You must have seen a variety of colorful, shiny, finished clay cookware in the market that has gained popularity in past few years. If you think clay cookware is the healthiest and 100% non-toxic cookware, then you might be mistaken. There is no doubt that clay cookware has been used for ages in all civilizations for making cookware, but today, even clay comes in a variety.
Pure clay is the only material that is naturally innate and doesn’t reach toxins into food while cooking. The commercially popular clay cookware we see today are nowhere close to that. They are made from ceramic clay – a composition of stoneware, porcelain or terracotta. It is also coated with chemical glazes and enamels besides the chemicals used in the mechanized manufacturing process they go through. And the colorful ones you see in the stores – well, more chemicals! After using so many chemicals, the pot you get is far from being healthy or non-toxic. Such pots when used for cooking, leach reactive toxins into food that contaminate it.
In order to keep the clay non-toxic, it should be in its purest form – like pure clay. It has a natural property of being inert which can stay intact if no chemicals ever come in contact with it. Pure clay cookware is made from primary clay harvested from non-industrialized and unfarmed lands, where it is found containing absolutely no chemicals or pollutants. Furthermore, no chemicals are used in the manufacturing process (not mechanized – they are handmade) or for their coloring and finishing.
It might seem difficult to find out if a clay cookware contains chemicals and leaches toxins but a simple home test is enough to know if the pot you are using is made from pure clay or something else. It’s called the alkaline baking soda test. Food is an alkaline substance and so is baking soda. If anything is reactively leaching into food, it will do the same with baking soda. This is what you need to do:
- Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda, boil for 5 more minutes. Turn stove off.
- Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that’s what you’re eating! If water has a rubber/paint taste it’s the chemicals from enamel/glaze.
As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip – you will taste just the baking soda. It’s high time that we ditch unhealthy cookware and switch to clay pot cooking with pure clay.