How to create a healthy kitchen
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn -- Do you know if your kitchen is healthy? From the foods you put into your body, to the surface that you prepare meals on, to the soap you use to clean up after - is it healthy or is it harmful?
Lifestyle expert Brianne Bauer appeared on KARE News@4 to discuss what everyone should do to insure a safe and clean kitchen environment. Here suggestions are what follow.
Use "Clean" Soap. Soaps that promote "anti-bacterial" can actually be harmful to you and leave a bacterial residue behind. The cleanest of soaps - those with the fewest chemicals - not only leave the dishes clean and sparkling, it's also healthier for you and safe for the environment than conventional dish washing soaps. Looks for those that do not release synthetic dyes or perfumes which can leave harmful residues.
Products: Watkins - good (MN MADE)
Upgrade Your Air Quality. People in MN spend about 90% of their time indoors, it might seem safer, but indoor air quality is typically more polluted than outdoor air. Grow house plants to help absorb air impurities. Areca palm, bamboo and Boston fern are great examples. Also important, make sure you kitchen fan is going for proper ventilation. Reduce your exposure to VOC - often recognized as that "new smell".
Products: Fern plant from Linders (MN MADE), Low VOC paint from Hirshfields (MN COMPANY)
Get Out of Your Toxic Relationship. Everyday products like cleaners and even furnishings contain thousands of chemicals, many linked to health risks. For home furnishings, find out what a product is made out of - also be sure to ask about adhesives, coatings and treatments. Products like a countertop even can be healthy or harmful. Marble and granite can off-gas harmful formaldehyde and require harmful. Instead, use something pure but still as beautiful like quartz which requires no sealers and will not harbor bacteria.
Products: Lysol - Quartz - good (MN MADE).
Use Plastic Sparingly. Many plastics are made with toxic chemicals that can be absorbed by your food and beverages and released into your air. Buy and store food in glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers. If you eat food off of a plastic plate, chances are, you are ingesting a small amount of plastic. If using plastic storage containers, make sure hot food items have cooled before placing them in the container. And keep in mind that fatty and acidic foods promote leaching, so you may want to, at the very least, choose glass for those types of foods. Avoid heating plastics - even if they say they are microwave safe.
Products: Generic tupperware container, Corningware and glass container.
Heathly Food = Healthy You = Healthy Wallet. In a world of processed foods and lean budgets, it can be difficult to make the right choices when it comes to food. From the pesticides used on conventional farms to the chemicals used to line the insides of aluminum cans, today's food is heavily tainted before it hits the table.
If you can only purchase organic selectively - choose meat, poultry, dairy, apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, peaches, pears, potatoes, strawberries, carrots and lettuce as these are higher levels or toxic residues. The easiest way to eat healthier is to start making your food instead of buying prepared food and warming it. Buying whole foods reduces your exposure to the many synthetic additives found in processed foods. If you dread the idea of slaving away over the stove, try it out for a week, you'll see how easy (and cheaper) cooking at home really is.
Products: Bad: Processed (frozen or canned) meal full of sodium. Good: Just Bare chicken (MN MADE), bell peppers, potatoes and strawberries.
(Copyright 2011 KARE. All rights reserved)