Episode #10 Should I Have Mushrooms in My Kitchen?

Come hang out in your kitchen with Stephen as he shows you how to make this space super healthy for you and your family. Stephen will talk about stoves and exhaust, cleaning and fridges, and much more.

The show transcript:
Welcome to Your Healthy House. I’m Stephen Collette. In this podcast I explore your indoor environmental quality concerns and opportunities. We look at the facts and debunk the fiction. We will discuss examples you can relate to and the doable actions you can take in your own home or apartment. We will also look at the history of how our homes are the way they are and the future of healthy housing for everyone. I promise to make this fun and interesting for both of us.
Stephen
Episode number 10 Should I have mushrooms in my kitchen?
Stephen
In this episode, we’re going to sit down with a mug of something on the kitchen stool and we’re gonna look at your kitchen together. We’re gonna learn a whole bunch about it and how to make it a healthier for you and your family. The first thing when I walk into a kitchen is, um usually gonna walk over to the kitchen sink because of the water issue. Because of the abuse that the kitchen sink gets from everybody. Man handling the tap and faucet and pulling it left and right and all the way around. That’s where I’m going to check first. So I want to make sure that the whole tap set is actually secured to the counter and I dealing it secured through the sink itself and not on the counter. Older sink styles. Older kitchen Stiles. You’re gonna have the tap set connected to the countertop. The newer ones with the new flange style sinks. It goes through the sink. The sink is a better version because the water from the tap sets actually gonna sit on the stainless versus sitting on the counter top, where we’re going to get rot. And it’s typically that gap between the sink and the faucet. That’s where we’re going to get the worst amount of damage, so make sure it’s secure. If it’s loose next step, open up the doors underneath the sink. Get in there, Empty it out, take everything out. I know you’ve got a lot of crap in there. I’ve seen it. We need to get it out. So empty everything out. Get under there and look up. You can use your phone on and take a picture, but look up at the bottom of the counter. That’s where you’re going to find out whether you have water damage or not. If we have a laminate style countertop, if we’re getting water underneath, that’s gonna happen around the sink and at the tap set. And so, looking up, we’re looking for that water damage because you’re going to find it on the bottom, not on the top, because of the coating on top. If we’re seeing water damage, we want to make sure that it’s old and not ongoing. So again, look at the seal around the sink. If the sink is twisted, warped or anything like that, water’s getting underneath it. That’s where we want to readjust the sink as well. Possibly add some sort of some stripping or caulking or gasket material, but ideally, it’s actually secured properly. You also want just make sure that people are actually using their dish drainer properly. I had one job where he never ever put the drain of the dish drainer up to the sink, and he never put it away, either. And I actually moved it and it was absolutely black underneath. It was super gross. Please don’t do that.
Stephen
So while we’re under the sink, we’re looking for leaks in the cabinet. So as well as just plumbing leaks, certainly the pipes and in the fittings, making sure that everything’s running properly. We’re not getting water damage now. We’re looking under the sink. We’ve pulled out all your cleaning products because that’s where you mostly store them, and what I typically do is try to sort them out. How many of them are we willing to eat? How many of your cleaning products are we not willing to eat? And we’re going to find a lot of chemicals under the sink. And so we really want to think about that. There’s no pine in Pine Sol. There’s no April spring air in these room deodorizers, so we’re also typically going to find bleach, and we’re going to find some sort of window cleaner on their super normal now. Bleach. Well, we used to drop that on the Germans in World War I, called a chlorine gas. Now it comes in a four litre bottle with a handle. It’s the exact same consistency, and so it is really, really poisonous if you use bleach in a factory. If you’re looking at material safety data sheets, you have to wear ah hood, a face mask, a rubber apron, rubber gloves and use it under Ah, hi Ventilation hood. Which is exactly how you use it at home, of course. No beside that. The bleach we store our window cleaner and the main ingredient window cleaner is actually ammonia. And so when you put chlorine and ammonia together, you actually get a nerve gas where you go to sleep. And don’t ever wake up now at a buck 99 from your hard wearers or grocery store. Are those two bottles airtight? Absolutely not. And that’s just two of the myriad of chemicals that air hanging out underneath your sink. And if you go to the way back, the ones that you came from the last host are still in the way back. Or that the previous homeowner is left for you. All the really toxic stuff. Get them out, period. Take them all the hazardous waste disposal them properly. Do not drop them. Pour them down the sink. Okay. Hazardous Waste depot. Your local waste management location. Okay, because the other thing you really doing under there is you’re also oftentimes storing your potatoes and onions underneath the kitchen sink, which is super awesome, because now those absorptive food products can collect as much of those chemicals as possible before you eat them, so that’s like super bad. So keep that in mind. Get rid of all the 1000 of plastic bags that you have under there, clean that sink out, put in on lee healthier cleaning products, natural based cleaning products. Keep it clean, keep it dry and you’ve got a healthier space.
Stephen
For those of you who are filtering water, you’re also going to have your water filtration system underneath the kitchen sink, and we’ll do it. Episode on water filtration because of having people ask about that. But if you have any sort of filter system underneath the sink, remember, you do have to change it periodically. I know it comes as a surprise, but you do remember to change them on a regular basis. Put the put the calendar dates in your phones. Who you get the message so you remember to change them out and again check for leaks.
Stephen
Once we step back from the sink, the next thing I’m probably going to look at is your stove. If you have an electric stove, I don’t have too many concerns. I have some concerns with the newer inductions. Stove tops. They are a really high frequency. That is how they work. So it’s Ah, high frequency that heats the pots and the contents, your water, whatever you’re boiling quickly. Now it is supposed to work where it only happens where it’s covered. Like there’s only the induction process where the pot is in direct contact. Some my colleagues have said there is some bleed around that and that some of these higher frequencies do come off and can be a concern. I don’t know enough about it. Something going to do. More research on you should definitely do some research on it before you think about purchasing one of those. I like the regular glass top old school coils. Um, they’re really hard to find. But for some of my clients who are sensitive, those air the only way to go. But I do like the glass top typical. The regular glass top really easy to clean as well. If you’re looking at a Gast over if you have a gas stove, here’s what I want you to think about. If on your kitchen counter you were to start a fire, the first thing you would do is well, hopefully put it out. But the second thing you would do is probably open a window. Get some ventilation going because you’ve got smoke billowing in your kitchen. So if you have a gas appliance a gas stove in your kitchen, you must you must. You must have ventilation running all the time. Your gas furnace exhausts outside your gas. Hot water tank exhausts outside your gas fireplace exhausts outside, but you are willing to stand over top of your combustion gas stove and suck up as much exhaust fumes as you humanly can. Maybe that explains why you keep burning dinner. I don’t know, but it’s really, really unhealthy now. Yes, gas stoves are marvelous. We can get the perfect temperature every single time. It’s absolutely the best chefs thing in the universe. I get it, but you shouldn’t look at your gas, stove or oven without turning on an exhaust fan because it needs to exhaust outside. And depending on how many burners you have, you may need some makeup air. If you have a 62 burner commercial kitten gas stove in your kitchen first, you don’t need that much. Secondly, you’re gonna need some fresh air, because when you turn on that properly sized exhaust fan, it’s going to be like a 747 taking off in your house, and it’s going to suck from every crack in nook and cranny. So you need to think about makeup there if you’ve got a large scale commercial exhaust. So that said, you also want to make sure that it’s actually exhausting outside. I know a lot of kitchen fans are going to exhaust internally, so they’re just recirculating and you’ll see them. The classic white hoods and over top of the white hood. There’s a little grill, and that’s actually just recirculating, so it’s actually just blowing back in. So all you’re doing is just helping drive the carbon monoxide deeper into the house to the rest of the family can enjoy it as well, and that works out swell. Ideally, whether it’s gas or electric, I strongly recommend that the kitchen fan exhausted side. We can get quieter ones because they’re noisy and I want to put them on. I can’t hear the kids scream. I can’t watch my to YouTube video whatever. By quieter one, they sell them. So look for a energy star Rated once we can save energy, Look for one with a low sewn S o N e s, which is just a decibel rating. And they just made up a new word because no one could spell decibel properly and so get the lowest one possible, and that’s going to allow you to use it. And if you’re really sensitive, the noise or still just can’t process it, have a heating contractor come in, take the fan out of the unit and actually put it at the other end. So instead of pushing the era of the house, have it, you know, up in a bulkhead somewhere at the exterior wall. So it’s actually sucking the year of your house, and that’ll work fine as well.
BBI
Your hHalthy House with Stephen Collette is sponsored by the Building Biology Institute, a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to creating healthy homes, schools and workplaces free of toxic indoor air, tap water pollutants and hazards posed by electromagnetic radiation. Through a combination of online learning and in person seminars, we offered professional certifications, including Building Biology Environmental Consultant, Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist and Building Biology New-build Consultant. For more information, visit our website at www.buildingbiologyinstitute.org
Stephen
The next I’m gonna sort of look around. I’m probably going to talk about look at your microwave. So if you have a microwave microwaves air really good at cooking meat fast and microwaves do that by very high frequencies. So it’s It’s an electromagnetic spectrum issue, so it’s, ah, high frequencies issue, and they call him microwaves just because of the cycles per second. And so, in my experience, I haven’t seen a microwave that doesn’t leak microwave radiation. And so because of that, I don’t really recommend microwaves, So I am able to test them and I do see it and and I’ve had some that leak a little bit. And I have some that leak like 25 feet, like an incredible amount of energy. And that was even in a really expensive house. You know where the maid answered the door, so it’s not necessarily a function of like the the expense of the microwave. I’ve found the all league, and this is super dangerous because you’re standing there waiting your 30 seconds to reheat your coffee or whatever you’re doing with it, watching the popcorn with chemical based butter spinning around in there so don’t recommend use it. So I recommend you actually get rid of your microwave, throw it out the door on and switch to maybe a conviction. Toaster oven. Maybe. Think about something like that, and that’s obviously the most extreme men. Most expensive solution. So if you’re not willing to unload your microwave yet, try to use it less. Plan a little more. So think about getting the the meat out of the freezer in the morning instead of at the last minute. When during you don’t have anything planned, try to think about that, so work on your scheduling. Try to use it less. Don’t stand in front of it while you’re using it. Maybe if you’re having a fight, put your significant other the other in front of it to block the radiation from you. And that will be healthier for you. I’m kidding. Please don’t do that and then definitely don’t put plastic in it. So when we see these plastic containers that air that air heavily stained with like tomato sauce and stuff like that, then when used in the microwave, it goes both ways. So tomato sauce and a plastic plastic into the tomato sauce. So if you’re using plastic, you’re eating plastic, and that is really, really harmful for the body. So definitely don’t put plastic in there and, ideally, just get rid of it.
Stephen
Okay, so that’s kind of the big concerns within your kitchen. We’re going to see all of those in almost everybody’s kitchen. Next, I might kind of talk about you’re frying pans. So if we have, say, nonstick frying pans versus cast iron frying pans, well, the not When do you throw out your non stick frying pan? Well, I throw my non stick frying pan out once I’ve scratched and scraped and eaten all the non stick coating on top. Now, when we think about it that way, that’s not really great, right? We’re consuming that chemical, and the original nonstick coating is P F. O, a perfluorooctanoic acid, and it is quite harmful to human consumption. And if you were to have a frying pan with PF away on high heat in your kitchen and you happen to have a budgie or a canary in your kitchen, the chemicals coming off the high the very heated pan would actually kill and has killed small birds. Now, if we were to pause momentarily and ponder that fact, do you think we should be using such chemistry with in our own homes to cook our food full of nutrition to feed our family? It’s not ideal, right? Yeah, they’re cheap. Yeah, they’re inexpensive. Yeah, I can just keep throwing them out once they start to get scratched and replaced with a new one for sure, but quality over quantity where we can afford it. So cast iron frying pans. They’ve been around for a few 100 years. The reason cast iron frying pans have been around for a few 100 years is because they work. It’s not rocket science. You have to season them. And for some of you non vegetarians, that means eating a lot of bacon, putting bacon grease in there really good for it. Oiling it. There’s even YouTube videos on this. They were so important back in the day when a when a young lady left the family house to get married, she got a cast iron frying pan to take forward because they were that valuable and still are that valuable Yes, they’re heavy. Not everyone can carry them. Not everyone can handle them. I do accept that. But cast iron frying pans can make a great, great lifetime investment, and you can even pick him up at second hand stores for, like, pennies on the dollar, often times. So a good season cast iron frying pan. There are some other versions out there. I am just learned about a steel pan that can be seasoned as well. I haven’t used it. Don’t know anything about it. There are ceramic splatter coats. There’s some theoretically less toxic chemical coatings. Nonstick coatings. There’s a variety out there. I like the ceramic because it’s just rocks, so certainly I would lean that way if you wanted the lighter weight. Non stick in the cast Iron frying pan, for sure, is going to work when you take the time to season it. For those who were really sensitive when we start looking a pots more likely, um, the old vision cookware. Three glass cookware came out in the eighties, which, if you’re not old enough to remember that, don’t worry. Therapy helps, but, um, some glass cookware is still available, and that could be for people I find who have metal sensitivities. So but if you’ve got older than that, like early eighties seventies, if you’ve still got Grandma’s cookware kicking around, you could have aluminum in it. And there has been some research. I wouldn’t say it’s definitive, but there’s been some research that’s looking at aluminum is being one of the potential concerns with Alzheimer’s.
Stephen
So I would have some concerns with really old metal cookware. If we go way back, they actually use tin and they actually used lead for solder. And stuff like that, like this is anti like, really antique 100 year old stuff and even some Army rations back in the day, like a Scott’s expedition to the pole. One of the concerns and make it was that he had lead boys, and the team had lead poisoning because the Army rations were slaughtered with lead. So useless fact. A bit of a sidebar. I apologize, back to your kitchen.
Stephen
When we think about keeping the kitchen clean, we want to make sure that we have the least amount of carpet in your kitchen. And yes, just like the bathroom. Super gross, Super weird. Super rare has occurred. So don’t put carpet in your kitchen. If you have Grandma’s house with carpet in the kitchen to grandma favor and take the carpet out of the kitchen. Okay, because the debris field that you were dropping just cutting. Certainly. My black lab enjoys the debris field immensely while we’re making dinner because she gets free food. So if you’ve got carpet or if you’re standing on a on a match, certainly for, ah, you know, stress, physical stress, you want that to be able to be cleaned, taken outside, beaten thoroughly, and ah, possibly even washed. I really would prefer something that could go in the washing machine. So do keep that in mind.
Stephen
Sweeping really important to just maintain that food waste. And your garbage is well, so for those of you who are in areas where past, sir, big deal cockroaches and other issues. Um, managing your kitchen, garbage and waste and food waste is really important. And all creatures need food, water and a warm place. So if you’re getting pests inside Beit Roaches, Beit ants, you just have to do better job cleaning. No, we Canarsie on stuff like that, and that will obviously help. But if there’s no opportunity for food, they’re not going there. It’s no different than going out to your workshop to find something to eat. That’s not where you go. They’re not gonna go looking there. So by keeping your kitchen clean of garbage and debris and wiping and walk washing, you’re gonna make a big difference. Okay, so do keep down in mine because it’ll manage the pests. If you have forced air system in your kitchen, I’m going to go over and I’m gonna pull the register the floor, register up and stick my flashlight on camera down and take a picture because we’re gonna find that the debris field in that is going to be gross. Okay. And that’s because humans are messy creatures, especially tiny humans, terribly messy creatures. And so we are going to get some food stuffs down the ductwork. So do recommend you clean those up periodically as well.
Stephen
Fridge. Freezer. I’m gonna look at those four seals and gaskets so your seals and gaskets around the doors can get a fair bit of debris built up, especially if you’ve got, say, the overhead whatever’s overhead like your fridge. If the freezers down below that seals going to get worse because you’re going to spill stuff and it will get into the seal than that. Food stuff can grow mold because you’re going to get some condensation just due to the freezing or the lower temperatures. And then so you can get some mold in there. So clean it out. Washington Periodically give it a good wipe and make sure that the food’s not in there. And that way the seals gonna last. It’s actually gonna work, and we’re actually going to get proper operation of your doors so that we’re not losing the energy because the seals are working. We want to be able to manage water within a kitchen.
Stephen
So we talked about taking care of around the sink, which is ideal. We also want to manage the food within it so that there’s not scraps and particulate and bits of food everywhere because all biological creatures need food, water and a warm place. Okay, and so we can have these elements in our kitchen without having the concern of mold growing and mushrooms air, obviously, just a, uh, the fruiting bodies of mold. So that’s what you’re actually eating is mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of molds when you’re slicing up your shit talkies or your portobellos or whatever, that’s all it is now. Other types of single celled creatures similar to mold or yeasts. And so we also use those within our kitchens. Now some people make bread. Some people even name their yeasts. I do know professional bakers. Hard winter bread company Here in my village. Wonderful human beings. I know they’re actually listening. Hello and yeasts are a type of biological creature very similar to molds and can be considered a mold, like again if you’ve got growing. If you’re raising growing yeast, if you’re making bread, if you’re cutting mushrooms, don’t freak out. Your place is not going to turn into a giant mushroom farm. She’s just normal creatures and everything in moderation, so keep the place clean. Whatever you’re doing and you won’t have any issues, I would say the last thing that talk about would be some of grandma’s crystal. So if you have some of grandma’s old wine glasses or wine decanters, they may contain lead and so leaded crystal and let it crystal is anything has the potential to be president anything older than 1980 possibly a little later. But 1980’s a good rule of thumb and so leaded crystal contains lead, Obviously, and the quickest way to Pul led out of the crystal is in an alcohol solution. And that’s a bit of a problem. Now, if you have Grandma’s crystal and its magnificently beautiful on these air family treasures and you bring them out at Christmas and Easter and whatever great use them you’re not going to die from, I promise. If you’re using them every single day, well, you might have other problems which you should explore, but, um, I would not recommend using them every day. If you’re using a decanter, that’s potentially a different issue because you’re soaking, it’s the wine is soaking in the in the decanter, and there is a potential I don’t think it’s huge. But for those who are sensitive to lead, it’s obviously a concern. Um, I would definitely not use the decanter all the time. I would use it. Maybe just for a special event. Okay, hopefully your kitchen is healthier After listening to this podcast.
Stephen
If you enjoy the show, please leave a review and subscribe to the podcast, and you will be doing your part to help others create their own healthy homes. If you would like to learn more about me, Stephen Collette and what I do, please check out my Web site at www.yourhealthyhouse.ca Music for the podcast is by Brian Pickett of Voodoo Highway Music Audio Technical Support is by Mike Pickett. Editorial support is by Eric Rosen I’m your host, Stephen Collette. Thanks for listening and enjoy your day. Cheers.