The Non-Toxic Kitchen Blog

Explore the journey to a non-toxic kitchen with our insightful blog. From safer cookware choices to eco-friendly cleaning tips, we're here to help you create a healthier home environment for you and your loved ones.

3 Essential Steps for a Toxin-Free Fall Season

Welcome to Part 1 of a 3-part series on the Top 3 Must-Do’s for a Toxin-Free Fall Season!

 

Happy Fall!  

I love this time of year, the leaves are changing colors, the mornings are crisp and the days are just gorgeous!  I’m excited for apples, and pumpkin flavored everything as well as sweater weather.  Unfortunately, with all these great fall favorites also come toxins that we need to be aware of.  

According to the EPA, between preservatives, flavorings, and fragrances to pesticides, plasticizers, and flame retardants, there are more than 85,000 thousand synthetic chemicals in the products we consume and use on a daily basis.  The majority of these chemicals have not been proven safe for human and environmental consumption.  (Leah Segedie)

The exposure to these chemicals can add up and eventually cause serious health issues to us and our families.   

That fact alone can make you think:  What's the point?  Why even bother?  The good news is, there are a lot of easy ways that you can lower your families' toxic burden.  

It can feel overwhelming to know where to start.  So what’s a mom to do to keep her family healthy? I’m here to show you that you can still enjoy all things fall and holidays with just a little know-how.   

Here are 3 things you can do to have an awesome non-toxic fall season:

1.  Buy organic apples, pumpkins & squash:  As the weather changes and your favorite fall produce starts to hit store shelves, it’s important to remember to look out for toxic pesticide residues. From apples to pears and kale to spinach, more than 70% of non-organic produce has been found to contain harmful pesticide residues, even after thorough washing!  

80% of apples in the US are doused with an EU banned pesticide called diphenylamine or DPA.  This pesticide is sprayed on apples and pears after they have been harvested to help prevent brown or black spots.  It has been linked to cancer in lab animals and could produce nitrosamines which some studies have found that people who eat foods with nitrosamines have elevated rates of stomach and esophageal cancers.  Yikes!

Pumpkin is everywhere this season.  And for good reason as it is delicious and really good for you.  Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene, which your body will process and convert to vitamin A. Additionally, pumpkin has vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which are essential for bolstering your body's immunity.  

But if you’re not careful you could also be getting Bisphenol A or BPA with your pumpkin if you buy it canned, as well as pesticides.  If you aren't buying organic pumpkins, essentially you are consuming whatever land, water, and chemical contamination your pumpkin absorbed!  YUCK!

Bottom line - eat organic apples and pumpkin/squash this fall.  That includes apple cider, applesauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, etc.  

Awesome resource:  Have you heard of EWG’s Dirty Dozen list?  It’s a shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce.  It tells you which produce is so full of pesticides and herbicides that you must buy organic.  But also the produce that’s safer to buy conventional.   

Here is a link to it so you can use it every time you go grocery shopping.   

2.  Know what’s in your candy:  October is not just about the beginning of fall but also the start of candy eating season.  Between Halloween and Christmas our kids, and all of us for that matter, will consume more candy than the rest of the year combined.  But due to the artificial dyes, preservatives, and all the other junk found in typical candy, it’s important to know what you’re really eating when you bite into that candy bar. 

Next week we’ll cover what to look out for and swaps you can make to make this time of year easier on your waistline as well as your toxin levels!

3.  Get used costumes or make your own instead of buying new:  Have you heard of petrochemicals?  They can leach into your body through your clothing and have been linked to endocrine disruption, hormone imbalance, and even some types of cancer.  Halloween costumes are mostly made in China and full of these chemicals.

This is another area where we will dive deeper into the details of what’s lurking in your kids’ Halloween costumes or your favorite warm weather gear that you need to be aware of.  We’ll cover this in Part 3 of this 3 part series. 

Stay tuned for next week’s post as we take a deeper dive into what’s really in that candy our kids (and we) are eating!

Remember:  your actions have a compounding effect on your life.  It’s the little things you do every day, like buying organic vs non-organic produce that make big impacts on your health and your quality of life.  You can do this!