In a world were many of the over 7.4 billion people go hungry or cook using wood and other gas emitting fuels it sounds insensitive to talk about the quality of your cooking vessels and that in which you store your food. However if you have been blessed with enough to eat, you probably should worry about what you cook and store your food in.
We use various materials to cook including stainless steel, copper, ceramic, glass, iron, aluminium, plastic and Teflon. These materials conduct heat for cooking and also retain heat in case you are trying to keep your food warm. The quality of the material, the length you have used it and the condition in which it is affects the transmission of the mineral into your food and also the possibility of foreign elements especially bacteria in growing and infecting your food. Needless to say many types of plastic when heated react and can infect your food and therefore you need to be particularly careful about the use of plastic. Similar problems can occur in the long term usage of copper vessels for cooking where the copper comes in contact with your food. Stainless steel and teflon have not transmitted minerals or other foreign partials in test conditions. However if there is a crack or significant wear in the cooking vessel it can both transmit minerals and also other harmful particles into your food because the particles get clogged in the cracks.
The manner in which you clean your utensils also affects the formation and transmission of germs. Your humble washing sponge can be a hot bed of yeast, germs,mould and bacteria. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that you microwave the sponge for up to one minute on high which will kill most of the harmful elements. Changing the sponge frequently enough is also recommended. Washing the sponge with soap or water does not eliminate bacteria and other germs.
If you have not done so recently, look inside your kitchen storage and weed out the cooking utensils that have outlived their lives. You may be grateful sometime in the future.