Many people eat organic food without realizing they’re not preparing it in the healthiest cookware available. Society is learning more about the importance of eating all-natural foods, but most people don’t know pots and pans can be harmful. If you’re not a scientist — or even if you are — you might not think twice about what your cookware is made of. You might read nutrition labels, but you probably don’t look up the substances that are in your pots, pans, and plastic containers.
The good news is, more information is becoming available to help you make smart choices. It is more expensive to eat organic foods or buy greenware, but it’s worth the money. You might not be able to shield yourself from every toxic chemical out there completely. But you can certainly protect yourself and your family from consuming harmful chemicals on a regular basis.
What It Means to Eat Organic
The term organic refers to the way agricultural food is grown and processed. Regulations differ from country to country, but according to U.S. standards, organic crops must not contain synthetic pesticides, GMOs, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. And for meat, eggs, and dairy products, the animals must have access to the outside and be supplied organic feed. Furthermore, they can’t consume antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products.
There are a few other factors that separate organic foods from conventionally grown foods. All-natural produce is grown with natural fertilizers like manure compost. Farmers use weed control techniques like crop rotation, handing weeding, and tilling, and use birds, insects, traps, and naturally-derived pesticides to protect crops from pests. Conversely, non-organic farmers grow their produce with chemical fertilizers and treat weeds and pests with synthetic herbicides and pesticides.
Additionally, organic livestock consumes hormone and GMO-free feed. Farmers control disease through rotational grazing and a healthy diet. However, conventional farmers raise meat animals with growth hormones and GMOs. They also use antibiotics and medications to treat and prevent disease in livestock.
The benefits of eating organic foods
Organic foods don’t contain synthetic hormones, which can cause an increased risk of cancer. All-natural food doesn’t contain preservatives that help it last longer. Therefore it’s better for you. Not to mention organic farming is better for the environment. It reduces pollution, conserves water, increased soil fertility, and uses less energy. Also, organic meat and milk have more nutrients; omega- 3 fatty acids are generally 50 percent higher in organic meat and dairy.
There are a few foods that you should try to buy organic when you go the to the grocery store. Strawberries are riskier when you don’t buy them organic. They’re treated with multiple chemicals, and the seed pockets on the fruit make it hard to wash off. Popcorn is another food that needs caution. It’s a tasty snack, but the lining of the microwave bags may contain toxic chemicals; perfluorooctanoic acid is the substance used to help prevent the food from sticking to the paper. And of course, another major food item to buy organic is beef. The estrogen-like agents that used on cattle could increase the risk of cancer.
Why You Should Use the Healthiest Cookware for Your Meals
Believe it or not, the pots and pans we use are just as important as the food we eat. Unfortunately, most cookware contains toxins that seep into food while being cooked. There’s debate as to whether stainless steel is harmful or not; however, some studies have found that it can be harmful. Not only that, but aluminum isn’t the healthiest cookware either. It leaches easily when heated or exposed to acidic foods like tomatoes. The most important thing is to avoid cheap aluminum and try to find a pan that protects the aluminum. You also want to be aware of Teflon because it releases toxic fumes into the air when overheated. Additionally, you should be careful not to scratch the bottom of your cookware because it exposes your food to metals and toxins.
The healthiest cookware other the market is old-fashioned material like cast iron. It cooks foods well and is mostly non-stick. You can also try enameled cast iron. It’s easy to cook with and to clean, plus it’s dishwasher safe. Unfortunately, enameled cast iron is expensive; nonetheless, it’s worth the investment. But, if you want to switch over to safer cookware without breaking the bank, try using ceramic. However, make sure you buy ceramic from a domestic merchant because foreign products might contain lead.
Harmful Effects of Toxic Cookware
Most people love cooking with non-stick pots and pans, but unfortunately, it contains the most damaging substances. Mixing harmful elements with high temperatures leads to toxic side effects. According to one study, prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) can cause delays in development amongst children. Mothers who had high levels of PFOS in their system had babies who were less likely to reach developmental milestones. Unsafe cookware can also cause allergies and flu-like symptoms because nonstick pans create toxic fumes. Additionally, perfluorochemicals can cause liver inflammation, a weakened immune system, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, and higher cholesterol. And sadly, studies have found that there is a potential link between PFOA and cancer.
Delicious Organic Meals
Now that you know how to shop for organic foods and the healthiest cookware to use, you should be ready to cook some scrumptious meals.
Fajita Omelets are a tasty option for quick morning breakfast. Start by preheating a skillet over medium heat. Add in one-half cup of sliced green pepper, and one-quarter cup of sliced onion and saute until tender. In a mixing bowl, whisk six organic eggs, and a cup of organic milk, then pour in one packet of organic fajita mix. Pour the mixture over the sauteed onions and peppers until it cooks. Top with all-natural shredded cheese. Serve it with a side of guacamole to boost the flavor.
Stuffed Beef Tenderloin
Blend one packet of Caesar dressing mix and 4 ounces of blue cheese in a bowl. Lay out 2 pounds of tenderloin on the healthiest cookware that you have, and spoon the mix into the center of the meat. Fold the beef over and secure it with a toothpick. Broil for 20 minutes or until done. Top the beef with the remaining cheese mixture. You can top it with sauteed mushrooms to add flavor.
Cumin Roasted Corn
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the corn over a large rimmed baking sheet. You can use canned or frozen kernels or fresh ears of corn. Sprinkle on extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and cumin. Roast for 15 minutes or until your desired crispiness.
Hacks for Meal Prepping Organic Food
If you’re pressed for time, it might be tempting to make poor food choices while on the go. However, meal prepping is a great way to ensure you have healthy meals on hand.
Prepare two meals at a time
The first hack you can try is preparing multiple meals at the same time. For instance, if the meal you’re eating on Wednesday requires butternut squash, cook it the day before while you’re making the current meal. That way, once Wednesday rolls around, the squash is already done and will save you time. It’s a good practice to double up meal prep when you plan to cook food that takes more than an hour to prepare.
Cut vegetables beforehand
Another great tip is to chop your veggies ahead of time. So once you get home from the grocery store, go ahead and slice onions and peppers, cucumbers and other vegetables so that they’re done when you start cooking.
Make multiple meals from one dish
Instead of making a different food item each day, make one starch or protein for the week and add different flavorings as you go. For instance, prepare chicken breast plain with basic seasonings like salt and pepper. But instead of preparing teriyaki chicken for the entire week, make it versatile. Add curry onto the chicken one day, teriyaki the next day, salsa for another day… You get the point. Doing this ensures you won’t get bored with your meal prep, but provides read to eat food. You can do the same thing with your starches. Make brown rice in the healthiest cookware that you have, and prepare it differently. Add sauteed onions and peppers, or peas and carrots; whatever you’d like.
- 8-Quart Slow Cooker that Serves 10+ people
- Manual Control with HIGH/LOW and WARM cook settings
- Includes matching brushed stainless steel Little Dipper Food Warmer
Crockpots are lifesavers. You can prepare delicious meals with little effort. One a week put together two meals you’d like to have the following week. Once they’re done, freeze them and save them for the days you want to have them. The night before, take out the freezer meals so that it unthaws. Before you leave for work the next morning, placed the thawed meal into your slow cooker, and dinner will be ready when you get home. It’s incredible!
Leftovers are your best friend
Perhaps the simplest method to meal prepping is to reuse leftovers. When you cook, make a little extra so that you have some for the next day. You can eat the extra food the next day for lunch or for dinner. Instead of preparing half a pack of chicken in your healthiest cookware, make the whole thing. It’ll guarantee you extra and a break from cooking the next day.
Why You Should Use Non-Toxic Containers
Now that you know that’s important to cook food in the healthiest cookware available, it’s time to learn about containers. That’s right; what you store food in is just as important as what you cook it in. Conventional food containers consist of plastic. Unfortunately, no plastic is entirely safe, but some of them are extra harmful. Plastic can leach chemicals into your food, which eventually enter your body. Plastic is super convenient and easy to store in cabinets. But to be careful, it’s best to store your food in glass containers. Here are some harmful substances found in plastic look out for:
Bisphenol A, also known as BPA is a material used for making containers and other consumer products. BPA can leach endocrine disruptors into your food. These chemicals act like estrogen which has negative effects on your body. As a result, there is damage to your reproductive and hormonal system.
Bisphenol S Plastic
Bisphenol S, or BPS, is a replacement for BPA. Sadly, BPS isn’t safer that BPA and also puts estrogen-mimicking chemicals into your body as well. Studies have shown that exposure to small amounts of BPS can hinder development and behavior in animals.
Phthalates make containers more sturdy; however, these chemicals can seep into your food. Oils and fatty foods absorb them the most and heating the containers increases leaching. Exposure to phthalates might harm your reproductive system and other parts of the body. It can also affect brain development and cause weight gain.
On the Road to a Healthier You
This article contains a lot of information, but hopefully, it’ll help you understand the importance of eating organically. And also to prepare your meals in the healthiest cookware available. Unfortunately, if you want to go the extra mile to protect yourself, it requires more than eating healthy. Don’t misunderstand, eating healthy is great. But if you’re not taking precautions to avoid toxic materials, you could expose yourself to some harmful substances. This information isn’t to make you paranoid or feel as if everything will make you sick.
Look at it this way; you wear a coat in the winter to avoid getting the flu. You tie your shoe so that you don’t fall. Well, eating organic foods and using safe cookware is the same thing. It’s a precautionary measure that ensures you won’t have complications down the road. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about doing what’s right for your body. So with that said, do whatever you can to make sure you’re treating yourself with love and kindness. Rethink the way you view food, and use the healthiest cookware for your overall well-being.
Last update on 2021-03-06 at 16:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API