Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eco Cutting Boards: Captain Vegetable Approved

Being "green" might give you the label "crunchy". However, if we take Captain Vegetable as an example, we should embrace our vegetable-y goodness and "crunch crunch crunch!"

As EcoYogi(ni)s you may find yourselves chopping up a whole load of local (and organic) veggies, fruit and happy free range local meat. Our "no boxed foods" resolution has also resulted in a lot more chopping.

Having a practical and well made cutting board is an essential piece in facilitating the Captain Vegetable phenomenon. Up until Andrew's February birthday (32yrs old!!), we had crap for cutting boards.

I grew up with a glass cutting board (wavy glass with the brown wooden spoon designs- anyone else with me??) and later on a hard plastic one. In Vernon we had your regular bendy plastic cutting boards. The glass cutting boards quickly dull knives, which wasn't a problem in my parents house since my dad had about a zillion knife wet stones and was a pro at sharpening knives.

Plastic is a problem for obvious reasons: the petrochemicals used and carbon emitted to make the product as well as the fact that you're cutting food on said chemicals. Also, I find food bits are extremely difficult to clean out of plastic, especially since I'm not about to dump javex all over my cutting boards to get them clean (you might gasp, but Andrew's mother does this on a regular basis).

For a while we had two bamboo cutting boards and the large one bit the dust about 6 months ago- black mold-y stuff was appearing on the board. We also have a recycled paper pressed board... but honestly who knows where it was made, with what chemicals they used to press the paper together and it's tricky to clean just like plastic.

Enter our new beautiful, Captain Vegetable worthy, "butcher block" cutting board. Last November, at the Halifax Crafter's Fair, I stumbled across the most wondrous array of hand made cutting boards by a local woodworking artist: Swaine Street.

A bit pricey but totally worth every penny, the boards are handmade with fun and lovely engravings. Our board has a carrot on one side and a cow on another- never again mixing up the "meat" and "vegetable" sides! Vegetarian/vegan? No worries- they have a veggie-veggie board as well! I even love their deer antler boards.

Of course, I'm assuming the glue she uses isn't environmentally friendly, but I know that her products are not massed produced and made locally, significantly cutting down on the carbon footprint.

After using this board for the past few weeks I cannot believe I suffered years using such tiny, lightweight cutting boards. I LOVE our new board, leaving enough space to keep cutting vegetables and heavy enough that it doesn't budge. It's also a breeze to clean, eco-soap and water, a wipe and easy scrub and we're done! (no submerging wood in water though!).

Because Andrew loves gadgety stuff, I also purchased some Rosemary wood treatment oil and our friend Jen made fabulous "Wood Butter" (and yes, there were some giggles around her choice of words but we have gotten past that). Both smell fabulous and are definitely low impact on the chemicals. Swaine Street recommends polishing your cutting board with oil and butter once a month.

Here's to hoping that this investment in beautiful and practical locally made cutting boards will last us years of Vegetable Goodness to come!

article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Awesome post! I recently splurged and bought a really good bamboo one - it's so worth it and meat will NEVER touch it!!!

  2. yay one of the first things i'll do when i move in with my boyfriend is throw out his plastic cutting boards ;-) for my bamboo ones

  3. Never heard of a glass cutting board! Actually grew up with the wooden one that pulled out of the counter. I'm a big fan of Epicurean boards- the black one I have is worth its weight in gold! Eco friendly recycled materials and cleans up immaculately in the DW :)


I love hearing from you! So I don't miss a comment, I like "pre-approving" them :)
I ask only that we stay respectful.
Also, please note that this is a personal blog and not a space for advertising your company. I reserve the right to delete "advertising" comments.

**NB: The ANONYMOUS option is the BEST way to comment if you don't have a blogger or established google/gmail account.