I am dedicated to making my home environment as conducive to healthy living as possible– you might say this is a small obsession. It has been years in the making and I am by no means perfect, but I have learned and implemented quite a bit especially when it comes to a kitchen detox.
One thing you will see mentioned several times below is BPA. Most plastics (and some cans) contain Bisphenol A (BPA), which is an industrial chemical that has been linked to birth defects and cancer. In general, I do not like the idea of plastics and food together. This concern is magnified when you introduce heat or acidic foods as both can cause BPA to leech into the food. Removing BPA is a huge part of a successful kitchen detox.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, but these are a few areas to assess to get your kitchen detox underway.
Cleaners/Soaps- one of the most toxic things in your kitchen could be the liquids you are using to clean it. Ditch the Dawn and look for non-toxic cleaners.
Cookware- anything labeled as “nonstick” deserves further investigation. Many of these items are coated in Teflon which should be avoided when possible. At high temperatures, the non-stick coating starts to breakdown and releases toxic chemicals. I use Caraway cookware and have been very pleased with the quality – you can read my review here.
Cooking Utensils- if you have a nonstick pan avoid using metal utensils as this can cause cuts or micro-tears in the nonstick surface which may cause leeching of those chemicals. Also avoid any contact of plastic utensils with heat (in pots, pans, etc) as this may cause leaching of plastic. Opt for wood or bamboo cooking utensils.
Disposable plates (plastic/styrofoam)- not only are these a possible health hazard when serving hot food, but they are also terrible for the environment.
Food Storage- This is another situation to avoid plastic when possible. Glass containers are ideal for storing and heating food. They are stain-resistant and last ages. I’ve had mine for 7+ years. My mom introduced me to bee’s wrap a few years ago and it is a great alternative to seran wrap. Stasher storage bags are a reusable alternative to ziplock.
Canned goods- Look for BPA-free canned foods as unfortunately many contain BPA. This is particularly important for acidic foods, like tomatoes.
Filter your water- Yes, even your water can be bringing in unwanted toxins.
Plastics in machines- your coffee or espresso machine likely is full of plastic. This is a concern because of the plastic leeching that can occur as the boiling water moves through it. Instead, opt for a Chemex or BPA-free cold brew maker. To circumvent plastics I started drinking the decaf version of this instant coffee many years ago.
Eat organic- just as I mentioned your water can have toxins, so can your food. Conventional (non-organic) produce can be laden with chemicals. If you’re unable to eat organic take time to scrub and rinse your produce. I buy all organic produce and still perform this step. If you’re buying conventional produce there are washes available to aid in removing pesticides, or you can make your own with vinegar and water. Coffee is another item to keep an eye on as it is one of the most chemical-laden crops. The instant coffee I mentioned above is organic.
Clean your fridge- old food can cause mold growth. Do you want to be eating food that has been in a closed environment with mold? Don’t think so. I clean my fridge every Sunday as part of a ritual to start the new week.
Remove any artificially scented items- soaps, sprays, air fresheners, candles, etc. Artificially scented items can be full of toxic chemicals and can also cause hormonal disruptions.
This list may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but all of these steps are very easy to implement and will become second nature. When we are eating out we are at the mercy of the restaurant – using nonstick pans, plastics, etc so when at home I like to do the absolute best I can to ensure I’m enjoying a toxic-free environment and meal. I’ve included some items below to assist in making swaps to get your toxic-free kitchen underway.