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Conscious holiday kitchen

With the holiday season upon us, I would like to offer up some tips on how to keep your kitchen greener and cleaner:

·         Use as many organic/local foods as possible (labels differ, click here to learn what the different labels and definitions). By doing this, you can feel a little less guilty about indulging—by eating organic, you're doing something good for your body, your family and the environment.

·         Try a free-range heritage turkey instead of the mass produced ones. These turkey’s are leaner, more flavorful and will require extra cook time. Here is a list of where to get Mary’s Free Range, Organic Turkey in Colorado.

·         Use a vinegar and water mixture, or simple dish soap, to clean off counter tops. This will avoid the synthetic droplets it can leave behind and contaminate food and the air.

·         Practice safe preparation techniques. Use a different board and knife for meat, poultry and fruits/veggies. This way, you avoid cross-contamination of bacteria. Remember to wash your hands often,

·         Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Harmful bacteria can grow at a rapid pace when food is kept in the temperature danger zone for more than 4 hours. So make sure your hot food is held hotter than 135 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure you hold your cold food colder than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, when cooling your food to store in the fridge for left-over’s, cool it down quickly so that it reaches below 41 degrees in 4 hour or less.

·         Correctly size your pots to your burners so you don’t waste energy. Make sure your pots and pans have well-fitting lids.  Avoid non-stick cookware as it can release hazardous fumes when heated.

These are just a few ideas for how to keep your holidays greener and cleaner. Any additional suggestions would be welcomed.

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