Choose organic, eat whole foods, avoid bad ingredients… but there’s more to the story. What you do with your groceries in the kitchen can also contaminate your food. And, I’m not talking about bacteria contamination. We’re all pretty savvy about using different cutting boards for meat vs. vegetables. Let’s talk about chemicals.
Get plastics out of the kitchen as much as possible. Store food in glass. Mix food in glass or stainless steel. Don’t use cling wrap, which is made with PVC (type 3 BAD plastic). When it’s not made with PVC, it’s not very clingy. We’ll have to try to learn how to use wax paper and butcher paper again!
And, don’t cook in Teflon or non-stick coated cookware! The verdict is in that PFOA (a chemical used to make Teflon and other non-stick surfaces) is a likely human carcinogen per the EPA. When heated, particles are emitted and can cause eye and respiratory inflammation (not to mention kill your pet bird – I’m serious). Safe cookware options include stainless steel, anodized aluminum, copper-coated, cast iron and enamel-coated iron, according to “Healthy Child, Healthy World.” My in-laws recently purchased Green Pan non-stick cookware to replace their Teflon pans. The non-stick inside of the pan is ceramic, and they seem to work very well.
If you can’t change everything at once, just take small steps. Next time you need some cling wrap, buy up some butcher paper. Next time you throw out some nasty, stained Tupperware, buy some Pyrex glass storage containers!
Does it Matter?
People tend to wonder how much little changes like these really will make to their health. The reality is we don’t know. There is precious little research available about the cumulative effect of the countless chemical toxins (known to be carcinogenic and/or hormone-disrupting) in the modern American lifestyle. But the lack of research isn’t very comforting, is it? And with the state of health in our country and the fact that our children face a statistical likelihood of living shorter lives than our own, it’s high time we take things seriously. Even one carcinogen is too much in my opinion, even more so if you’re pregnant or feeding a little one!