Experts disagree about the best food-safe finishes. Finishes can be divided into two categories: film-forming finishes and penetrating finishes. For a cutting or chopping surface, rule out the film finishes -- polyurethane, lacquer, varnishes and epoxy aren’t impervious to knives. Among penetrating finishes, there are unmixed oils and mixed oils. Jonathan Binzen of Fine Woodworking discusses each category and recommends which are best for which projects. He wades into the plastic vs. wood cutting board fray and lists edible finishes. He also includes a recipe for a fragrant finish.

From Fine Woodworking #129