Have you done a kitchen inventory lately? You might be surprised about what’s lurking inside! Open up the cupboards, pantry, under the sink, the refrigerator and freezer – there’s a chance you will find some chemicals, additives, plastics, GMOs and a few other unsavory toxins lurking. Even if you shop at the healthiest grocery store in town, chances are there is room for healthy improvement.
Let’s take a look and see where to make a few healthy and sustainable upgrades. You don’t need to do it all at once… if you know what to look out for, you can start creating a healthier kitchen with each shopping trip.
#1. Take a peek inside the fridge and cupboards… for a quick inventory. Get a sense of what you usually have on hand – veggies, dairy, meat, condiments, breads/grains, processed foods, cleaning products, etc.
#2. Tackle this slowly… one item at a time. You don’t need to throw anything out – but as you run low on an item that you want to upgrade, start to think about an alternative.
#3. Pick which item you want to upgrade. On your next trip to the farmers’ market or grocery store, come armed with questions and be ready to read labels to make the best new healthy choice.
A few examples:
Beware of: preservatives, additives, coloring, trans-fats, sodium, added sugar, HFCS, GMOs, BPA…
Replace with: the least processed you can find with the least ingredients, possibly organic. Always read the labels and be sure to look at the sugar content! Homemade condiments are a great option.
Beware of: factory farmed eggs with meaningless labels like “cage-free”…
Replace with: pasture raised eggs, certified by a third party. Look for humanely raised animals – check out the product website or ask questions at the farmers market.
Beware of: toxins, corrosive chemicals, fragrances…
Replace with: natural products (read the labels!) and/or homemade cleaning supplies utilizing non-toxic ingredients like soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, essential oils, and borax.
#4. Enjoy the newest healthy addition to your kitchen! Notice the flavor difference, think about the health implications for you, your family, and the producers – relish in the fact that you are contributing to a healthier body and sustainable world.
#5. Pick the next item. Repeat.