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In The Beginning #7: Food Safe Finishes

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Blog entry by Crushgroovin posted 04-25-2011 05:52 AM 8084 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The Below is informational only. It in no way any reflection on anyones political beliefs. It is for those that would like to do their own research into the subject. This is NOT a political forum so please refrain from posting your political beliefs regarding the FDA or any portion of any Government Entity. We each have our own religious and political beliefs and this topic is not the place for them to be expressed. I fully respect everyones right to have their own thoughts, beliefs and ideas. However, they are not welcome here. Please feel free to start your own thread and discuss your political or religious thoughts and beliefs to your hearts content.

Anyone who posts any responses that could be construde as a politically based opinion will be blocked. There are quite literally thousands of websites devoted to politics, government, etc. This is however, a forum on Woodworking, please keep your replies on the topic of woodworking.

I recently I came across a great little pamphlet of finishing “Bob Flexner’s Finishing Facts”. I must say as a very novice finisher it did quite a bit to educate and clarify. Best of all it removed quite a bit of myth’s and replaced them with facts.

For me the most informative is the section on Food Safe Finishes. In that Section he cites Title 21, Part 175 of the Code of Federal Regulations, so you can check it out for yourself!!!!

In the article Mr Flexner states the following

“In fact, all ingredients used in common finishes, including metallic driers, are approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for food contact as long as the finish is made so it cures properly. Lead and Mercury are, of course, not on this list. But, neither Lead nor Mercury is used in common finishes anymore”

He then goes on to say the following:

“In spite of the fact that no health problems have ever been reported, woodworkers and ,especially woodturners, continue to worry themselves about the food safety of finishes. This has resulted in many wooden objects receiving inferior, non curing mineral or vegetable oil finishes.”

Please make up your own minds about what you feel is safe. Believe me I really don’t care what you decide is best for your own personal use.

Again, this IS NOT a forum for your own personal Political Views!!!! If you have a problem with the FDA or if You Love the FDA please feel free to write your own blog and tackle that topic. But as far as this thread goes leave the politics out. I am only sharing information from a a source I found and am in no way advocating for or against the FDA or any other Government Entity. If you respect this I will respect You!

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!



16 comments so far

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gpastor

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#1 posted 04-25-2011 02:30 PM

I found this discussions on chowhound.com helpful -

What’s safe to use to finish butcher block?
Just got a new kitchen cart w/ a butcher-block top and the wood is unfinished. I’d like to stain it in some way but I don’t want to use something that will end up seeping dangerously into the food I prepare on there. Can I use linseed oil? Should I just leave the wood raw?

Permalink | Reply By GDSwamp on Nov 25, 2007 04:54AM

31 Replies so Far
You might want to look at Tried and True. They make pure Danish oil, no metals or solvents/dryers added. It is food safe I’ve only used their Varnish and Beeswax oil for mouldings but I can attest to the beauty of the outcome. You can also call them and talk to the main guy about what you want to do and he will give you great advice. Either that or use a food safe mineral oil.

http://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com/

Permalink | Reply By bigmackdaddy on Nov 25, 2007 05:12AM

NO, no, no!...do not use linseed oil – it’s not food safe. Pour on a good amount of mineral oil, let it soak into the wood for thirty minutes, then wipe off the excess. Use a soft rag or paper tower for this. As you wipe off the excess oil rub vigorusly to push the oil into the wood. Mineral oil is food safe, will not go rancid, but will need to be reapplied every month or so, depending on how frequently you use your block for chopping. Do not put any other finish on the butcher block, and do not leave it raw.

Permalink | Reply By janniecooks on Nov 25, 2007 05:14AM

Behandla makes a good product for butcher block food prep surfaces. A bit more trouble than mineral oil, but makes for easier cleaning of the surface in my experience.

Permalink | Reply By ThreeGigs on Nov 25, 2007 03:02PM

Don’t use linseed oil. I’m curious as to why you want to stain it?

Mineral oil is a good treatment for keeping the wood in good shape (and you won’t poison your family with it). Apply the mineral oil once a month, and wipe off the excess.

Permalink | Reply By greglor on Nov 25, 2007 03:47PM

re: greglor Third the mineral oil. I have one maple butcher block board from the early 60s that is still going strong thanks to regular mineral oil treatments (I’m not religious about “once a month” but you can tell when it’s getting dry).

Permalink | Reply By Sherri on Nov 25, 2007 04:23PM

There have been a few threads about this over the past year or so that I’ve been
reading this site, and a while ago I got curious again and tried to track down a
definitive answer. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a definitive answer.

The FDA publishes guidelines on what it considers safe for food contact surfaces.
It’s a huge document: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/pdf/21cfr175.300.pdf
From what I can tell, every consumer-grade clear finish available at your
local hardware store meets these standards once the finish has dried.

For any product you’re considering using, the manufacturer must publish
a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This is a document which contains
everything known about the toxicity of the product. You can usually find them
with a web search for the product name and “msds”. For example, here’s the
one for a common Minwax polyurethane finish: http://www.rockler.com:80/tech/RTD20000211AA.pdf
which looks like after those scary organic solvents dry, it’s perfectly safe.

However, while “perfectly safe” means you’re probably not going to die or grow
a third ear, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be comfortable having that stuff around
your chow. Personally, I’m not; and fortunately there are some good alternatives.

The purpose of a wood finish is to fill the pores of the wood with something so
that all the liquids, juices, bloods, etc you’re going to have all over the cutting
board stay on the surface and can be wiped off, rather than soaking in and
permanently staining the wood. And what you want is something that when it
dries, cures solidly so that it can’t be wiped or washed out. Some oils do not
cure. Some oils cure naturally, if slowly, and various chemicals can be added
to speed up the process (manganese dioxide, cobalt dichloride, various other
scary things).

The two most common natural, unadulterated oils used as food surface finishes
are mineral oil and walnut oil. The problem is, neither one of these cures to a
solid, durable finish. Walnut oil partially cures, but mineral oil remains essentially
unchanged. This means that heavy use of soap or hot water will wash the finish
off the wood. Which isn’t really a problem as long as you’re expecting it and
don’t mind slathering on some more oil every once in a while. You can find
walnut oil in the oil section of any well-stocked grocery store, and mineral oil
is sold in drugstores in the laxative department (!).

One option you don’t want to use is other non-curing vegetable oils. Corn oil,
olive oil, etc. These oils over time tend to get rancid and smell funny, in addition
to not providing much protection.

There are a number of commercial finishing oils marketed specifically for use in
kitchens. In addition to the Tried and True mentioned above, the German company
Livos (http://livos.us/) makes a couple of wood oils they claim are safe and
I’ve used and been happy with. Other commonly seen products are Jasco butcher block
oil which I think is just pure mineral oil, and Behlen Salad Bowl Finish which, according
to the msds, contains a cobalt drier.

So when you add it all up, walnut and mineral oil seem to win in both the inexpensive
and safe categories, and do ok in the protection department. At home my heavily-used
cutting boards get a good scrubbing and a good wipedown with one or the other once a
month or so.

Permalink | Reply By Chuckles the Clone on Nov 25, 2007 08:30PM

re: Chuckles the Clone There is NO WAY that a “common Minwax polyurethane finish” or any similar finish can be “perfectly safe.” They are “food safe” if you lay food ON them, but not if you’re chopping and hacking on them with knives and sharp utensils. The finish will chip and pieces of it will end up in your food.
Only food-grade oils that don’t turn rancid should be used. There are a few that include a small quantity of beeswax that do give a nice finish if the block doesn’t get hard wear, but for blocks that are used constantly, it’s best to stick with mineral oil. Some manufacturers add jazzy things to them that aren’t necessary except to get you to pay more.

Permalink | Reply By MakingSense on Nov 25, 2007 10:18PM

re: MakingSense >> There is NO WAY that a “common Minwax polyurethane finish” or any similar
>> finish can be “perfectly safe.” [...] The finish will chip and pieces of it will end
>> up in your food.

Like I said, you might not feel comfortable with this stuff around your chow. However, there does not appear to be any evidence at all either that the finish will chip or that if it does that the fully-cured, microscopic particles will be in any way harmful. Nor is there any reason to think that these particles are any more dangerous than the same microparticles that would be detached from a conventional plastic cutting board.

Polyurethane is covered under title 21, part 177: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/FCF177.html

I wouldn’t encourage people to use this stuff, and I get the same big
capitalized NO WAY feeling when I think of using it myself. But if you’ve
already gone and done it, all evidence suggests that you’re fine. These
finishes are sold for, and expected to be used on, childrens’ toys, an area in
which eating and chewing receives considerable attention.

Here’s the guy who wrote the Rodale Press book about finishes making a similar argument:
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/fea...

Permalink | Reply By Chuckles the Clone on Nov 26, 2007 12:38AM

re: Chuckles the Clone >>The purpose of a wood finish is to fill the pores of the wood with something so
that all the liquids, juices, bloods, etc you’re going to have all over the cutting
board stay on the surface and can be wiped off, rather than soaking in and
permanently staining the wood. And what you want is something that when it
dries, cures solidly so that it can’t be wiped or washed out.<<

That’s exactly what the Behandla does I mentioned earlier. I’m not 100% sure of the exact composition, but it seems to me to be like a wax suspended in a water based carrier. Slather it on, let it soak in and dry, rub a bit and presto, my oak countertops don’t get stained. You can buy Behandla at Ikea stores.

I’ve also heard good things about beeswax, however I remember when researching a good protectant for my countertops that beeswax was ‘hard work’, in that it had to be rubbed in (enough heat from friction to soften it, along with enough pressure to push it into the wood).

Permalink | Reply By ThreeGigs on Nov 26, 2007 03:07AM

re: ThreeGigs All I can report is my personal experience with beeswax. I’ve got a neighbor who’s a fine cabinetmaker who gave me samples of lots of products to experiment with. The beeswax doesn’t sink into the wood no matter how hard you work but it does give a beautiful finish on the outside of things like salad bowls. It wasn’t worth it for hard-use surfaces like cutting boards because it didn’t give any protection that would build up. If you put too much it just scraped off.
Plain mineral oil worked the best for plain utility cutting sufaces. The wood will absorb as much as it can and you just keep oiling until the wood itself says “enough.”
For a heavily used surface that I really cared about looking terrific, I used a mineral oil that included a small amount of beeswax that does have to be buffed. It was more trouble than straight mineral oil but worth the effort because it looked great. It took much longer to build up a resistant surface but when I finally got it, the counter looked great and takes pretty heavy wear. We can eat crabs, chop food, leave wet thing, etc., right on it with no problems. A good cleaning with vinegar and water cleans it right up and a buffing brings the surface right back. Water doesn’t soak into this surface as long as it’s kept oiled. A lot more work.

Permalink | Reply By MakingSense on Nov 26, 2007 11:08AM

re: MakingSense >>I used a mineral oil that included a small amount of beeswax that does have to be buffed.<<

Makes me glad I researched finishes before picking one. Your comments on beeswax seem to follow on what I read, namely that to get it to penetrate even a little, you need to rub enough to heat up the wax and the wood so it softens, with enough pressure to impregnate it. An electric buffer might do the trick, but wasn’t something I wanted to do on a regular basis.

Do you have a brand name for the oil/wax combo you use? I like the stuff I can get at Ikea, but if I can pick up something similar from a much closer hardware store I’d go with the convenience factor.

Permalink | Reply By ThreeGigs on Nov 28, 2007 09:13AM

re: Chuckles the Clone Thanks for all the great info, Chuckles the Clone!

Permalink | Reply By JenniferCote on Dec 29, 2010 09:38PM

Food-grade mineral oil (says the girl who built her own wooden boat, builds furniture, and received a drill press for Xmas several years ago). If your hardware store doesn’t have it, or if it isn’t labelled as food-safe, go to the pharmacy & ask (mineral oil is used as a laxative, so you can often find it at the drug store). You want to protect the wood from liquids, but you don’t want a polyurethane or wax or linseed/danish oil/turpentine, as none of those are food-safe. The point of a wooden board is the texture of the wood; it keeps food from sliding around while you’re chopping. As for cleaning, hot soapy water or an anti-bac food spray will do the trick. Personally, I wouldn’t use a built-in block for meat, as I like to really soap up a board used for poultry, etc, but if you’re a meticulous cleaner, it should be fine.

The mineral oil will darken the finish a little. DO NOT STAIN your butcher block, as stains aren’t food-safe. The wood will continue to oxidize/darken over time.

Permalink | Reply By Hungry Celeste on Nov 26, 2007 07:43AM

Despite what you’ve read elsewhere, almost every wood finish should be considered food-safe.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/fea...

Please refer to Chuckles the Clone’s post above.

Bob Flexner, guy who wrote the book about finishes:
“Food safeness is a non-issue because there’s no evidence of any problem. So far as we know, all finishes are safe to eat off of, and safe for children to chew on, once the finish has fully cured.”

Permalink | Reply By State St. on Nov 26, 2007 11:19AM

re: State St. I’ll clarify what I meant regarding food-safe: I wouldn’t use a polyurethane finish on an actively used butcher block (one you actually CHOP on, not just for display) because even the hardest oil-based urethane finishes will scratch over time under a knife blade, eventually flaking into the food and looking all ratty. (Think of the damage someone in stiletto heels can do to a varnished/urethaned wood floor.) While the testing might indicate that you can ingest such flakes without harm, it’s just plain ol’ gross.

Permalink | Reply By Hungry Celeste on Nov 26, 2007 02:55PM

re: Hungry Celeste I did a “butcher block” table from a massive cut off of laminated wood I picked up working construction. Probably fir. I thinned down some stain,put it on-let it soak in,sanded the surface. I then thinned some Man-O-War spar varnish…again,so it would soak in and seal. Sanded again. Then I rubbed on mineral oil. 95% of the time I use a cutting board but the surface should be pretty safe and sanitary and I do some cutting on it. It does clean well and I use dilute bleach on it once in awhile,but mainly just routine hot water and a little dish soap. I ain’t dead yet. I would typically recommend the mineral oil only route for a cutting board. For a utility top…this is pretty decent.

Most clear coat varnish/varathane type products once dried are pretty much insoluable and chemically inert. If you got a tiny flake in your food….it would not get digested.

Oil stains are not as insoluable or inert. If you use a stain for color you certainly give a clear top coat. Even then…..I’d do that generally for a work surface—-not a cutting board.

Permalink | Reply By rerem on Dec 18, 2007 10:20PM

There’s not really any reason to use anything other than food-safe mineral oil. the wood will darken over time and develop a nice golden patina. just use the oil about daily for a week, 1ce a week for a month, then then once a month. cleaning is best done with lemon juice and kosher salt and scrubbing with that combo. I avoid using my block for cutting chickens, but will do that occasionally. on those occasions, I’ll clean with a mild soap and hot hot water , then the lemon/.salt scrub, followed by a feresh application of oil. My block is about 125 years old, and I haven’t had any problems yet.

Permalink | Reply By chazzerking on Nov 26, 2007 03:23PM

Wow. This is a simple matter. Go to any butcher block store, any kitchen store like BB&B. They all have mineral oil next to the cutting boards. It is the standard. I have 8 ft of butcher block as counter tops for 15 years. Apply several coats of mineral oil and relax. Chop like crazy. Clean with a soapy sponge without a ton of water, just moist. The oil will keep the water (and food stuff) out. If you use the rough side and scrub, you will have to reapply oil. Otherwise, it will last for a while.

If you want to get a good hard surface, the trick is sanding the board. Start with a rough grit, like 80. After you sand, run a moist sponge or paper towel over it and the “nap” will rise up. Sand again. Then go to a 100 grit. Sand, damp wipe and sand. Then a 140 or 160, and do the same. You will get a glass smooth and hard surface. Oil on top of that, and you’re good for a year or two.

Permalink | Reply By woodburner on Nov 26, 2007 03:24PM

Came across this thread too late—I have a large piece of butcher block top I wanted to use on a little cart—and I mistakenly just slathered it with boiled linseed oil. Is there any way to strip it off/clean it off and start over with a food safe alternative? Or is it useless now? I certainly do not want to cut/chop/put food on anything that is not completely safe for it. Apparently boiled linseed oil is not….

Any suggestions, or should I just go get a new one?

Thanks
David

Permalink | Reply By daviddmc on Jan 08, 2008 08:33AM

re: daviddmc Nah, don’t throw it out. Wipe off as much linseed oil as possible, then get out your orbital sander (or go buy one). Hit it with some 60 or 80 grit; you ought to be able to take off enough wood to get past the linseed oil in 30 minutes of sanding with coarse grit. Dust it off, wash with warm soapy water, dry well, and wait a couple days….you can usually tell by looking if some areas of the wood still show traces of being oiled (you can also feel this with your palm, too). Keep sanding until you feel better, then oil with something food-safe.

Permalink | Reply By Hungry Celeste on Jan 08, 2008 02:47PM

re: Hungry Celeste You are right, HC. My only advice, if OP will be using it for a real, daily cutting board, is to do the coarse 80, then wipe with a damp cloth to bring up the nap, then hit it with a 100, then damp wipe, then hit with a 120, then damp wipe, then hit with a 160, damp again, then finish with 200. damp and 200 again. This way the finish will be smooth and hard as glass. Then apply the mineral oil.

Permalink | Reply By woodburner on Jan 08, 2008 05:30PM

Over the years I’ve made a dozen or so cutting boards ranging from a simple chunk
of leftover maple up through large 3-inch thick, end-grain jobs. The finish I’m currently
using and liking a lot is a homemade concoction of mineral oil and beeswax.

Go to your local craft shop and get a 1 pound package of pure beeswax in the candle
making department for about $10 (this is enough to last you six lifetimes but it’s the
smallest amount I’ve seen available). Then pick up a bottle of mineral oil from the
drugstore. Get a clean glass jar. Pour about 1/2 cup of oil into it. Add a chunk of wax,
roughly an oil/wax ratio of maybe 4/1. Set the jar in an inch or so of simmering water in
a pot on the stove and heat it up until the wax all melts.

Wipe a generous helping of the warm wax/oil mixture all over the block. Let it soak for
an hour or so then wipe off any excess. The next day the wax/oil in the jar will have
congealed into a soft jellyish mass so you won’t have to re-heat it to make it workable,
just wipe some more on, let sit for a while, then wipe off the extra. Two applications seem
to suffice before starting to use it, then some more whenever the board starts to look
shabby.

As for daviddmc’s predicament: a good scrubbing with strong soap or TSP followed by
a light sanding (which shouldn’t take more than about 3 minutes, rather than the
30 mentioned) and you’ll be all set and down to bare wood.

Permalink | Reply By uh … art on Jan 10, 2008 03:46PM

re: uh … art Wax melted into oil is great. If you’re careful you can even melt them in the microwave. I use filtered unbleached beeswax and mineral oil. You might also try shellac as a base sealer. Before the flames start I DO NOT mean hardware store shellac but the best filtered, unbleached flakes you can find mixed with food grade alcohol (high test clear liquor like everclear or high proof vodka). Shellac is often used to preserve apples, so you have probable eaten it already.

Permalink | Reply By Mit on Jan 28, 2008 09:40AM

re: Mit My husband is making us new wood countertops for our kitchen. We wanted to do 100% pure tung oil but cannot get it in our town and will take a while to ship to us. Would a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax be as good or should we wait for tung oil?

Permalink | Reply By lostgirl on Feb 13, 2008 07:22AM

re: lostgirl Tung oil is going to give you a much darker color. The wax and oil mixture is almost colorless. Tung oil is a definite amber. Also with the tung oil, you’ll get a generally more resilient finish that you can ignore for longer (like a year or so) where the oil/wax is going to need some attention every month or so.

But there’s no reason not to try the oil/wax first to see if you like it. It scrubs off pretty easily with hot water and soap (much easier than the tung oil will). Plus, with the beeswax it smells subtly like honey.

I’ve never had any luck trying to heat it up in the microwave. The jar gets hot but the oil/wax stays cold. A jar in a pot of simmering water is all that works for me.

Permalink | Reply By uh … art on Feb 13, 2008 10:50AM

re: uh … art Thanx for the answer . Think I will try oil/beeswax first as I don’t mind the reapplying and see how it goes.

Permalink | Reply By lostgirl on Feb 13, 2008 11:16AM

re: uh … art Those very small slow cookers (1quart,used for dips, sometimes given away for free with larger slow cookers) are great for keeping oil/wax in a liquid state. If you don’t want to commit the cooker to permanent hardware status, put the finish in a glass container inside the cooker full of hot water.

Permalink | Reply By Hungry Celeste on Feb 13, 2008 01:25PM

Don’t stain it with oil stain. There are things in there that you don’t want in your food. IDK about alcohol or water based stains, but my inclination is to advise against them as well.

There are 2 kinds of linseed oil, RAW and BOILED. Linseed oil CAN be fine, but only if it is the RAW, i.e. not boiled variety. Boiled is much more common at the hardware store, so be sure what you’re getting. Here’s a quick primmer: Linseed oil is made from the seeds of the flax plant. Why then is it called ‘linseed’ oil? What’s the ‘lin-’ got to do with it? Well, the flax plant itself is used to make linen cloth and thread, so you see the connection between linen and linseed oil. Still, why not call it ‘flax-seed’ oil? Er. Um. It is called that, too, by people in health food stores who sell it as a dietary supplement, i.e. something you’re supposed to eat to make you healthier. So, yes, coat your butcher block in RAW linseed oil, or in flaxseed oil if you want to call it that and you’re worried about purity, and can afford to shop at the health food market..

Linseed oil is used in lots of finishes like varnish and paint, but usually this is after various chemical processes have been applied to it. Boiled linseed oil has been boiled and also has chemical agents in it to make it dry. As per the discussion below, these finishes may be non-toxic when dried / cured but (a) if they are a hard surface coating finish they will flake / chip off in your food and just generally look bad if you do any amount of chopping or cutting on the surface; and (b) I’m not sure I want to eat even small amounts of them.

This said, linseed oil is darker – amber – than mineral oil and will continue to darken over time. This may and may not be an issue on a work surface that gets washed and re-oiled and maybe even sanded a little every dozen years. There’s no reason you can’t mix mineral oil and linseed oil to get a darkness you like, or alternate between them.

I advise heating the linseed oil before applying it, which isn’t that difficult if you’re in the kitchen. Warmed up, it will be thinner and penetrate more. Just be sensible about oil and open flames, etc. (And, be careful with rags soaked in linseed oil as they can spontaneously combust as the oil oxidizes as it ‘dries’. I usually just leave mine spread out outside until they’re hardened, then throw them out.)

Permalink | Reply By hoobie on Mar 13, 2010 08:52AM

Do NOT use raw flax oil on your butcher block. It will go rancid. That is why raw flax oil is always refridgerated, and why linseed oil for woodwork always contains solvents and petrochemicals to keep it stabilized.

Permalink | Reply By Seitan on Mar 13, 2010 02:24PM

re: Seitan I have to respectfully disagree with Seitan. I have yet to experience a problem with flax oil becoming rancid, altho Seitan is definitely correct about the health food stores selling in dark bottles in the fridge section. I typically use the RAW variety from the hardware store which advertises 100% pure. (I suppose that they might mean 100% pure… plus a few toxic additives.) It’s not refrigerated, but may have undergone some processing. It’s certified EN71 safe for use as a finish on toys, and doesn’t have the chipping off issues mentioned elsewhere in this thread. I feel perfectly safe using it.

That said, I have also used the food grade / health food variety (at a couple of friends’) on cutting boards and not had a problem with rancid oil.

Permalink | Reply By hoobie on Apr 13, 2010 02:18PM

You use mineral oil. In fancy food shops and catalogs they sell oil for butcher blocks, but it is mineral oil. Food safe, non-animal.

Also, you may want to think about sanding that block to a serious hardness before applying the oil. Ask a woodworker, but, basically, it is about using a palm sander and going from an 80 grit to 100, 120, to 160, to 200… basically, from rough to finer and finer. In between passes, a slightly damp wipe will bring up the nap of the wood. as you go along, the surface gets incredibly smooh and hard. it will last for quite a while. If you do it, you’‘ll think back on the smoothness you feel now, (and think is very smooth), and realize, “wow… it was downright rough when I bought it.” GL

Permalink | Reply By woodburner on Mar 15, 2010 06:42PM

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

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Wood Beaver

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#2 posted 04-25-2011 04:09 PM

This will definitely protect a ton of woodworkers until the new “facts” come out. Thanks for the information (again)

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Crushgroovin

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#3 posted 04-25-2011 05:49 PM

That’s quite the post Gpastor! Leaving it bare is a very bad idea. That is asking for a Food Bacteria Brothel!!

I use “Salad Bowl Finish” sold at Lowe’s on my End Grain Cutting Boards. It leaves a hard smooth finish. Based on my knowledge of food safety issues my biggest concern is using something that keeps bacteria from making a home in the board. Wood cutting boards finished with non hardening finishes are notorious for hosting all kinds of bacteria and food born Yuck! The last thing I want is my kids getting salmonella or other food born bacteria poisoning.

You will have to think logically and figure out what you believe to be safest for your family. Personally I have two boys and they eat food off all kinds of surfaces and not many of them are finished with Mineral Oil.

We all make decisions based on the latest information available. Until I see something that shows cured finishes are not safe I am going trust that companies are making products that won’t cause any long term health effects. All day every day we come into contact and ingest items that are governed by FDA regulations. It is up to each individual to decide which of these they are comfortable with.

Just know that it is impossible to avoid ingesting FDA regulated items. The FDA has regulations covering every single item that holds or comes into contact with food, not just finishes. From the container it is put into after it is harvested or manufactured to the fork used to eat it with. The only way to avoid it is to grow all your own food and never buy anything that comes into contact with your homegrown food. I am puzzled as to why people have chosen wood finishes as such a hot button issue when the same regulations that cover wood finishes cover all the other food related items we use on a daily basis.

I am pretty sure that a trip to McDonalds exposes you to far worse chemicals than using a a fully cured Water based Poly to finish your cutting board. Heck I just got a bunch of Beeswax Bears directly from the farm. The bears had to be molded into bears in a plastic mold and they were delivered to me wrapped into a foam cushion wrap. I have no idea what could possibly have been transferred into the wax by those items. So is using that wax safer than using cured Poly? We will never ever know for sure. But we all take gambles in life.

Love the FDA or Hate the FDA, not many of us are able to avoid using items regulated by them. It is our Reality. If you choose Wood finishes as where you draw the line that is your prerogative.

But please know that you are coming into contact with FDA regulated items every day, even if you use mineral oil! the FDA regulates the surface of the machine that was used to bottle your mineral oil & the plastic container it was shipped to you in. That is a “Fact” of today’s world.

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

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Crushgroovin

234 posts in 1579 days


#4 posted 04-25-2011 05:52 PM

Interesting to see someone creating a new profile just to reply to my blog. (again)

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View William's profile

William

9030 posts in 1497 days


#5 posted 04-25-2011 10:31 PM

I was going to stay out of this little tiff and somply comment with my honest opinion on the subject. First I read the post and responses though and noticed,

You said this in the original post:
Again, this IS NOT a forum for your own personal Political Views!!!! If you have a problem with the FDA or if You Love the FDA please feel free to write your own blog and tackle that topic. But as far as this thread goes leave the politics out. I am only sharing information from a a source I found and am in no way advocating for or against the FDA or any other Government Entity. If you respect this I will respect You!

Then you said this this in your response to someone:
Just know that it is impossible to avoid ingesting FDA regulated items. The FDA has regulations covering every single item that holds or comes into contact with food, not just finishes. From the container it is put into after it is harvested or manufactured to the fork used to eat it with. The only way to avoid it is to grow all your own food and never buy anything that comes into contact with your homegrown food. I am puzzled as to why people have chosen wood finishes as such a hot button issue when the same regulations that cover wood finishes cover all the other food related items we use on a daily basis.

I am pretty sure that a trip to McDonalds exposes you to far worse chemicals than using a a fully cured Water based Poly to finish your cutting board. Heck I just got a bunch of Beeswax Bears directly from the farm. The bears had to be molded into bears in a plastic mold and they were delivered to me wrapped into a foam cushion wrap. I have no idea what could possibly have been transferred into the wax by those items. So is using that wax safer than using cured Poly? We will never ever know for sure. But we all take gambles in life.

Love the FDA or Hate the FDA, not many of us are able to avoid using items regulated by them. It is our Reality. If you choose Wood finishes as where you draw the line that is your prerogative.

FAIL!!!!!!

Since I feel you are only looking for a further argument, I will bow out of this discussion now. Thank you.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Pawky's profile

Pawky

278 posts in 1459 days


#6 posted 04-25-2011 10:51 PM

Lets assume they all are food safe once fully cured. You now have to ask yourself, how long does it take to fully cure? What if the conditions in your shop change, then how long? What studies have been done to show the proper cure time under different conditions? Now, what about when you or the client needs to refinish the cuttingboard or whatever they are using? How do you safely tell them how to do it? What if your procedure doesn’t allow it to completely cure under their conditions in the house? These are all problems that can potentially arise and needs to be looked at more then just can they be safe.

The same is with drugs use in animal agriculture. There are periods of time after use that you cannot use the animal for food. You have to give the drug time to get out of the system. It varies tremendously between the different drugs.

View Jack_T's profile

Jack_T

621 posts in 1686 days


#7 posted 04-26-2011 12:01 AM

The assertion that Title 21, Part 175 of the Code of Federal Regulations (hereinafter Title 21) supports the proposition that all wood finishes are food safe is flawed and inaccurate.

Title 21 does not state that all wood finishes manufactured or sold in the United States are food safe.

Title 21 does not regulate the production of all wood finishes. Title 21 merely sets forth standards (limits for chemical leaching from finishes into food) for finishes (of any surface, wood or otherwise) that come in contact with food. More specifically it addresses:

PART 175—INDIRECT FOOD ADDITIVES: ADHESIVES AND COMPONENTS OF COATINGS

175.105 Adhesives.
175.125 Pressure-sensitive adhesives.
175.210 Acrylate ester copolymer coating.
175.230 Hot-melt strippable food coatings.
175.250 Paraffin (synthetic).
175.260 Partial phosphoric acid esters of polyester resins.
175.270 Poly(vinyl fluoride) resins.
175.300 Resinous and polymeric coatings.
175.320 Resinous and polymeric coatings for polyolefin films.
175.350 Vinyl acetate/crotonic acid copolymer.
175.360 Vinylidene chloride copolymer coatings for nylon film.
175.365 Vinylidene chloride copolymer coatings for polycarbonate film.
175.380 Xylene-formaldehyde resins condensed with 4,4′-isopropylidenediphenol-epichlorohydrin epoxy resins.
175.390 Zinc-silicon dioxide matrix coatings.

Testing for food safeness is set forth for each type of chemical above. The testing and the limits of leaching vary by type of chemical and by the type of food that will come in contact with the finish. Thus, for a finish to be deemed food safe, within the meaning of Title 21, it must be tested in accordance with Title 21 for each food that the claim is to be made for.

It is extremely important to note that manufacturers do not claim that their finishes are food safe.

I have been unable to find any published Title 21 compliant test results of any commercial finish.

I believe that if a finish manufacturer had incurred the expense of Title 21 compliant testing, and had achieved favorable results, it would advertise that fact.

Hence my original statement that “The assertion that Title 21, Part 175 of the Code of Federal Regulations (hereinafter Title 21) supports the proposition that all wood finishes are food safe is flawed and inaccurate.”

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View WhateverDude's profile

WhateverDude

2 posts in 1243 days


#8 posted 04-26-2011 01:05 AM

Why are you posting the same blog all over again? Didn’t stir up enough crap with the last one? Or were things just dying down and you felt like you needed some more attention?

View WhateverDude's profile

WhateverDude

2 posts in 1243 days


#9 posted 04-26-2011 01:07 AM

Nobody can disagree with you without getting political therefore you are protected by the rules of the site. You are so cool!

View Crushgroovin's profile

Crushgroovin

234 posts in 1579 days


#10 posted 04-26-2011 01:52 AM

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I feel so honored that so many have you have taken so much time and energy to respond to my posts. A couple of you even went so far as to create whole new progiles just to add your two cents. I must say that I am quite amused at you all. You see if you were to go back and look at every post I have made to others projects, blogs, and topics, my comments are nothing but polite, helpful, and positive. You will also find that all of the people that responded negatively to my post have never drawn my interest enough to comment on anything they have said in other discussions or posts.

Again a big Thank You to all those who have taken their valuable to time to counter my blog posts. I am blessed to have made such a big impression on so many. That I matter enough that someone would go through such effort makes me feel very special.

LOL

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View MrBlock's profile

MrBlock

2 posts in 1243 days


#11 posted 04-26-2011 02:04 AM

“You will also find that all of the people that responded negatively to my post have never drawn my interest enough to comment on anything they have said in other discussions or posts.”

No you keep your insults to the private message you send to them before blocking their accounts. That’s called “taking the high road” I suppose. You are just so superior! Please tell us all how great you are!

View Crushgroovin's profile

Crushgroovin

234 posts in 1579 days


#12 posted 04-26-2011 02:09 AM

You made a 3rd profile just for little old me? Thanks man!

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View 747DRVR's profile

747DRVR

199 posts in 2012 days


#13 posted 04-26-2011 05:20 AM

I disagree

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4142 posts in 1512 days


#14 posted 04-26-2011 04:38 PM

In Scotland we don’t have all the same legislation.
We tend to follow our cousins across the pond.
I just use mineral oil for food products, so far no problems
I used to use grapeseed oil but was a bit worried about potential allergies
Seems like someone will be allergic to something.
Has anyone came across anyone with an allergy to mineral oil?

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Crushgroovin's profile

Crushgroovin

234 posts in 1579 days


#15 posted 04-26-2011 04:41 PM

Jamie,

Only when ingested directly from the bottle in large amounts. If you do that your behind will “Sneeze” uncontrollably! ;)

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

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