Non Toxic Food Preparation (part one)

There once was a girl.

A girl who had to have the best and most up to date cookware she could find.

She found her way through the aisles of the nearest department store, clutching the registry scanner. Hoping that someone would buy her the set she desired.

She got them, two in fact.

Two sets of non-stick pots and pans. Beautiful and shiny on the bottom, with a slick and smooth surface on the inside.

Little did she know.

That those same pans had a life of about five or six years. They scratched and got dingy. And they were toxic.

Have you heard that you shouldn’t cook in non-stick pans?

If you haven’t, you shouldn’t. The coating on the non-stick pans is, well…., toxic. And not only do the toxins get into the food, they get into the air we breathe.

India - Chennai - Stainless Steel shops - 02

photo credit: mckaysavage

I couldn’t imagine why someone would want to use anything but non-stick pans, who would mess around with scrubbing them if you didn’t have to?

But then again, I also thought butter was bad for you – and vegetable oils and margarines don’t fair well on pots and pans, often time making them stickier. (Ever notice the gook on your pans? That’s from non-stick spray or margarine)

I also tried to use them just like non-stock pans, I didn’t know to heat it up first before I put the oil in.

I didn’t know that vinegar could take out burned on crud.

But once I found out how bad that non-stick coating is, I was adamant that I switch out all my pots and pans to stainless, and went about trying to figure out how.

After a year or two, asking for pots for my birthday, I was finally able to throw out all of my old non-stick pots and replaced them instead with stainless steel.

I use these pots for boiling water for pasta, making sauces, and even for frying meats when my pans are out of commission. My stainless steel pans are used for frying and cooking meats.


Have you switched to stainless steel pots and pans yet?

(tomorrow….cast iron)


for the full series, click here

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.


  1. Sigh. I, too, fell for the non-stick cookware. May I ask what your thoughts are about ceramic cookware? Like this, for example? I have two ceramic fry pans that I ADORE and that are so very easy to clean… but I’ve not seen many people talk about them.

    donielle Reply:

    @JessieLeigh, That particular pan is still non-stick on the cooking side – so it’s the same as all non-stick pans unfortunately. There are some ceramic cast iron pans that would be good though. So it really all just depends on what they inside is made of. The ceramic just seems to be what makes it pretty. :-)

  2. We made the switch to stainless steel back in December and got rid of our non-stick set. We haven’t had any issues with hard to clean pans other than when we fry eggs, but if we use enough coconut oil and clean the pans right away then it isn’t really a problem. I used a Teflon pan at my moms house recently and it gave me a major headache! Hmmm…

  3. I threw out our non-stick pans years ago. I couldn’t bring myself to replace them slowly when I discovered how toxic they were. So for years we got by with a large stainless steel stock pot, a 12-inch cast iron pan, and a 6 qt dutch oven. Slowly but surely I’ve been picking up pieces from this line at TJ Maxx:

    I love them. They are nice and heavy, heat well without burning, and clean up so easily. I love, love, love them.

    donielle Reply:

    @Amy (One Day Closer), Oh how I wish I could have tossed all mine at once! Unfortunately it was during a time when we were building a house AND my husband’s hours were cut quite severely at work. Luckily that summer I was able to pretty much thrift all of my cast iron and was gifted my stainless steel. :-)

  4. Cassandra says:

    Awe have several stainless steal the rest are all cast iron. We were the same way when we were married. The only thing we register for was non-stick. Needless to say they didn’t stick. Oquickly we found ourselves buy new pans.
    Thanks for the post.

  5. @Jess. I have a Paula Dean ceramic set just like that it is still nonstick so yes it is toxic just the outside is ceramic unfortunately

  6. What do you use/how do you cook eggs? I find it nearly impossible to keep them from sticking w/o the nonstick pan. I will have to try Holly’s suggestion of lots of coconut oil, but would love to hear what you do too.

    donielle Reply:

    @Angela, I use my cast iron pans for cooking eggs. With a bit of butter or coconut oil (I prefer butter. Or bacon grease.) they don’t stick at all! Otherwise it takes a lot of oil or butter in a stainless steel pan – and make sure you heat the pan first, then put int he oil and eggs.

    Holly @ Faithful Womanhood Reply:

    @donielle, Oh, I love using bacon grease, too (it’s hubby’s favorite)! I usually only use a 1-2 tsp of coconut oil for 2-3 eggs and it works fine.

  7. Rache Hatfield says:

    I recently switched, in fact I am selling my old pots and pans in a garage sale this weekend along with my microwave. I am slowly occurring stainless and cast iron. After getting use to using them, I love them. My husband and I have done without a microwave as well.