Even too much iron is not good for you, so cast iron is not our everyday cookware, either.
We mostly were using Visions glass cookware, something that's been discontinued (and they can explode if the temperature change is too abrupt--eeek!), and that's what I use exclusively for our rice because I can see how it's doing (no more automatic rice cooker--sigh!). You can find them by scouring garage sales and Ebay. But sometimes we need something a bit more heavy duty.
Our chef friend tipped me off about Le Creuset, she mentioned that chefs like it because it's "non-reactive" with food. Aha, that says to me, does not leach crap into the food! Le Creuset has been made since 1925 in France and it's enamel over cast iron (makes for some heavy lifting). The enamel is inert and as long as you use enough oil, food doesn't stick. You can go straight from the fridge to the stove and then dishwasher. It says the knobs are okay to 325 degrees in the oven but they ARE plastic, so I'm not recommending that. It also takes a little more love and care--we only use wooden utensils with ours.
In the search for safe, inert cookware, I've also noted that some healthy advice types like Dr. Mercola have their own LeCreuset lookalike stuff. However, I will mention that we were given a Le Creuset lookalike (Belgian made) and it's become so pocked it looks like it has smallpox, and obviously the iron will be leaching through it. I do think you get what you pay for. The sticker price of the Le Creuset is scary, but remember to amortize it over 3 meals/day, 365 days/year and no icky teflon or aluminum of nickel (most stainless steel contains some nickel--if a magnet doesn't stick to it, there's enough corrupting nickel to make it un-magnetic. Nickel isn't going to do you a lot of health favors, either).
Not to mention that it makes cooking a pleasure. Simmer a sauce all day, heat up milk for yogurt, sautee some onions and then add water for soup. Nice heat distribution, makes you want to wear a chef's toque, I like to threaten MAN FERTILITY with the very heavy fry pan (if only Silda Spitzer had had one of those!).
Treat yourself to a pot you'll use 151 different ways and a fry pan and you're set for good cookin' and good lookin'.
Check it out at www.LeCreuset.com
- Prior posts Nonstick cookware continues to prove toxicity