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Well after the fabulous feedback from all of you on my last posts on How to Detox Your Home and How to Detox Your Beauty and Personal Care Products, I decided to add a little more info here about how to toss that plastic in your home out the door! There is a lot more information like this in my book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, but this is a good start for you to get a grasp on how to start living clean today.
Here’s my step-by-step plan for saying good-bye to plastic and welcoming glass, stainless steel or ceramic products instead for a cleaner, non-toxic home.
First, examine your pots and pans, and how you store food. Take a look at any hidden plastics, such as on your electric teapot, which could leach chemicals into your water. Use a water filter on your kitchen sink faucet so that you’re not ingesting chemicals from tap water. Notice if you put wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher—a big no-no. When you start to observe these things, you might find that it’s easier than you think to replace toxic items with safer alternatives.
With detective eyes, look around your kitchen. Do you store food in plastics? Go through them and look at the recycling numbers on the bottom. Toss anything bearing the code 3, 6, or 7, as these plastics contain BPA. Actually, I’d recommend eventually tossing all your plastic containers and bowls. That’s what I did. You’re better off with glass because who knows what those plastic manufacturers are replacing BPA with, right? Not good.
Whatever you decide, never heat food in any plastic. Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel instead. And remember—your glass containers don’t have to be fancy. Used (and washed) spaghetti sauce jars and salsa jars work just fine!
p.s. This picture below from my instagram on Saturday was so well received! I wanted to share the link to where you can purchase these tiny glass containers online. Here is one variety. I hope you love them as much as I do. And if you want something a little bit bigger for storage, these are great.
Bacteria, Mold, Plastic Detox
Here are a few tips for keeping your kitchen clean and safe from bacteria, mold, plastics and other harmful ingredients such as BPA.
- Replace plastic containers with glass ball jars and glass containers—glassware is the safest.
- Limit (and try to avoid) canned food, since many aluminum cans are lined with polycarbonate plastic, which contains BPA. If you are making a recipe that calls for culinary coconut milk, you can choose one from a BPA-free can.
- Use parchment paper instead of cling wrap, which often is made with PVC. This comes from petroleum, which is not renewable and releases chemicals like dioxin and benzene. Plastic can also leach into your food and drink.
- Select unbleached paper products, including baking cups, cheesecloth, coffee filters, waxed paper, and parchment paper.
- Don’t let your fruit and veggies wilt in the fridge; eat them within two to three days or freeze them to prevent bacteria and mold overgrowth.
- Cool hot leftovers to room temperature before storing in glass containers to prevent cracking.
- After removing food from the freezer, allow it to thaw at room temperature.
- Freeze leftovers to prevent bacteria and mold overgrowth.
- Label each glass container with the name of the food and the date stored so everyone knows what’s inside. Pull out dishes that have been in there the longest.
- Transfer any dry goods like rice and oats into glass containers so they’re not prone to mold. Do this immediately when unloading from the grocery store.
- Use a distilled white vinegar and water solution to clean fruits and veggies (it helps remove bacteria and mold). Measure half white and half water into a spray bottle; wipe and clean. Use the same solution to clean out your fridge once a week.
- Many foods like berries and grapes often have mold in their bags before you even get them home. Wash them well and do not put them in the bin with other fruits and veggies, as they could contaminate them. Wash tough skins like watermelons, pears, and oranges before you put them into the fridge to remove mold and bacteria.
- Throw out any expired food and condiments like cocktail sauce or ketchup.
My best advice for keeping your home (especially your kitchen) safe for you and your family is to toss the plastics (that includes the plastic wrap that you have surrounding your leftovers in the fridge) as well as the plastic bags that you get from the food store for your fruits and veggies. I bring cloth bags with me to the food store so that my produce isn’t sitting in plastic bags. If you do use these plastic bags, remove the food from them as soon as you get home. None of us are perfect but you can start slowly removing the plastic in your home today and before you know it, you’ll have no plastic in sight. I drink out of Mason jars and Ball jars and use them to store my leftovers (even salads, soups and drinks). These are the short wide Ball jars that I use for storing my dips and spreads such as homemade hummus or mustard recipes (both recipes in my cookbook). They’re easy to clean and convenient for travel, too! These are my favorite glasses with straws for drinking (with non-plastic straws) and kids love drinking out of these. I ordered a set of stainless steel straws for my home, as well, so that there are no plastic straws for me to chew on when I drink.
I also use parchment paper for wrapping my sandwiches and leftovers so I don’t need to use plastic wrap. You can use these bags when cooking using parchment baking bags in place of plastic or other toxic products. I also use these parchment snack and sandwich bags for storing my nuts, sandwiches and other foods when I’m traveling or on-the-go in place of using plastic baggies. So convenient, right?
Have you started removing the plastics in your home?