I have had numerous people over the years ask me why they should purchase a wood cutting board over plastic or glass. This post explains why wooden cutting boards are better and why I only use wood cutting boards in my kitchen.
Wooden Cutting Boards Kill Bacteria
The problem is that while it may seem like plastic is non-porous and can’t absorb liquids, with use the surface becomes knife-scarred. This rough surface is exceptionally difficult to clean, even with bleach or running through the dishwasher. Wood, by contrast, shows the ability to halt the growth of and kill bacteria applied to its surface. Both new and used wooden cutting boards maintain this ability equally well.
Wood Versus Salmonella, Listeria and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia Coli
In a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin, they tested bacteria known to produce food poisoning-Salmonella, Listeria and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia Coli. These bacteria were placed on cutting boards and four types of plastic. All the wooden boards consistently outperformed the plastic. The scientists found that three minutes after contaminating a board that 99.9 percent of the bacteria on wooden boards had died, while none of the bacteria died on plastic. Bacterial numbers actually increased on plastic cutting boards held overnight at room temperature, but the scientists could not recover any bacteria from wooden boards treated the same way.
They revealed that those using wooden cutting boards in their home kitchens were less than half as likely as average to contract salmonellosis, those using synthetic (plastic or glass) cutting boards were about twice as likely as average to contract salmonellosis and the effect of cleaning the board regularly after preparing meat on it was not statistically significant. Conducting that wood cutting boards kill bacteria. Wood absorbs up water, which bacteria needs to grow. Wood also contains antimicrobial compounds. Old or new cutting boards add an extra line in defense to your kitchen. Bamboo may have similar properties, but the only test data I was able to find about antimicrobial properties of bamboo focused on bamboo cloth.
Survival Of Bacteria On Wood and Plastic Particles
The study “Survival of bacteria on wood and plastic particles: Dependence on wood species and environmental conditions” by Annett Milling, Rolf Kehr, Alfred Wulf and Kornelia Smalla compared bacteria growth (E. Coli and E. faecium) in seven years sawdust and plastic (polyethylene chips). They found that sawdust reduced the bacteria count, with pine and oak performing the best. From the abstract: “The presented study shows that pine and oak exhibit substantially better hygienic performance than plastic and indicates an antibacterial effeect caused by a combination of the hygroscopic prperties of wood and the effect of wood extractives.”
They also discuss earlier studies, including one by Koch et al in 2002 comparing bacterial survival(Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens) on wood, plastic and stainless steel, noting. “A remarkably great difference in survival of the bacteria on the surface of the samples was observed between wooden samples and plastic and steel. Oak showed the highest decrease rate in bacterial titre, followed by beech and ash. Bacteria survived longest on plastic followed by stainless steel.”
Wooden Cutting Boards Protect Your Knives
Wooden cutting boards help perserve your knife edge and keep it cutting sharp. Even the hardest woods typically used on cutting boards such as maple or white oak are kinder to knife edges compared to plastic or glass. This turn means less energy is required to cut and chop and the less pressure required to cut results in less score marks on the wood.
Serenity Boards in particular offer great protection to your knives. Woods like maple, elm and walnut are best, because they won’t blunt the blade as easily as a harder surface like plastic, marble or glass. So if your knife is the primary concern, go with wood.
Wood Cutting Boards Are Environmentally Friendly
If like mine, your wooden cutting boards are made from lumber that comes from a local resource or a wood supplier, not only have you used a material that is organic it is sustainable, biodegradable and renewable. Now that has to be good for our enviroment. Right? The same cannot be said for a plastic board. The choice is esay.
Wooden Cutting Boards Just Look Better
Whether you are looking at a regular wooden cutting board, a beautiful combination cutting board/charcuterie board or one of my signature Serenity Boards there’s simply no comparison. It’s wooden over plastic every time. Functional art is a term I hear from customers all the time to describe my boards and that’s exactly what i’m trying to achieve. Unashamedly wooden cutting boards are beautiful because they are often made by local artisans like myself trying to build a small business using sustainable materials in a creative way. While many of my products are avalable online I also attend Farmer Markets throughout the year and occasionally during the winter months where I’ll usually have lots of one-of-a-kind items that don’t make my online store. I’d love for you to drop by my stall for a chat and to make that personal connection but if that’s not possible and you are looking for something not currently on my website why not drop me an email or reach out in the comments below.