Upgrade Your Kitchen, Upgrade Your Health

upgrade your kitchen health

Your kitchen can be one of the unhealthiest areas in your home, not just because of the (junk) food in it, but because of all the chemicals found in your food prep equipment.  The first rule of thumb is to get rid of all plastic, silicone, and non-stick coated pans and baking sheets.  The second rule is if it’s going to be exposed to food + high temperatures, it needs to be in the form of wood, bamboo, stainless steel, cast iron, or glass.

Because I have endocrine issues, I’ve gotten really skeevy around many of my own outdated kitchen items.  The endocrine system takes a huge hit from the toxic chemicals found in plastic, silicone, or non-stick kitchen equipment.  If you have any kind of endocrine problem, you should consider upgrading the following 14 items in your kitchen.

1.  Your pans from college that are drowning in Teflon or some other shady non-stick chemical.  Let’s face it.  Those pans were cheap, old, or thrifted from God knows where.  Maybe you got rid of those college pots and have “upgraded” to Calphalon pans.  They have the same polytetrafluoroetheylene junk on them.

2.  Your black plastic cooking utensils, still “hanging” around from college.  Swap them out with something like All-Clad stainless steel utensils.

3.  Your surgeon-glove-blue silicone spatulas.  You can keep them for cold foods, but find something else for the hot!

4.  The non-stick baking pans you bought before you knew all about the dangers of Teflon.  It’s time for some stainless steel cookie sheets!  If you’re worried about sticking disasters, try parchment paper!

5.  Your plastic brewing coffee maker.  If you drink coffee every day, and the hot water is brewing in the plastic, you might as well start calling that joe, “Dark Roasted Plastic”.  Plastic is found in traditional coffee makers to french presses to those fancy Keurig things everyone loves now.  I’m really liking those all stainless steel French presses.

6.  Your messy collection of Gladware, Tupperware, and Rubbermaid, especially if you microwave food in these items (that is a big a-f no-no!).  Get with the West Coast hippie trend, and take your food to work in a glass Pyrex dish.  If your Pyrex leaks, you can downgrade to a simple Ball canning jar with lid.  Totally leak proof, and then you can join the hippie-cool-I-only-eat-out-of-glass club.

7.  Your cute melamine plates from Anthropologie.  I know they’re pretty and unbreakable, making them a desirable choice for your outdoor dining extravaganzas.  Remember the Chinese infant formula scandal?  Yeah, that was melamine in the baby formula. Just think:  thin, fun, outdoor-friendly plastic plate = melamine.

8.  Your Rival Crock-Pot.  Crock-pots and slow cookers may leach lead or cadmium into your food.  Supposedly Hamilton Beach brand crock-pots are the best when it comes to minimizing this issue (there’s no research study to back this up though!).

9.  Your free plastic hot beverage containers.  Just because they were free doesn’t mean you have to clutter your kitchen and your body with them!  Use a stainless steel hot bev container or just use a Ball canning jar (that’s what I use!).

10.  Your hot pink measuring spoons that you bought at Wal-Mart 10 years ago for $1.00.  You especially don’t want to be using these for measuring anything hot!

11.  The set of 5 mixing bowls you bought at the dollar store in high school.  They might be acceptable for cold foods, but not when the husband likes to use them for bringing in the HOT grill food.  Try using a set of those envied primary colored vintage Pyrex bowls instead.

12.  The plastic popsicle molds from the same dollar store mentioned above.  Stainless steel popsicle molds would be the friendliest replacement.

13.  The polycarbonate turkey baster your husband bought from the grocery store for Thanksgiving last year.  (Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that contains BPA.)  In the ideal world, a glass and rubber turkey baster would be best!

14.  Your red silicone mini loaf pan.  Just let it go because it doesn’t even smell good.

aprons and kitchen utensils hanging on wall

So far I need to work on #’s 1,2,3,4,5,8,10,11,12,13,14.  We stopped using our plastic coffee maker a long time ago and just dropped it off at the thrift store this past weekend (I guess I passed the toxins on to someone else).  My French press has a glass carafe with a plastic top, so I can not fully cross #5 off my list.  I’m working on 10!  And for 14, I should have sent it to the thrift store with the coffee maker this past weekend.

What about you?  What do you need to upgrade in your kitchen for better health?

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6 Responses

  1. Kasey

    I SO appreciate that you linked some options. It’s not too expensive to make the switch. I think the biggest expense for me would be pots PLUS utensils. We got Calphalon for our wedding because we were told is was an okay version of Teflon. ? Anyway, we have a few wooden spoons, but mostly plastic because metal would scratch the pans. Can’t buy new utensils until we buy stainless pots and pans.
    8 out of 14 is better than I would have thought. The mason jar for hot beverages is such a good idea!


    Dr. Archer

    Hi Kasey! Yes, the mulah can really add up on the pots! I intentionally left out talking about Calphalon because it’s one of the only materials I am not sure about it. I do know that aluminum is not a first choice cooking metal because it does accumulate in the body. High aluminum levels in the body may be correlated with Alzheimer’s disease… which is why conventional arm deodorant is a problem. So in general, I would avoid aluminum. Guess I should have talked about that!


  2. diane

    Oh boy do I have a lot of work to do!!!


  3. diane

    Did you know the unbreakable dishes made by corning or pyrex when they do break they EXPLODE like a bomb! This summer I was pulling glass shards out of my leg when a dish hit the floor. It was like it was under pressure.


  4. Leah

    I”m thankful to have your thoughts to show my Plastic Microwaving Husband (LOL)!
    My mother-in law shared with me the fun of shopping All Clad’s Seconds sale twice a year near Pittsburgh where the prices for their amazing pots is much more reasonable.


    Dr. Archer Atkins

    Hi Leah!
    I hope my thoughts help your Plastic Microwaving Husband!
    That sounds like a great sale to go to! Makes me kind of wish I were still in Pennsylvania so I could join in on the fun!


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