- Food and Cooking
Poison in Plastic Cutting Board
Loose plastic grains from cutting board
What about eating plastic grains?
Would you like to eat tiny plastic grains or scrapings from your plastic cutting board? I am not joking. That was what happened to both my wife and me. This is the poison in plastic cutting board. No matter how old plastic cutting board is; it is always deceiving that it doesn’t look very old or worn out. This is the most dangerous point when you use a plastic cutting board. Come to think of it, this particular plastic cutting board had been with us for at least 4 years. After such a long period we sort of never noticed anything wrong with our plastic cutting board, until a few days ago when my wife accidentally scraped across the board with the knife, and mother of all horrors, chunks of little plastic grains just came out from the surface of the plastic cutting board!
Take a look at the photos and you will know what I mean.
Plastic grains from my plastic cutting board
Is plastic cutting board really safer than the wooden one?
When plastic cutting board first came into the market, I was skeptical of its safety. The first thing that struck my mind was the question of bits of plastic that might come out from the constant cutting and chopping. I never thought that with aging, the plastic might just loosen itself into tiny bits. So how can plastic cutting board be safer than wooden one? The conventional argument is that wooden cutting board is ideal home to harmful bacteria, while plastic one is not. This was found to be false by two scientists who were researching for ways to decontaminate wooden cutting board to make it as safe as its plastic counterpart.
Whatever your views are, the fact is that plastic cutting board will eventually lose its toughness and chunks of tiny plastic grains will come out when you scrape it with a knife. On this point alone, I will never again use a plastic cutting board. If you insist of using plastic cutting board, then please remember to change it at least once a year, and to do a “test-scrape” periodically. Since I don’t have a good memory, I will not use a plastic cutting board from now on.
Cutting boards of different materials
There are five main types of cutting board sold commercially. These are plastic, wood, glass, acrylic and believe it or not, metal. I think the latest trend is for the bamboo cutting board. In fact I have in my house all these except acrylic and bamboo. Take a look at the photos on the right. I am now using the wooden cutting board.
My metal cutting board
My glass cutting board
My new wooden cutting board
Forget about those technical or scientific reasons
You can read in the internet the reasons for and against “plastic vs wooden” cutting board. Some are common sense reasons, while others supposed to be technical and scientific. Here, I share with you my own personal experience, things that actually happened to me. I think I must be eating the plastic grains for months without knowing it. Maybe this was the cause of my recent periodic health problem despite my disciplined healthy lifestyle.
Just a friendly reminder
As a parting comment, I think we should change our plastic or wooden cutting board once a year. But when the time comes, are we game enough to really want to throw away that still looks okay? Please, at least give it a thorough inspection periodically plus the “scraping-test”. However, with proper maintaining and oiling, a wooden cutting board is supposed to last for years. You need to use special "cutting-board mineral oil" for this purpose. Please don't use any cooking oil as it is not for this purpose and will encourage more bacteria to breed.
If you are using the plastic cutting board, please do a “scraping-test” after you finished reading this article. Good luck.
How to maintain and oil a wooden cutting board
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