Are terracotta pots (or any other pots) safe for food?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by beginnergardener, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. beginnergardener

    beginnergardener Junior Member

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    Does anyone know if there is any terracotta plant pot or any other pot commonly available plant pot from the hardware store that is safe for putting wet food in? Or is it all too risky, because they might have lead or other things in them? Assuming you plug the hole of course.

    If not is there anywhere else (in Adelaide) to get a pottery type large food storage containers at similar prices to plant pots? (apart from the plastic ones I know about).
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Beginnergardener,
    I think you are right to be wary, especially regarding plant pots. Most of what I found is with regards to cooking/baking with terracotta and wet food storage is a different beast altogether.
    While very difficult to actually verify, the best words of wisdom I read were, "*Not all clay is suitable for cooking. If you’re in a creative mood and decide to see what can be done with a flowerpot, ensure that the pot is food-safe, unglazed, and 100 per cent terracotta." from this essay: https://ediblecommunities.com/vancouver/Recent-Articles/clay-pot-cooking.htm
    The problem would be to actually verify those parameters!

    Some of these might work well, but again, how to verify their origin/materials? https://www.houzz.com/photos/food-containers-and-storage/query/terracotta
    [​IMG]
     
  3. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    the only stuff i trust is glass or crocks that are both
    specifically made for food storage (canning jars or
    pickle crocks :) ).

    i do not trust any randomly glazed item or any terra cotta
    pot unless i know the maker or it is known to be safe.

    leaded glazes or leaded glass aren't things i want to mess
    with and if the clay is sourced from a polluted area i sure
    wouldn't want a pot made from it.
     
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  4. beginnergardener

    beginnergardener Junior Member

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    Ok thanks for the info, yeah it sounds too risky.
     
  5. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Yes, I would consider that risky. While you can find true terracotta pots that don't contain lead or other contaminants, most of these pots are made in Mexico or other south American countries that don't regulate things like clay used in pottery. That said, you can find Mexican pots that are labeled for food use, normally you have to go to a Mexican market (in Mexico) to be able to find those pots. Lead is found in lots of colored glazes as well as in most white glazes (even in the USA). If you knew a potter, had them make your pots to your specifications, then you would be able to feel safe.

    Where you might look would be at stores that carry cooking gear, they would have safe stone ware.
     

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