The Healthy Home Blog – The Kitchen.
It is said that the kitchen is the ‘Heart of the Home’. It’s a place of gathering, sharing and
sustenance. Cleanliness, mindfulness and love goes into the preparation of each meal. Today’s
blog focuses on ways to keep your kitchen in top notch shape – not only natural ways to clean
this important space but ways to keep the items you use to prepare your family’s meals as clean
as possible. The result being a happier, healthier family!
In culinary arts terms “Mise en Place” means “Everything in its place”. An organized, clean
space is first and foremost in a well-run kitchen. Countertops, utensils and appliances need to
be neat and tidy. This provides for the space required to prepare the meals as well as
sanitation. How do you sanitize your kitchen? Take a look under your kitchen sink. You’ll most
likely find an array of chemicals that you would not apply to your skin or ingest yet these items
are used in the kitchen where it has contact with your food and eventually – you. A few simple
and effective disinfecting agents that you can use and store safely include:
*White Vinegar in a spray bottle: countertops, appliances, glass, mirrors, utensils such as
cutting boards, flooring. Spray on surface (let set for 4-5 minutes if grimy or molded) then wipe
away with a warm towel or rinse with warm water. This solution fights bacteria & mold. For
Mirrors and glass, spray vinegar on the surface and wipe with a newspaper – Yes! Newspaper
and vinegar for mirrors or glass works wonders for a streak-free shine Note: do not use vinegar
on marble or granite surfaces.
*Thieves Essential Oil Household Cleaner: available through Young Living at Sandstone –
countertops, appliances, floors. A prepared blend of essential oils proven to kill virus, bacteria
and mold. Multiple uses around the home – read instructions for details.
*Medical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide: (available in brown bottle – found at drug stores, grocery
stores in the health & beauty section) countertops, appliances, utensils. According to the CDC,
hydrogen peroxide is a safe way to kill bacteria, spores, viruses and fungus. Spray on surface
and let sit for 5 minutes to disinfect. Wipe with clean cloth or rinse. Leave the hydrogen peroxide
in the brown bottle and add a spray nozzle for convenience. Hydrogen Peroxide is sensitive to
light, hence the brown bottle it comes in.
*Baking soda-lemon juice and water paste: sinks, appliances, pots & pans. In a bowl, add a few
tablespoons of baking soda, fresh lemon juice and water if needed to form a paste. This acts as
a natural ‘borax’. It will refresh your garbage disposal, too.
**Remember to clean surfaces first with simple soap and warm water (dish soap works nicely)
to remove dirt and grime first before using the above solutions to disinfect.
***I do recommend keeping a gallon of plain, unscented bleach in the home but store it in the
basement away from food products, humans and pets – not under the kitchen sink. Bleach is
toxic and not friendly to the environment. It can be used sparingly as needed in the kitchen, bath
& laundry areas.
Now that your kitchen is organized, clean and sanitized – it’s time to get down to the business of
food preparation. A big concern these days are the additives, preservatives and processes used
in our food supply – Fruits and vegetables, for instance. Organic is best but can be cost-
prohibitive for some families. Standards for organic foods have declined since the 2000’s. When
a label states ‘Organic’ – it means that only 80% is required to be organic. Unless the label
specifies ‘100% organic’, there’s 20% wiggle room for undesirable ingredients. Back to fruits
and vegetables. Whether you purchase conventionally grown or organic, it’s a good idea to
clean them with a soak.
The 2020 ‘Dirty Dozen’ infamous for pesticide and herbicide residue are (conventionally grown):
Bonus: Hot Peppers
Here’s the 2020 ‘Clean 15’ List are (conventionally grown):
2. Sweet Corn*
6. Frozen Sweet Peas
14. Honeydew Melon
* Note: Some sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States are
GMOs, so choose organic to avoid GMOs.
Now that you’ve been to the grocery store or farmer’s market and have a variety of fruits
and vegetables, it’s time to soak them before storing.
Fruit & Vegetable Soak or Spray:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup water
1 ⁄ 4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
For the spray; put all ingredients into a spray bottle (be careful as it will foam up)
shake gently to mix, then spray on veggies or fruit allow to sit for about 2-5
minutes then rinse under cold water.
For soak; fill a clean sink or a large basin with cold water; add in vinegar and salt,
then swish around with hands (you may also do this in a large bowl).
Place the fruit and/or veggies in and allow to sit for 25-30 minutes although I
have even left soaking for over an hour (this will not affect the flavor at all, the
vinegar cleans and the salt draws out any bugs, dirt and other small unwanted
things, it also will remove some of the wax.
Rinse under cold water and dry.
Fruits and vegetables are not the only foods that may contain additives, preservatives,
herbicides and pesticides. See the chart below from Mercola.com (this is not all-
inclusive) but gives you an idea of what is in our food supply:
Top 20 Food Additives to Avoid
Name E # Usage Facts you need to know
Red AC E129 Food coloring in snacks, sauces,
preserves, soups, wine, cider, etc.
Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis (including hayfever), or
Amaranth E123 Food coloring in wine, spirits, fish
Banned in the U.S. Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis,
urticaria or other allergies.
Aspartame E951 Sweetener in snacks, sweets,
alcohol, desserts, ~diet" foods
May affect people with PKU (phenylketonuria). Recent reports
show possibility of headaches, blindness, and seizures with long-
term high doses of aspartame.
Benzoic acid E210
Preservative in many foods,
including drinks, low sugar products,
cereals, meat products.
Can temporarily inhibit the function of digestive enzymes. May
deplete glycine levels. Avoid ifyou suffer from asthma, rhinitis,
urticaria or other allergies.
Black BN E151 In drinks, sauces, snacks, wines,
Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria, or other
Preservative, particularly in fat-
containing foods, confectionery,
The International Agency for Research on Cancer says BHA is
possibly carcinogenic to humans. BHA also interacts with nitrites
to form chemicals known to cause changes in the DNA of cells.
Calcium benzoate E213
Preservative in many foods,
including drinks, low-sugar products,
cereals, meat products.
Can temporarily inhibit function of digestive enzymes and may
deplete levels ofthe amino acid glycine. Should be avoided by
those with hay fever, hives, and asthma.
Calcium sulphite E226
Preservative in a vast array of foods-
from burgers to biscuits, from frozen
mushrooms to horseradish. Used to
make old produce look fresh.
In the U.S., sulphites are banned from many foods, including
meat. They can cause bronchial problems, flushing, low blood
pressure, tingling, and anaphylactic shock. The International
Labour Organization says avoid them ifyou suffer from bronchial
asthma, cardiovascular or respiratory problems and emphysema.
glutamate (MSG) E621 Flavor enhancer.
Has been known to cause pressure on the head, seizures, chest
pains, headache, nausea, burning sensations, and tightness of
face. Many baby food producers have stopped adding MSG to
E124 Food coloring.
People who suffer from asthma, rhinitis or urticaria may find their
symptoms become worse following consumption of foods
containing this coloring.
benozoate E212 See calcium benzoate. See calcium benzoate.
Potassium nitrate E249 Preservative in cured meats and
canned meat products.
It can lower the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood; it may
combine with other substances to form nitrosamines, which are
carcinogenic; and it may have an atrophying effect on the adrenal
F216 Preservative in cereals, snacks,
pate, meat products, confectionery.
Parabens have been identified as the cause of chronic dermatitis
in numerous instances.
Saccharin & its
Na, K and Ca salts E954 Sweetener in diet, and no-sugar
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded
that saccharin is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
metabisulphite Preservative and antioxidant. May provoke life-threatening asthma.
Sodium sulphite E221 Preservative used in wine-making
and other processed foods.
Sulphites have been associated with triggering asthma attacks.
Most asthmatics are sensitive to sulphites in food.
Antioxidant and color-retention agent
in canned and bottled foods, fruit
Acute poisoning has been reported from ingestion of fruit juices
containing concentrations of tin greater than 250 mg per liter.
Sulphur dioxide E220 Preservative.
Sulphur dioxide reacts with a wide range of substances found in
food, including various essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and
essential fatty acids. Adverse reactions: bronchial problems
particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood
pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock.
International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer
from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or
E110 Food coloring.
Some animal studies have indicated growth retardation and
severe weight loss. People with asthma, rhinitis, or urticaria
should avoid this product.
Tartrazine E102 Yellow food coloring.
May cause allergic reactions and asthmatic attacks and has been
implicated in bouts of hyperactivity disorder in children. Those
who suffer from asthma, rhinitis and urticaria may find symptoms
worsen after consumption.
Do your best to read food labels when grocery shopping. It’s a good idea to shop at farmer’s
markets or local farms directly. You may refer to westonaprice.org for local farmers. Some
farmers also ship product direct. The fewer ingredients a food product has, the better. When it
comes to food, keep it simple.
Now that you’ve shopped for the ingredients for your family meal, it’s time to cook. Let’s discuss
cookware. There’s a variety available in many price ranges as separate pieces or in sets. For
many years, Teflon-coated pots and pans were popular in American kitchens due to ease of
cleanup. Unfortunately, these pots and pans have been implicated as a possible carcinogen
(cancer causing). The coating, created by DuPont, when heated, can potentially pass the
chemicals into the food and atmosphere. The Netflix documentary “The Devil We Know” sheds
light on the subject of non-stick cookware. Once a non-stick pan becomes scratched, it’s a good
idea to dispose of it. They have a tendency to ‘shed’ the coating thereafter and it can end up in
your food! When selecting cookware, consider glass (Corningware), cast iron, and stainless
steel. Try to avoid aluminum cookware. It’s inexpensive but aluminum is implicated in
Alzheimer’s. Stainless Steel cookware with aluminum core in the base is fine because it doesn’t
touch your food and provides for even heating. When it comes to cookware, it’s better to err on
the side of caution and purchase a good quality set that is healthy for your family. Do your
It’s my hope that this information provides you with inspiration to be mindful of what you have in
your kitchen. The less toxic exposure you and your family have, the healthier everyone will be.
Continue checking in as we journey through, room-by-toom, in the “Healthy Home Blog”.