, grass fed beef. We invested in a counter-top water filter to remove chlorine and fluoride from our tap. This was all well and good, except for the fact our aluminum-clad cookware was leaching heavy metals into our food.

One thing that really had to go was our cheap Chinese wok. We used it to make "healthy," vegetable stir-fries with a little meat for flavoring. I hate to think of how much aluminum was added to the recipe.

Flickr photo by adele.turner

What to Do?

I don't know how exactly much aluminum we ingested, but, suffice to say, it was probably too much. Aluminum, unlike iron, is not needed by the body. It is a toxin, and there may be no safe level.

Excess aluminum can lead to kidney damage. It's also been implicated in Alzheimer's disease and other serious maladies.

Essentially, I was going through a lot of trouble buying organic foods, and then, inadvertently, adding aluminum during the preparation.

First, I tried replacing my aluminum pans with expensive marble-coated cookware, which was very prone to pits and scratches. The black-and-white-specked marble coated flaked off, revealing an aluminum base.

Although I liked my small cast-iron skillet and an over-sized cast-iron skillet, these were heavy and difficult to clean. Happily, I also acquired a small stainless steel Cuisinart skillet and then added a larger Cuisinart skillet. We use these every day and we're very pleased at how well they've held up.

Flickr photo by foto 3116

An Amazing Skillet

This very durable skillet is the perfect size for cooking stews and sauces, and it's not so large that it's unwieldy. Food is easy to remove, even if you overcook it. The pan can be used either on the top of the stove, or you can put it in the oven. It's also dishwasher safe. It normally retails for far more than this Amazon price.

Aluminum Can Be Deadly

Many health-conscious people are saying "no" to aluminum cookware because of concerns this heavy metal can leach into food. Naturopathic practitioners also recommend getting rid of aluminum cookware, as well as Teflon-coated pots and pans. Teflon releases toxic fumes when heated.

More Reasons to Get Rid of Aluminum Pots and Pans

Aluminum is widespread throughout the environment. Chances are it's a main ingredient in your deodorant, unless you are buying a brand made with all natural ingredients. Aluminum is also in our water supply and it's present in many baked goods. If you wrap a sandwich in "tin foil" you are wrapping your food in aluminum. (You might want to rethink this one as well.)

One easy way to reduce your everyday exposure to aluminum is to use non-toxic cookware, such as stainless steel, cast iron or ceramic cookware, with one caveat. You'll have to be careful that the brand of ceramic cookware you choose isn't coated in lead.

There's growing evidence that aluminum does contribute to dementia. One study at the University of California at Irvine found this heavy metal can cause brain inflammation. Canadian researchers have also found Alzheimer patients have elevated levels of aluminum in their brain tissue.

Aluminum also builds up in other vital organs, such as thyroid, kidneys and liver.

What Type of Cookware do You Use?

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    • ologsinquito2 profile imageAUTHOR

      ologsinquito2 

      4 years ago

      Hi Ladymermaid and skiesgreen, thanks for reading. We use stainless steel almost exclusively for stove-top cooking, but occasionally use cast iron. We don't use the microwave at all due to other concerns.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 

      4 years ago

      Only use Stainless Steel cookware for the stove and stoneware, china or pyrex for the micro-wave. Plastic is out as it is carcinogenic and probably twice as dangerous as Al. Never heat food in plastic in the M/wave, Great lens and nice tips.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      4 years ago from Canada

      I use cast iron, steel, or glass. All my aluminum and non-stick coated pans hit the garbage about 20 years ago. When I remarried the first thing I did was to clean out his pot cupboard and fridge of all items I boycott.

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 

      4 years ago

      I agree very much with you, I use steel and cast iron vessels for cooking.

    • profile image

      Snakesmum 

      4 years ago

      Have recently bought a beautiful stainless steel set, which is great to use, and easy to clean.

    • ologsinquito2 profile imageAUTHOR

      ologsinquito2 

      5 years ago

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for visiting. Good cookware is essential.

    • profile image

      linsm76 

      5 years ago

      I use Rachel Ray cookware and love it.

    • ologsinquito2 profile imageAUTHOR

      ologsinquito2 

      5 years ago

      Yes, this is a real concern, unfortunately. But there are good alternatives. Thank you for visiting.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      I'd never heard of this concern, fortunately my wok is carbon steel and my casserole and saucepans cast iron. I need to check my paella and frying pans though.

    • ologsinquito2 profile imageAUTHOR

      ologsinquito2 

      5 years ago

      Hi ConvenientCalendar,

      Thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 

      5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • ologsinquito2 profile imageAUTHOR

      ologsinquito2 

      5 years ago

      Hi GrammaLinda,

      Trying to avoid the bad stuff - aluminum, pesticides and genetically modified foods - is a job in itself. I buy Bob's Red Mill aluminum free. Thanks so much for visiting.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Sorry. I hit the Post button too soon. Don't forget to check your baking powder for aluminum, too. And most baked goods you purchase will have aluminum in them. The quest for healthy food is not an easy task.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      We use stainless steel and cast iron in our home. We got rid of the aluminum pans after my in-laws suffered from Alzheimer's.

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