The practice of cooking in clay is gaining momentum for the obvious reason – the health benefits that come with it. Today, if you are looking for a clay pot for cooking, there are quite a few options online and in stores. But are you looking for a clay pot for an occasional meal or something you want to use because of the health benefits that come from cooking in them?
If you are looking for one for everyday use and for the many health benefits, here are some things to keep in mind:
Clay comes in different types thus having different health value:
Most manufacturers use secondary or tertiary clay to make cooking pots. These are locally available at ground level and is untested for toxins (although some claim to be tested but cannot show results). These lower quality clay have impurities and require chemical additives to gain natural clay-like elasticity. Both factors make the finished product toxic and unhealthy.
Clay Pot options in the market – are they healthy?
Different kinds of clay pots are on sale: ceramic, porcelain, stoneware, flame ware, earthenware but are they all the same?
Ceramic/porcelain, stoneware pots and pans: These materials are loosely called ‘clay’ because of its elasticity that resembles natural clay. But unlike nature-made clay that is naturally elastic, these materials are made to be elastic by the addition of a group of chemicals called “plasticizers and elasticizers”. The ceramic/porcelain raw material contains only about 5-7% natural clay and 95% chemicals, oxides, and other inorganic substances. Their manufacturing process and the waste released is environmentally damaging.
Flameware: Another name given to the ceramic raw material that has little natural clay and toxic chemicals added to withstand heat, including petalite, an ore of lithium. It needs glazing before using for food, because of the high chemical and toxic content in the raw material. But glazes are by themselves a mixture of toxins, metal oxides and chemicals.
Earthenware or terracotta: These terms are interchangeably used for pots and pans made from a combination of low fire natural clay and may contain additives. The chemicals are added to increase elasticity, for uniformity in firing, thus, making the manufacturing easy and fast. And iron oxide is added to yield a lustrous finish.
Because the clay is locally available, is not tested, and chemicals can be added while making; they are cheaper to make and cost less. But certainly don’t provide the same health benefits that are possible by pots and pans made from pure and primary clay, tested, made by hand to avoid the addition of any chemicals.
Here is an alternative that fulfills the true purpose of making cookware – keeping them healthy & non-toxic:
Pure Clay Cookware: Using natural and pure primary clay, Miriams Earthen Cookware (MEC) – a pioneering company in the USA makes pots and pans without additives, glazes, or enamels. This best quality clay is naturally more elastic than the types discussed and is rich in nutrients like Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Micro-nutrients: Boron (B), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe) etc.
MEC’s clay is scientifically tested for contaminants and the pots are individually handcrafted to make sure the final product turns out the healthiest. This is what makes MEC cookware the best 100% non-toxic and healthy option in the market.