Can you compost oatmeal?

plantveggiesAugust 22, 2011

I found a couple of expired Quaker Oats in the back of my pantry. Is it safe to throw into my pile?

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berryman135678

Yup,
You would be surprised what folks here compost, old underwear, cardboard, and so on. But its all good, if it breaks down.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:15PM
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plantveggies

Thanks. I'm asking because bread and rice is questionable according to some folks.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:52PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Expired oatmeal should be good for perhaps 10-20 years after the expiration date unless it is those serving size packets that have sugar and spice and everything not so nice.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 1:52PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I can't imagine why bread and rice wouldn't be compostable!

Beware the people who want to 'fine tune' everything to absolute perfection. What they're doing is complicating things out of proportion to what is necessary. Just because food has been processed to death doesn't mean it shouldn't be used in compost; think of it as newspaper, just carbon.

Technically, anything that came from the soil (even indirectly) can be composted: paper and cardboard (from trees and fiber), milk, meat (from cows, chickens, etc), dead rabbits, dead chickens, dead earthworms and drowned slugs/snails, natural-fiber fabrics (cotton, wool, jute, hemp, silk), aquarium and pond algae, discarded pond plants, weeds, leaves, burlap bags, pet and people hair, dust bunnies (or cattle, in my case) from under the furniture, cotton dryer lint, popcorn (popped, unpopped, buttered, salted, all okay), shrub prunings, grass clippings (non-poisoned), coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, rotten eggs (bury them in the pile or they stink), old pasta (cooked or uncooked), moss, pulp left over from juicing, all parts of the newspaper, wilted flower arrangements, stale potato chips, cattails (plants, not kitty parts), clean wood charcoal (not briquets), moldy onions, the unidentifiable stuff in containers in the back of the fridge that have turned into life forms and are scratching to get out.

But some you might want to exercise some judgment about some things, like meat, milk, oily things and dead animals that tend to attract varmints and pets. Bones work best if they're burned or pounded into shreds and don't have meat on them. Rancid peanut butter fits in with these things -- opossums seem to like it.

Pet and human poop need special consideration -- do your homework before you use these.

Don't accept greens (grass and plant clippings) from people who use poisons. Some of them break down, and some don't.

I try to avoid adding weeds with hard seeds, and running grasses and other invasive roots unless I've left them on concrete in the summer to die thoroughly.

Just ask yourself two questions: is it organic matter, and, is it likely to cause trouble?

Sue

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Karchita(WA Z8)

There used to be a saying around here ... it all leads back to compost. I'm thinking it's time to revive that saying. Basically anything that came from a plant or animal can be composted, with varying levels of skill required.

Oatmeal doesn't "expire". But if you feel like wasting it instead of eating it, sure, go ahead and put it in your compost.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 3:58AM
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alphonse(6)

Belgianpup, that's a good summation.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 6:12AM
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toxcrusadr

Nothing wrong with any kind of grains or grain products in the compost. I don't know where people get these ideas, but this one is just a myth.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 12:18PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

"Oatmeal doesn't "expire"." But sometimes it will "move" if not stored in a good container!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 2:22PM
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toxcrusadr

There is that!

And I find that almost any grain will develop a stale taste after awhile. I suppose vacuum packing or sealing in a nitrogen atmosphere would help. Whole grains are worse, like whole wheat flour, because the oils go rancid.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 3:01PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

It is a 'green'. Add some dry leaves or straw or other browns to balance it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:28AM
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berryman135678

Did you say the B word? Bread is strictly forbidden by some on this forum but embraced by the more open minded, free willed composter's such as myself.
I am getting a new load of old pantry bread tonight to restock my composters.
If you really want to stir ups some trouble use the oatmeal to make bread then compost the whole loaf....AHHHHHH

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:37PM
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annpatt

Oh. Yuck. You're making us all sick! Right? am I right?

Here is a link that might be useful: Planarian on oatmeal bread

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:18AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I've heard that some people use oatmeal bread to make stuffing, then they compost the stuffing.....

Claire

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:00AM
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toxcrusadr

OK, who forgot to lock the door when they left the loony ward? :-]

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:27AM
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curt_grow

Loony ward??? Count me in!!!

Curt

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:32PM
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