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NY Post
New York Post
17 Feb 2024


NextImg:This one kitchen item could be wreaking havoc on your health — and it’s not a microwave

A popular kitchen item could be wreaking havoc on your health — and it’s one you may use every single day.

Plastic cutting boards are likely releasing microplastics into your food, according to a recent study published in Environmental Science & Technology.

In that academic article, scholars theorized that plastic cutting board users could be exposed to millions of plastic particles due to the repeated strike of the knife.

Such microplastics are a known health hazard and have been linked to reproductive issues, digestive problems and cancer, per Harvard researchers.

“We unknowingly consume as much as a credit card’s worth of plastic every week,” retired industrial chemist and chemistry consultant Mark Jones told Yahoo News.

Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, told Yahoo News that she doesn’t use plastic cutting boards out of an abundance of caution. Angelica Parisi – stock.adobe.com

In fact, if you’re drinking from plastic water bottles, eating food in plastic packaging, or even just eating meat, you’re likely consuming microplastics.

Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, told Yahoo News that she doesn’t use plastic cutting boards out of an abundance of caution.

“Anything that you can do to reduce your plastic exposure is a good thing,” Stoiber said. “And what you use in the kitchen is a good place to start.”

In addition to avoiding microplastics, Stoiber personally prefers wood or metal cutting boards because they’re more durable, easy to clean and more sustainable.

Likewise, she recommends using a stainless steel reusable water bottle with filtered water to reduce microplastic consumption, and would avoid using plastic containers to store food.

While Stoiber claimed the grooves of the plastic board could prove harder to disinfect and thoroughly clean, food safety experts have been divided over the cleanliness of plastic versus wooden.

Although wood cutting boards are naturally antimicrobial and aesthetically pleasing on your countertop, Stevie Cheape, a professional chef, previously told Woman & Home that they can harbor bacteria in the porous surface where food can get stuck.

Chopping block board in a kitchen.
The research suggested that microplastics were sloughed from the boards into food. Chananthorn – stock.adobe.com

While Stoiber argues that the same is true for textured plastic boards, the key to food safety is to keep raw meat separate from raw vegetables, meaning you’ll need more than one board to prevent food poisoning.

“A separate board for raw meat or seafood keeps bacteria from contaminating your veggies, fruit, or other foods that require no further cooking,” Britanny Saunier, the executive director at the Partnership for Food Safety Education, told Southern Living.

Instead, she recommends bamboo cutting boards, as they’re harder and not as porous as typical wooden ones.