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Wooden vs. Plastic Cutting Boards

October 18, 2012

I’ve been pondering a return to a wooden cutting board for a few months now. That’s what I used for many years. Now, I see the grooves in my plastic cutting boards and wonder where the plastic pieces are. (Likely they went in my food). When plastic cutting boards became so popular, we were led to believe they were more sanitary and easier to clean. Current evidence calls into question that assertion.

Follow the link above to read an excellent article that summarizes the research. Or, on PubMed you can read the abstract of the scientific paper by Dr. Dean Cliver of University of California at Davis, (my alma mater).

Now, back to my reconsideration of plastic cutting boards. I looked at wooden cutting boards in stores but found nothing compelling. Recently, I made the move at the Point Loma Farmers Market when I saw the handcrafted “artisanal butcher blocks” offered by ZLSBoardworks. A young couple, the Swains were selling their beautiful wooden boards–art work, really. The decision was easy.

I wanted a small, easy to use board so chose from the under $50 basket. You can see my new wooden cutting board in the image above. It’s long and thin, made of hickory, a very dense hardwood. I’m pleased with it for many reasons and convinced wood is the right choice for me. I’ll be recycling most of my plastic cutting boards.

(Here’s how I handle meat: I put a piece of parchment paper over a plastic cutting board. The paper is quite resistant to knife cuts. To clean up, paper goes in the trash and the relatively clean cutting board in the dishwasher. Another trick is to use kitchen shears to cut meat. The pair I wield are killer sharp and they come apart for easy cleaning).

Addendum: Here’s another good link at Huffington Post that compares cutting boards. 

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