bread, rice, pasta, etc ok for composting?

granolamomMay 25, 2011

can I toss leftover bread, rice, pasta, cookies, etc into the compost?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

Yes, ma'am--those are all perfectly fine for the compost pile. Most of that stuff from my kitchen doesn't make it to the pile however--the chickens intercept it. :)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 1:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

As a general rule of thumb anything you can eat can be composted. Some things may be difficult, ie. fats, and probably should not be.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
trivedi_south(8)

No oils; lemon; orange peels.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joepyeweed(5b IL)

Uh oh. Are you looking for someone?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

'No oils; lemon; orange peels.'

Small amounts of oils are fine.

And citrus peels are absolutely fine unless you are intending to dump a ton of the stuff.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Bread, rice, pasta, cookies, oils, lemon & orange peels, fats, they've all made it to my compost with no ill effects (well, maybe a planaria or two). Moderation is the keyword.

tj

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
TheMasterGardener1(5B)

"lemon; orange peels."

? They make good compost. Do you think it is an acidic issue? It ballances out when composted making a rich compost full of vitamins/minerals.

"Bread, rice, pasta, cookies, oils, lemon & orange peels, fats, they've all made it to my compost with no ill effects (well, maybe a planaria or two). Moderation is the keyword."

Well said.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Compost, in areas of the world where it is a large component, made from citrus waste is used with no ill affects, so for many of us that add small amounts (less then 2 pounds per week) will not see any problems and that may aid in keeping some critters out of the bin.
Oils are fats and fats are difficult for the bacteria to digest which is why it is not recommended that those materials be added to compost. Some people add them and find no apparent problems.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpatt

Perfectly nice people compost rice and pasta all the time.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
momstar(5)

Somehow I knew annpat would weigh in on this one. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with her luke warm response. I was expecting (looking forward to?) one of her raving lectures about the evils of planaria, the unconscionable creation of *gasp* SOGGINESS by ill-mannered composters. I was searching for her sermon on the moral obligation of all humans to seal bread and bread-like waste in multiple layers of foil, plastic wrap, zip bags, and titanium plating.

Annpat, are you ill? Is it really you or has someone hijacked your username and is doing a weak immitation of your usually fenatical posts?

I'm worried. Very worried.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joepyeweed(5b IL)

Annp has been sidetracked by bees.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
granolamom

thanks, sometimes I get caught up with all the minutia that it can be paralyzing. my dh said its probably fine to toss in practically anything edible in moderation (he's done not a bit of reading about composting and like me has zero experience, well now we have about a week's worth of experience).

seems I stepped in a pile of poo with my question, its an honest one, I'm not impersonating anyone, nor am I a troll.
just a newbie trying to get my first batch of compost started : )

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lynxe

"seems I stepped in a pile of poo with my question, its an honest one, I'm not impersonating anyone, nor am I a troll."

No, you didn't step in anything, granolamom. As far as I can tell, it's some kind of very old joke. I can't recall when I started lurking and then posting here occasionally -- might have been some time last year for the latter -- but it was around then as well. It can be confusing to people who come here with real questions about composting pasta, bread, cookies, and such. You and your DH are on the right track -- although I will say that I don't pay much attention to the "everything in moderation" mantra. I dump in almost anything, and it seems to compost eventually. Oils would be an exception, but we don't use them much any more, so they're no longer an issue. Breads, crackers, etc. that I bring home from restaurants (yes, my handy purse often contains various strange items in addition to wallet and sunglasses!) all go in the pile. We even have a whole chicken in the freezer, and since we've given up on eating meat, I'm probably going to dump that in one of these days as well! Anyway, go ahead and compost your rice and cookies -- your pile will be fine.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpatt

granolamom! Of course, you're not a troll. We know that!
Welcome to you and dh to the world of composting. I compost cotton and wool clothing, all citrus peelings, small amounts of oil, junk mail, small amounts of meat, all vegetable and fruit leftovers, rice, pasta---things to whom liquid is not foreign to their nature---a lot of things that are considered a no-no. I bet I have composted more eggshells, coffee grounds, and onions on a daily basis than anyone here; I used to work in a restaurant.

Possessing a refined sensibility, and out of deference to our neighbors, and our pledge to do no harm to the Composting Movement, we here don't compost things that are visually disturbing. Bread comes to mind. (Cheerios, too, of course!) Your cookies are debatable. When you made them, did you forget the flour, like I once forgot to put the eggs in mine? When the cookies were already in the oven, did you come upon the two forgotten cups of flour still there on the counter? If so, I'm thinking you can probably compost them. You might want to closely monitor them the first day or two, and if you see any movement, any indication of sog, you might be able to remove them from the pile, before too much damage has been done to your psyche. They could then be quickly wrapped and disposed of in the landfill. Or you could wrap them tightly in plastic layers before putting them in your pile, I've never considered that before.

Maybe just don't take the chance. I think that's best.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mid-town-farmer

I spent the afternoon, between rain showers, emptying out my burried garbage can full of kitchen waste into one of my raised beds. It was full to the brim with no room to add any more stale bread, half-a-birthday-cakes, cooked AND uncooked rice (from a busted rice bag), old spagetti noodles, left-over mac and cheese, turkey carcas remains from Easter dinner, burnt BBQ hamburgers, fruit peels, freezer burned veggies, gross-tasting whole wheat/bran flour, coffee groungs and all the kitchen paper items we use. Everytime it gets full, I shovel it out and bury it in the BOTTOM (12 inches down) and only grow non-root crops in that bed until the following year. This is the 5th year that I have been doing this and I have lush veggies, delicious produce and LOTs of what ever I grow. So all that to say, "heck yea, you compost it".

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 3:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
californian

Some of you want to feed your compost pile better food than many people in the world get to eat.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joepyeweed(5b IL)

We don't WANT to feed our compost better than people... it just that wasted food is expensive to ship to where its needed.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lelelockamy_yahoo_com

What about composting uncooked rice? Mine got weevels and have to throw away.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bpgreen(5UT)

"What about composting uncooked rice? Mine got weevels and have to throw away."

Compost away.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

I usually toss the tidbits of rice, pasta, bread, corn chips that are left over or stale out for the birds. Crows and blue jays are particularly fond of these. Chickens would be a great use of it though, but I don't have chickens. Moldy items go into the compost. (Emphasis provided for Annpat.)

After my son fries his chicken tenders, mozz sticks, etc. I usually dump the left over oil into the compost bin. That stuff certainly isn't going down the drain - it's terrible for drains, pipes, and septic systems. Also I wipe out the pans and greasy stuff with used paper towels, which of course, then go into the compost.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

As a general rule of thumb anything you can eat can be composted. Fats can create problems in a compost pile, although small quantities usually do not. Fats and meat can attract unwanted critters, mice, rats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, etc. because even when buried deeply they can produce enticing odors. Sometimes those critters will visit your compost pile anyway because they may have learned form others that this pile of stuff often has some nice food.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 6:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jamb

New to composting and confused now.
What is wrong with throwing bread into the compost?
I just cleaned out my freezer and was planning on throwing a stale loaf of rye bread in, is that a no no, should I let it mold first.
I have a "earth machine" mostly for kitchen waste, dead heading, etc. although this fall I will have a lot of leaves.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bpgreen(5UT)

"What is wrong with throwing bread into the compost? "

When bread gets wet, it gets soggy and grosses annpat out. If you don't care if she thinks you're uncivilized, you can compost it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpatt

Well, I think that I can safely say that it grosses everyone out, not just we of a particularly exquisite sensibility.
Jamb, say a big hunk of leftover Italian bread from last night's dinner fell into your dishwater when you were cleaning up. Say it was there for like three minutes and you put your thumb through it when lifting it out of the sink to put it on the sideboard until you could figure out how to dry it out and dispose of it. It's a lot like that.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lloyd

"a big hunk of leftover Italian bread from last night's dinner fell into your dishwater when you were cleaning up. Say it was there for like three minutes and you put your thumb through it when lifting it out of the sink"

Interesting recipe, hey AP, does it have to be Italian, I only have French bread in the house.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2ajsmama

I have whole wheat flour that went rancid - can that be composted or will it attract critters (oil from the wheat germ)?

I gotta start keeping it in the freezer instead of the pantry.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tommysmommy(Colorado)

This has been extremely enlightening and entertaining! :*D I have some questions tho: I bought a rotating drum type composter in spring.
I started it with some dried yard waste and kitchen scraps. It began to smell bad and I added lots of shredded newspaper. Now it smells good, like earth. I rotate it just about every day, but it's not hot. I also added some compost starter granules. It's also slightly moist, not wet, not dry. What else can I do to get this thing cooking?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bpgreen(5UT)

"Jamb, say a big hunk of leftover Italian bread from last night's dinner fell into your dishwater when you were cleaning up. Say it was there for like three minutes and you put your thumb through it when lifting it out of the sink to put it on the sideboard until you could figure out how to dry it out and dispose of it. It's a lot like that. "

I tried your recipe, but it made the bread taste soapy. It tasted much better when I soaked it in the rinse water instead. You might want to try it that way next time.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

Try hanging French baguettes from hooks in the ceiling over the stove and tea kettle, where the steam rejuvenates and keeps them moist, not soggy.

Works for me. And it gives the kitchen that homey, "Italian Butcher Shop Look" with lots of dangly sausages. Except they're loafs of bread.

Maybe I should head over to the home decorating forum to post this suggestion as well.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
neogardener

Awesome. I just joined this group as a brand new hand to gardening and we recently set up our composter. And just from this thread I feel like I've learned all I need to know EVER about the everything compost. Woot!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toxcrusadr

Oh, there's a lot more craziness than that! Stick around, you'll see. haha

    Bookmark   December 29, 2014 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisascenic

I get such demented joy from the discussions of composting soggy bread.

What can I say? I'm a Compost Forum Appreciating Weirdo.

And to answer the question: stale bread goes in our compost, otherwise known as the Chickens' Snack Bar.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 9:02PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Berm and Top Soil/Tilling?
I plan on creating a low berm - about 6 inches tall...
Bob Sislow
Moldy fruit and breads okay for compost bin?
Are these okay to add to the bin? Won't the mold spread...
greengardener07
Fungus in compost
This pile was started about 3 weeks ago. It is overun...
jon2412
Using Compost as Mulch
I have a large perennial and rose garden. I have used...
spinach
No till garden/no weeds?
Is there a good way to keep weeds down in an established...
hummersteve
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™