Is It Safe to Cook with Aluminum Foil?



Americans have been using aluminum foil for over 100 years to bake fish, roast vegetables, line baking pans, and to trap steam when cooking. Experts have expressed concern about just how much of it we’re using, with studies even warning that it could have some seriously harmful health effects. For example, researchers have found high concentrations of aluminum in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. A couple of factors make aluminum more likely to leach into your food. One of these is the temperature: The higher the temperature you’re cooking at, the more conducive the environment is for aluminum to enter your food. The acidity of the food is another major factor. If you’re cooking acidic foods like tomatoes or vinegar-based marinades, this can break down the foil and leach even more aluminum into your food. So, should you be concerned? Researchers say that as long as you’re not over-using aluminum foil in your cooking, it shouldn’t be a problem for most people. The important thing to remember is moderation. There are multiple ways to cut back on your use of aluminum foil. Parchment paper is one alternative, and for grilling vegetables a stainless steel grilling basket or skewers is the answer. Banana leaves are also good for wrapping foods for baking.