Is Cooking with Aluminum Foil Safe?

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With all the tin foil recipes out there, some people wonder if cooking with aluminum foil is safe.

Aluminum foil is commonly used in the kitchen, whether to protect a pan or contain heat while baking. Amounts of aluminum are found in most pots and pans. You can even buy disposable aluminum foil cookware at the grocery store.

Scientist Ghada Bassioni said that her research has found cooking with aluminum foil by wrapping it around food might be unhealthy. “My research found that the migration of aluminium into food during the cooking process of food wrapped in aluminium foil is above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organisation,” she wrote.

However, the World Health Organisation’s report said aluminum used in cooking is generally safe.

WHO’s report says, “Aluminium is present in foods naturally or from the use of aluminium-containing food additives. The use of aluminium cookware, utensils, and wrappings can increase the amount of aluminium in food; however, the magnitude of this increase is generally not of practical importance. Foods naturally high in aluminium include potatoes, spinach, and tea. Processed dairy products, flour, and infant formula may be high in aluminium if they contain aluminium-based food additives (FAO/WHO, 1989; Pennington & Schoen, 1995; WHO, 1997).”

Adult dietary intakes of aluminum (mg/day) by country:

Australia (1.9–2.4)
Finland (6.7)
Germany (8–11)

Japan (4.5)
Netherlands (3.1)
Sweden (13)
Switzerland (4.4)
United Kingdom (3.9)
USA (7.1–8.2)

So, according to the WHO, the average American adult consumes roughly 1.5 pounds of aluminum per day in food and drinking water.

You’re already ingesting it, so… *shrug*

Food scientist Robert Wolke wrote for The Washington Post:

“The suspicion of a relationship between aluminum and (take your choice) Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s or Parkinson’s disease has been floating around for about 20 years. The brains of some Alzheimer’s patients have been found to contain abnormally high concentrations of aluminum, but nobody knows whether that is a cause of the disease or a result of it.

Because Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease that develops over a long period of time, the long-term ingestion of aluminum in drinking water, which is relatively easy to monitor, should be a logical way to search for a correlation. And yet, epidemiological attempts to link aluminum in drinking water with Alzheimer’s disease have been either inconclusive or contradictory.”

Our short answer is yes – you’re fine. Keep cooking those Tin Foil Dinners.

What do you think?

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Editor at RecipeChatter
RecipeChatter is a blog for people who love food and want to dish about it. This blog is published by the editors of and its sister sites.
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