Cooking food at home can be a delicious and healthy way to fuel your body. But it can also be a fun, creative, and interactive activity. However, cooking can be risky because many of the ingredients we use on a daily basis can be harmful to our bodies when heated above certain temperatures. Whether we cook at home or eat out, we must take precautions to avoid harmful chemicals in our food.
Cooking can be a wonderful bonding experience, but it can also put you at risk of becoming extremely sick. Cooking with dirty hands puts you and your loved ones at risk for contracting a number of dangerous illnesses, such as foodborne illnesses, salmonella, spread through improperly cooked meat, and E. coli, which is contained in certain vegetables. So, how can you avoid getting ill while cooking?
Here Are Four Tips for Staying Clean While You Cook
- Use a garbage bowl. Cooking can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. Many cooking oils (such as vegetable and canola oil) are used to make our favorite foods, but not all oils are created equal. Vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fats, which are much healthier than saturated or trans fats, but they still have a higher smoke point (the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke). As a result, many cooking oils can turn toxic when heated to high temperatures. When cooking at high temperatures, fats in the oil can turn toxic. To prevent this, many cooks use a special bowl, called a “garbage bowl,” that catches all the fat drippings from the food as it cooks, and solidifies it so that you can scoop it out and dispose of it in the trash.
- Take the trash can or recycling bin out of the cupboard. Cooking at home can be fun, but it can also be messy. If you eat less processed foods, the food you use will most likely get contaminated with germs. Luckily, these germs are only harmful if consumed in large amounts. But, if you have young kids or pets, it’s best to keep dirty dishes and utensils out of the kitchen. A great way to improve your cooking space is to take the trash or recycling bin out of the cupboard or drawer. That way, you won’t have to dodge the sink or trash can while you’re cooking.
- Pick up anything that falls on the floor right away. Whatever time of day you are cooking, you’ll be more likely to pick up any items that fall on the floor. And the easiest way to clean up any spills, splatters, or other messes while you cook is to pick up anything that falls on the floor right away. If you drop anything on the floor, put it right back down. If you choose not to, clean it up immediately. This advice not only works in the kitchen, but in the bedroom, bathroom, living room, or anywhere else that spills or splatters happen.
- Cook more slowly. Cooking can be a messy task, but cooking slowly can help reduce the mess. Cooking more slowly means adding ingredients one by one, stirring often, and waiting for your food to cook thoroughly. It can also help you avoid blocking the stove burners with pots and pans.
Cooking and cleaning can be a lot of fun, but like any addict, cook, or person with a substance abuse problem will tell you, it can also be incredibly dangerous. Cooking and cooking-related burns are common, and the risk of a fire or explosion dramatically increases when cooking drugs. So, it’s important to remember to keep a little safety in mind while cooking, especially when cooking with substances like methadone or heroin, which are highly flammable.