Environmental Protection

Have you heard of bokashi?

Larry Green, Ph.D., M.D., called to tell me about fermented organic matter last month. He was passionate about the need to ferment or pickle food waste in lieu of composting, which he said, contributes to greenhouse gases, among other things.

A fellow blogger, Green has a mission to "to educate, alert, and by customer support and participation make our planet a safer and better place." His Web site also offers stackable fermenting bins as well as Bokashi culture mix for sale.

You mix the culture of effective microorganisms with table scraps in the bin, keep the lid closed, and wait 10 days. Next, you bury the material in the ground or mix it with a lot of soil where it decomposes over a few weeks. Now what was your food becomes food for the plants and trees in the garden. This waste purportedly does away with the need for fertilizers.

A Google search uncovered a number of companies and blogs all talking bokashi. It appears as if apartment dwellers as well as gardeners are using the process. Green was interested in persuading the large-scale users, including cities, to consider fermentation.

"The problem we are experiencing today is so many people are thinking composting is natural and clean and healthy for the planet. Nothing could be further from the truth," Green wrote in an e-mail following our phone conversation. "Municipalities that want to get organic waste out of the landfill (a good thing) just don't know about other options and have entered into contracts and agreements with waste management groups to help in this process. These managers want to make a profit selling compost back to the public and have convinced many this is a good thing."

I invite you to check it out. You can read about Green's particular brand of fermenting at http://www.bokashicycle.com.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Mar 04, 2009 at 12:43 PM


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