Carolyn Scott, "The Healthy Voyager"
By Carolyn “The Healthy Voyager” Scott
Spring is upon us, and that means it’s time for spring-cleaning: Out with the old to make room for the new. And that applies to your kitchen, too. You might be surprised to learn that many of the cooking items you use on a daily basis could be harming your health and rendering your nutritious foods useless.
Here are the 5 kitchen items that you should throw out this year:
- Non-stick pots & pans: Non-stick surfaces like Teflon are known to leach chemicals when heated. In fact, Dupont has admitted that when a non-stick surface is heated beyond a certain level, the fumes can kill birds and create a sickness in humans they call Polymer Fume Fever, producing symptoms resembling a cold. So don’t wait until the bottoms of your pans are chipping to trash them, start replacing your most used pieces as soon as possible. REPLACE WITH: Ceramic, stainless steel, cast iron, and/or glass. Be sure there are no toxic paints or coatings.
- Plastic containers: When you add hot foods to plastic storage containers, the heat draws toxins from the containers, which then mix with your food. This is why you should never leave plastic water bottles in the car, use plastic to store hot food, or worse, microwave food in plastic containers. Don’t let chemicals be the secret ingredient in your dishes. REPLACE WITH: Ceramic, stainless steel or glass
- Dish towels & sponges: Bacteria primarily breeds in cool, damp places -- like sponges and dishtowels. We use these every day to clean up our counters and plates, but if not taken care of properly, they do us more harm than good. Keep your cleaning aids at their best by wringing them out to release excess water after every use, allowing them to air out and dry thoroughly, washing them regularly, and throwing them away after 2 weeks to a month.
- Overcrowded refrigerators & freezers: Clutter is never a good thing, and that goes for refrigerators and freezers, too. When overfilled, there isn’t enough room for air to circulate properly, and decomposition begins. This can also cause bacteria and mold to grow between containers and on surfaces. Additionally, many foods will take on these odors, and you’ll most likely throw them away, wasting quite a bit of cash. In freezers, overcrowding can cause freezer burn, and if ingested, can make you sick. From now on, toss foods as soon as they expire; don’t keep items you don’t use, and properly pack, consolidate and label your foods with the packing date, when possible. Save your food and your money!
- Microwaves: Anything that heats your food lightning fast and is cool to the touch can’t be good for you. Microwaves are actually transforming the chemical makeup of your foods on a cellular level while they heat. Foods are less crispy and more rubbery when nuked because the waves have mutated them, causing them to lose texture and taste, as well as their nutrients. REPLACE WITH: Convection oven and/or toaster oven
While a full kitchen overhaul may be costly, if you focus on the items you use most frequently, you can invest in your health while minimizing any financial outlays.
For more information, product recommendations and where to purchase, visit www.healthyvoyager.com
Carolyn Scott is the executive producer, creator, host and writer of The Healthy Voyager brand. Her web series, radio show, site, blog and social network show you how to live, and travel, healthy & green.