Found the cutest little ornate vintage heart mold at Goodwill today. Yes, I know the metal is thin and yes, I know its original intended use was decorative or to make a jello mold. But--is there a health hazard to baking in it? Did I waste my 59 cents (plus 6% sales tax!)?
It depends on what the metal really is. if it really is copper, it shouldn't present a health risk. I'm not sure the same would be true if it is tin.
You could call you local County Extension office and ask.
Called the Cty extension person today. She said, "well, it's made for Jello so that's what you should use it for." Not a big help
You can't bake in copper. It will oxidize and turn green/blue. It will turn your cake that color as well.
Humm...well, I bought a copper fish shaped pan that I'm quite sure is suppose to be for jello or something like that and I baked a cake in it. It was just fine, no problems. The pan is fine, no discoloring or anything.
Here is an article on choosing pots for safe cooking. Please not the comment on copper leeching into food when heated.
There was some news that came out last year regarding Teflon and whether the chemicals used to make the stick-free coating are hazardous to our health.
I found this article on about.com that addresses just that question. The author summarizes the situation and recommends different pot materials that are healthier choices for cooking...
Anodized Aluminum Cookware May Be a Safer Alternative: These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookwares base metal, aluminum, so that it cant get into food, and makes for what many cooks consider an ideal non-stick and scratch-resistant cooking surface. Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong.
Cast Iron Cookware May Actually Improve Health: Another good choice is that old standby, cast iron, which is known for its durability and even heat distribution. Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough ironwhich the body needs to produce red blood cellsas it seeps off the cookware into food in small amounts.
Unlike the metals that can come off of some other types of pots and pans, iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Consumers should beware, though, that most cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned after each use and as such is not as worry-free as other alternatives. Lodge Manufacturing is the leading American producer of cast iron cookware.
Ceramic Cookware Provides Some Benefits of Cast Iron Without the Bother: For those who like the feel and heat distribution properties of cast iron but dread the seasoning process, ceramic enameled cookware from Le Creuset, World Cuisine and others is a good choice. The smooth and colorful enamel is dishwasher-friendly and somewhat non-stick, and covers the entire surface of such cookware to minimize clean-up headaches.
Copper Cookware is Excellent for Certain UsesOne other surface favored by chefs for sauces and sautés is copper, which excels at quick warm-ups and even heat distribution. Since copper can leak into food in large amounts when heated, the cooking surfaces are usually lined with tin or stainless steel.
I wonder... could you line the pan with tin foil and then bake it? Or is that a health issue too?