Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An answer to "What kind of chopping board?"

Astra Navigo's reply to my question about what kind of chopping board is best (see "What kind of chopping board?"):

I own a home-remodeling company specializing in home interiors. I'm often asked this question, and while the conclusions are much the same, there are some very important caveats:

1. Plastic is the cleaner of the three materials—if it's cleaned properly: (a) Scrub with a bleach solution, then (b) rinse with hot water—the hottest you can—prior to (c) putting it in the dishwasher.

2. Wood is good if your hygiene habits are, should we say, casual. Disinfectants are not necessary; standard detergents is fine. A quick scrub will do the trick. However—and this is the big thing about wood boards—all wood boards are not created equal.

All trees create a more-or-less toxic substance. Some are more toxic than others. Maple, birch, and other dense hardwoods are best, as they are naturally toxic to most bacteria, and non-toxic to humans. Walnut is very toxic—to the point that masks must be worn at all times when working walnut—human allergy to walnut oil is quite common; it's also the most toxic to bacteria, but you'll have to ensure that no one in the household is allergic to it, either.

3. Stone has no antibacterial/toxic qualities—which is why its use as cutting boards is not recommended.

Hope this helps!

Yes, Astra, this helps a lot. Thank you!

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