Is Your Company Kitchen Making You Sick? Here are 6 Simple Steps to Taking the Toxins Out and Make a Positive Lifestyle Change
Toxins piggyback on the products you buy and use everyday: household cleaners, soaps, lotions, detergent…they seep into your skin, walk in on the soles of your shoes, hide in your food packaging, and even reside in the food itself!
Here are just some of the toxins are we talking about…
• Bisphenol-A (BPA): A synthetic estrogen found in plastics and canned foods (and in 95% of people tested by the CDC). BPA, bisphenol A, closely mimics the structure and function of the hormone estradiol with the ability to bind to and activate the same estrogen receptor as the natural hormone. BPA, even at low doses can be associated with breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity and may lead to hormonal imbalance, obesity, and possibly infertility and/or miscarriage.
• Phthalates: are a group of chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl. Phthalates are used in cosmetics and personal care products. They are used in consumer products such as flexible plastic, food packaging, and plastic wrap. Phthalates may get into our bodies when you store and re-heat foods in plastic containers. Phthalates have been found in 98% of people tested and can also mimic a synthetic estrogen. Phthalates are suspected to be endocrine disruptors, which mean they can wreak havoc with your hormones and possibly lead to disease.
• Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): A thyroid disrupting chemical found in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant products, and some food packaging. A big offender in many homes and offices would be Microwave Popcorn. PFOA, is used to line the bags of most microwave popcorn varieties. PFOA gives the inside of popcorn bags a non-stick surface, but when it gets inside our bodies, it causes a toxic buildup, carcinogen, that we can’t get rid of. The second problem with microwave popcorn is the chemical diacetyl, the artificial flavoring that gives microwave popcorn its buttery smell and taste. Unfortunately, diacetyl can cause serious lung disease. “Popcorn lung” has been observed in factory workers employed by plants that manufacture microwave popcorn.
• Pesticides: Hormone disrupting, developmental and reproductive toxins, neurotoxic, and carcinogenic, these are found as residues on conventionally grown produce and in meat and dairy products.
These chemicals have the ability to undo some of the hard work you’re putting into your health, and they can leave you vulnerable to health struggles and disease.
This may sound like a situation out of your control, but know that there are things you can do to reduce your exposure and cut your risk of illness and disease as a result. You can make a big impact by focusing on the kitchen’s in your home and office. Here are 6 simple steps to taking the toxins out and make a positive lifestyle change:
• Go Organic
This might seem obvious, but eating organically isn’t just about more nutritious food, it’s about avoiding potent, dangerous pesticide residues linked to cancer, learning disabilities, neurotoxicity—and even weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes! Organics still need to be rinsed and washed, and have the added bonus of containing more nutrients in each bite. An organic apple, orange or grapefruit is the perfect self-contained snack for work.
• Ditch Canned Foods
Canned foods of all kinds (beans, soup, soda) are lined with an epoxy coating that contains BPA, which can leach into the food it comes in contact with. Canned tomatoes are the worst, as their acidity pulls more BPA from the epoxy, into the food. Aim for food packed in glass jars or boxes. If canned beans are a must for your household, only buy Eden Organic brand beans, as they line their cans with a BPA-free enamel coating.
• Pass On Plastic
Throw out the plastic Tupperware containers that have been cluttering up your cabinets. Some of the molecules used to produce that plastic aren’t tightly bound, which means that, like the BPA from cans, toxins can seep into your food. Instead opt for glass or stainless steel storage containers. Whatever you do, don’t heat food up in plastic containers or with saran wrap over the container. The high heat literally allows the chemicals to drip into your food. Bring your lunch to work in glass containers and heat them in the toaster oven (if available) for the best toxic free lunch option.
• Skip the Non-Stick and Microwave Popcorn
Non-stick cookware is made with PFOAs, which have been shown to be released as a gas during high temperature cooking. PFOA is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, and is linked to thyroid disease. Enamel or cast iron pans, when seasoned properly are a perfect alternative to non-stick!
• Green Your Cleaners
Conventional household/workplace cleaners are full of a wide array of harmful chemicals, from ones that are acutely toxic, to ones that are subtler in their effects. Harsh chemicals are overkill and generally unnecessary. Use vinegar and baking soda to clean, it’s cheaper and you’ll be much better off! If you need to buy something, try Method products.
• Watch Your Water
Did you know that your tap water could contain a long list of chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, and unchecked pharmaceuticals? Your water can deliver daily doses of toxins, medicines and hormones that have no place inside your body. You should always filter your water, even in the shower since every pore in your skin absorbs it! Opt to drink artesian waters such as Volvic, Fiji, and Evian. Better yet, get the big glass dispensers at work and at home with 5 gallon bottles of Mountain Valley Spring Water and drink up and cook without fear.
Detoxing isn’t just about cutting out sugar and drinking green juices. Real detoxing happens when you start removing toxins from the source. You’re likely already on a healthy kick in the kitchen, so keep up that momentum, make the simple shifts outlined here, and you’ll be on your way to toxic-free kitchens and a powerful lifestyle change!
Corporate Wellness programs can address all of these topics in detail, making real changes to the health of your employees and to your bottom line. Employees will benefit from education, resources and experiential learning in the workplace. The information transcends home to the families enabling measurable reductions in out of pocket expenses, lower healthcare premiums and a healthier and more productive workforce.
Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen List (organic food resource):
Clean Your Whole House with Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon