When I first started on my journey to real food, I didn’t realize that many products I used were bleached. I assumed white products were white because that’s what their natural color was.
As I started to learn more about these products, I realized that most of them were in the baking aisle. Since I hardly baked, many of these products remained on my shelves for years.
However, the more that I started to make my own baked goods, I quickly became aware that you could easily replace these needed products for a bleach-free alternative.
The good thing about these natural products is that they are easily accessible and only cost a bit more. So it’s definitely a better investment for our health and the environment.
Below is my list of top 5 bleached products that you can easily replace for a natural alternative.
Regular white parchment paper, and most paper products in the United States, is bleached with chlorine gas or chlorine derivatives. These chlorine chemicals are known to create dioxins as a by-product of the bleaching process.
Unfortunately, even in small amounts, dioxin is agreed upon to be toxic. Click Here for more information on dioxins.
The wax from white parchment paper is said to prevent it from leaching out onto the food you use the parchment paper for.
However, there is an unbleached parchment paper alternative that is made without the use of bleaching. It’s brown and I think much lovelier to look at and photograph than plain white parchment 😉 It does cost about a dollar more, however, it has more square feet so it does last longer.
I use this parchment to bake pizza, line cake pans, and bake fish.
White coffee filters are bleached in the same way as parchment paper.
You can easily find unbleached coffee filters in any store for the same price. A great natural alternative.
Other paper products that are bleached include, tampons, paper towels, toilet paper, disposable diapers, tea bags, facial tissues, and milk cartons.
Bleached white flour is generally made with benzoyl peroxide. Cake flour is bleached with chlorine dioxide. Both are toxic.
We bleach our flour in the United States to quickly get our flour pure white and aged for taste. Canada and Europe haven’t been bleaching their flour for years. Click Here for more information on bleached flour.
The good news is that we now have unbleached flour easily accessible at any store. Although it does cost about a dollar more per 5lb bag, there is no cost comparison when it comes to flavor and results made by using unbleached flour by King Arthur.
Sure, it’s not pure white but definitely better for our health.
Certain brands of baking powder contain aluminum.
Metals, including aluminum and mercury are best to avoid since they accumulate in the brain and can potentially bring on diseases including Alzheimer’s.
Rumford makes a great baking powder, aluminum free, or you can even make your own.
Pure white cane sugar is processed and bleached using chlorine. I’ve written a post on natural sweeteners where you can find out more information on the refining process.
Organic, unbleached sugar can now be found at any store and taste just as sweet as white cane sugar.
The only difference is it’s not pure white.
These were my top 5 products that I switched to right away when I found out how easily accessible they are and especially, that they don’t cost that much more. You don’t have to break your budget or your health.
Are there any natural products that you switched to on your journey to better health? Please share in the comments below.
Laura @ Stealthy Mom says
I never thought to look at my baking powder. The can sat and sat… now that I cook from scratch as much as I can, we go through it. I saw it is on a list of things that can contain GMOs because of the corn starch. *sigh* I’m going to have to check our can for aluminum.
We use a Bodum pot instead of coffee filters at all. With a Bodum, you can leave the pot on the counter all day and it won’t get burnt.
Bleach itself has not lived here for a long time. The best “bleach” for cloth diapers is to dry in the sun!
Diana Bauman says
I love the Bodum Laura! I don’t have one but have eyed them for awhile. My parents are bringing me a Spanish coffee maker from Spain this year so I won’t need any more filters either.. can’t wait 😀
Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats says
Oh my gosh, I didn’t know about the parchment paper – I will need to switch that up at our house soon. Thanks for the reminder on all of these!
Diana, how about getting your spanish coffee maker from Amazon? I got mine there, it’s been years and still in very good shape (I used it every single day). I can’t stand american coffee, sorry, no offense to anybody! 😀
Diana Bauman says
I know what you mean! Spanish cafe con leche is SO yummy!
My mother had used unbleached filters for years, until she got her French press; and unbleached flour and aluminum-free baking powder have been in my kitchen for a few years, but I’d never thought about parchment paper. Can you get it at any “standard” grocery, or is something you may need to search around for?
We haven’t really “switched” any products in our household, though we’ve introduced some of the more common swaps to our in-laws (raw sugar and local honey, homemade whipped cream, a reusable coffee filter), as much as just not buying the “traditional” products in the first place.
I found that same parchment paper in the regular grocery store. I live in NJ and usually shop at shoprite. Not sure about other areas or chains though.
Leah in Iowa says
I got my unbleached parchment paper off Amazon. 75 sq feet for less than $8.
Talking about bleach. Diana, I wonder what is your substitute/alternative to actual bleach/clorox for white clothes?
Good list! I didn’t know about some of them. I already buy the flour and sugar though. It’s a start! 🙂
Good tips, the less we spend the better! I also already use sugar, and flour:)
Denise @ Creative Kitchen says
Use the aluminum free baking powder, the organic cane sugar and the unbleached flour when not using my own freshly ground whole wheat. We aren’t coffee drinkers, and I’ve always been to cheap…um, I mean frugal to buy parchment paper. 🙂
Great post Diana!! How’ve you been? I can’t believe your pregnancy is already so far along. How are you feeling?
Flours, a lot of grains are bleached I some times I don’t know if I want to know what they do too my food before I get it lol God bless
It’s so icky to think of bleach being used for our products. I need to switch to that parchment paper. I have seen it at a local natural food store. We used to buy Rumsford Baking Powder until it became apparent we needed to steer clear of all corn, even non-gmo. It gives the kids eczema. Now we make our own baking powder.
DIY-Gluten-Free,Corn-Free, Non-GMO, No Aluminum Baking Powder~
1/4 cup baking soda (We use Bob’s Red Mill Natural Baking Soda.)
1/2 cup cream of tartar
1/4 cup arrowroot (Bob’s Red Mill)
Mix together in a small Mason jar. Shake well before each use.
We recently switched to a Bodum French Press for coffee and it is heavenly! The coffee oils that get emulsified practically make it a meal, SO satisfying! I could never go back! It’s not coffee unless it’s pressed to me! Before we switched, we did use unbleached filters though.
We had stopped buying organic sugar in an attempt to save money, but I had forgotten about the bleaching issue. But speaking of sugar, we do not buy confectioners sugar anymore. The issue was the corn starch in it which we need to avoid. So I got the idea online to make our own, by simply making it in the blender on an as needed basis. If ever we needed to keep it from clumping we could always add a bit of arrowroot.
We don’t buy much papertowel anymore due to switching to using white Barmop towels around the kitchen.
Since we have to buy gluten-free flour, it is not bleached or gmo. We buy Better Batter flour. It’s the best gluten-free flour blend ever and it contains just the perfect amount of xanthan gum already in it.
Now when you say Spanish coffee maker, do you mean the Moka style pots? That’s what my Spanish grandparents always used, but they are typically made out of Aluminum. Theirs were. ): I hope yours will be stainless steel.