Plastic vs Wood Cutting Boards

Wood is an excellent alternative to plastic and especially so in the case of a cutting board. A high quality wood cutting board is durable and will stand the test of time if given proper care.

Plastic is everywhere. It has infiltrated just about everything that we come in contact with on a daily basis. We wake up in the morning and brush our teeth with a plastic toothbrush, start our day with coffee brewed in a machine primarily made with plastic parts, eat lunch from plastic take-out containers, hydrate throughout the day from plastic bottles, and at the end of the day lay down in beds tucked in with sheets made with plastic (polyester) fibers. Simply stated, we cannot easily escape plastic’s grasp on us. But we can acknowledge it and begin to make changes to lessen its grip.

One step to reducing our consumption of plastic is to be better consumers. We can do better by choosing sustainable alternatives.

A cutting board may sound ordinary but it is an essential product used for food preparation. Many people use plastic for this task because it is light-weight, dishwasher safe, and affordable. 

My opinion about using a plastic cutting board for food preparation: Do NOT use one. 

One aspect of a plastic cutting board is that it is malleable, thus scratches typically occur when a sharp knife runs over its surface. Besides being unsightly, these scratches and scrapes can result in microplastic entering your food and the water system when the board  is washed. There is ample expert scientific evidence detailing the hazards of plastic in general and of ingesting microplastic in particular. We encourage you to investigate further to gain a wider picture of the extent of how potentially harmful microplastic is. 

Wood is an excellent alternative to plastic and especially so in the case of a cutting board. It is a beautiful natural product that is functional and durable. It does require a bit more care than a plastic cutting board because due to its natural fibers it requires hand washing and drying in order to retain its natural oils and luster. Depending on how often it is used it may require an application of food safe mineral oil to protect and prolong the life of the board. 

Wooden cutting boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also made from different types of wood or a combination of woods which provide a vast range of styles, allowing you to select the one that you prefer. Additionally, the grain or stratification of the wood makes each piece unique rendering it ideal to use as a decorative piece in your kitchen.

A wooden cutting board also goes further than its intended purpose of chopping and cutting foods since it can also be used as a serving or center piece when entertaining guests. Wood makes your food look tempting and is appropriate in either a casual or formal setting. 

Cutting boards are manufactured and handmade worldwide. If you are intent on purchasing a Made in USA cutting board then it will require due diligence on your part because you should verify on the label where it is made. We previously featured a John Boos cherry wood cutting board (Amazon paid link) in our Product of the Week because it is a superb example is a hand crafted product that is Made in USA. John Boos selects only the finest pieces of sustainably sourced wood to craft their cutting boards. Not all manufacturers can make that claim. 

New Hampshire Bowl and Board is also a maker of hand crafted, Made in USA, wood cutting boards.

A high quality wood cutting board is durable and will stand the test of time if given proper care. As it ages, it will most likely get scratched and nicked, and its finish may darken, but it will remain a safe and reliable food preparation surface for you, your family, and your friends.

Finally, any natural wooden cutting board you choose is biodegradable and one more reason why it is a better choice than its plastic counterpart.