How to Detox your Kitchen

I have written posts in the past on how to green the kitchen but not everybody is ready to take every step in that direction. So even if you’re not going to go all the way green, you should at least consider detoxing. That means getting the dangerous stuff out of your kitchen and making it safe as well as clean and accessible.

Many of the products that are used in the kitchen, from cooking to cleaning, can affect your central nervous system and cause symptoms that make you think you’re going mad. When you get on edge or feel irritable, it’s not always menopause or that you lack sleep. Sometimes it’s the toxic chemicals you are spraying all over the place in pursuit of bacteria. Consider lightening the chemical load through a simple detox. Here are the steps:

Get rid of synthetic, chemical bases food dyes. Make the switch to natural dyes so that when you make cookies, cakes and candies you aren’t poisoning everyone in the process.

Get rid of disinfectants and processed detergents. Buy sponges made of cellulose instead of triclosan. Get natural soaps with essential oils that have antibacterial properties. Read my post on more green cleaners for more help in choosing products.

Check everything in the kitchen for lead. Utensils and pans are obvious, look to be sure they are stainless steel but crystal dishes and decanters are secret stashes for lead and they should also be replaced. Check trivets, tiles, strainers and other tools for lead. Heavy metals should be replaced with either steel or unleaded glass. Porcelain sinks, trivets, vases and trinkets are all sources of lead in their glazes. Replace with unleaded glass or wood items.

Get rid of plastic! Read my post on toxic plastics and then you’ll be on the move! Use only unleaded glass, wood or skip containers, bowls and pitchers. Some hard plastics don’t contain Bisphenol_A so they’re ok. Just check the list in my previous post and online at Facts On Plastic for more info before choosing and always recycle!

Ditch the commercial pesticides. Once again, refer to my post on natural insect repellents and on natural bug defenses for ideas on how to do this. There are also green pesticides just now coming to market that make a somewhat less toxic choice than those horrible spray cans full of poison. There are lots of safe, natural solutions to getting rid of bugs. For one, try mixing up borax and sugar and making a trail for the ants. They’ll be gone in a week.

As much as I love them, I have come to realize that scented candles are horrible. I admit the idea of burning scents is always appealing, I’ve also loved incense. But these are hard on the lungs and reek havoc on the eyes; I’ve spent many an evening unwittingly weeping next to a lovely fruited candle. So buy unscented to begin with and, if you’re a bit crafty, make your own! Natural beeswax is safe and non toxic.

Get rid of Teflon-coated cookware. Healthier options include stainless steel, glass, or porcelain-coated pans. But don’t go to silicone yet. There isn’t enough information on it and it’s affect on the body. So just go back to the stainless steel and glass stuff for now. I use cast iron cookware myself because I have anemia and any iron is welcome in my diet. It’s up to you what you choose but do it with care.

A great idea is to get rid of food additives and processed food, if you can handle it. If you leave out high fructose corn syrup, MSG, preservatives, nitrates and other horrible chemical additives, you’re bound to feel better, more energetic and even lose weight. Start by cooking with natural ingredients and as the family gets used to it, switch out the junk food for whole food along the way. They might not like wheat bread or whole grain pasta at first but a little imagination in the cooking and you can bring them around. I know it seems hard from the outside, but get started and just give it a try. You really can’t do better for your family and yourself.

Did you realize that gas stoves produce carbon and nitrogen? Does that mean that they are a no no for the greenies? I would think so. And it also means they are not healthy and can be downright dangerous to your well being. Switch back to electric! I hate saying that but it’s the better of two evils. Some time they will introduce solar stoves, I’m sure, and then we’ll be saving and staying healthier, too.

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