3

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Mineral oil on cutting boards safe?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 12, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Good cutting boards (wood) need to be oiled periodically to protect them from excess moisture. The standard procedure in the culinary world is to use food-grade mineral oil. From a nutritional perspective, is this advisable? Are there alternatives that Paleo-minded people can use?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 31, 2012
at 08:19 PM

You'd oil it when it's dry.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Oiling up the board and then using dishwashing liquid? Sort of defeats the purpose of oiling it up.

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:54 PM

Warm it up a little then apply , so it seems in deeper

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:47 PM

agreed its definately something i avoid

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Yup i use ONLY coconut oil to season all my boards. Natural anti fungal, bacterial and viral properties are great!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 31, 2012
at 11:57 AM

Yup, plastic boards are not a good idea. There are chemicals in the wood that kill off the bacteria. Both will get scratched and have microscopic holes where bacteria can grow, but wood can kill them off. You want a stable oil so that means saturated, non-PUFA. So coconut oil works well, and best of all, has antibacterial properties. If you want, add a few drops of oregano or olive leaf extract oil and a few drops of iodine as all can kill bacteria.

4e71477b1b79dfbe3aa9d6fcbc6aa859

on October 31, 2010
at 10:04 PM

Being a gourmet cook, I wouldn't want this combo on my board to mess with my stability & sharpness of my knives. Also, if something is not considered food grade like tung oil, I ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT put that on my board. You can make someone very sick with even trace amounts of it. That's just not advisable that's why they have food grade oils and non-food grade oils to begin with.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 31, 2010
at 12:56 AM

Update: tried it once and it seemed to work just fine on my cheap bamboo cutting board. Thanks for the suggestions!

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:30 AM

Thanks! I will definitely try this.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 08:49 AM

Exactly. Coconut oil is perfect. I don't bother heating it first though - the heat caused by gently rubbing it into the board is sufficient to melt the oil.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on July 13, 2010
at 03:55 PM

Tung is not thought of as a food oil, but i thought we can digest small amounts of it. I have seen references that say both 'inedible' and 'digestible in small amounts'... Tung also might be a problem to those with Nut allergies.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 13, 2010
at 03:18 PM

Interesting... is tung oil normally thought of as a food oil,though?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 13, 2010
at 02:32 AM

So you've actually used coconut oil on your cutting boards? I would think that it would be too thick. I know you can heat it to liquefy it, but when it cools, it'll become solid. How do you apply it? Drizzle a small amount and rub it around and let it dry?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 12, 2010
at 07:53 PM

Sorry, I think grapeseed oil is too high in n-6 for it to be an attractive alternative.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 12, 2010
at 07:51 PM

Scott is exactly right. I can't believe how many people use plastic cutting boards thinking that they are safer for raw meat. I would think there is also the risk of the plastic being worn/eroded over time and becoming ingested. The nice thing about plastic is that you can toss it in the dishwasher, but at this point I am willing to deal with the small inconvenience of maintaining a beautiful wood cutting board, if it means I can avoid the risk of eating plastic.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 12, 2010
at 06:08 PM

Just the opposite (mostly): http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/cutting_board.htm and http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm

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12 Answers

best answer

1
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on July 12, 2010
at 06:40 PM

I have used mixes of walnut oil, tung oil, and beeswax and had great success. Woodworking catalogs will sell you this pre-mixed, but if you have a double-boiler, here is a good guide. http://www.erikorganic.com/green/finishing-with-walnut-oil-and-beeswax/

My basic rule is that if you cannot digest it, you should not prep your food with it. Sure, only traces of this oil will end up on your food when you are prepping something with water on it, but each time you prep something oily or fatty, a bit more of that cutting board oil will be passing through you.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 13, 2010
at 03:18 PM

Interesting... is tung oil normally thought of as a food oil,though?

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on July 13, 2010
at 03:55 PM

Tung is not thought of as a food oil, but i thought we can digest small amounts of it. I have seen references that say both 'inedible' and 'digestible in small amounts'... Tung also might be a problem to those with Nut allergies.

4e71477b1b79dfbe3aa9d6fcbc6aa859

on October 31, 2010
at 10:04 PM

Being a gourmet cook, I wouldn't want this combo on my board to mess with my stability & sharpness of my knives. Also, if something is not considered food grade like tung oil, I ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT put that on my board. You can make someone very sick with even trace amounts of it. That's just not advisable that's why they have food grade oils and non-food grade oils to begin with.

best answer

6
C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on July 13, 2010
at 02:18 AM

I wouldn't use mineral oil mainly because I won't buy it in the first place and certainly wouldn't want even trace amounts to end up in my food. Coconut oil is my top choice as it should be the least likely to go rancid and is more stable than a completely liquid oil. The natural anti-fungal/bacterial qualities of coconut oil also seem desirable for this purpose.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 08:49 AM

Exactly. Coconut oil is perfect. I don't bother heating it first though - the heat caused by gently rubbing it into the board is sufficient to melt the oil.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:30 AM

Thanks! I will definitely try this.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 13, 2010
at 02:32 AM

So you've actually used coconut oil on your cutting boards? I would think that it would be too thick. I know you can heat it to liquefy it, but when it cools, it'll become solid. How do you apply it? Drizzle a small amount and rub it around and let it dry?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 31, 2010
at 12:56 AM

Update: tried it once and it seemed to work just fine on my cheap bamboo cutting board. Thanks for the suggestions!

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Yup i use ONLY coconut oil to season all my boards. Natural anti fungal, bacterial and viral properties are great!

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:54 PM

Warm it up a little then apply , so it seems in deeper

4
091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

on July 26, 2012
at 09:53 PM

The amount of oil you are placing on your cutting board is negligible. You're going to receive larger doses of harmful material by licking a finger or biting a fingernail that hasn't been washed in a while.

Just calm down and use the oil they recommend.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2012
at 03:38 PM

I think PUFA avoidance is getting taken a bit too far. A high PUFA oil will oxidize and season the board, lacquering it essentially - along the lines of seasoning a cast iron pan. I use sesame oil to season my cast iron, might use that on my fancy wood cutting board.

1
5b0f25610421dc54a8373e7d3e4a0f94

on September 19, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Actually, in this case, omega 6 isn't a big deal in grape seed, considering that you're using it to oil a cutting board (consuming trace amounts) rather than eating large quantities of it. of course, coconut oil is great, and we all have that in our kitchen by now- right?

0
C2a1583dceeee7c372c1bd0c96c52d30

(0)

on July 09, 2013
at 05:25 AM

Where can you find a cutting board that isn't coated with mineral oil in the first place? I would use coconut oil whenever the cutting board needed it, but I don't want to start out with mineral oil. Thanks!

0
7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on January 01, 2013
at 02:23 AM

The reason they use mineral oil is its inorganic and won't go rancid. Any organic oil will eventually go rancid. In the case of coconut oil it might take a while but it will go rancid eventually.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:03 PM

Plastic boards are never a good idea.

There are chemicals in the wood that kill off the bacteria. Both will get scratched and have microscopic holes where bacteria can grow, but wood can kill them off.

And remember, when you scratch a board as you cut veggies/meat above it, the scratched off bits will get into your food, and then into you. I'd rather have small bits of wood go through me as they won't be digested (we can't digest cellulose, which is why the crap-in-a-box "food" industry started to add it to bulk up their products and keep the calorie count down.) But plastic will leak plasticizers in our digestive tract, some with worse xenoestrogens than BPA and the non-BPA plasticizers in "BPA Free" labeled stuff.

You want a stable oil so that means saturated, non-PUFA. So coconut oil works well, and best of all, has antibacterial properties. If you want, add a few drops of oregano or olive leaf extract oil and a few drops of iodine as all can kill bacteria - if you're worried about it.

Best thing to do is to wash the board with dishwashing liquid, and then dry it immediately after every use. Keeping a clean dry board is the most important part - otherwise bacteria isn't your only worry, mold is.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 31, 2012
at 08:19 PM

You'd oil it when it's dry.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Oiling up the board and then using dishwashing liquid? Sort of defeats the purpose of oiling it up.

0
F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on December 31, 2012
at 03:46 AM

I avoid mineral oil in all cosmetics. I certainly wouldn't want it near my food.

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:47 PM

agreed its definately something i avoid

0
438b19937890646e42f7cee9c524862e

on July 26, 2012
at 01:57 PM

In the "wood vs. plastic" cutting board debate, using plastic cutting boards and leaving meat juices, etc., on it requires sterilization (sometimes via cholorine which is a harmful antioxidant and definitely not good for the body). Wood cutting boards have natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal tannins which destroy potential disease-causing bateria as juices leak down into them. I'm using coconut oil on a bamboo board, and it works fine. A rule of thumb is to always use items of which humans have had little to no "laboratory additions" made to them. Nature has provided everything we need.

0
Caddc418315641b65bd0408716c5c560

on July 12, 2010
at 03:31 PM

Use grapeseed oil.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 12, 2010
at 07:53 PM

Sorry, I think grapeseed oil is too high in n-6 for it to be an attractive alternative.

-2
7431586c21bca496c5a7ec7bd0ca4d6e

(974)

on July 12, 2010
at 03:31 PM

wouldn't you want a plastic cutting board? Wasn't there a concern about wood cutting boards holding the juice and possibly serving as a growth medium for bacteria?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 12, 2010
at 07:51 PM

Scott is exactly right. I can't believe how many people use plastic cutting boards thinking that they are safer for raw meat. I would think there is also the risk of the plastic being worn/eroded over time and becoming ingested. The nice thing about plastic is that you can toss it in the dishwasher, but at this point I am willing to deal with the small inconvenience of maintaining a beautiful wood cutting board, if it means I can avoid the risk of eating plastic.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 12, 2010
at 06:08 PM

Just the opposite (mostly): http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/cutting_board.htm and http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 31, 2012
at 11:57 AM

Yup, plastic boards are not a good idea. There are chemicals in the wood that kill off the bacteria. Both will get scratched and have microscopic holes where bacteria can grow, but wood can kill them off. You want a stable oil so that means saturated, non-PUFA. So coconut oil works well, and best of all, has antibacterial properties. If you want, add a few drops of oregano or olive leaf extract oil and a few drops of iodine as all can kill bacteria.

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