Its one thing to invest money in high quality, locally grown, clean food, but what about what you are cooking on?
Non-stick pans have become all the rage in our do it fast and easy culture but there is a price to pay. Especially at high temperatures chemicals from non-stick can leach into your food and air.
These days there are more and more options for 'green/eco' cookware, but what is the difference, pros and cons of them all?
1. Cast Iron:
-Pros: time tested, non-toxic, conducts heat well, non-stick if oiled, easy to clean, inexpensive. There is also enameled or porcelain versions, more colorful, and food doesn't touch iron, instead glass.
-Cons: heavy, will rust if not dried properly, needs to be oiled post cooking, if overused particularly men can experience excess iron.
2. Stainless Steel
-Pros: time tested, non-toxic, great for cooking with liquid, affordable.
-Cons: poor heat conducting (can get outer coating of copper to solve this), food sticks easily, some claims of iron, chromium, and nickel leaching.
-Pros: excellent heat conduction, light weight.
-Cons: can react to acidic foods like tomatoes (can solve this with anodized version), high price tag.
4. Ceramic (ceramcor.com)
-Pros: non-toxic (make sure its guaranteed lead free)
-Cons: more fragile, many options on the market are coated ceramic but not actually fully ceramic, heats slowly, food can stick.
5. Green Non-Stick
-Pros: non-toxic, non-stick, easy to clean.
-Cons: not enough data on whether or not they cause harm.
So what is the healthiest choice. I personally think moderation and rotation is the best option. I mostly use cast iron (for pan cooking) and stainless steel (for soups and liquid), but after reading up on the research I am going to add the pure ceramic into the mix as well. I like the fact it doesn't have any metal in it, its made from the earth, but again be mindful that many ceramic cookwares are coated and not the real thing.