Ebonized inlay in cutting board

I'm in the planning stages of making a cutting board in which I'd like to inlay a dark, preferably black wood, in the maple. I was thinking of using walnut but would like it to be darker than natural walnut. I've used a vinegar/steel wool (iron buff/iron acetate) solution to ebonize oak and have read that it will have a similar effect on walnut however I'm wondering about using the solution on wood that will be in contact with food. After the wood is dry would there be a possibility of a dangerous chemical leaching into the food? I've searched the web for information on non-toxic food safe dyes and for information on the toxicity of iron acetate but have had little luck. Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated. TIA.
Dale
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On 21 Feb 2005 20:59:53 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It's about as dangerous as tea stains in an iron teapot..

It's iron tannates. Although there are acetates in there when you apply it, it's the formation of tannates that gives the dark and stable pigment.
I'd be more concerned about the toxicity of walnut itself (juglones) than I would about this ebonised oak. And I wouldn't worry about those.
One problem with oak in a kitchen it that it rather tends to stain with almost any food product. I've used it well-sealed for cabinets and worktops, but I wouldn't use it for a cutting board (maybe for bread or cheese alone, but even then pickles would stain it).
IMHO, cutting boards should be worked hard, not inlaid.
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