I have had a lot of questions recently about the health concerns surrounding aluminum cookware. After doing research and talking with some scientists, I have come to the personal observation that I find not enough supportive evidence linking the use of aluminum cookware with Alzheimer's Disease. I hope my thoughts below help to give you some perspective on the issue.
I have to mention a few components about my experience in cooking with aluminum. First off, the aluminum cookware that I use is all lined with stainless steel. It is a clad-type of cookware which differs considerably from the cookware our grandparents used. I think it bears noting that serious chefs cook with copper due to its' responsiveness to heat, and yet there is no mention of a health scare of cooking with copper. Most copper cookware these days is lined with stainless steel, but tin-lined or un-lined pieces are still readily available. In fact, up until recent years, copper cookware was always normally lined with tin and you would have to pay a hefty fee to get it re-lined as it does come off over time. You can get tin and copper poisoning, yet I was unable to find any substantial, reliable information regarding that. To note, I will use my tin-line and un-line copper pieces as I do not see any notable health risks to using it.
We need to realize that each one of us is different, and unless you live in a cave - it is without a doubt obvious that we are individually susceptible to various types of diseases, regardless of what we cook with. My grandmother who died at 93 used unlined aluminum cookware her whole life. Her cause of death is old age, she had diabetes - but her body, as with all of our bodies, began to function less effectively. I recall how every morning she would brew a pot of coffee in her aluminum teapot that seemed to weigh as much as a sheet of paper, it was mishapen and worn - but she used it nonetheless.
There are other types of cookware out there that is available, such as cast iron which has a ceramic lining and even solid, stainless cookware - but you need to remember that even those will have tiny particles that over time will scratch off during cooking and possible come into contact with your food. The majority of my cookware is lined with stainless-steel and I have no question that it is safe for my family.
I also know that there are concerns regarding non-stick surfaces and how safe those are. Most non-stick surfaces are made via some form of plastic, although there are some new non-stick surfaces that are made from a ceramic product. My experience with non-stick is that regardless of how expensive the pan is, most of the surfaces scratch over time and some even peel which means it is making contact with food and therefore going into our bodies. The ONLY respite I have is that my cookware has a lifetime guarantee, so I just send the non-stick surfaced pan back and they send me a new one free of charge.
With respect to baking with aluminum, 95% of my bakeware collection is aluminum. I have unfinished, the dark-grey non-stick and even the new gold-touch non-stick surfaces. Hands down without a question in my mind I prefer unfinished due to it being to least to maintain. The dark-grey non-stick finish requires me to lower my oven temperature 25 degrees as it browns baked goods quicker than an unfinished pan, although this is not the case with the new gold-touch non-stick. But experience has also taught me that regardless of the non-stick finish, I still have to prep the pan because some baked goods DO stick in non-stick pans. With that said, it is just easier for me to prep every time then to worry about which recipe IS going to stick and then dealing with the hassle it sticking and the product being ruined. Now the one things I do have to say is that clean-up with non-stick is much easier than an unfinished pan. I think non-stick is great for any kind of baking pan with a design where unmolding your masterpiece is essential. It is without question that you need to prep these pans though with a spray or butter & flour in order to assure success.
I think when it comes to the issue of food safety, it is an individual decision what you choose to cook in. I personally believe that before anyone gets wrapped up into this issue, they should first consider what type of food you are cooking - are you eating any prepackaged foods or frozen foods with preservatives? These are much more of a health risk for you to be concerned with in my eyes. My perspective for people would be to tackle avoiding this by preparing the least pre-made food for your family before you move onto what you are cooking your food in.
As with anything we hear on the news regarding health concerns, researching any given subject, requires the willingness to search for genuine and authentic facts and tediously sift through the disinformation that we sometimes accept as factual evidence. I hope this article helps give you get a handle on where you choose to stand on this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.