Note: not my kitchen - CC image courtesy of Nathan Siemers

Note: not my kitchen - CC image courtesy of Nathan Siemers

Since this week's theme is detoxification (a la The Detox Summit), I thought I would share with you some simple tips that I have discovered along the way to remove toxins out of the kitchen. When tackling large projects like lowering toxins in the home, it can be overwhelming to try to do it all at once. I find it's much easier to break it down into manageable chunks and even that might need to be broken down into several steps to accomplish it all. So let's start with the kitchen.

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a home. As such, there is a lot of opportunity to have unwanted toxins. Years ago, I had many commercial cleaners under the sink, teflon cookware, and lots of highly disorganized plastic "tupperware" bins for left overs. Over time, I have budgeted to swap those things out that are more environmentally friendly and more biologically friendly on those of us that use the kitchen. Here are the areas I have focused on:

  1. Natural cleaners - It's amazing the kind of cleaning you can get from simple baking soda and vinegar! I now have a spray bottle with 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar and a few drops of citrus essential oils that I use to clean counters . I have a jar of baking soda that I use to scrub pots and sinks. For the rest (soaps) we seek out products from companies that are as toxin-free as we can find, such as those from Better Life.
  2. Ditch the plastic storage containers - plastics, whether BPA free or not, are a primary source of xenoestrogen compounds. That is a fancy word for estrogen-like compounds that come from a source outside the body. Absorbing these into your food or skin can wreak havoc with your hormonal balance. So we replaced our food storage containers with glass and stainless steel. Our favorites are Weck jars, Ball/Kerr canning jars and Lunchbots. Even our water bottles on the go are now stainless steel or glass.
  3. It's a wrap - plastic wrap gets the same bad rap as the plastic storage containers. My new favorite green replacement? Bee's Wraps - they work great over bowls and cups, and even keep my remaining avocado halves green when I store them covered in a Bee Wrap.
  4. Cast iron cookware - Even if you have a small budget, consider swapping out your teflon cookware for cast iron. No, its not super anti-stick, but the more you season it the more it becomes anti-stick. The good news here, is that cast iron cookware does not have to break the bank. A great company that is made in the USA is Lodge Cookware - we especially love this guy for melting butter or other solid cooking fats. Plus its super versatile and can be used in the oven, on the stove top and even on the outdoor grill.
  5. Go organic - No one likes pesticide residues. And recent studies show that organic is the way to go when avoiding pesticides and maximizing nutrients. You might think its expensive, but check out my previous post on how to go organic without declaring bankruptcy.

What are your tips for reducing toxins in the kitchen? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you.