Hey, I’m Adam! Welcome to the TGL Blog, your go-to source for uncovering the truth about chemically unsafe kitchenware.
I share firsthand product safety insights to help you evaluate and choose genuine, non-toxic alternatives. With my background in designing, testing, and sourcing reusable foodware, I provide expert guidance through our product guides and how-to articles.
But who am I, and why should you trust me? Well, I didn’t begin as a blogger or a product designer…
I’m also kind of a knuckle-dragger, but here’s how it happened:
After high school, my dream of becoming a Marine was shattered due to a disqualification from an underlying stomach ailment. Quickly, I found myself scrambling for a job and eventually landed one installing fences. While I enjoyed it (mostly), I wanted something different and found myself getting restless.
During that hectic period, one thing remained constant and kept me grounded – my love for the outdoors.
I found solace camping in the PA forests and swimming at the Jersey shore. My Boy Scout days and camp-heavy upbringing instilled in me the principle of “Leave it better than you found it,” a philosophy I still embrace in all my excursions:
Then one day, an ad for a collapsible, reusable straw inspired me to enter e-commerce. The idea made sense to me – reduce waste and save money on disposables.
After brainstorming, I landed on the kitchen and dining space, where we cook, eat, and produce the most waste. I then invested my hard-earned fence money and off-time into this new pursuit.
It was messy, and I had some major setbacks along the way, but I learned:
The supposedly safer reusable plastics I used in my largest blunder – “enhanced” microwave splatter guards – were inadequate. I learned all about plastic leaching, even in BPA-free types.
So I pivoted, opting to work with stainless steel instead. But this choice brought along its own tough lessons…
I chose 201-grade stainless for my first drinkware design based on initial research and the manufacturer’s promises, but it rusted badly. I withdrew the product, losing around $3500 in the process.
Over the following months, I made more relationships in the tableware manufacturing industry. All of my off-time was spent experimenting, researching, and testing materials for safety and performance. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you how many late-nights I spent on WeChat. I’d speak with manufacturing contacts around the world in nearly every time zone, constantly learning about their materials, processes, everything.
Losing hard-earned cash in trials will teach you valuable lessons – quickly!
Eventually, I figured it out, landing on an electropolished 18/8 design with FDA and CPSIA-certified silicone.
We went on to sell tens of thousands of non-toxic drinkware sets throughout the 2010s, directly and through giants like Amazon and eBay.
(And yes, I bid farewell to my fencing job!)
Through these initial failures and lessons hard-learned, I gained crucial insights about material safety:
I directly witnessed (and ran victim to) companies cutting costs aggressively by producing (or sourcing) lower-quality steels and silicone. They bank on consumers not asking questions, relying instead on buzzwords like “PFOA-free,” “BPA-free,” “eco-friendly,” or “highest-quality” to create a sense of safety.
Plus, safety checks across major e-commerce and sourcing platforms are lacking, while brands rarely disclose where they cut corners. Their aim? Keeping expenses low and profits soaring.
Enduring those challenging years gave me a deep understanding of safe (and unsafe) materials and honed my ability to dissect a company’s language. I channeled this experience into creating a non-toxic kitchen “home base” — a reliable source for accurate information on cookware, dinnerware, and food storage to avoid…
Thus, The TGL Blog was born
Our mission is two-fold: Help you avoid being misled by false kitchenware safety claims — and help you “leave it better than you found it.”
For us, the Good Life is a life designed to maximize health, both internally and externally.
Our main blog covers five categories:
Each category features product guides and roundups, how-to’s, and answers to your most pressing questions on the subject.
Or, explore our most popular guides, comparisons, and product reviews – sorted by individual topics and goals: