Beware of using Teflon coated pans as these can release certain chemicals when hot and over time they gradually degrade and tiny pieces can flake into your food. The same applies to some other types of coated pans. When such pans get very hot they can release PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and other toxic substances. Then, as they age and wear, the coating can start to degrade and flake off into our food. PFOA is a suspected carcinogen and hormone disruptor that we know stays in the body and our environment forever.
We highly recommend cooking with stainless steel, glass or cast iron instead. If you use stainless steel or cast iron, use two different oils to prevent sticking. I usually use coconut oil and some butter. It will prevent a lot of the sticking and your pan will be easier to clean afterwards.
It’s even better if you season the pan first. For stainless steel, here’s how to season the pan. Heat your pan to medium or medium high. Put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan, swish it around and drain out the excess. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto the bottom of the pan – kosher salt works well for this but it doesn’t have to be. With a clean cloth or paper towel, rub the salt and oil into the pan real good using a circular motion, including the sides. Wipe out the salt and oil and now you have a pan that is seasoned and ready to cook. Add a small amount coconut oil or butter, and you can now make crepes or eggs that won’t stick to the pan.
To season cast iron, this link shows you how to do it and maintain it. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/cleaning-seasoning-cast-iron-skillet
Plastic utensils such as spatulas and plastic containers can also pose health hazards. Toxins, endocrine disruptors and carcinogens migrate from the molecules of different plastic containers to their contents. Never microwave in plastic or Styrofoam, don’t put food in plastic containers and don’t use plastic utensils when cooking. Glass containers are easy to get and last much longer. Bamboo or stainless steel spatulas and other utensils work very well.
Microwave food in as little water as possible as you will lose some of the nutrients into the water, so the less water the less loss. And it is best to microwave in glass bowls. Steaming vegetables is also a very good way to cook them. Raw veggies are going to be the most nutritious of all.
Nontoxic Cooking Oils
Cook or fry with oils that can be sustained at high heats. For the longest time I fried things in extra virgin olive oil because it is a well-known healthy oil. Olive oil is very healthy and is best used for salad dressings or cooking at low to moderate temperatures. When extra virgin olive oil is heated at higher temperatures it changes its chemical composition and can become somewhat toxic. Coconut oil or butter is better to use for deep frying or high temp cooking.
Once you get used to following these basics, nontoxic cooking is no harder than cooking with teflon pans and plastic spatulas. But over time, this will make a big difference to your health.
This isn’t everything there is to know about nontoxic cooking, but these are, I believe, some of the most important points.