There are plenty of things in our environment that can kill us, some quickly and some more insidiously. Among the easiest to spot and eliminate are the toxins that leak out of our plastic kitchen “stuff” and contaminate the food and beverages we ingest every day.
Our babies and children are particularly vulnerable to toxins such as BPA, PVC and Phthlates, which are used to manufacture food storage containers, water bottles, cooking implements, toys and even baby bottles. If those hard-to-pronounce chemical names don’t seem very scary, their side effects sure are. These chemicals are “Endocrine Disrupters,” which can stimulate the growth of breast, uterine and prostate cancers; impair fertility; disrupt pregnancy; and are linked to heart disease and behavioral problems in children.
Yes, we are slowly poisoning ourselves and our children, but it doesn’t have to be so! If we devote a little effort, and commit to spending a little money, we can detoxify what should be our safe haven — our homes.
Identify the Dangers
We need to start by recognizing what’s hurting us, and the good news is, there’s an easy way! Have you noticed those little symbols on the bottom of your plastic containers? Those numbers enclosed by the recycling triangle are a shorthand for what’s in the plastic. Be on the lookout for numbers 3, 6 and 7, which are definitely Bad Plastics.
So what’s the fastest, most convenient way to detoxify your kitchen and home, aka your safe haven?
Toss and Replace!
Just accept from the get-go that this will cost you a few bucks, but ask yourself if you’d rather pay for new utensils or cancer treatments. Start in your kitchen cupboards and fill a garbage bag:
- THROW OUT plastic measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, and food storage containers; REPLACE them with metal or glass, which are far sturdier (and not toxic).
- THROW OUT plastic ladles, spatulas, mixing spoons and egg turners; REPLACE them with silicone tools, which are safe, colorful, and can withstand incredibly high temperatures (which also makes silicone great for pot holders)!
- THROW OUT plastic cutting boards, and REPLACE with Bamboo, which is beautiful to look at and naturally anti-microbial.
- THROW OUT styrofoam cups and disposable plates. These become particularly toxic when heated by hot food or drink. REPLACE with rigid cardboard, which has the added benefit of being recyclable.
- STOP BUYING water in disposable bottles. Put a good filter on your kitchen tap and use REFILLABLE metal water bottles.
- And most especially, THROW OUT all plastic your baby or child might come into contact with, even if it’s that cute squeeze toy your little sweetheart loves to chew on. Go to the baby store and look for fabric alternatives, and make the switch to re-useable glass bottles and feeding equipment.
These fixes are relatively low cost and easy to accomplish. Let’s start here to protect ourselves, our families, and our safe haven.