Aluminum Foil Toxicity: Why Cooking with Aluminum Foil is Poor for Your Health and a List of Better Alternatives
Aluminum foil is super convenient in the kitchen to use for food preparation and storage. You can use it keep foods such as meats warm and/or moist. You may use a sheet of aluminum foil to wrap up packets of marinated vegetables or fish for the grill, to line a baking sheet, or to cover casseroles in the oven. But is using aluminum foil in such close contact with food and heat safe? Keep reading to discover more.
Why Aluminum Foil Cooking Poses a Hazard to Your Health (& The Environment!)
Aluminum is a reactive soft metal that leaches into food when you cook with it. Leaching from aluminum foil is significantly worse than from aluminum cookware (cookware leaching is already bad enough!), because aluminum pots may develop a layer of oxidized aluminum with repeated use that, slightly reduces leaching. Many cookware sets also use aluminum in its core, but the surface material is comprised of stainless steel, which also leaches less. On the other hand, aluminum foil is meant to be disposed of after a single-use, and there is no layer to reduce the leaching.
Reputable organizations like the World Health Organization established guidelines for safe levels of aluminum content exposure. However, when it comes to food, any amount of aluminum exposure proves to be toxic, especially considering our exposure to this metal through other sources. Studies have proven that aluminum is toxic to the body even in small amounts.
Moreover, cooking acidic foods sparks particularly aggressive reactions at high temperature that cause aluminum to leach so much that it can even dissolve layers of aluminum into food. This contamination of food with aluminum toxins can cause serious health problems related to lungs, kidneys, brain and nervous system. As reported by Healthline and other sources, studies have found higher levels of aluminum in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Aluminum foil also harms the environment, for its production requires immense amounts of energy and releases tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases. Producing and refining a ton of Aluminum requires 170 million BTUs of energy (equivalent to 1,400 gallons of gasoline!) and releases about 12 tons of greenhouse gases. And it takes around 400 years to decompose!
Therefore, it is best to avoid cooking with aluminum foil and look for a healthy alternative both for food and the planet.
Healthier Alternatives to Aluminum Foils
There are many alternatives to aluminum foils available in the market that are healthier and green like cedar wraps, beeswax food wraps, parchment paper, and muslin cloth. These offer a safer way to wrap and store your food to keep it fresh and warm for longer. However, these alternatives may not be best suited for reheating foods.
Another great way to avoid toxic foils is using cookware and food grade storage containers that offer similar benefits – the ability to lock moisture, retain heat, and reheat easily. One cookware brand in particular is a great way to attain all those and more: Miriam’s Earthen Cookware. MEC’s clay pots can help you completely replace foils and wraps for good, keep reading to see why.
Why is MEC a Great Alternative to Using Aluminum Foils?
Miriam’s Earthen Cookware (MEC) is a US-based cookware brand that offer pots and pans made from lab tested primary clay without additives or glazes. Their ergonomically designed and uniquely finished handcrafted cookware offers many healthy features that make them the perfect replacement for using aluminum foils.
Primary clay is naturally non-toxic and there are no impurities, additives, or glazes in MEC that could potentially leach into food. MEC’s clay cooks with gentle far-infrared heat that penetrates deep into food and cooks evenly and thoroughly while keeping nutrients intact. This unique heat also keeps the pot warm for longer after cooking and food doesn’t need to be reheated as many times. Even if you do need to reheat, you may do so in a MEC cooking pot or a MEC clay dinnerware bowl right on the stovetop.
MEC prides itself on being the healthiest cookware, read why it is the healthiest here.
The semi-porous MEC pots are breathable, so food cooks with sufficient oxygen even when the lid is covered. This, paired with the gentle cooking of MEC preserving flavonoids, helps retain the natural taste, color, and flavor of food. This means that if you decide to eat your food later, it won’t be dry, flavorless, and cold like so many meals end up being after some time after cooking!
Lastly, MEC is 100% green as well! The company uses an eco-friendly raw material in production, adopts safe methods of manufacturing without chemicals, and travels carbon-neutral with biodegradable packaging. Learn more about why MEC is eco-friendly here.
All these features keep food warm and fresh for longer when cooked and stored in MEC. These pots and pans can accomplish all that aluminum foil does and more with the same level of convenience, and you do not risk any toxins leaching into your food. This cookware renders toxic aluminum foil as entirely unnecessary!
Ready to ditch unhealthy aluminum foils for good and switch to the healthiest alternative? Head over to our online store and order MEC pots and dinnerware today!