In order for non-stick cookware to remain “non-stick” it is coated with dangerous chemicals that keeps the food from sticking to the pan. While this is convenient, it comes at a high cost.
Why? One of the chemicals in non-stick cookware is PFOA (perflourooctanoic acid), which is a known carcinogen (cancer causing chemical) and dangerous toxin. Exposure to this chemical has caused kidney failure, liver and pancreatic cancers, thyroid disfunction and hormonal disorders. When babies are exposed to this (through pregnancy or a breastfeeding mom) it can cause developmental delays and even SIDS.
Many people turn to cast iron to avoid non-stick cookware,however, this may not be the best choice. Cast iron cookware leaches iron into the food. If this cookware is used frequently, this can cause dangerous levels of iron in men and post-menopausal women.
The best choice for cookware is stainless steel. Stainless steel cookware is chemical-free and will not leach anything harmful into your food.
Swapping Frugally: The best deal I’ve found on stainless steel cookware is on Amazon. I purchased the Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set a few years ago and have been very happy with it. It is a high-quality set at an affordable price and it contains everything I need (including a steamer!) I purchased my set for $156 (reg. $599), but Amazon currently has the set marked down to $148.99.
Keep in mind, when switching to stainless steel, you will need to oil your pans very well. I always use a mister and completely coat the bottom of the pan. This prevents the food from sticking and makes for easy cleanup. Still using store-bought cooking spray? Check out my article here on the health and budget benefits of using a mister.