I find food tech fascinating – especially the products and solutions that have a shot at fixing a real problem in our food system. Tackling issues like food waste, food insecurity, nutrition, and accessibility, technology can give us the tools to change habits and systems.
But, I admit I haven’t always adopted tech in my own home that has made a huge change in our own food habits outside of our beloved sous vide, and nothing that stuck when it came to food waste. With growing kids, our grocery bills keep increasing, but I throw out more food on busy weeks than I’d ever like to admit.
Composting at home has never been an easy or…neat endeavor; we’ve tried several times, using smaller receptacles to collect food scraps to bring out to a larger pile. But no matter what, we abandoned our efforts for lack of time and patience. One year, we even subscribed to a service that would drop off nutrient-dense compost soil for us to use in our vegetable garden. We paid someone for THEIR broken-down food scraps — and it turns out, nutrient-rich, locally harvested, hand-delivered compost is not cheap.
“I just want a Keurig machine….but instead of K-cups, you put all your food scraps in and that’s it!” I complained to my family.
Cut to me coming across an article last summer on the new Lomi food composter – made by sustainable tech company Pela and pre-ordering one. Several months later, this showed up on my doorstep:
The Lomi is meant to be a smart kitchen countertop device, and it takes up a bit less space than a KitchenAid mixer, so we’ve made room for it on the counter above our trash and recycling. It is designed to be a mostly “set it and forget it” appliance, not requiring hand stirring like traditional home compost piles. Reviews rave about how quiet the machine is as it churns waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer in less than a day (and regular dirt in just 3 hours.)
The machine also ships with LomiPods, small bioorganic tabs that Lomi recommends using as an accelerator, especially if the compost will be used as a soil enhancer in a garden or landscaping. The pods are placed right on top before a cycle is run with 50 mL of water.
With seemingly easy instructions for regular operation and daily use only involves learning what can and can not be tossed in for composting, we plan to have our nine and four-year-old kids learn alongside us. We’re expanding our vegetable garden this spring and summer, too, so they’ll be able to see how the food we eat can be used to grow even more food.
One aspect of the Lomi I’m excited about is it’s the first traditional compost or dehydrator appliance to accept some bioplastics, including compostable plates and bioplastic utensils (a full list of approved items can be found here.) This is a cool feature and gives us another reason to stick to a composting habit. I also think this feature may encourage Lomi households to purchase more biodegradable household goods now that they have a more direct method to discard the materials.
We are already using our Lomi and will have a full review up with videos in a few weeks – stay tuned.