Okay, so you buy organic, and maybe even grow some of your own food, raise animals to eat, and keep egg-laying chickens to make sure everything you put on your table is pure, fresh, and free of the dangers that plague commercial food. You should be good then, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
If you really want everything you eat and serve in your home to be as toxin-free as possible, there are a few things you need to consider:
Cookware: Many types of cookware can leach unwanted toxins or dangerous levels of minerals into food that can be harmful:
• Teflon cookware might be handy for clean-up, but that nonstick coating, PFOA, can poison
your food during heating, especially if your pans become scratched. Experts assert that PFOA could be responsible for causing numerous health issues, including some kinds of cancer and birth defects.
• Iron cookware has been around for a long time, so a lot of people figure it must be harmless. After all, we need iron, right? During cooking, iron can seep into food, especially acidic foods. If iron levels in your blood tend to be low, this will be helpful to you, but the opposite is true if your levels tend to be high. If you use iron cookware regularly, it would be a good idea to have your blood checked for iron levels.
• Aluminum cookware, including disposable items, should be avoided. Aluminum is toxic in many ways to the human body, and is linked to several physical issues, such as neurological disorders, cancer, weakness in the bones, diabetes, chronic inflammation, and dementia.
• Stainless steel is usually safe to use, but if it’s older and scratched, the metals used to make it, such as nickel, can seep into your food.
Food prep areas and food storage: Of course, it’s important to make sure food prep areas, your fridge, and pantry are free from debris and old food bits and cleansed with agents that will kill harmful bacteria and mold. However, what you put into your mouth is going to come into contact with whatever it is you use to clean these surfaces, so choose your cleansing agents carefully.
There has been an enormous surge in demand for natural cleaning products, and many of your local stores probably carry them. However, these tend to be a bit pricey, and you probably have some items on hand that will do the trick just fine. Sea salt or rock salt are fabulous choices since they not only kill bacteria, but they can be used as a scrubbing agent. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, tee tree oil, orange oil, and neem oil are all natural alternatives to commercial multi- purpose cleaning products.
Dishes and storage containers: All that I just said about food prep and storage areas goes for the dishes you use to serve food, as well as containers you use for storage. But there’s one factor that needs special attention here: Your dishwashing detergent, whether you hand-wash dishes or use a dishwasher.
Again, many people are turning to natural products for cleaning dishes these days. While it’s true that thorough rinsing will do well to rid items of potential toxins, why take chances? You can find organic and natural dishwashing agents just about anywhere, and you can also find several recipes for homemade solutions online, such as one found here: http://www.diynatural.com/ homemade-dish-soap/￼￼
Your hands! Who knows where a person’s hands have been all day before preparing a meal? Think about all that you do and all that you touch. Whatever you’ve done and wherever you’ve been, your hands have probably played a key role, and they bear the residue of all that you did throughout your day. A good cleansing and a thorough rinse are MUSTS before preparing food.
And what do you use to cleanse your hands? When you’re washing your hands right before preparing a meal, consider using an organic or natural product that doesn’t pose any kind of chemical exposure to the food you’ll be eating or serving to the people you love and care about. Here is a link to one of many sites that offer homemade natural recipes for hand washing solutions: http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-liquid-hand-soap-2-easy-ways/
Here’s the bottom line: There’s a lot to consider when it comes to keeping the food you eat and serve to your loved ones as healthy as possible, but these simple changes don’t have to be pricey or too hard to do, unless you need to invest in new cookware. My hint: Go to garage sales or thrift stores to find some good deals on used cookware, or watch for sales in your local stores. Even if you have to pay more than you want to, the investment for your health will be worth it in the long run.
Here’s to healthy eating!