How safe is your kitchen?
- Monica Jan 24, 2011 10:59 AM
BPA from plastic, radiation, radon from granite countertop...miscrowave radiation...carbon monoxide, burnt food, DEHA from plastic wrap, teflon frying pans..
I stopped using plastic tupperware, replaced my nylon cookwares with silicone, i try my best not to eat burnt food..and got rid of teflon pans.
My coworker doesn't have a microwave oven.
How far are you willing to go to make your kitchen more safer?
I know some people say, air we breath in is cancerous. I am not here to say who is right or wrong.
Just wanted to know what other people are doing about these issues.
There was a New York Times article where a health inspector agreed to "inspect" a woman's kitchen. None of the things you mentioned were even on the list. The biggest problem with the woman's kitchen was the fact she had a cat--that was known to walk on the counter once in awhile. I figure with 4 cats I'd be condemned by the Board of Health in about 30 seconds......but friends love to come and eat here because we love to cook.
but that NYT article wasn't about the same kind of "health" issues the OP mentioned...it was a restaurant-style inspection to illustrate what's required for restaurants to stay open, serve food that won't give its customers food poisoning, and remain in the DOH's good graces. big difference.
I usually wipe down the counters after I prepare a meal. I don't use the microwave much, but only because I find there are better ways to cook or reheat food. I don't have much plastic around, being more of a metals guy, but I've got no problem reusing quart yogurt containers to freeze stock for future soups. I am cognizant and accepting of my mortality.
While there are definitely problems with stuff such as teflon pans, I think people should be more concerned about proper handling of food. Most people don't even know the correct temperatures of their refrigerator or freezer. I remember once watching a TV show where home cooks were judged according to restaurant standards. Virtually all of them would have been shutdown due to multiple code violations, such as improper temperatures, cross contamination, wearing jewelry while preparing food, etc.
"Just wanted to know what other people are doing about these issues."
Nothing. Not a single thing on your list. The issues you've brought up are meaningless to me.
I do, however, try to keep the joint reasonably sanitary.
<How far are you willing to go to make your kitchen more safer?>
I keep my knives sharp because it's easier to hurt yourself with a dull knife. I use an oven mitt when I touch hot things. If I spill something slippery on the floor, I wipe it up immediately. And when my cohabitant is in the kitchen with me, I try to be aware of his location so that I don't crash into him. That's about it. Still have all my limbs and digits, so I must be doing something right - knock wood.
I try to store things in glass containers, use non toxic cleaners and pots and pans.
I worry more about what is IN and ON my food (from the store or producer) that I am not aware of.
It seems to me these days that everything can give you cancer, but only if you use it for tomato soup above 400-deg on the third Thurs. of every other month while walking your french poodle. Certain warnings I do abide - like those coming from the EPA or FDA - but I try to ignore all the other stuff. To me, all of this stuff you've heard about is bad for business to the guy making it, so it will be phased out on it's own after the publicity. Because teflon changed its formula years ago after that media catastrophe, so as long as you're not using 10-year old pans I don't worry anymore. I worry more about my son getting into the drawer with my wine key and slicing his hand open.
A lot of those things are non-issues for me.
The only things I really do is have a cutting board for meat, a cutting board for veggies and a cutting board for bread. Also, I clean up with a weak bleach solution after breaking down a chicken or other raw meats.
I use cold water from the tap to fill up the teapot, pasta pot, etc., because it absorbs less contaminants out of the pipe. I don't use non-stick pans at high temperatures (although I do still use them...).
I use silicone cooking tools, but that's because they are heat resistant.
I don't use the microwave all that much, but that's just because things taste better without it. I suppose I do have this issue with thinking that food microwaved in plastic tastes plasticky, so I don't do that either. I do use tupperware to keep stock, pasta sauce, etc., in the freezer though, but I don't think there are issues with that.
I'm sure I get more envinronmental contamination from other areas of my life.
And, by the way, who decided that all microwaves should be mounted at head level, over the stove? I have to say THAT seems like kind of a bad idea. But that's where mine is, alas.
Every morning I sit cozy up to the microwave, heat the water for my coffee and nuke the oatmeal. I've been doing that a few decades now.
Sometimes I heat things up in the microwave in take-out containers, keeping an eye out that they don't melt.
We have alot of cheap nylon utensils.. dunno if they have silicon. Who knows how old the teflon pans are and a lot of the stuff is worn off anyway.
Love charbroiled steak and blackened, crisp tortillas. I like to burn the cheese a bit when broiling an opened faced grilled cheese sandwich ... full fat, please ... no erstatz low or no calorie Kraft. Of course, my single slice cheeses are wrapped in some sort of clear paper. The cold cuts come hermatically sealed in plastic. The meat from the supermarket is comes wrapped in plastic.
No granite, but heaven knows what the counter tops and wood cabinets have in them.
I am also intolerant of crawling things, so Raid is my friend in the kitchen. The ants are aggressive. Nothing like taking the top off the sugar bowl when half asleep and finding it full of live ants ... or the honey where teeny ants somehow found a way into a sealed container ... and I'm guessing ... happily dorwned themselves in it. I've said a little prayer that I wasn't using honey with added ant protein.. Then again they say honey has antiseptic properties
No one wants to hear about how food is handled here.
Everyone is alive and well without health problems. It's my husband's 41st birthday today and I guess that might make me a cougar.
I am not here to say who is right or wrong. Just an answer to how safe my kitchen is.
Wow, I had no idea that phthalates were pretty much banned everywhere *except* the United States.
But here is my favorite food safety tip that I have uncovered in the research this thread has inspired: "Never cook on Teflon or other nonstick cookware with a pet bird in the kitchen. The fumes from an overheated pan can kill a bird in seconds."
We have six parakeets a few feet from the stove. My stepdaughter has had them since she was a little girl. She just celebrated her 17th birthday. I'm guessing, from the looks of them, the teflon pans are older than the birds.
Anyway, in the nearly one year I've been here, the birds have survived nearby teflon cookery. My husband had scorched a few pans in his day.
I remember a Dateline or some other TV report show covering this story, and after all the requisite fear-mongering, they added this short disclaimer at the end that it really only killed birds if you heated up a completely empty teflon pan over 500 degrees, which would basically mean leaving a teflon pan on the stove on high heat with nothing in it for at least ten minutes. That was when I basically decided to stop listening to shock news crap. Heh.
Tough topic, but I'm with you. Best advice: Don't worry too much. Follow your heart as to what is safe.