"Eco-Friendly Kitchen" - Written by Sarah Outlaw (Co-Owner of 90210 Organics) for Natural Life 101.com
By Sarah Outlaw
The kitchen is the main gathering place in the homes of most people. It is a place where meals are lovingly prepared and where families come together to enjoy food, laughter and time together. That is how it should be anyway. Having an eco-friendly kitchen will not only enhance the health and wellness of your family, it will also make time spent there much sweeter. The kitchen is the one place in the home where you can really get back to nature. From what you put in your pantry and refrigerator to the pots and pans you use, you can transform this space into an eco-haven.
The Fridge & Pantry:
We learned in January about all the foods to avoid and some of the most healthful nutrients that our bodies need. You should always keep healthy foods on hand and junk foods out of the house so that you are not tempted to cheat too often. Some healthful foods to have on hand in case you get the "munchies" are nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and veggies, and dried fruits (without sulpher). Home-made granola is also a great, healthy snack and very easy to make. Keep raw honey on hand in case you get a craving for sweets.
Pots and Pans:
The safest pots and pans to use are enameled cast iron. These pots are made in such a way that nothing leaches into your food. They do not need to be seasoned like regular cast iron does. They are very expensive but we have included where to look for good quality brands that cost less.
Cast iron cookware is the second safest type of pot to use. If you use cast iron, you must first know how to care for it by seasoning it before first use and not using soap to clean it. Follow the manufacturer's use and care instructions carefully and these pots can last a lifetime.
Teflon is the most dangerous type of cookware you can use. The non-stick coating burns off and chips into the food and the toxins in the pot are released into the air while cooking. These chemicals are carcinogenic and may cause cancer. According to an article just released by naturalnews.com, a chemical known as Perflurooctanoic Acid (PFOA) is used in the production of Teflon and other non-stick surfaces such as candy bar wrappers, french fry and fast food containers. This chemical is found in the bloodstream of virtually everyone in America. Research shows that PFOA may contribute to miscarriages, thyroid problems and weaker immune systems. It may also affect organ size and function.
If you are considering remodeling your kitchen or are building a home, consider using eco-friendly materials. Cork or bamboo floors, counter-tops made from recycled glass, cabinets from reclaimed wood, Energy Star appliances, water filters, no VOC paint and eco-friendly décor can all help reduce toxins in the home and save energy and natural resources. More and more builders and contractors are using eco-friendly materials and offering 'green' options to their customers.
Keep live houseplants not only in your kitchen but all over your home. They help absorb toxins and actually make the air cleaner. Keep toxic cleaning products out and use natural and homemade cleaners instead. Growing organic herbs in your kitchen will make you more likely to cook with fresh herbs and in turn you will enhance both the flavor of your food and your health.
Choose natural elements for your kitchen to decorate. Bring the outdoors in with leaves, twigs, stones and flowers. Use lemons, limes, oranges, or pomegranates in pretty glass bowls on your countertops or table to give a more natural feel. Be creative and earth friendly at the same time. Shopping at your local thrift store is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle. You will be amazed at the things you can find! There are even decorative counter-top composters that you can buy which makes composting very cool!
Making better choices and keeping natural living foremost in your mind when decorating, remodeling or just living in your kitchen will help your home work with you instead of against you.
For safer pots, visit www.mercola.com .
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