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With all the daily struggles we face, worrying about the soil might not seem to be a priority. However, at present, cropland soil is eroding roughly ten times faster than it can be replenished. This has spurred an interest in regenerative agriculture.

On a personal level, this focus has made conscientious homeowners even more aware of their impact on the health of the world. It has increased interest in beneficial appliances such as the Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50, a countertop food recycler that turns scraps into fertilizer.

Why is soil important?

People tend to think of everything beneath their feet as dirt. However, there is a huge difference between dirt and soil. In short, soil is alive. It contains an abundance of beneficial nutrients and microbes that support plant growth. Besides being the cornerstone of life, many believe soil is the key to tackling climate change, as it captures more Co2 than forests. It also purifies water, supplies us with antibiotics and helps protect against flooding and drought.

What is composting?

As a noun, compost is decayed organic material that can be used as fertilizer. As a verb, composting is the act of making, well, compost. At home, composting involves taking organic trash, such as food scraps and yard waste, and turning them into nutrient-rich material that can enrich the soil in your garden.

What are the benefits of composting?

The global benefits of composting may be one of the keys to saving the planet. Composting reduces greenhouse gasses, conserves water, improves soil health and reduces erosion. On a homeowner level, making your own compost reduces personal food waste because you can recycle food scraps, such as banana peels, instead of throwing them out. The compost that you make can improve the quality of your soil and let you grow healthier plants.

How long does composting take?

Depending on your equipment, available space, composting method and level of involvement, it can take anywhere from six weeks to two years to turn food scraps into compost. Other factors that affect the speed of composting are the type of materials you add to your pile, the balance of green to brown materials, the moisture content of your pile and how often you turn your compost.

Because composting can take so long to accomplish, even people who are dedicated to being kind to the earth can lose interest and neglect tending to their piles. This is why a convenient composting appliance, such as the Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50, can be so desirable.

What is the Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

The Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 is an indoor composting bin. It accepts unused and uneaten food scraps, such as vegetable peels, fruit cores, chicken bones, dairy and more, and turns them into compost that can be added to your garden or collected in your garden composter. The unit only requires one cubic foot of space and a power outlet to function. This makes it suitable for even the smallest kitchens. 

How does the Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 work?

The Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 has a removable bucket. You can fill up the bucket whether it is in the machine or out. Once the bucket is full — do not overfill the bucket or push the food scraps down to fit more in — you can lock it into the Vitamix and run it through a cycle. 

There are three parts to the process: drying, grinding and cooling. Once you start the cycle, it can take anywhere from three to eight hours to complete, depending on what is being cycled and how full the unit is. You can not open the lid until the entire process is done.

Once your food scraps have run through a complete cycle, they will be brown and only take up about one-tenth of the space. Once you add this compost to your garden, it may take anywhere from one to four weeks for the recycled food to break down and infuse your soil with nutrients.

What features does the Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 have?

Compact size: This unit is designed to fit in any kitchen, no matter how small. It only takes up one cubic foot of space, so you can put it on the counter, under the sink or wherever it is convenient for you. 

One-touch operation: After filling up the bucket and locking it in place, this unit only requires the touch of a single button to start working. After that, it moves through all three stages on its own and shuts off when the task is finished. It requires no additional interaction from the user, making it very easy to operate.

Carbon filter lid: The Vitamix waste bucket has a carbon filter lid. This lid eliminates odors, allowing you to keep it in your kitchen to fill with food scraps without worrying about any unpleasant smells.

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 vs. Pela Lomi Kitchen Composter

If you’ve done any research on indoor composters, you’ve probably found a product from Pela called the Lomi. While this kitchen composter is similar to Vitamix’s machine, it does differ in a few key ways.

  • The Lomi is slightly larger than the FoodCycler FC-50. The Lomi measures 16 inches by 13 inches by 12 inches while the FoodCycler FC-50 measures 12.6 inches by 11 inches by 14.2 inches.
  • The Lomi features a “Lomi approved” mode that can break down certain bioplastics and packaging.
  • The Lomi requires a deposit and costs $100 more than the FoodCycler FC-50.
  • The Lomi is currently sold out, so orders are not available for shipping for two to three weeks.

Products that can turn your food scraps into compost

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

The Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 lets you actively engage in composting. At the touch of a button, you begin a process that changes your food scraps to nutrient-rich compost in eight hours or less. The carbon filter lid eliminates odors so you can compost right in your kitchen with no offensive odors. 

Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Wayfair

SimpleHuman Brushed Stainless Steel Compost Caddy

SimpleHuman Brushed Stainless Steel Compost Caddy

This stainless steel compost caddy from SimpleHuman is designed to hang on the side of your kitchen trash can to make it easy for you to separate food scraps from trash. This model is only a collection bin — it is for temporarily storing food scraps. It has a removable inner bucket for easy dumping and a soft-close lid to minimize odor and keep pests out. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin

OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin

Another option for people who just want to collect food scraps is this plastic countertop bin. The soft-close lid keeps pests out and helps contain odors, while the smooth interior makes the bin easy to clean. 

Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Wayfair

FCMP Dual-Chamber Tumbling Composter

FCMP Dual-Chamber Tumbling Composter

If you prefer to do your composting outside, this dual-chamber bin can get the job done in as few as two weeks. The unit has a 37-gallon capacity and is suitable for organic yard waste as well as food scraps.

Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Wayfair

GeoBin Compost Bin

GeoBin Compost Bin

If you have a lot of food scraps and yard waste, you may need a larger composting bin. This 246-gallon option is adjustable so the bin can grow as your compost pile grows. The built-in ventilation holes help accelerate decomposition. 

Sold by Home Depot

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