Sooner or later, everybody’s gotta eat. Which is why the kitchen, more than any other room, is the heart of the home. You could argue that the kitchen is the new living room — it’s even OK to have a couch there now.
Because it’s the most popular room, the kitchen is ground zero for a healthy home. Yet the way we use it is full of contradictions. While we store, prepare, and eat food here (when we’re not eating on that couch), we also store, heat, and re-heat food in some of the scariest chemicals around. We’re conscious about buying organic to keep pesticides out of our bodies, yet we’re spraying pesticides (in the form of certain cleaning agents) all over the kitchen. And we freak out about dropping food on the floor (unless you’re a proponent of the five-second rule), but we clean that very floor with chemicals that kill things.
There are probably more dirty little secrets in this room than any other. That, combined with all the contradictions mentioned above, can only lead to one conclusion — your kitchen needs therapy. It has issues. This will help resolve them.
The Dirty List: The Kitchen
This is the nasty stuff that you should be eliminating from your life, if you follow all of our tips and suggestions.
- Antibacterial soap, a registered pesticide: Antibacterial soap and cleaners are registered pesticides and can do more harm than good since they don’t actually kill viruses.
Solution: trust non-antibacterial products to get the job done and keep you healthy.
- Microwaving plastic radiates petroleum: Microwaving plastic with food means you are essentially radiating a petroleum product that can leach into your food.
Solution: only microwave food in ceramic or glassware.
- Nonstick coatings can get into your blood: Nonstick coatings may contain a contentious chemical that can leach into food and has been found in human blood.
Solution: switch to silicone bakeware, cast iron, or, if you just use nonstick coated cookware, cook on medium or lower heat, and dispose of it if it becomes scratched — scratches make them much more dangerous.
- Dishwasher detergent is loaded with phosphates: Traditional automatic dishwasher detergent is loaded with phosphates and other chemicals that can leave residue on your plates, glasses, and silverware, as well as release toxic fumes.
Solution: use only nontoxic dish detergents that pledge to contain no phosphates.
- Paper towels are full of plastic: Paper towels are not actually made from just paper. Many use a plastic binder that has been bleached and can survive centuries in a landfill.
Solution: go to reusable microfiber towels and 100 percent natural non-bleached paper towels when necessary.
- Floor cleaners leave residue of chemicals: Traditional floor cleaners can leave residue of harsh chemicals, including 2-butoxyethanol and methoxyethoxy ethanol, which are health hazards.
Solution: before your kid or pet takes another bite off the floor, ditch the 1950s mop and bucket and go to a microfiber mop with non-toxic cleaning solution.
Excerpted from Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry with Rima Suqi
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