Ok, let's talk for a minute about the baking soda and aluminum situation.
I was shopping at my local grocery store and needed baking soda. I had to take a second look when I noticed one of the containers was labeled "aluminum free".
When did I miss that baking soda contains aluminum? So, I did the obvious and purchased the "aluminum free" container to save my family from Alzheimers. When I came home I did a little research. Come to find out, baking soda in fact DOES NOT contain aluminum. All brands are 100% sodium bicarbonate, even Arm & Hammer. So then, why does the label specify "aluminum free"? It seems that this whole confusion started because baking powder contains some sodium bicarbonate, but also can have other ingredients that act as acidifying agents. This means that you don’t have to add extra acid to your recipes to get the leavening action. The acidifying agents can come in the form of cream of tartar or an aluminum-based acid. But, don't worry, not all baking powders include these other ingredients.
So what about baking soda? When shopping for baking soda you do not need to be concerned about aluminum. What you may want to know is whether or not the sodium bicarbonate is from a mill chemical process (Arm & Hammer and similar companies) or produced directly from the ground in it's natural state (Bob's Red Mill). Neither will contain aluminum. However, you will get better tasting food and better results from your DIY concoctions with the natural baking soda.
I hope this helps clear up the confusion.
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