You probably cook with aluminum foil all the time, from crisping potatoes in the oven to cooking corn over the grill. But did you know that you could actually be poisoning yourself? According to
A recent article by IFL Science, shows scientists have proven that over-exposure to aluminum could play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, slowing the growth rate of brain cells and could be harmful to patients with bone diseases or renal impairment.
We already intake aluminum naturally in foods like corn, yellow cheeses, salt, herbs and spices, and in antiperspirants and cooking utensils. This doesn’t cause much harm, but over-exposure does.
There’s no trouble with wrapping cold food up in aluminum foil, but using it to heat and cook food is where the trouble comes in because is seeps into food.
As IFL Science explains, “Aluminium is significantly more likely to leach into food, and at higher levels, in acidic and liquid food solutions like lemon and tomato juice than in those containing alcohol or salt. Leaching levels climb even more when spice is added to food that’s cooked in aluminum foil. Anything acidic sparks a particularly aggressive process that dissolves layers of aluminum into food.”
In fact, the amount of aluminum that gets into your food when cooking with foil is higher than the permissible level that has been set by the World Health Organization.
This finding is backed up by an article from Ghada Bassioni, Associate Professor and Head of the Chemistry Department at Ain Shams University.
“Aluminium is significantly more likely to leach into food, and at higher levels, in acidic and liquid food solutions like lemon and tomato juice than in those containing alcohol or salt,” Bassioni states.
Pots and pans are made with aluminum as well, but there’s an easy way to prevent it from affecting your food. “Pots and other cookware tend to be oxidized, providing an inert layer that prevents the aluminum from leaching into food. The problem is that when you scrub your pots after cooking, that layer is worn away and the aluminum can seep into your food.”
The solution? Create your own oxidation layer by simply boiling water in your pots and pans until the bottom of them appears matte instead of shiny. They may not look at pretty as they did before, but your body will thank you later.