About Toxic Free Kitchen
Toxic Free Kitchen is about preparing fresh, whole, organic foods at home in ways that are just as enjoyable to eat—if not more so—than the foods most of us have been accustomed to eating from packages, take-out and restaurants.
I want you to have the ability I have: to take a fresh whole food from your garden, farmer’s market, or natural food store, and make something yourself at home that you love to eat.
It’s about eating real foods that our bodies are biologically-oriented to eat, and preparing them in ways that are free from the toxic substances often found in packaging, cookware and bakeware, dishware, food storage containers, and tap water.
Having come into this world in the mid 1950s, I was raised on TV dinners and fast food. I had an occasional real meal when I visited the homes of my grandmothers and great aunts, but other than that, I spent my childhood and teens eating primarily what most of America eats.
Though I have been cooking since I was six years old—that’s more than fifty years—until I was an adult, “cooking for my family” meant putting the tv dinners in the oven.
When I began to live on my own in San Francisco, I was exposed to more and different types of food, which led me to want to learn how to prepare them. And then as I became interested in toxics and had to heal my body of my own health problems, preparing food to be healthy as well as tasty became of prime importance.
Even though I love to cook, I have always enjoyed eating out, both for a break and also to get more cooking ideas. And, like everyone else, I’ve eaten my share of restaurant and take-out food. But as I became more and more aware of industrialized foods and the effect they can have on health, I began to wonder about the ingredients being used in the foods I was eating that were being prepared in kitchens other than my own.
I wasn’t eating at fast food chains. But I was concerned about ingredients that are considered “normal”, such as refined salt, polyunsaturated oils, soy, high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients are used in food products that weren’t immediately obvious.
A few years ago I was spending a few weeks in San Francisco, and began having a quick and affordable breakfast at Starbucks, which was just a few doors down the street from my hotel. Delicious egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread. Delicious. After about a week of eating this sandwich every day for breakfast, I read the label: high fructose corn syrup (Starbucks has since removed this ingredient from all their food products). But that showed me I really had to read the label, because you don’t expect high fructose corn syrup to be in an egg salad sandwich.
I also have learned a lot about what goes in restaurant food by watching “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” on the Food Channel. OMG. Refined white sugar in EVERYTHING.
When I got home from my trip to San Francisco, I did an experiment. I stopped eating out for a month. For one month I did not put one bite in my mouth that was not prepared in my own kitchen. I used organic food, good oils, good salt, natural sweeeteners, and my body felt immensely better. It was very dramatic.
Since then, I’ve been really researching foods and preparation methods, to eat in a way that is most beneficial to my body, and best for the environment. Most recently I’ve found that following the paleo diet works best for my body, so this blog is oriented toward that. But even if you don’t eat paleo, the principles of toxic-free food preparation apply to everyone on any diet, and you’ll find the recipes to be delicious introductions to foods and dishes that may be new to you.
On this blog, I’m organizing what I know about food, how it helps or hinders our bodies, and how food production helps or harms the environment.
Some of this you may be familiar with, some may be startling, some you may disagree with.
But one thing I know…the recipes will be delicious. And you’ll enjoy learning how to cook healthful whole foods for yourself and your loved ones, right in your own home. Real food for real health, from scratch.