Try it Tuesday: Green Kitchenware

6:53 AM

Cooking your own meals at home is eco-friendly in itself but what if you're whipping up batches of millet & mushroom cakes all while releasing toxins into your food? You may not even know you're doing it.

So here are a few easy swaps to make to avoid poisoning your healthy food by using unhealthy kitchenware:

Stove Top Cooking

Trade in your non-stick frying pan, your electric griddle and your casserole dishes for one cast iron skillet. It's an all-in-one kitchen tool that is safe, easy to clean and even makes your food more nutritious. Scientists believe frying in a cast iron skillet will transfer dietary iron to your food - sounds good to us prone to anemia! I've been a die-hard skillet-fan for some time now but the key is to get a nice old one. New skillets have not been seasoned and tend to stick. See if a family member has one that they'll part with, or check the second hand store. If you must buy new, oil the skillet often and bake it for a while with a layer of oil. Never wash with soap, or in the dishwasher. Keep in mind a hardy skillet can wreck the nice finish on those fancy flat top stoves so it would be better suited for the BBQ. 

It goes without saying that almost all plastic is a no-no, especially when you plan to reheat certain things in a (*hushed voice*) microwave. So many parents make an effort to pack their kids a healthy lunch for school, and then ruin it with a container that leeches yucky chemicals into the food. For storing food, choose glass. It's also nice and easy to pop into a hot oven for reheating. The glass storage containers I've seen are pretty tough and not prone to shattering easily.

Slicing can cause fragments of your board to chip off and enter the food. Now this is on a microscopic level so it's nothing you'll taste or hurt yourself on, but if you're cutting on plastic it's not the best thing to expose your body too. I love using a wood cutting board. There are, however, two considerations when switching to wood: cleanliness and sustainability. Wood is a bacteria-promoter and needs to be thoroughly washed after every use. Use hot water and soap. Or, for less threatening items like red bell pepper, wipe down with half a lemon. Allow to dry fully. With any wooden item we need to be cognizant of its environmental impact. Choose a product that is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

If you're still using paper towel, it's time to stop! Disposable products like this are unnecessary and brutal for the environment. With each use you transfer a beautiful piece of our forests to garbage in a land fill - not pretty. A simple kitchen cloth can handle any of the messes that paper can, and a dirty cloth will take no space at all in your weekly laundry load (or rinse and dry for simple messes). If you really want to go all the way, purchase a cloth made of organic cotton. Cotton's one of those things that is just nasty when it's not organic.

When you're ready to convert more disposable products to reusable check out my posts on diapers and diva cups.

Lastly, Filtering
The best water system I've seen is the Santevia. The countertop model fits nicely on any flat surface and uses gravity and a layered filtration tube to remove most toxins (not fluoride however), alkalize and mineralize.

The kitchen is a great place to change the world, but you've gotta change your tools before you can do it!

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