Thursday, February 12, 2009

You compost your food???

Food Waste Reduction Challenge - February 2009

Why yes - we do compost our food scraps. In fact, when the Lovey and I were dating, I lived in a condo - with no yard of any sort. I used to save my veggie waste in the freezer and when I would visit the him at his place (he had - and still has - a home with a small amount of dirt), I would bring my garbage to his house to compost. This was a new concept to him and he immediately became a willing participant. We used to joke - true love was accepting my garbage.

So, why save our scraps? A couple reasons.... it makes AWESOME fertilizer for the garden. Old-time gardeners called it 'black gold'. The compost is sweet smelling and adds really good nutrients back into the soil.

The second reason is that it reduces the amount of stuff going into a landfill. I read a posting on The Crunchy Chicken's blog and was amazed to learn that 50% of our food ends up in landfills. What a waste of money - time and money for the farmers who grew the food in the first place, money in the form of transportation costs (and carbon emissions!!!) to get the food to the store (remember - the number of miles fresh fruit and veggies travel to get to your table averages out to be 1,500 miles), and a waste of money for those of us who purchase food at the store.

There is also an environmental impact to food being thrown away. Decaying food is the #1 contributor to methane gas production at the landfill.

With all this waste - what can we do? Well, how about being better planners for what we purchase and what we eat? That is a simple solution. You can start a compost pile in your backyard. It doesn't stink, takes very little room and time, and produces great fertilizer for your plants. Don't want to have a compost pile? How about becoming a 'farmer'... I have about 2000 head of livestock in my urban backyard - livestock in the form of worms. Vermiculture is a condensed method of composting and the outcome is a WONDERFUL, nutrient-rich fertilizer.

What else can we do with waste? Comments are welcome!

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