Detoxing isn’t just about eating clean. (Although that’s an important part.) If you really want to cleanse your body—and home—of toxic chemicals, it’s time to purge your entire kitchen of contaminants. That means looking beyond the refrigerator and the pantry. Here are five often-overlooked ways to detox your kitchen of unnecessary chemicals.
1. Get rid of nonstick cookware
Nonstick skillets may make your eggs slip and slide without sticking, but they have a dark side. When heated too high, nonstick cookware can leach toxic chemicals into the air. Most nonstick cookware is made from Teflon, which begins to degrade and emit fumes after about two to five minutes on a conventional stove top. Fortunately it’s easy to detox your kitchen of nonstick cookware. Simply replace your pots and pans with healthier alternatives that won’t leach chemicals into the air. Try glass, cast iron or stainless steel. Are you wondering how to get rid of those nonstick pans? Earth911 offers a handy guide on how to recycle nonstick pots and pans.
2. Cook with organic herbs and spices
It’s easy to forget about your herbs and spices when going organic. But unless you want GMOs, pesticide residues and fillers, like sugar, artificial colors and preservatives in your herbs and spices, you’ll want to purge all your old ones and buy organic. If that wasn’t enough bad stuff in your good flavors, conventional spices also undergo a sterilization process that uses chemicals (or even radiation!) to remove potential foodborne contaminants, like insects, molds, yeasts and pathogens, such as salmonella and E. coli. Organic spices on the other hand are sterilized using steam heat. (Much better.) Once you do make the switch, be sure to store your organic herbs and spices in sealed containers away from heat and light.
3. Use natural kitchen cleaners
Why toxify your kitchen when you’re cleaning it? Get rid of all your chemical-filled conventional cleaners immediately. You’ll never even miss them. You can clean just about anything in your kitchen (oven, floor, stove top) with ingredients that are good enough to eat. Think baking soda, vinegar, olive oil and lemon. Check out our guide to deep clean your kitchen naturally using just these ingredients.
4. Invest in better food storage
Free your leftovers from unsafe plastic containers by investing in safer and more eco-friendly food storage. Instead of plastic containers that can leach chemicals into your food, use glass storage containers to hold your leftovers. You may not even need to buy new if you save glass jars, like pickle and jelly jars. Another option is to wash and reuse aluminum foil.
5. Filter your water
There’s more in your tap water than just water. That water coming out of your faucet can have dozens of contaminants. Municipal water treatment plants even put some chemicals purposefully in the water, like chlorine, ammonia and fluoride. Let less of that yucky stuff in your body by using a water filter. Finding the right water filter for your needs and one that actually gets your water clean can be a difficult task. Check out our tips for choosing a water filter to help you wade through the options.
Related on Organic Authority