Mineral Oil vs. Coconut Oil - Which Is Better For Your Cutting Board?
July 10, 20224 min read
THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF MINERAL OIL
After starting in cosmetics, mineral oil has made its way into our food production. While it is a cheap ingredient, it can be downright harmful.
After reading this, you'll go out and make the best decision for your based on what you know, but we do hope you take time to consider what ingredients you let go near your food (AKA whatever goes on your cutting board will end up on your food one way or another).
What is mineral oil, and where does it come from?
You might have heard that mineral oil is a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline or crude oil. But in reality, industrial mineral oils aren't always made from crude oil. Some companies use a process called "refining" to extract it from coal or shale oil. Unlike natural oils (like olive, almond, and coconut oil) which are generally safe, many industrial mineral oils can harm human health over time.
It doesn’t sound delicious and you may not want it near your food. It also contains toxins. Usually, you’ll find mineral oil in the paint department at your local hardware store.
Not exactly a place for grocery shopping.
While there are “food-safe” alternatives of mineral oil, it’s just not worth chancing it.
Is mineral oil safe?
Whether it be baby oil, bath oil or mineral oil, the debate remains: Are mineral oils safe for your skin, or when it goes in contact with food? Some dermatologists and health experts say yes – but others say no.
In fact, the FDA has banned some mineral oils from being used on skin in children from age zero to six months old because of its potential health risks.
So you need to season your board, what should you use then?
First, let's talk about why you need to do this.
Seasoning your new or not so new cutting board is an essential step in making sure it lasts a long time. Everyday use will take its toll on your board. Chopping and cutting food along with warm and soapy water will add some wear and tear to your board.
While it isn’t something you need to do all the time, it does help to season your board occasionally to keep it lasting a long time. It also helps prevent cracking and warping of your board, and since seasoning your board adds a layer of protection around your board....
this will also keep it safe from bacteria, blades, and heat.
All these can seep into the wood if not properly seasoned. Not only will seasoning make your cutting board or butcher block last a long time, but it will also ensure the health of you and your family as it keeps bacteria from getting inside.
USE THIS INSTEAD
Coconut oil is our number #1 choice.
But what about olive oil, or canola oil, you might ask? It turns out that these oils go rancid, and that is why it's not appropriate for your cutting board.
Ever open a bag of chip in your pantry that's been sitting there for a long time (and therefore way past its expiration date)? That foul odor you smell when you stick your face in that bag is the smell of rancid oil.
For this reason, cooking oils and vegetable oils are not appropriate for use in cutting board seasoning techniques.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is non-toxic and comes with a host of benefits. It will moisturize your board and help it from cracking. Don’t forget to use it on both sides to prevent warping.
Coconut oil is also resistant to rancidity. It is also natural and doesn’t come with harmful dyes or additives.
Coconut oil is also nut-free, which is perfect if you or a family member has a nut allergy.
First of all, what is fractionated coconut oil? This is most popularly known as MCT oil or liquid coconut oil. It is refined using a refractionation process that distills the coconut oil, so only the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are left.
This leaves a pure oil that won’t go rancid and makes it a far superior oil for seasoning your cutting board. This process also makes it better to use than regular coconut oil, which can still go rancid over time. This is why we've chosen to use the fractionated version of coconut oil in our Virginia Boys Kitchens cutting board and butcher block oil.
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Whether you got a new cutting board or inherited one from a relative, seasoning your board will bring it back to life and even extend its longevity. Seasoning your board is easy to do and is excellent preparation for al your culinary needs. It will also protect it from bacteria, cracking, and splintering so you can rest assured your family will be protected from anything unhealthy.
Our Virginia Boys Kitchens seasoning oil is made from organic fractionated coconut oil, with a hint of organic orange essential oil and rosemary to nourish your board from the inside out.