Sunday, October 23, 2011

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

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Myth 1: Never Use Wooden Cutting Boards with Meat

Unfortunately, there's a great deal of research that disputes this notion. One of the most famous studies was conducted at the University of California: Davis, by Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D of the UC-Davis Food Safety Laboratory. His research points out that there's no significant antibacterial benefit from using a plastic cutting board over a wood one. He notes that even if you apply bacteria to a wooden cutting board, its natural properties cause the bacteria to pass through the top layer of the wood and settle inside, where they're very difficult to bring out unless you split the board open.

This rule, one that I myself have repeated, comes from the notion that using a wooden cutting board will result in tiny scratches and cuts from your knife, and if you use that cutting board with meat-especially raw meat-that all those meat juices will settle into those tiny cuts in the board, and no matter how much you scrub, those germs aren't coming out. The point has even been made by people as esteemed as Alton Brown. The solution is to use plastic cutting boards, which can be dishwashed and sanitized, and therefore must be safer, right? more