Combining households can be a challenge. You have to adjust to each other's habits, decide whose artwork gets to hang above the couch and divvy out bathroom drawers. In many cases, you must also decide what kind of cutting board you're going to use - wood or plastic.
When I first moved in with my boyfriend, we had to work through this very conflict. He's a gourmet cook and he was madly in love with his thick, heavy bamboo cutting board. I, on the other hand, strongly preferred my inexpensive plastic one. I realized it wasn't nearly as pretty, but I clung to it because I was convinced plastic cutting boards carried fewer bacteria than wood cutting boards. Plastic, it seemed to me, must surely be more inhospitable to pathogens than a natural material like wood. It turns out I was wrong.
This question had already been answered decades ago. In 1994 Dean Cliver of U.C. Davis set out to find out if plastic cutting boards hosted fewer bacteria than wood cutting boards. His published research revealed that although plastic cutting boards are easier to clean, they're also prone to scarring, gouging, and knife marks. And bacteria love to hang out in those nooks and crannies.
Wood cutting boards, on the other hand, are self-healing to a certain extent. Cut marks are only skin deep, which means there are fewer places for bacteria to pitch their camp in.
What it boils down to is that wood cutting boards generally contain fewer bacteria than plastic cutting boards. This would indicate that wood cutting boards are superior, right? Not so fast.
As mentioned earlier, plastic cutting boards are easier to clean. Which means there's no clear-cut winner. In the end, it all comes down to your lifestyle and how well you're willing to maintain your choice of cutting board.
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to wood and plastic cutting boards. Choosing the right one is a personal decision. Happy cooking!