The Food Cycler – The most useful tool you can have in your kitchen !
The average American produces approximately 475 pounds/215.5 kg of kitchen slosh, on a yearly basis. Supposedly, the primary reason why organic waste is continually increasing is that most people are unaware of the effects this has on the environment.
At the same time, there’s the problem of consumerism – that is to say, consumers purchase much more than they can eat, whereas shop owners promote more goods in an attempt to maximize their sales.
But no one asks: what happens with the uneaten foods? Essentially, food leftovers end up on disposal sites. Eventually, they are dissolved, but there’s a major downside – namely the fact that waste contaminates the atmosphere with manure gas, alongside other toxic organic elements.
You might assume that sending your organic waste to a landfill where it ends up rotting isn’t that harmful. However, bear in mind that waste broken down in landfill sites emits greenhouse gas emissions while composting the food yourself doesn’t.
Why is that?
The organic waste in landfills breaks down anaerobically – in plain English, this means that there is no Oxygen present. The process is simple: the waste is combined with soil and clay so that it would easily enter a confined space. This is done so that the waste doesn’t emit a smell. Still, in time, the organic waste breaks down, and it releases methane. This is a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more powerful than CO2.
What about placing organic waste in a compost bin in the garden? This implies the presence of oxygen as well. Furthermore, fungi, microbes, worms, and insects slowly decompose the rubbish, in time. That being said, you can eventually use it as a sustainable source of compost. Nevertheless, not everyone has outside space for a compost bin, not to mention that this process takes a lot of time.
At the same time, the full composting cycle lasts approximately 1-2 years. While it’s true that you could accelerate the process, it is still lengthy. Still, this doesn’t mean you should renounce composting because it requires a lot of time and maintenance.
How Does Organic Waste Turn into Compost?
Essentially, the composting process implies the following elements: organic waste such as fruit and veggie scraps, food leftovers, leaves, grass, soil, water and oxygen. Evidently, the soil comprises of microorganisms, which eat the organic waste. This makes it break down to its basic components.
The finished compost, which has the appearance of humus, is filled with inorganic nutrients, fiber, and important components such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and others. This makes it an excellent natural fertilizer that is really beneficial to the environment.
However, in order for the humus to be produced, the microorganisms require oxygen and water – similar to all living things. And the way in which the microorganisms can access the oxygen is if you turn the compost over every other day or so.
During the respiration process, the microorganisms release heat and carbon dioxide. What about the duration of the composting? There is a way in which you can minimize the duration of the cycle, by watering the concoction and turning it over regularly. If you don’t follow these steps, then it might take up to months for the composting process to take place.
At the same time, the mixture shouldn’t be too wet either, not to mention that there should be sufficient soil. The microorganisms play a crucial role – hence, the significance of the soil in the equation. Fundamentally, the right ratio of carbon to nitrogen is of approximately 30 to 1. Another important guideline is the following: the smaller the pieces, the faster they will decompose.
The efficiency of the de-composting process is enhanced by the foodweb – namely the structure of organisms. This refers to bacteria and fungi that contribute to breaking down the organic matter in trash. The mites feed on the bacteria and fungi, whereas invertebrates such as sowbugs, beetles, and millipedes feed on the mites, nematoids, and protozoa.
And even though outdoor composting is the most popular type, indoor composting is gaining territory as well.
Why Should You Compost?
There are numerous reasons why you should compost. To begin with, it is good for you and the environment. And composting makes even more sense if you have a garden. This way, you’ll save resources and money, while enhancing the quality of your soil.
Did you know that adding compost to your garden’s soil does much more than simply fertilizing it? In fact, it feeds the soil with a wide range of nutrients and microorganisms that facilitate plant growth.
On the other side, chemical fertilizers facilitate a quick explosion of nutrients that are eventually washed up in our rivers and streams. What is more, compost maximizes the stability of the soil, enhancing drainage while helping it to retain moisture.
Supposedly, if more people would assess that food leftovers don’t equal trash, less food would be wasted. In comparison to 1970, at the time being, we waste almost 50 percent more food. And this refers to both individual consumers and farmers.
A change of mindset is necessary – we should no longer see organic trash as being unusable, considering that it can actually be reused for a beneficial purpose. In fact, food scraps are filled with energy, nutrients, vitamins and they should be used accordingly.
If more people would change their mindset, composting wouldn’t seem like a ridiculous, unnecessary process, but a great solution that every responsible consumer should endorse.
You Will Contribute to Saving Valuable Resources
Presumably, the best thing about composting is that you save valuable resources. That is to say, you won’t dispose important resources on the landfill where they release toxic elements.
This would mean that you could actually extend the lifespan of the landfills. Bear in mind that residential waste accounts for 40 percent of compostable materials.
At the same time, since composting contributes to soil water retention, this would mean that you would contribute to saving water. Furthermore, if you choose to compost, the civic costs for waste collection would be diminished, as well – thus, decreasing fuel use, among other resources.
The benefits of composting are self-explanatory. However, you might feel discouraged because of the process entailed. Perhaps you want to make a difference, but you aren’t necessarily willing to follow all the steps related to the natural composting process.
Rest assured, though, the good news is that there is another, hassle-free alternative. We’re talking about investing in a food cycler – the solution to indoor composting.
Food Cycler Operating Principle
The Food Cycler is a device that turns composting into an easy and fast process. It is entirely different than other indoor composting systems that, to some extent, are similar to traditional composting systems.
Truthfully, it uses an entirely different principle – but the results are definitely outstanding. We could refer to it as being a food dehydrator equipped with a mill.
What it does is to grind up the waste, and afterward, it dries it. The result you get is an eco-friendly and useful substance. Concurrently, it will decay relatively fast under the influence of worms and microorganisms.
That is to say, the waste you obtain is germ-free.
When we first found out that such a device existed, we were taken aback. It is really unusual to compost your food leftovers in the comfort of your own kitchen with minimum effort and time. However, irrespective of our original reaction, this unit really works as expected.
Why Should You Consider Investing in the Food Cycler?
The main benefit of investing in the Food Cycler is, of course, the simplicity of the device. In fact, this is what every user needs – a convenient unit, which is effortless to use. Most importantly, though, it definitely fits most people’s lifestyles.
It is no secret that, nowadays, we have hectic, busy lives. And this might prevent people from composting. That’s because it is a time-consuming process, as we’ve noted beforehand. And when your time is running short, the last thing you want to do is add another responsibility on your list.
Notwithstanding, this unit is an excellent solution to a big problem. What you do is simply place your food leftovers into the container. From that point onward, you push the “on” button and allow it to do its thing for a couple of hours. As soon as the device finishes its cycle, you’ll see that your food leftovers are transformed into dry, thin and crisp pieces.
What do you do afterward? It’s easy – you scatter these pieces on the ground and allow them to rot. As they become part of the soil, they will offer it the nutrients it needs to thrive. That is to say, if you choose to invest in this Food Cycler, you would create a nutrient-rich, highly mature soil amendment, which is more than excellent for gardening applications.
Most importantly, though, the entire process is odorless. This is a major advantage, considering that allowing organic waste to compost naturally can be a smelly task.
Rotting is definitely unpleasant, and it’s nice to know that this unit solves this problem, as well. At the same time, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t produce any harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or manure gas.
Now we’d like to move on to presenting this product and its fundamental characteristics.
- Easy to maintain and use
- Environmentally friendly
- Dishwasher safe
- Short cycle
- Energy efficient operation
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 15 inches
According to the manufacturer – Food Cycle Science – the Food Cycler utilizes an efficient eco-friendly technology to modernize and speed up the traditional composting process. Hence, it eliminates the use of venting, drains, additives. The result is a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
Moving on, the by-product is proven to be suitable for gardening and landscaping.
Of course, we’ve tested this product before reviewing it for you. And we noted that it can handle a wide range of food categories – which is a major pro, of course. That is to say, you can use it for processing small bones, coffee grounds, tea bags, citrus rinds, as well as preservative-laden items such as cheeseburgers.
During our tests, we added a combination of leftovers, and the results were excellent every single time. Here’s what you should do: deposit the leftovers inside the compost chamber. After you close the lid, you push “go” and that’s about it.
When the cycle begins, the unit will use a mixture of heat and agitation in order to sanitize the compost. It also breaks down the compost into smaller particles.
As we mentioned, you don’t need to worry about adding anything else such as water or other chemicals. Concurrently, you don’t have to vent or drain the contents at a given time. The reason why it doesn’t release any nasty odors is that the unit is equipped with a special carbon filter. Of course, the purpose of the filter is to mitigate foul smells.
After the processing is over, the device automatically shuts off. This means that it doesn’t consume energy if you forget to turn it off. Afterward, all you have to do is simply remove the contents and spread the particles on your lawn or garden.
The stand-by mode is an excellent feature, in our opinion. Let’s say that you don’t accumulate sufficient leftovers to fill the bucket. In this situation, you can use the stand-by mode. You add the scraps inside the bucket – and they can stay in there for days. And the best part is that, even in this case, you don’t have to worry about any unpleasant smell.
That’s because this mode allows the air to move through the filters. Furthermore, the electricity used is minimal – hence, operating it on a regular basis won’t add a lot to your monthly electricity bill.
It’s also worth noting that the result doesn’t look like compost. In fact, it looks a lot like mulch. Meaning that you can easily apply it in your plant pots, on the lawn, so on and so forth.
The Food Cycler Is an Environmentally Friendly Purchase
If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, investing in the Food Cycler could be the right option for you. We’ll outline the main reasons why.
- The Food Cycler releases 94 percent less greenhouse gas emissions – methane gas included. This is compared to the average landfill per kg.
- The Food Cycler delivers 54 percent less CO2 in comparison to a standard backyard composter.
- When you use this unit, it consumes less than 1 kWh of electricity. Concurrently, when it is in stand-by mode, it uses just 2kW/ month.
What Do Other People Say?
In spite of the numerous benefits associated with composting, the truth is that there are still few people that choose this. This may be due to the fact that a unit such as the Food Cycler accounts for a significant investment.
On a different note, apartment dwellers cannot use the compost for fertilizing their gardens. This is why they might assume that they can’t get any use out of such a unit. This is far from the truth, though. The end product has a consistency that is similar to sand. Hence, you can easily throw the remains in the garbage, as they occupy a minimum amount of space.
But, most importantly, you would reduce your carbon footprint.
Since more and more people have become environmentally aware, this unit is a fantastic solution. Therefore, the majority of reviews are on the positive side.
For example, one of the clients uses this system twice, every day. That’s because she lives in a community that doesn’t have municipal household waste recycling. Hence, she uses the unit once in the morning, after filling it with breakfast scraps, coffee grounds, and other remaining leftovers. And the second time she uses the unit is in the evening – allowing it to run overnight.
Considering that the operation is utterly quiet, you don’t have to worry that the unit will perturb your sleep.
Another customer pointed that he uses the unit on a daily basis. The initial reason why he decided to invest in it was in order to diminish food scraps. However, as he started using the device, he realized that, considering that the end product is almost insignificant, he decreased the curbside recycling to nearly nothing.
Moving on, another customer was impressed by the silent operation of this unit – most people expect it to be really loud, but this is not the case.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it’s not emitting any noise whatsoever. The thing is that the sound it emits is uneven. That is to say, there are times when the machine is louder, and there are times when it is quieter.
At the same time, the fact that it could contribute to diminishing the effect of organic waste on landfills brings a major feeling of satisfaction. In fact, if more people would consider investing in such a unit, things would dramatically change for the better for our environment.
We also read a review that pointed how this device diminished the weekly organic garbage to roughly half to a full bag per week.
What Are the Main Disadvantages of the Food Cycler?
We would be happy if we could find the perfect product. And this applies to anything, for a change. Nevertheless, it will take a while until that happens, considering that every product comes with its inconveniences.
Firstly, the main inconvenience that comes to mind is, of course, the high price of the unit. Even if that is definitely true, we’re not saying that it isn’t worth the investment – it’s just that this could be an impediment for people who are on a budget.
Secondly, aside from the cost of the original purchase of the Food Cycler, you should know that the filters must be replaced every three months – or somewhere around that timeframe. Of course, these filters aren’t free of charge either. That is to say, they add up to the price of the Food Cycler.
And lastly, while the unit is far from being the noisiest unit we’ve tested so far, it does emit a noise. Some people found it unnoticeable whereas others were utterly disturbed by it, indicating that they couldn’t run the device at night because of the noise. As you can see, this depends on each person.
At the same time, the fact that you have to buy new filters every 3 months or so, and use electricity in order to do something that Mother Nature does naturally creates a paradox. In other words, composting would come at a price – which can be pretty high over the course of time.
However, it’s also true that not doing anything about the organic waste you produce is much more harmful to the environment. Not to mention that not everyone has the chance to create a natural composting system – due to lack of space, lack of time, so on and so forth.
FAQ about the Food Cycler
What food can the unit process?
A common question most people have before investing in this unit is regarding the food it can process. We’ll enumerate the main categories of food, as follows:
- Chicken and fish bones
- Grains and cereals
- Meat, shellfish, fish and poultry scraps
- Eggs and eggshells
- Seeds, beans, and legumes
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Tea bags
- Pet food
What are the foods that aren’t processed by the Food Cycler?
In order to ensure the correct functioning of this unit for an extended timeframe, you should note that there are some food categories you shouldn’t use, as follows:
- Cooking oils or grease
- Candy and gum
- Nuts and similar hard shells
- Hard pits – nectarines, peaches, apricots
- Hard bones – pig and beef bones
What should you use in limited quantities?
On the other hand, there are some types of foods that are only allowed in limited quantities. For example, if you have to process rice, cake, high sugar fruits such as bananas, grapes, oranges, melon or pineapple, starches, jellies, sauces, butter and other fatty food waste, you should always combine them with other food waste.
In the case in which you don’t combine these food categories accordingly, there’s the likelihood that the finite product will end up stuck on the bottom of the bucket. Concurrently, in the case in which the result you obtain is not the best, then you should include more food waste and restart the process.
Can you add bones?
We’ve already pointed that some bones are permitted while others aren’t. To be more specific, you can include fish and chicken bones – as long as they are in limited quantities. Nevertheless, bigger bones such as beef and pig bones are off limits, so don’t use them.
That’s because dense, hard food will contribute to wearing down the inside coating of the unit’s bucket. This will evidently diminish the lifespan of the product. Nonetheless, since the bucket of the Food Cycler features a cast iron construction, it means that it is meant to last for many years to come – the only condition is to respect the manufacturer’s guidelines.
What is the processing time of the Food Cycler?
We indicated that convenience and simplicity best describe the operation of the Food Cycler. That is to say, the processing time is also efficient – it takes somewhere between 2 and 6 hours for the unit to completely dehydrate the leftovers. You should bear in mind that the duration of the process depends on several aspects: one of them being the number of leftovers you’ve added to the bucket.
Furthermore, this estimate doesn’t entail the cooling time – which is another step of equal importance.
What is the processing capacity of the Food Cycler?
Its processing capacity is of roughly 2-3 pounds. Nevertheless, we suggest you use the indicator line located inside of the waste bucket.
How come the Food Cycler doesn’t emit any methane gas?
The main reason why many people are considering a composting system such as the Food Cycler is to diminish the emission of methane gas. This happens when the organic waste is disposed on the landfill. However, thanks to the aerobic digestion process, the process used by the Food Cycler doesn’t include any emission of harmful gases.
In fact, if there are any CO2 emissions created during the process, the carbon filters that are built in the unit will capture them. Hence, you don’t have to worry about this problem.
What should I do if the Food Cycler emits an unpleasant odor?
In the event in which your device emits an unpleasant odor, this indicates that you didn’t install it accordingly. As we already said, the operation should be odorless, which is one of the primary advantages associated with the Food Cycler.
At the same time, in the case in which you didn’t replace the filters when necessary, then the machine might emit certain odors. That being said, you should know that the filters should be changed every three months. Concurrently, bear in mind that the stickers on the filters should be removed before use so that the process can be performed smoothly.
What does the cooling function do?
As soon as the pulverization and drying phase is finished, the cooling phase follows. What does this mean, though? During this step, the unit consumes little power. So, it becomes hot and it takes some time for it to be cooled down through this function. Therefore, make sure that you don’t attempt to open the lid until the cooling phase is over.
Why doesn’t the end product come in powder form?
Ultimately, the format of the end product will depend on the things you’ve included in the Food Cycler. For example, if you’ve added cooked vegetables and fish, then the result should be in fine powder form. Meanwhile, raw veggies will be processed in a small cereal-like formula. As for starches, rice, and cake, the texture will be rather chunky and thick.
Can I empty the bucket after the composting process has ended?
No. According to the manufacturer, you should allow the Food Cycler to complete its cooling cycle. During this cycle, you can attempt to handle the device. Until then, though, it is contraindicated.
If a traditional outdoor composting system doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, simply because it is a cumbersome and time-consuming solution, then perhaps it would make sense to invest in the Food Cycler. While we know that it accounts for a significant upfront investment, we must say that it is definitely worth it.
Many times, people say that they are concerned about the environment, but, in fact, they do little or nothing at all in order to change things for the better. And, the truth is that the change is up to us.
We expect change to happen overnight, or we expect to see it in others. Nevertheless, if each person would acknowledge his/her responsibility to try to make things better, we would see the change much sooner than expected.
And change can be in the little things – such as trying to minimize your organic waste and putting it towards a better use.
And it seems that it is actually the easier solution that is also friendlier with the environment. Essentially, this unit diminishes food waste by as much as 90 percent. And you don’t have to worry about gigantic energy costs, as they account to under $5 per month. You don’t have to add any other elements such as water, venting or chemicals.
And while composting naturally, without the need for electricity or purchasing filters might seem like more beneficial to the environment, not everyone has the means to do that. Lack of space and lack of time are two of the primary concerns in this respect.
In this situation, the Food Cycler can solve your problem. Do you think that it is the right investment for you or not? Let us know.