The kitchen, as many would suspect, is MY place; I often find myself tensing up when someone ventures into my humble kitchenette and starts rummaging- call me crazy, but I like things my way. I have a sneaky suspicion that most chefs are the same way with their culinary corners.
There is a saying by Hippocrates that says “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food”; and I believe this to be very true. But even the most diligent among us can be harming their well being, with common items found in their kitchen; the benefits of a healthy meal can be completely nullified if your cookware and storage items are slowly poisoning you- think I’m being dramatic? Think again!
Here are my top 3 hidden kitchen toxins and how you can avoid them; your body and your food will thank you!
Aluminum Pots and Pan
Anything aluminum is a giant DON’T- point blank! I, like many of you, inherited many an aluminum pot and pan from my late grandmother; but, you know what? Aluminum is highly toxic. Aluminum, when heated has been linked to skin issues, headaches, heartburn, toxicity, brain malfunctions, mental retardation in infants, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; which makes sense, considering my grandmother died from early onset Alzheimer’s- so you understand why this is an issue close to my heart. I could go on for days about the horrors of aluminum, but all you need to know is that you need to rid your kitchen of anything aluminum. Stainless steel cookware is best; and they range in price from reasonable to astronomical, so there is a price point for everyone. And if you’re wondering what to do with your aluminum paraphernalia, turn them into a planter!
Tupperware, Saran Wrap and Anything Plastic
Oh, god, I hate Tupperware. Aside from taking up half of my kitchen cupboard space, they are loaded with endocrine disrupting Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA has been linked to cancer, tumors, birth defects, immune system suppression and developmental problems in children. And for those of you who are still microwaving food in plastic containers or covered in saran wrap, STOP- for the love of all things holy, stop. Switch to glass; everything, including water bottles, should be glass- it lasts longer, and is devoid of anything resembling BPA. My glass water bottle is by Tap Water; and it’s sleek and durable- I know, as I’ve dropped mine a bunch of times and it has withstood my abuse just fine!
Now, I still use my non stick pan- rather frequently in fact; however, there are some crucial housekeeping notes when it comes to Teflon.
- Never, ever heat a nonstick pan over 400oc, which on a stove top is nothing over medium heat.
- Use only silicone or wooden utensils; anything that disturbs the Teflon coating is another DON’T.
The reason that we don’t want to overheat or disturb the Teflon coating is because it is extremely toxic when ingested. We’ve all seen a non stick pan that is scratched beyond belief- this scares me; because as women we should be especially concerned. PFOA, the chemical released from damaged non stick pans, poses a risk to our fertility, resulting in birth defects, infertility and reproductive problems; in addition to thyroid, immune and liver damage and in some cases cancer; which is definitely a case for brushing up on your regular pan cooking skills. However, if you plan on continuing to use your non stick cookware, please do so with caution.
Many of us strive to keep our kitchens safe, it’s where we nourish ourselves and our families; we store our knives safely, make sure to cook and store food at the correct temperature, but there is more to the equation. By taking heed of the aforementioned kitchen dangers, we create culinary masterpieces without poisoning ourselves and the ones we love.