It’s not too hard to understand why non-stick cookware is popular these days. They distribute heat evenly, need very little oil to cook dishes, and are super easy to clean.
So, it’s a no-brainer to use them every day, right?
Wrong. To begin with, the polytetrafluoroethylene coating that is prone to flake might prove dangerous.
But how do you ensure your cooking is safe and devoid of synthetics? Well, choose from iron, clay or soapstone instead!
If you agree with us already, click here to browse through healthy cookware and earthenware. If you wish to know more before making a decision, read on.
Is it safe to use non-stick pans?
What makes a pan, pot or any cookware non-stick is a chemical called PTFE ( Polytetrafluoroethylene), a synthetic fluoropolymer which is identified by its slippery surface and high melting point.
This fluoropolymer, known by its brand name, Teflon, also contains Per and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFA), man-made chemicals that are very hard to break down in the environment or the human body. This means, if ingested, they can accumulate in our body posing a health risk.
The good news is that we have labels specifying whether a non-stick pan is PFA free.
The bad news is that PFAs are unregulated in India, so the way to verify whether the sticker is truthful or not is a long and difficult one.
Why risk your health even as you eat healthy? Go for chemical-free cookware! Browse for them here.
Okay, say we give up non-stick pans and cookware. What next? How do we enjoy our favourite dosa or the essential morning chai?
Well, you have some wonderful options in iron, clay and soapstone! Here’s a brief introduction to all three materials and how you can cook in them.
1) Iron skillets and their superpowers:
Iron utensils allow you to cook on high temperatures for a long period of time without worrying about harmful chemicals. In fact, they also add to the iron content of your food you can wave those anaemia risks goodbye. They are excellent conductors, so the heat is distributed evenly, making your cooking more amazing than it already is!
Read more about it here or jump to buying the traditional cookware by clicking here.
2) Make clay pots cool again:
Clay retains heat and allows your food to stay warm for an extended period of time. Biryani made in handi or chai in matki is always preferred over stainless steel cookware so why not add clay pots to your kitchen and cook in them regularly?
3) The mysterious soapstone triumphs over non-stick pans:
Mysterious because it’s so soft that you can scratch it with a fingernail but if you take the right precautions, an excellent material to cook in.
Apart from being sustainable and durable, its magnesium content is a definite bonus! Magnesium deficiency, although often neglected, can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue and in extreme cases, osteoporosis. Cooking in soapstone is an easy way to control this. Read more about it here.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)