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Jan 6, 2013 12:24 PM

What is the best cookware to use for cancer prevention?

I have been trying to research this but find conflicting data.

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    1. I do. I really wish I had checked my post when I still had time to edit it. I'm embarassed but I think people will get the idea.

    2. Not sure how any type of cookware could *prevent* cancer.

      1. I'll elaborate. My son, 5 now, was diagnosd with nephroblastoma (kidney cancer) last year, at 4. We have just finished 20 weeks of chemo, I'm looking to REDUCE all envionmental toxins that I can. I've always used teflon, obviously that is one of the worst. I am buying new cookware, which is the least toxic?

        5 Replies
        1. re: kmlmgm

          First, let me express my sympathy for the serious illness of your son. But it was not likely caused by cookware. It is not at all obvious that Teflon cookware is one of the worst. Used at low-to-moderate cooking temperatures, it is chemically inert. Flaking from the surface is not harmful. But if you don't trust it, there is no need to use it. Get rid of it.

          Probably the most durable and inert cooking surface is hard-anodized aluminum commercial cookware.

          1. re: kmlmgm

            "which is the least toxic"

            First let me also say I'm sorry to hear about your Son.
            It may be easier to list things to avoid like non-stick, aluminum and tin lined copper. I'm afraid even hard anodized aluminum will wear the finish off. I've killed more Calphalon hard anodized Pro than I care to remember.
            In your case I would either go with SS or some type of pyrex cookware. It may not be as efficient but who cares in this case.

            1. re: kmlmgm

              I am so sorry to hear about your son! I would go with stainless steel as well. Teflon is inert itself but when used with high heat it can release toxic chemicals. I've actually known a person who has lost a pet bird due to Teflon cookware. That's what made me decide to do away with my Teflon. I would also not put plastic cups and dishes in the microwave or serve them with anything other than cold food and drinks, or else not use plastic at all.

              1. re: Gingerbaker

                I agree to use SS. It is inert, and it works fine.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  Stainless steel is not "inert," it is merely resistant to rusting. It will leach nickel and chromium.

            2. Teflon cookware is good to 500* and any flaking is fully inert and will pass through.

              1. Others have talked about the current science on cooked and flaked Teflon, but you don't care about that and you're right not to. What you're looking for is to create an overall environment of minimal toxins for your kid and if the science is ahead, behind, right or wrong is less important than creating that overall culture in your home. I understand.

                In terms of cookware, what you want is stainless steel. Aluminum, copper and even cast iron will leave tiny trace amounts of metal in your food in some instances. Personally, I think a little iron is good for you and that a little copper is at least not bad and maybe good and that the amount of aluminum is so tiny that one need not worry about it. But I don't have a child with cancer. Stainless is less reactive with acidic foods like tomatoes and will therefore leave less metal in cooked foods than other options.

                As you shop for stainless, you'll find that the better cookware has aluminum inside of it, either as a disk in the bottom part or pressed between two layers of stainless throughout the cookware. On really, really high-end cookware you may even find copper in those places. This is fine -- the aluminum or copper won't touch the food.

                You'll also find discussions of the "kind" of stainless (how much chromium and nickel is mixed into the steel). The high-end of the cookware market has reached a consensus that something called 18/10 stainless is best. Again, that may affect the quality of the cookware but you can safely ignore it for safety purposes -- any stainless will suit your needs.

                In addition to the non-reactive nature of stainless, another advantage is that it is very smooth. You'll want to maintain it well such that pits don't develop so that soap or other contaminants don't get caught in the cookware.

                Good luck to you.