Are cast iron pans unsafe? 

by KamalPatel  Jun 8, 2016

For well over a thousand years, cast iron has been used as a reliable cooking surface. Actually, it’s been used since the appropriately named “Iron Age”, roughly 2500 years ago.Fast forward a couple millennia, and we’ve been thrust into the “Spend all day on the Internet Age”. People are starting to question the healthiness of everything, including the venerable cast iron. And not without reason: just because cast iron’s been used for years, by many people who lived long and healthy lives, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest option for your frying pan.Let’s explore this issue in depth. What exactly is cast iron? Are there any plausible mechanisms by which it might harm health? What does the research say?

Aside from stone, iron is the oldest cooking surface still in use. This provides evidence for its lack of obvious harm, but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s totally safe.

Paying the iron price

Cast iron is relatively easy to analyze, as far as health effects go. It’s made out of … iron. Not like the more complex pans, which have multiple layers or man-made coatings. So let’s start by talking a little bit about iron.

You can’t just dig up pure iron from the ground. Pure iron is rare and mainly comes from fallen meteorites. And it’s actually pretty soft, so not great for making pans without adding in some carbon for hardening. But still, around 97-98% of a cast iron pan is plain ol’ iron, which is why we’re so interested in its health effects. Our discussion also applies to carbon steel cookware (such as woks), which is made up of 99% iron…

Finish reading: Are cast iron pans unsafe? – Blog |




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