Cooked Veggies into the Compost?

farmersteve(N. AL Zone 7)December 22, 2006

The first article I ever read about composting stated to never put cooked vegetable scraps into the compost. None of the dozens of articles and books I have read on composting since then have made any distinction between cooked or uncooked compost ingredients (as long as there were no animal fats or non-vegetable oils).

I guess since that one article was my first it had quite an effect on me and I have always been reluctant to add cooked veggies to the compost bucket. However I have been thinking lately that this seems illogical and that steamed veggies or those cooked in vegetable oil should be perfectly fine in the compost.

Does anyone else have an opinion?

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OK, here is my opinion on the matter:

If you boiled your vegetables, but did not put either meat nor butter nor margarine in them, then you probably could put them safely in the compost pile.

However, meat, margarine, butter, or other animal fats could attract rodents or other four legged varmin to your compost pile, so I would not do it if any of that stuff was in the vegetable pot when you cooked those veggies.

That's the rule of thumb I use in my composting efforts.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 3:46AM
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I do it all the time without hesitation, but my compost pile is a pretty big one so they do not make up much of the total volume. The worms and microbes seem to like the menu. If I were composting in a 5 gallon bucked or a garbage can, I would think twice, I guess.
Bill P.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 6:09AM
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Does simple logic tell you that cooked vegetables can go into your compost? If so put them there. Why would it not be good to put cooked vegetables in compost? What confused logic did the writter of that article use to justify not putting cooked vegetables in compost?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 6:56AM
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I think the reason some people recommend agains putting cooked vegetables in the compost is because cooked vegetables usually have salt in them. Unless they make up most of the ingredients, I wouldn't worry about it. I live in an arid climate, where salinity can be an issue, but I wouldn't hesitate to put cooked vegetables in the compost.

When I have a hot compost pile going, I'll even add meat every once in a while. If I add meat, I always make sure it's in the center of the pile, and I only do it if the compost is really hot. Under the right conditions, in a few days, the meat is no longer recognizable.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 10:56AM
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How much salt are you cooking with???!!!!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 11:36AM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

Raw, cooked, meat, fat, cheese, bones.. it all goes in.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 1:38PM
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blutranes(z8 Mid Ga)

What happened to that link to the song "I can compost anything"? That was a funny song.

I compost cooked vegetables and the juice too. I don't worry about the salt, compost can buffer salt if you have enough compost in the soil. I am quite sure there is not nearly as much salt in food as there is in soil that used chemical fertilizers, and we know compost can buffer that...


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 3:00PM
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"How much salt are you cooking with???!!!!!"

If you reread what I wrote, I think you'll see that I said that the salt was a reason I had seen given for not adding cooked vegetables to the compost, but that I add them to mine even though I live in an arid climate where salinity can be a problem.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 4:07PM
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