WOOD CUTTING BOARDS - WHY ARE THEY BETTER THAN BAMBOO AND PLASTIC?
Have you ever sat yourself down and put in serious thought on the appliances you use in your kitchen? We put in all our effort in earning and running the house but when it comes to buying furniture or things that we use every day, we tend not to put as much effort in as we should. A bit of research can go a long way! A few internet searches could easily do that work for you. If you’re reading this article to do exactly that for the wood cutting board you’ve been thinking to purchase than you’ve come to the right place!
When it comes to selecting the perfect cutting board for your kitchen, there are few options on the table; wood, bamboo or plastic?
Plastic cutting boards are more commonly used because of the belief that it is the most sanitary material. People also prefer using plastic ones over bamboo and wood cutting boards just because it is dishwasher friendly. As you keep on going forward, you will see how just a few minutes of hand washing a wooden cutting board is better than endangering and giving access to bacteria that causes many health hazards such as food poisoning.
So, this small convenience shouldn’t be a reason to not switch to a healthier cutting board that’s made of wood. A study conducted in Michigan says that "more bacteria are recovered from a used plastic surface than from a used wood surface." As you may notice that the plastic cutting board are left with the knife scars all over the surface. The same study concluded that even though a plain plastic surface is possible to be disinfected but knife-scarred ones cannot be disinfected and cleaned by hand.
Also keep in mind that when the plastic is being cut into through your knife, there are chances that plastic is getting mixed with the food you are cutting on the board. Hence, plastic isn’t a great choice!
Even though bamboo is a way better option than the plastic cutting boards but it still doesn’t beat the wooden cutting boards. Bamboo is a lot harder than wood which probably will damage your knife.
Wood Cutting Boards
Now let’s talk about the wooden cutting boards! These are my personal favorite because of the numerous benefits it has over the other materials. Also, cutting boards are made from those wooden pieces that are leftovers and would’ve gone to waste otherwise. The most preferable wooden cutting board is that one that’s heavy and made of hard rock maple wood. Using such a board will keep the knife sharper for a longer period of time and will help in smoothly cutting the food. This is what most chefs prefer to use in their kitchens. If the cutting board is taken care of, it can be used for a very long period of time.
Here are a few tips that will help you keep your cutting board in its perfect form. These wouldn’t even take a lot of your time and the results are definitely worth it!
- The routine cleaning of the board should be the regular way with warm water and a soapy
- Don’t soak the wooden cutting board in water. This goes for other wooden utensils such as spoons is advised.
- Let it air dry.
- To keep the wood from drying out, an oiling routine once or twice a month is also a great tip. Oiling it with mineral oils can also protect it from stains and warps.
- Keep in mind that the oil used for this purpose should be food grade.
Wood Cutting Board - Benefits:
I can go on and on about how better a wooden cutting board is as compared to the other ones. To convince you, in this section, we’ll look at research backed facts! Following are some of the major benefits one can enjoy by switching to the wooden cutting board.
You may think that even though plastic seems like a material that doesn’t absorb liquid so it’s the most suitable material for a cutting board but that isn’t true. As mention above, plastic with knife-scars become home to so many bacteria and it is manually impossible to disinfect at home. On the other hand, possesses the quality to stop growing bacteria and even killing the bacteria. Doesn’t matter how old or how new; they will still have the ability to do so.
In a research of plastic and wooden cutting boards by Ph.D. Dean O. Clive, it was proved that wooden boards are indeed the healthiest option. The research was conducted because the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. didn’t have any sort of scientifically proven evidence about which one of both materials is healthier. After this research, use of cutting boards of maple wood or close-grained hardwood was permitted.
Did you know that bacteria such as salmonella and Escherichia coli 0157: H7 usually contaminates the place where raw meat is placed, cut or prepared? The same research was also concerned with the fact that which material is better cleaned off easily to terminate the chances of these bacteria contaminating other foods being prepared on the same surface; especially the ones that are eaten without being cooked such as fruits.
The research clearly showed that such bacteria weren’t found on wood cutting board unless there was a large amount of bacteria present. New plastic surface didn’t kill the bacteria, however; they were able to be easily disinfected. The major difference came in when knife-scarred wood and plastic cutting board were used. Used wood kitchen cutting board gave the same result as the unused ones even though the plastic cutting boards failed and showed that it couldn’t be disinfected by hand especially when remain of food from i.e. chicken fat were present.
This experiment was specially conducted in an environment similar to a home kitchen. The ‘by hand’ cleaning involved the use of dish wash and sponge to replicate the cleaning process at home.
Again the same research showed with statistics that wooden cutting board is a lot safer than the plastic cutting board. After conducting the research and their arrival in California in 1995, they learned that a research on sporadic salmonellosis had been done in the area. That project had been completed even before the start of the recent study. The results from the research clearly stated that the use of synthetic cutting boards had twice as much potential to spread salmonellosis which is the common cause of food poisoning. A material that becomes home to such bacteria, that too in the utensil used in the process of preparing food, shouldn’t be the first choice of any person.
When you’ve bought a good quality Maple Wood Cutting board, you should know that you’ve made a long-term commitment. The cutting board will last you for years and years and still manage to look as good as new because of the natural beauty of hard rock maple wood. The wood is so solid in nature that it’s also used for manufacturing of baseball bats, butcher blocks and rolling pins.
Why Maple Wood?
Hard Rock Maple wood cutting board is unquestionably one of the best choices you could make while shopping for a cutting board for a number of reasons. This is the densest one out of the family of big leaf and Silver Maple which makes it the working horse of the family. It is safe to say that a piece of Hard Rock Maple weights twice as much the same size of Soft Maple Wood. It is also known as Sugar Maple as it comes from the wood of the trees used to produce the infamous, maple syrup.
As mentioned above, the Hard Rock Maple wood is denser, heavier and stronger than its cousins. This makes it the perfect surface for knife work as its strength can handle the knife-strokes. This makes it more sustainable than bamboo and plastic cutting boards. The surface won’t damage the knife and keep it sharp for a longer period unlike the bamboo cutting board and you don’t have to worry about eating shreds of plastic as you might have in case the usage of plastic cutting boards.
- Made in the USA
The wood is made in abundance in the USA which makes easily available there. High supply results in reasonable prices of the cutting boards too. So, what are you waiting for?
As North America is home to Sugar Maple or Hard Rock Maple, the local sources are unquestionable in abundance! Not long ago when people became aware of the benefits that accompany the wood, the cost went sky high. Now, to everyone’s advantage, the growth didn’t take long to catch up with the demand and it has become very affordable again.
This article has compared all the materials, all the traits, the drawbacks of each material that the market has chopping board and after each comparison, we could only come to one conclusion: go for a maple wood cutting board for the kitchen! Here we have some options!