The Experts Discuss How to Reduce Toxicity in Your Kitchen

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Health Food Emporium invites popular doctors to discuss common toxins that we all encounter in our kitchens everyday, and how to avoid them.

Is your Kitchen Toxic

Kitchens can be Toxic

Harmful chemicals in plastics can leach into foods, especially when heated or if the food is acidic.

Is your kitchen toxic? Gail Bowman, the owner of Health Food Emporium stated, "I checked with Dr. Don Colbert and Dr. Mercola (both are popular TV and internet doctors) to find out what can be done to lessen the toxic load on our bodies from our kitchens. Their answers were very interesting, and a little challenging. I thought surely my kitchen was safe, but I discovered that I still have a lot of work to do. "

1. Dr. Don Colbert said, "Everyone should practice minimal use of their microwave, or get rid of it altogether. Using a microwave to cook your food is of three main concerns. First, harmful and cancer-causing chemicals can leak into your foods from heated plastic and paper containers. Secondly, microwaving alters the molecular structure of food damaging the nutrients and even generating harmful chemicals. Third, microwaves emit radiation. although it is controversial as to how much radiation, studies have shown correlations between microwave radiation in the home and effects on the heart and blood sugar."

2. Nonstick cookware should be avoided according to Dr. Mercola: "Non-stick cookware is made using a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which starts emitting toxic fumes, that you inhale, every time you cook with a non-stick pot or pan! At high temperatures, the coating of non-stick cookware will also break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene. Your best friend in the kitchen may actually be your family's worst health enemy. It only takes 5 minutes for non-stick cookware to emit at least six toxic gases. "

3. "Get rid of all plastics including storage bags, cups, plates, silverware and containers," said Dr. Colbert. "Dishes made of glass are ideal. Harmful chemicals in plastics can leach into foods, especially when heated or if the food is acidic. A common chemical found in plastics is bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes. More and more plastic products are now appearing with a BPA Free label, but BPA is not the only harmful chemical in plastics."

4. Avoiding canned foods is perhaps your best way to avoid BPA. Dr. Mercola states, "Recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that canned foods and beverages can increase your BPA levels by a staggering 1,000 percent in a mere five days! The lead researcher noted that given this new finding, canned goods may be an even greater contribution to your BPA levels than plastics."

5. Store nuts and oils properly. Dr. Colbert stated, "Nuts and oils go bad quickly with exposure to heat, light and air. Rancid nuts smell and taste bad and can be carcinogenic. Rancid nuts are linked to headaches and digestive upset. Roasted, chopped and ground nuts go rancid much more quickly than whole raw ones. Nuts should be stored in the refrigerator. Look for oils that are sold in dark tinted bottles since the packaging will help to protect the oil from oxidation caused by exposure to light. Oil should be used within 1-2 months to ensure its quality remains intact, even when stored properly."

6. Use natural cleaners for dishes, appliances, floors and counters. Jordan Rubin, founder of Garden of Life and owner of Beyond Organic, said, "Carcinogenic contaminants are found in a variety of popular household products including cleaners. The less contact with kitchen cleaners, oven cleaner, glues, paints, pain thinner and other solvents, the better. Household products have changed radically in the last fifty years due to scientists' ability to synthesize new chemicals from petroleum. I recommend using natural ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and commercially available natural cleaners to clean your home."

Gail Bowman is the owner of Health Food Emporium, an online health food store that has specialized in whole food supplements for over 10 years.

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