Is My Kitchen Trying to Kill Me?

Beware, hidden dangers lurk in the kitchen, no matter how healthy you grocery-shop or how diligently you've baby-proofed. Here, MomSpeaker Paige Wolf sheepishly confesses exactly why she's worried her kitchen may be trying to do her in. 

I enjoy cooking. And I unquestionably enjoy eating. And every time I come home with a new vegetable share from my CSA or even a well-timed Fresh Direct delivery, I take pleasure in finding new recipes that I know at least three out of the four of us will enjoy.

That said, I am completely terrified that everything in my kitchen is going to kill me.

Not the food in the kitchen. We shop as clean and healthy as we can (save for occasional fights about my husband’s addiction to Edy’s chemical-shit-storm ice cream).

No, I’m afraid my cookware is going to kill me.

I’ve known for some time that I will probably die a slow death from the few plastic remnants in my kitchen. Old Tupperware that’s gone through the heat cycle on the dishwasher a million times, and those BPA-free bottles that are actually made with something far more toxic.

I’ve lazily baked bread in a chipped non-stick breadmaker and sautéed on scratched-up “Earth Pan” cookware that I know deep down is probably just as bad as Teflon.

Or maybe I’ll die by homemade pipe-bomb, as could have easily happened when a perfectly good piece of Pyrex glassware inexplicably and violently shattered upon being taken out of the oven. And I later learned this was because, several years ago, good old American Pyrex realized it would be cheaper to use a less temperature-resistant form of glass.

Now I literally have to screw up courage any time I take any dish in or out of the oven. And forget the gas stove — I’ve always been convinced that thing is gonna blow from an errant crumb in the burner.

My Keurig was recalled for spewing hot liquid and burning several customers. I once absent-mindedly stuck my finger in a hand blender while making pesto and had to get stitches.

Maybe we were better off before the advent of fire and I’d feel safer sticking to nuts and berries. Except that everyone I know is allergic to nuts. And it’s impossible to find organic berries in the winter.

So I must be brave. Stir that pot with some faith that hot oil won’t shoot directly into my eye. Bake those cookies with abandon.

It takes balls to feed a family of four. Balls of stainless steel.

NOTE: Coincidentally, Healthy Child Healthy World recently released an infographic on 9 Steps to a Healthier Kitchen. Some important – slightly scary, but important – information, including the three types of cookware least likely to kill you (unless you drop them on your feet): cast iron, enameled cast iron (my fave) and stainless steel.

Paige Wolf is a Philadelphia mom and author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. This post is adapted from her blog Spit That Out!

Categories: MomSpeak