So you’ve made your efforts to detox your body, your surroundings, and even your Christmas tree and ornaments. But have you considered that the food you eat during the holidays – and the cookware you use to prepare it – has many toxins and undesirable chemicals?
If your goal is to create a non-toxic Christmas for you and your family, there are several things you can do:
(note this is the 2nd in our Non-Toxic Christmas Blog Post Series – click here to view our 1st post)
Prepare a Pastured Turkey
Conventionally-raised, factory-farmed turkeys live in crowded, dirty conditions that are as far from natural as possible. They are fed an ongoing diet of antibiotics to prevent them from becoming ill from these conditions. On top of this stew of chemicals fed to the birds in their non-organic grain meals, once they’re slaughtered they’re soaked in a brine to make them more palatable to consumers. Is that the kind of food you want on your table? Why not buy a pastured turkey that was raised in a species-appropriate way?
Here’s where you may fall into another trap: the confusing wording of the food industry. Basically, unless you buy directly from a local farmer who can assure you the birds are all pastured, fed with a supplemental food with no GMOs, pesticides, or chemicals added, then you’ll need to learn how to read a label. You want to see “organic” and “pastured” on the label, because anything else could be misleading. Look also for ones that say they haven’t been fed soy or GMO foods. “Free-range” or “organic” in and of themselves aren’t great because it doesn’t mean they’ve actually been outside or fed species-appropriate foods. Your goal is to choose a bird that has been raised as naturally and healthfully as possible.
Ideally, support your local farmers and buy your turkey directly from them. It’s in this way that you can find out exactly how they were raised, what they were fed, if they were out on a green pasture on a daily basis, and what their lifestyle was like.
Don’t Use Non-Stick Cookware
Non-stick cookware like Teflon pans and the like contain chemicals that are toxic to our pets and people, too. The biggest culprit is PFOA, perfluorooctanioic acid. The EPA has asked American companies who produce these types of pans to eliminate PFOA by 2015. Tests have linked the chemical to low birth weight, cancer, and suppressed immune system. PFOA is in the bloodstream of 90% of all Americans and in most newborns. There are also suspicions that workers at a Teflon plant suffered birth defects because of PFOA.
When possible, use stainless steel or enamel pans. These don’t leach toxic chemicals into your food and don’t off-gas toxic fumes. This goes for your roasting pan and the pans in which you cook the rest of your holiday meal.
Choose Organic Fruits and Vegetables
The word “organic” is used to refer to the way fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains are grown processed once harvested. Farmers must follow rigid requirements in order for the food to be labeled organic. They can’t use petroleum- or sewage sludge-based fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or GMOs. The soil they are grown in must be safe, as well.
Conventionally-grown foods contain high levels of chemical pesticides like insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. People most vulnerable to these chemicals are children, developing fetuses, and pregnant women. Accumulated pesticide exposure can cause birth defects, headaches, and suppressed immune systems.
If you can’t afford to buy organic all the time, at least buy organic for the foods that carry the most toxic load: bell peppers, celery, apples, imported grapes, cherries, carrots, pears, peaches, strawberries, kale, nectarines, and lettuce.
We also recommend considering doing a cleansing diet at some point during your Christmas Break. The Isagenix 9 and 30 day diet programs will help you to reduce and remove the effects of any toxins you have consumed
Choose Organic Dairy
Organic dairy products come from cows that are given organic feed, have access to the outdoors, and are not given antibiotics as a prophylactic measure. They must not have been given growth hormones.
If you’re trying to reduce your exposure to chemicals and toxins, you should look for naturally-raised, pastured, organic turkeys. Organic dairy and organic produce will reduce your exposure to pesticides and other toxic ingredients like growth hormone, steroids, antibiotics, and GMOs. Finally, use stainless steel, glass, or ceramic cookware to avoid the chemicals produced by non-stick pans.