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Is it safe to cook on aluminum?

Maybe you’re a chef, looking for a material that would aid the cooking processes in the kitchen for you and your staff, or a mother looking for kitchen utensils that would less stress in maintenance and care. As pots, pans or kitchen utensils, aluminum seems to imprint an omnipresence in our kitchen, an invaluable material we cannot do without.

But over the years, research has shown that aluminum has very significant disadvantages. Is our use and dependence on aluminum taking a negative toll on our health and lifestyle? Are there other safer alternatives?

BUT IT HAS REALLY BEEN OF GREAT HELP

Aluminum is one of the most common types that are in vast abundance, making it easily accessible and invariably cheaper than its steel and copper counterparts. This is one of the reasons many chefs and mothers make use of aluminum. Cost of maintenance is also known to very low.

Aluminum cooking equipment is also known to be very lightweight. For those chefs with large kitchens and a generous amount of kitchen staff, they make use of aluminum cookware to increase flexibility and reduce the stress of dragging heavyweight cookware around the kitchen.

You remember those times when you made those beautiful dishes in a short amount of time; you may have been using aluminum cookware and utensils. It’s one of the many metals with a high level of heat conductivity that enables food to be cooked faster and is extremely durable if it’s maintained properly.

It’s also easily susceptible to machining and grinding due to its strong level of malleability, and that’s why aluminum is a common choice for many metal forging and production companies.

Forget the problems of fire and corrosion, as aluminum as often been described as incombustible, with most of its alloys having a melting point of about 600 to 650 degree Celsius and might only start melting when the temperature surpasses that point.

HOWEVER…

Despite all the wonderful benefits that are associated with using aluminum as cookware, it is a very soft metal, and it is not as durable as compared to other cookware made with stainless steel or copper. Durability is a fundamental feature to consider when selecting suitable cookware, especially when it’s being used for long-term commercial purposes.

Aluminum also doesn’t go well with acidic food or substances. Acidic substances like vinegar and tomato sauces may tend to cause a stain on the surface, as they will be a reaction between the aluminum and the acidic substance, and tiny specks of harmful chemicals may leach into the food.

Aluminum cookware, especially pans, also have this crazy ability to bend if it comes in contact with cold water while it’s extremely hot. Not good for those who accidentally drop the pan when it’s hot on their hands, right? 

The most prevalent health issue caused by overexposure and intake of aluminum is instances of cough and having abnormal chest x-rays. Research in modern times has also linked the use of aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?? WHAT IS THAT?

Alzheimer’s disease patient: Doctor, I have a serious problem. I don’t remember anything.

Doctor: Okay. What symptoms do you experience with this problem?

Alzheimer’s disease patient: What problem?

Imagine walking through a path that’s unfamiliar to you, seeing unfamiliar faces and voices, and you have no idea of what’s going on. That’s what happens to people with Alzheimer’s disease. It should be noted that Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not the same. Dementia is the overall term used for classifying problems associated with memory loss and impaired cognitive function, while Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes severe problems with behavior, memory and thought processes.

About 60 – 70 percent of dementia patients have Alzheimer’s disease. It acts as a neurotoxin that affects the neurons of the brain that are responsible for memory recollection. It affects people of all ages, but mostly affects elderly people. To date, no standard cause and cure is known but can be managed with therapeutic procedures.

 Research has drawn a thin line between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, and although it has not been internationally accepted by medical scientists as a dogma, strong evidence has arisen to establish the fact:

  • Aluminum causes a similar type of deficits in cellular energy that Alzheimer’s disease cause.
  • Even though a known cure has not been established, an aluminum chelator has been one of the most effective therapeutic strategies in managing the disease. 
  • Aluminum escalates swelling of the brain by increasing an inflammatory molecule in the brain, which is one of the prominent characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease in people.
  • Aluminum increases the same brain gene messenger RNA molecules like the one Alzheimer’s disease increases

Other effects with high aluminum intake include hyperacidity, flatulence and sometimes indigestion.

SO, WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?

It is very advisable to use other materials for kitchen cookware like stainless steel, glass, and copper. Unlike aluminum:

  • Stainless steel is highly durable: For chefs and people with large restaurant establishments looking for cookware that can stand the test of time, using stainless steel is a great option. Forget the problem of rust, as stainless steel contains elements like chromium that makes it rust resistant and reduces the risk of corrosion.
  • Stainless steel can be used to cook acidic foods as the steel doesn’t react with the acid to leach harmful chemicals, even though the heat 
  • Copper cookware also has a very high heat conductivity that can be used without worrying about the reaction with food and acidic substances
  • Glass cookware is rust free and can be used to observe the food while it’s still cooking.
  • Durability and heat resistance can be seen when using glassware. That’s why most glass plates are used in microwaves
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about the glassware absorbing the odors and flavors from the food as glass is non-porous.

CONCLUSION: 

While aluminum is seen as a very inexpensive material for cookware, the disadvantages and health hazards should encourage you to try other alternatives. So next time you’re shopping for cookware and kitchen utensils, think stainless steel! Think glass! Think copper!

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Is it safe to cook on aluminum
Niki
Author: Niki

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