Africa-Press – Uganda. For a healthy, living cleanliness is sine qua non and noncompromisable. Since time immemorial, man has been found to be a creature of habit and collection junk. Not mentioning the emotional attachment to old and sentimental things. Indeed old habits die hard and I hasten to remind you of the Baganda saying: ‘entamu gye wali ofumbidde mu, tojiyitta kki tamu tamu’. A cursory look in your kitchen will reveal a myraid of items that have long reached their best sell-by-date and need to be discarded, with many no longer being used but simply taking up precious space.
1. Rusted, broken pans.
The normal cooking pans are made of cast iron with mirror glaze, shine coating and it is terrible to think that these untensils will last forever. Over time, as the glaze corrodes, the food that you cook in the saucepan becomes contaminated with cast iron which is dangerous for the nervous system and in extreme cases could result in tetanus which can be a fatal infection.
2.Old herbs and spices
Such items that are commonly found in the kitchen, and in most cases are not kept in airtight containers which results in slowly loosing their kick and in so doing become stale. Not to mention the fact that they develop fungus which goes unoticed because of their color. Take stock and chuck them out and restock accordingly.
3. Plastic bags are another one of those items that end up filling one drawer of the kitchen and in the end they become of no use. In the event that you choose to store food in them, perish the thought forthwith since these bags are lethal. Made with high density polyethylene aka HDPE, they are loaded with toxins which are inimical to your health and certainly not suitable for storage of kitchen food items.
4. Plastic untensils are unbreakable and last for an eternity but the material used, such as polupropylene and polystyrene, are taboo for one’s liver and digestive tract.
5. Old kitchen knives are generally made of carbon steel which in essence uses iron with a little amount of carbon added to it to make the edges sharp for chopping and cutting reasons. Depending on use and assuming that they are being used on a frequent basis (say 5 years), the carbon may react with the food to the point of making it toxic. Don’t allow this to happen, and as a matter of routine, every four or five years (thank goodness for having smart phones. Put a reminder in your phone calendar and transfer it when you upgrade to a new one) get rid of them and replenish with new knives.
6. Used cooking oil
The use of used and old cooking oil is commonly done in Uganda and according to experts, this habit is not only unhygenic, but also unhealthy). Besides increasing one’s cholesterol levels, it also causes cancer as well as attacking organ cells not to mention white blood cells. In the long run this is will no doubt have a negative effect on your immunity.
7. second hand nonstick cookware
Sadly, here in Uganda one finds several second hand shops that sell used kitchen ware among other things peddling non-stick cookware that is made using a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid aka PFOA. Unfortunately, this chemical emits toxic fumes while cooking and during inhalation from the food, it can lead to the development of cancer cells and can also be dangerous for women who are pregnant.
8. Margarine is another one of those non dairy product created as a substitute for butter that you must ban from your kitchen. Margarine has a high presence of trans fat and a high intake of trans-fatty acids increases the chance of one getting a heart attack.What may astound many people and many may not know, is that margarine stored at room temperature increases in its content of transfat while at the same time also increasing the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) as well as blood insulin levels which in turn increases the risk of contracting diabetes.
9. ragged and worn out dusters in your kitchen contain and carry many times the amount of bacteria vis-à-vis your kitchen sink. It is imperative that you change them from time to time on a regular basis since they continue to be a major cause of health issuses. As a matter of fact, they are likely to even contribute to the contamination of your food chain if you wipe the kitchen slab with them the bacteria may easily spread to your untensil storage drawers.
10. Ajinomoto is another one of those no-no’s that has been found to have a severe impact on the nerves and used over time can lead to problems such as numbness, tingling or burning sensations in the face and neck. I strongly advise not using it at all and getting rid of whatever stock you may have.