Composting Cooked Food

A Bokashi system is the most efficient way of composting cooked food, including meat, dairy and fish


Composting your leftovers, vegetable peelings and garden cuttings brings a host of benefits to both your garden and the wider environment by reducing waste and nourishing the soil. Cooked food and meats are a few of the few items which cannot be added to a conventional compost heap. While cooked leftovers should be consumed where possible, once they are past eating, composting cooked food is the best way to minimize waste

 Bokashi system

 A Bokashi system is the most efficient way of composting cooked food, including meat, dairy and fish. It works by fermenting the cooked waste with microorganisms, making it suitable to be added to conventional compost heaps.

 Using a Bokashi system

 A Bokashi bin keeps your cooked waste air tight, allowing the fermentation process to take place anaerobically, which is crucial for the food to break down. Bokashi bran, which contains Effective Microorganisms (EM) is sprinkled over the layer of waste before the bin lid is sealed down tightly. This process is repeated until the bin is full, by which point, the cooked waste at the bottom will be ready. This can then be added to your regular compost heap to continue the composting process.


 Depending on the waste that is being composted, a small amount of liquid can be created during the fermentation process. This liquid, sometimes referred to as “Bokashi tea” can be added to your usual compost heap, diluted and used as a plant fertilizer or even used for household cleaning or clearing blocked drains.

Where to buy Bokashi bran

 Bokashi bran can be bought online or in organic gardening shops. It can be expensive to buy, but buying in bulk can usually make it cheaper in the long run. Alternatively, Bokashi bran can be made at home. EM can be bought more cheaply in liquid form and by combining with wheat bran, you can create your own supply of Bokashi bran.

The Bokashi system is a great way of minimizing your waste, however it is important to remember not to add cooked food to a conventional compost heap as it will attract vermin. While the Bokashi system is a clever device to turn your waste cooked food into something useful, it is often a much more simple process to simply make the most of your leftovers within your home cooking and to ensure that food is cooked in suitable portions to minimize waste.

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