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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I picked up some bamboo cutting boards today. They look nice! The accompanying instructions mention that the bamboo will need oiling periodically, and recommend using mineral oil. (Well, they instruct to use mineral oil.) I am not excited about using mineral oil, particularly since these are kitchen items and, obviously, will come in contact with our food.

What kind of oil would you recommend using for this purpose? Thanks for your ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Is there a better forum for a question like this? I had trouble knowing where to post. I'm hoping for some ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by amseiler
What is wrong with a food grade mineral oil???
I don't know that anything is wrong with it, it's just been my instinct to avoid mineral oil in general (in "baby oil," etc.) as it is a petroleum-based product. So I was dismayed to think of rubbing it into a cutting board! Admittedly, food grade mineral oil intended for internal consumption might be different than the mineral oil intended for topical uses, but I still was hoping to find an alternative because of the potential for some absorption.

This link talks about food grade mineral oil in some detail.

Quote:
Mineral oils are of variable composition depending on the boiling
point of the fractions used. For food purposes usually liquid
petrolatum or liquid paraffin are employed which consist essentially
of n-alkanes and some cyclic paraffins. They are chemically inert
especially as regards the straight chain alkanes and on ingestion most
of the mineral oil (98%) remains unabsorbed in the faeces. There is
evidence now that small amounts of mineral oil (2%) are absorbed as
such by the intestinal mucosa and are distributed throughout the body.
A very small fraction may undergo further biochemical transformation.
Sources of mineral oil are laxatives or oils used in food technology
as release agents or for lubrication purposes (Boitnott and Margolis,
1966).
. . .
The small amounts formed are consistent
with the calculated intake from food use (47.5 g per head per year in
the US). No known harm appears associated with these residues
(Boitnott and Margolis, 1966).
. . .
Histochemical evidence showed absorption to be proportionate to
length of exposure.
. . .
Nutritional implications

There are two possible reasons for the presence of mineral oil in
food; (1) in trace amounts from its use as a lubricant or separant
e.g. in tin greasing before baking, or from traces on the surface of
knives used to cut dough in breadmaking, or as a coating e.g. of
fruit; (2) as a substitute for fat either because it is cheaper or in
slimming foods. The maximum daily intake is calculated to be about 100
mg of which some 80 mg are contributed from its use on the machinery
in the baking industry (Council on White Mineral Oil, 1961).
. . . There has been a great deal of work on the effect of mineral oil
in impeding the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A (and precursors)
D, E, K and essential fatty acids. There is no doubt that interference
with absorption can occur, particularly of carotene if amounts in food
exceed approximately 6000 ppm (Steigmann et al., 1952).

. . .
Although a small percentage of ingested mineral oil
is absorbed as such and deposited in various organs it is without any
apparent harm. Most of the ingested material is not absorbed but is
excreted in the faeces. Apart from the nutritional implications in
relation to the intake of fat soluble vitamins, there are no
toxicological problems arising from the use of food grade mineral oil.
I guess you could expect it to be transferred in trace amounts from the cutting board to foods, and those trace amounts might be similar to the amounts of oil "contributed from its use on the machinery in the baking industry."

The "plus side" of using a food grade mineral oil for the purpose of oiling cutting boards, butcher blocks, etc. is that it won't go rancid (like vegetable oil.) Also, I can imagine that it would require only a small amount, and that most of it would penetrate the wood and be absorbed, rather than becoming a significant "additive" to foods. Perhaps it's not worth worrying about, but again--I was hoping to learn of a good alternative so I could avoid mineral oil entirely!

I'll look into castor oil. Thanks, "mom to l&a."

I wonder if something like Clapham's Pure Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish (applied after oiling) would be any benefit at all to preventing residual transfer of mineral oil to foods on the cutting board. Or to reducing the frequency of oilings required.

http://vermontbutcherblock.com/catal...48b574cb12524e (Mineral oil and beeswax available here)
 

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We're redoing our kitchen and I'm committed to giving our severly neglected butcher block counter top some needed attention rather than getting something formica-ey at the depot.

Do you think the salad bowl finish would be ok without the mineral oil? I wonder if a woodworking store would carry something like this?
 

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i don't know much about alternatives to mineral oil but i do know that all wooden cutting boards need to be oiled as well, i mean you don't have to but they won't last as long

that being said i have oiled my wooden board i think once in 6 years, (i have had it for 6 years) and my bamboo board has never been oiled and it looks ok. growing up we never oiled any cutting boards. but all wooden (and wood like stuff like bamboo) boards are supposed to be oiled.
 

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I have done research about this because we installed butcherblock countertops recently. The only nut oils that will not go rancid are walnut and....umm... I forget the second oil. But walnut works great without going rancid. And I found a great source for a specially treated walnut oil that dries harder than normal:
http://www.bowlmakerinc.com/catalogn...Tp=2&SortBy=ID

We used it on our countertops, and it works great.HTH!
 

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There are several commercial wood oils that aren't mineral. Linseed oil is the most commonly used. I saw it at OSH the other day in the area with paint thinner, rust remover, etc. We use some brand that is old fashionedy and is linseed oil, lemon oil, and a few others.
 
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