Zoe Bingley-Pullin Shares Her Tips for Conscious Cooking

Zoe Bingley-Pullin Shares Her Tips for Conscious Cooking

When it comes to health and nutrition, both the ingredients we choose to cook and what we choose to cook with matters!

We are constantly inundated with fancy marketing terms and trends, so in this article I am simplifying how to make healthy choices in the kitchen.

Starting with ingredients, most people assume that organic is best! If you aren’t already aware, “organic” means the food has been grown and produced using methods that do not cause harm to humans, animals or the environment. In practice this usually means:

  •       No use of toxins, pesticides, fertilisers or synthetics.
  •       No genetically modified organisms used.
  •       No use of antibiotics in animals.
  •       Sustainability practices in relation to farming are adhered to.


You’re probably thinking, that all sounds great, but is organic food healthier?

There is insufficient research to draw a definitive conclusion. However, what we know from the research generally is:

  •          Organic food has lower levels of toxic metabolites, including heavy metals and synthetic fertiliser and pesticide residues.
  •       The macronutrient profile of organic foods (ie carbohydrate, fibre, fat and protein) is no different to conventionally grown and produced foods.
  •       The composition of other compounds such as antioxidants may be increased in some organic produce and the omega-3 fatty acid profiles in meat, dairy and eggs, may be more beneficial compared to conventional.

If organic food is not an option for you, be rest assured that Australia’s produce and food products generally, are well regulated and low in residues.

If you choose to purchase conventionally grown foods, but still want some guidance on how to reduce pesticide residue exposure, try these tips:

  •       wash all fresh produce well before consuming it. This helps to remove any residues on produce that is sprayed. Try a veggie wash or equal parts water and apple cider vinegar.
  •       peel fruit and veggies, but this does mean missing out on some of the fibre and healthy compounds found in the skin of the produce.
  •       Rinse all grains well before cooking.
  •       Trim visible fat off meat products.
  •       Vary your diet to avoid consuming the same foods and therefore the same level or type of residue daily – try my Zucchini, Mint and Feta Fritters recipe below!
  •       Shop local, talk to the farmers at markets and look out for spray free produce! 
Blu. Pan

    In addition to what foods we consume, did you know that the cookware we choose to cook with may also impact our health?

    Non-stick cookware is a popular pick but is likely to contain Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS can leach into our food and when ingested overtime can build in our body potentially leading to ill health effects. These substances also pose a concern to the environment as most do not break down.

    Blu. Cookware is completely free from all PFAS chemical compounds and free from harmful heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, making it a healthy pick not only for you, but also the environment.

    It only makes sense to avoid undoing all of your conscious selection of healthy ingredients only to use cookware that leaches chemicals back into food, look for cookware that is 100% toxin free.

    Zucchini, Mint and Feta Fritters

    Serves: 2-4

    Prep: 10 minutes

    Cooking: 6-12 minutes 


    ½ small onion

    1 leek – white part only, diced

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    4 zucchinis, grated and excess water squeezed out

    ½ cup feta, crumbled

    1 tsp dried mint

    2 eggs, free range

    ¼ cup ricotta cheese

    ¼ - ½ cup besan flour

    Natural yoghurt – to serve


    1. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients.

    2. Take about a tbsp. of the mix and roll into a ball then flatten.

    3. Prepare all the fritters then fry in a large pan with a little oil until golden and crispy.

    4. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt.