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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2009

God’s Wood or Man’s Plastic

Evolutionists think they can explain the marvels of nature without God. The truth is that the natural world “declares the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). Before plastic was invented, people had to make their bowls and containers out of wood, stone, or clay, and eventually metal. Some groups have said that we should use plastic cutting boards, since the tiny pores and knife cuts in wood provide hiding places for deadly bacteria.

But guess what? The best research says that is not true. Research shows that wood has amazing properties that kill harmful bacteria. Life-threatening bacteria have been placed on plastic cutting boards as well as species of hardwood, including hard maple, birch, beech, black cherry, basswood, butternut, and American black walnut. Within three minutes, 99.9% of the bacteria put on the wood boards died. But none of the bacteria on plastic died. In fact, leaving microbe populations on the two surfaces overnight resulted in microbial growth on the plastic boards, while no live bacteria were recovered from wood the next morning.

Interestingly, bacteria are absorbed into the wood, but do not multiply, and rarely if ever come back alive. On the other hand, bacteria in knife scars on plastic boards can stay alive (even after a hot-water-and-soap wash) and can come back later and get into foods. Treating wood cutting boards with oils and other finishes to try to stop bacteria from staying on the wood actually slows down the wood’s natural bacteria killing abilities. Some scientists are amazed because they have not been able to discover why or how wood has antibacterial properties.

So we are forced to conclude that wood, created by God, is superior in many ways to plastic made by man. But God’s Word already hinted at the benefits of wooden cooking tools. Under the Law of Moses, written 3,500 years ago, the people were required to destroy their pottery when it became contaminated. But their wood bowls only needed to be rinsed with water (Leviticus 6:28; 11:32-33; 15:12)! It’s nice to see scientists who work with food safety beginning to admit that science proves that wood is superior in many ways to
plastic. Our God is amazing!

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