Sustainable cookware is cookware that is good for the planet and good for our bodies. This means we want pots and pans that are durable, flexible and will not produce harmful toxins.
Sustainable cookware also means a small amount of carbon footprint is created during the production, manufacturing and disposal of these items. Better for our planet and better for our bodies. Rest assured, we are not here to convince you to up-change your kitchen immediately; this is merely information that will help understand the differences better. In fact, chances are you already are using sustainable cookware without even being aware.In most kitchens, we would probably find three types of cookware materials. Cookware which is nonstick, cast iron cookware and stainless steel ones. If you are like most people, you gravitate towards the nonstick - after all it makes for a perfect omelette does it not?
Unfortunately nonstick is probably the most unsustainable or “non-green” out of the three. Here’s why. First, the manufacturing of nonstick cookware creates harmful byproducts as a result, making it bad for the environment. In fact, even overheating these pots and pans in the kitchen can release toxic chemicals into your home, which makes it bad for our bodies. While the release of toxins may be minimal, there have not been enough conclusive long term studies yet to really assure us of it’s safety. Even the lifespan of nonstick cookware - a mere three to five years - requires us to rebuy new pans often, which is another reason why it is not very sustainable.
Next, let us look at cast iron, the next probable option in your kitchen. Heavy in nature and a cooking classic favorite, cast iron pots and pans are definitely pretty reputable, and for the right reasons. Given the care it needs, these guys should last tens of years if not generations. The caveat is that the iron material reacts with acid, which makes it susceptible to rusting. Which means do not use it to boil water! Cast iron items also need proper care to be able to last through the years.
For our third and final option, there is stainless steel which definitely does not rust. It is also probably the most durable. It may cost the most, but according to us, sure is worth the investment considering it will last the longest. Aside from this economical benefit, cooking in stainless steel also makes for great meals as heat is distributed evenly and items are cooked thoroughly.
Now that we have laid it all out for you, we urge you to act with caution. The stainless steel option may sound pretty convincing but remember this - the most sustainable option would be reusing any old pots and pans you currently have, instead of purchasing new ones!
But if you absolutely have to go and get yourself some new pots and pans for the kitchen, a brand we vouch for is called Man Pans. This company has done everything possible to reduce their manufacturing carbon footprint. Their pans also require minimal seasoning, which is a nice perk. They have cast iron and stainless steel products for you to choose from. A second company you would want to look into is Le Creuset. Many of you may have heard of this French brand that specialise in cast iron cookware. Their promise is that their items last a lifetime with proper care and is also recyclable.