Monday, January 31, 2011

Which Cutting Board Material Is Best?

Inlaid Wooden Cutting Board
   Many people in the pro-wood camp point to a study conducted by Ak, Cliver and Kaspar in 1994 at the University of California at Davis Food Safety Laboratory that seemed to suggest that wood possesses anti-microbial properties and that surface bacteria die within minutes. In reality, their findings were that the bacteria actually were drawn into the wood through capillary action. Once inside the wood, the bacteria no longer reproduced and eventually died off.

   Another argument in favor of wood is that, since wood is porous and allows bacteria to retreat into the grain where it is trapped and dies, there is actually more of a chance of getting bacterial contamination from a non-porous, plastic cutting board.
   While you should certainly throw away an old plastic cutting board that has knife cuts all over it, you can plane or sand down a thick wooden cutting board and be good to go for years to come. Wood is considered a “warm” material, and having a wooden cutting board on display in your kitchen can enhance the feeling of warmth and welcome and give even a modern kitchen a hint of rustic charm.
  A final check mark in the pro-wood box is sheer longevity and tradition. Wooden boards have been used by people for hundreds and hundreds of years. High quality wooden boards can be heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm pleased to know all of that. I love my wood cutting boards but wondered about the food safety issue. I sometimes think we get too phobic about things and forget that people had gotten along pretty well before.