Austrian Cook Faces Prison Over Wooden Spoons

Chef says she won’t use plastic in the kitchen
Wikimedia/Taber Andrew Bain

An Austrian chef says she's willing to go to jail rather than use plastic spoons and cutting boards.

An Austrian chef believes so strongly in the evils of plastic that she says she’s ready to face prison rather than give up her beloved wooden spoons and cutting boards.

According to The Local, 59-year-old Ushji Mazer is the owner of Austria’s oldest organic shop and also caters meals for local kindergartens. She uses organic ingredients and prepares only lacto-vegetarian dishes, which include dairy but no meat, fish, or eggs. She also uses wooden spoons and cutting boards in her kitchen, despite European health regulations that say she should be using plastic cutting boards, which are reportedly easier to clean.

Mazer says her vegetarian food has less bacteria so there is less risk of contamination from the wooden cutting boards, and she believes the plastic cutting boards and utensils are more harmful to people's health.

“I can’t serve the children food which might contain traces of plastic,” she said.

Her refusal to use plastic cutting boards carries a fine of 550 euros, or $675, but Mazer says she will not pay. If she does not, she could spend two and a half days in prison, which she says she's more than ready to do. She also does not indicate any willingness to stop using the wooden cutting boards when her sentence is complete.

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