It's a Dirty Business
It is always a cringe worthy moment when you open the fridge and find those leftovers from the 12th of can’t remember. Discarding food becomes a necessary evil to avoid nasty gastrointestinal illnesses. On a daily basis, restaurants face the same dilemma on an expansive scale. It is a restaurant’s legal responsibility to keep food only within a week of its preparation. And what about all the food that goes uneaten by the customers? Typically, all that food would wind up tied up in black plastic bags, sitting in the landfill. There are better options. Fork & Spoon has partnered with Yes! Composting to reduce food waste by turning it back into soil.
Karl at Yes! provides a unique service in its ability to compost not only raw produce items, but post-consumer food waste as well. Post-consumer food waste consists of any items that has left the kitchen to be served to a customer. That means any of the chicken bones, half-eaten salads, or even napkins can bypass the central dump. Karl’s three step process starts by mixing all the food scraps, cardboard, and corn plastic with hay, wood shavings, and wood chips. This mixture breaks down on a microbial level with so much energy that the center of the pile can reach 150⁰F! The pretreated compost is then fed to his army of red wriggler worms that consume the remaining food product at an alarming rate. Karl finishes by sifting out the prize worm castings (manure), which are concentrated packages of nutrients. Worm castings are favored by local farms to replenish the soil of nutrients and minerals while also improving soil structure, moisture retention, and fertility, all without the usage of chemical additives.