Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Urthware All Natural Simplicity Series Cutting Boards

I thought I had decreased our toxin exposure as much as possible in the house.  I knew how to diminish our exposure to so many toxins like BPA, Phthalates, PFOAs, PBDEs, Triclosan, Herbicides and Pesticides, but one day, a couple months ago, while cutting up some vegetables on one of our cutting boards, I began to wonder what was in my cutting boards.

I knew there wasn't any Triclosan in them because they weren't plastic and were not anti-microbial, and had always assumed the wooden boards were solid wood.  But it turns out my "wood" boards were not made from solid wood.  They were made from wood fibers and glue.  And although bamboo can be grown without pesticides, my bamboo boards were not all natural either, as they, too, were made with foreign glue that wasn't advertised as being formaldehyde-free.

So all this time I have been chopping up organic fruits and vegetables on our boards, I have been cutting them up on a surface that contains toxins we had always thought we were avoiding at home.  Pretty unappetizing.

I started to look for a more natural option but every bamboo board I found was still held together with some sort of adhesive, and the cutting boards I found that were made out of a solid piece of wood were finished with mineral oil, a petrochemical.  If we didn't put petrochemicals on our bodies in my house, why would we want to eat them?

It was starting to look hopeless until I came across Urthware's website and their All Natural Simplicity Series.

(Note: I received a complimentary product for review purposes.  All opinions are my own).

These gorgeous cutting boards are handmade in Canada using one solid piece of Canadian Hard Maple and no glue!  They contain high grade stainless steel reinforcing rods and screws and are finished with Canadian beeswax and either organic walnut oil or organic coconut oil, not mineral oil.  The boards' feet are made of all natural Gum Tree rubber that the folks at Urthware cut themselves, not the synthetic rubber filled with phthalates.

Natural Gum Tree rubber feet
Urthware was the answer I was looking for in my search for a real wood, non-toxic cutting board.  I was so impressed I ended up purchasing another medium All Natural Simplicity Series Cutting Board and a small one to give to family members.

I received the Medium All Natural Simplicity Series board.  It measures approximately 4 lbs, 9" L X 14" W X 1.25" H, (sizes can vary by 1/4"-3/8" since the boards are custom made from a single piece of wood).  A closed grain hardwood, the Hard Maple is durable and able to withstand heavy kitchen use.

Front and Back Side Views.  You can see the stainless steel support rods on the right.

Top and Bottom Views.

If you don't want organic walnut oil on your board, you can select organic coconut oil instead.  I chose the organic coconut oil/beeswax finish instead of the organic walnut oil/beeswax finish.  But Urthware is NOT a nut-free facility and boards will have had contact with walnut wood and walnut oil, as they make walnut boards as well.

The boards ship with instructions from Urthware on how to clean and care for your cutting boards.  Because the cutting boards are wooden, like any wooden cutting board, they will display some movement from moisture.  You can read up more on that here.  You can see your shipping rate before checking out.  I was able to save on the international shipping by paying to ship 3 boards together.  Urthware is not responsible for any duty or added taxes incurred from your country's Customs Agency.  Click here for more information on Urthware's shipping policy.

After getting my board ready, it was time to put it to its inaugural use, chopping up vegetables to make a spaghetti sauce, pasta dish and salad.

It felt great finally using a glue-free cutting board to chop up my produce.
Tomatoes, carrots, basil and garlic chopped for my sauce.

I do have wimpy wrists from years of typing, and lifting the solid board to slide my veggies off was quite a change from my previous cutting boards that were not made from one piece of wood.  But although the board was heavy, it was nothing that would deter me from lifting it daily.

I was so pleased with my Urthware All Natural Simplicity Series cutting board.  It was great to look at, use, and it made me happy, knowing it was such a green alternative to the boards we had used in the past.

You can see the All Natural Simplicity Series Cutting Boards and all the sizes and styles of Urthware's cutting boards on their website, including live edge serving boards and other boards with handles.  

Urthware also has a Professional Series line of heavy duty, larger boards.  They are made with glue, but as Mike from Urthware says, "Not all glues are created equal. The foreign glues used in most bamboo boards and wooden cutting boards are formaldehyde based. Many glues used in foreign manufactured boards are not necessarily approved for food contact. Some glues however are safer and some manufacturers (like us) use FDA approved glues made on this continent (by trustworthy manufacturers).  Obviously we agree that the ultimate in a natural cutting board is a cutting board with no adhesives at all, just pure wood, but there are sometimes benefits to some of our boards that use glues (depending on what a customers wants and needs are)."  So unlike some foreign glues, the glue used by Urthware in the Professional Series boards is FDA approved, made in America, and formaldehyde and phthalate free.

Where to Buy Urthware Products:
You can purchase cutting and serving boards, and learn more about Urthware by visiting their website and in their FAQs.

Connect with Urthware:

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  1. Thanks for the info! Are you still happy with your boards?

    1. I really like my board still. The family members I got them for use them less often so I don't know how they feel about them but it is a good board and I am slowly getting used to the weight of the board.

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