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Wood chopping board; the fairy godmother of kitchens

Wood chopping board; the fairy godmother of kitchens

Before buying your next chopping board, have a quick read of the English children’s book, Babes in the Wood. This centuries old tale is a cautionary reminder of the potential danger that lies beneath the surface for unaware innocents. Am I being too dramatic? Not really, if you think about the community of bugs living in the tiny grooves made every time you cut on a plastic chopping board. These bacteria growing down in a groove or fissure are difficult to wash away, even with ferocious manual scrubbing or putting through the dishwasher. Basically, plastic chopping boards are a petridish of potential food-borne infections lurking in the shadows to attack. Happy endings are not guaranteed in this storyline.

Now, let me introduce you to the fairy godmother of kitchens; the wood chopping board.

Numerous studies over the last two decades have identified wood's natural antiseptic qualities, which are able to kill bacteria as quickly as three minutes after the surface of the board being contaminated with harmful bacteria. Though greasy substances like chicken fat can remain on the surface of the board and continue to be a food-safety risk for many hours; washing in warm soapy water is sufficient to remove the harmful grease-borne bacteria. 

Not only does wood magically vanquish those potential dangerous villains, but wooden cutting boards are much gentler on the blade of your knife than plastics. Even more than fancy marble boards, which look beautiful but are made from such a hard material, they will quickly dull any knife that's used on them.

While your kitchen fairy godmother is doing most of the work, you will need to put in some effort as well. Wood chopping boards respond beautifully to being loved and cared for. Don’t we all, really? So, never leave your wood board in water for any length of time. Wash by hand, rather than in the dishwasher. And use a board conditioning oil or butter every 3-6 months. Do this, and you will have a lifetime of happiness together. Remember, fairytales can come true.

P.S Once a plastic chopping board has reached the end of its useful life it will still exist for over a thousand more years. A wood chopping board will totally decompose in a few years.