Monday, September 6, 2010

Replacing Kitchen Items

I've been slowly replacing items in my kitchen with safer, non-toxic choices.  I'm actually surprised at how much there is and how long it has taken me.  A couple of years ago we did a big overhaul, buying new pots and pans and even safer dinnerware.  Some things had to wait until we had more money to spend, and others just got overlooked.  Here is my hit list:

Bisphenol-A (BPA) - usually a clear hard plastic, can be labeled number 7 but there is no law requiring items to be labeled.  Check the ZRecsGuide for specific information on whether or not something contains BPA.

Plastic - I'm extremely picky about even "safe" plastics in the kitchen.  I do not like using plastic for anything that is going to be heated or have hot foods put in it.  Often its difficult to tell what type of plastic something is made of, and its just as difficult to try and track down companies and get them to answer your questions (I've tried!).  Tupperware and Pampered Chef unfortunately are both companies that are unwilling to be upfront about their plastics.

Non-stick coatings/ Teflon - This is a big one that I'm not sure we've fully eliminated from the kitchen.  The Environmental Working Group has pages of research about this.  Evidently its a well known fact among owners of canaries and other small birds that you must keep them away from the kitchen because fumes from non-stick cookware could kill them (small birds?  ...what about small children?).  I hate how the non-stick coating peels off after a while and then you're eating it.  Bleh!

Aluminum - In looking for non-non-stick bakeware, many of the options are aluminum.  I'm not comfortable with this either.

When shopping for new items I look for high quality stainless steel or glass products.  I recently got to replace our plastic colander with an All Clad Stainless steel colander from CSN Stores.  This one is very sturdy and comes with a lifetime guarantee.  Its expensive, but will last forever.  I also chose some Le Creuset spatulas - mini, small, and medium.  The spatulas have wooden handles and removable silicone heads.  They are made in the USA.  Both the colander and the spatulas are high quality, safe items that I enjoy using in my kitchen.  (Thanks, CSN Stores for the review items!)

We do still have things in our kitchen that I'm not comfortable with.  For example, our waffle iron has a non-stick inner.  I've been unable to find a good alternative.  Are there things that you are working on replacing as you learn more about toxins in your home?


  1. I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there's so much misinformation out there about Teflon, I'm not surprised that you are concerned. I'm a representative of DuPont though, and hope you'll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    Because birds have extremely sensitive respiratory systems, bird owners must take precautions to protect them. Cooking fumes, smoke and odors that have little or no effect on people can seriously sicken and even kill birds, often quite quickly. Cooking fumes from any type of unattended or overheated cookware, not just non-stick, can damage a bird's lungs with alarming speed. This is why bird owners should take steps to protect their pets, such as keeping their birds out of the kitchen, never leaving cookware unattended, never allowing pots and pans to overheat, and making sure that their kitchen is properly ventilated at all times.

    Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at Teflon. This article highlights what they found -- the bottom line is that you can use Teflon without worry.

    I'd truly be glad to share additional information about it if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Ross.

  2. I love CSN. We have the same concerns about kitchen ideas at my house as you do.

  3. I share your concerns. I also recently spent a considerable amount of money purchasing a new stainless steel set of pans so I could get rid of my teflon coated set. I'm also trying to switch all my baking sheets and cake pans to stainless.

  4. One other note . . . we try to eliminate as many chemicals in our food as possible. I don't trust any of them. The FDA also approved msg and aspartame and they're not good to consume. Just google either one to see the full story.

  5. What type of pan do you use for cooking eggs? I bought a stainless steel frying pan but when I cook eggs even with coating the pan in olive oil the eggs still stick to the bottom. Ugh!

  6. @Ross - Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'd still recommend reading the EWG report I linked to, tons of info there. Bottom line is that we are going with more natural products in the kitchen. Either way you look at it, Teflon is an added artificial substance.

    @ Cullen Crew - I actually use a cast iron pan for scrambled eggs, its a Lodge brand preseasoned, so very easy to use. If I preheat the pan a bit, then put some coconut oil, then the eggs, they rarely stick.