Tag Archives: stainless steel leaching

Channeling Debbie Downer

Okay, this post only makes sense if you watched Saturday Night Live years ago. If you didn’t, here’s the Debbie Downer Breakdown

While I was talking to my good friend Linda last week over brunch, she mentioned she needed a new to-go coffee cup and asked me what I use. I noted that her old coffee cup was double walled stainless.

Depending on the quality of stainless, when you put something acidic in it (coffee has more than 200 acids), alloys can be leached from the stainless into your drink. Please never cook tomato sauce in stainless. Use enameled cast iron. Tomatoes are definitely acidic enough to leach alloys. If you are really interested in whether your cup or cookware is reactive, there’s a cool test here: Testing Stainless for Reactivity

“Best to use ceramic,” I told her, and Starbucks has a nice double-walled ceramic cup with a ceramic lid (no plastic). That is what I use, and they put out a nice collection over the holidays. Double Walled Ceramic Tumbler from Starbucks. She grabbed one over the next couple of days and brought it to work. While sporting her snazzy new double-walled ceramic coffee cup, someone commented on it. Trying to be helpful, she told them all about stainless cups and the possibility of leaching. Her co-worker quipped half-jokingly, “I hate you.”

You know what sucks about knowing what I know about food? Whenever I try to give someone information that I hope is helpful, I sound like Debbie Downer. It’s depressing and annoying, but I won’t stop talking about it because people have to know. And because tomato sauce tastes about 350% better when cooked in an enameled cast iron pan, dammit.

To quote Debbie: “Ever since they found mad cow disease in the US, I’m not taking any chances.”

Do you feel the same? Let me know by making a comment!