I reduce my food waste to compost with Sage FoodCycler and it’s strangely satisfying


Food waste is something we all worry about. Or to at least, this is one of the things that we to pretend to care, but not really do anything. In most urban environments it is not really practical to maintain a compost pile, and although many municipalities collect food waste today, it unfortunately means keeping a bin full of rotten food in your kitchen. . Oddly, not everyone is totally excited about this idea. The Sage FoodCycler does offer a solution to food waste, however, and it is quite ingenious.

In the UK, we throw away 6.6 million tonnes of food waste per year. This is, apparently, “enough to fill 66 three-bedroom houses.” So like a whole lot full of rotting meat and fish.

I have been using the FoodCycler for a month now and love it. But then he speaks almost specifically to me. For anyone who lives in a two-person household, has plants on the balcony, and lives in an area where there is no food waste recycling done by the local council, the FoodCycler is a great device. And it turns out that all that applies to me.

If I was a family of six, had no plants, and my board recycled food waste, its appeal would be significantly reduced. So thank you, Sage, for making a product just for me! Can everyone follow Sage’s lead on this? Thank you.

Sage FoodCycler

(Image credit: Sage)

Sage FoodCycler: price and availability

Sage FoodCycler costs £ 399 in the UK – straight from Sage, AU $ 499 in Australia where it’s called Breville FoodCycler and $ 400 in the US where it’s called Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50. Huh?

Puzzling details follow …

Now be careful because this bit is very confusing. Sage FoodCycler is actually a product made by a brand called FoodCycler, which has been rebadged by Sage. And Sage itself is a “rebadged” brand, known as Breville in most English-speaking countries. And why is that? Because there is a different brand called Breville which operates in UK. And in America, Vitamix clearly licensed the product instead of Sage / Breville. Do you have it all? Good.

You had your EcoChips

Sage has a long history of manufacturing quality food preparation equipment. Now he has completed the natural cycle, adding a food waste recycling machine to his line. The FoodCycler is a mechanized composting device that dries food waste, then crushes it into EcoChips ™. Unfortunately, these are not chips you can eat – imagine how delicious that would be! No, they are intended for easy, mud-free recycling, or for use in your garden.

Having used the FoodCycler many times, I can safely say that what it produces is nothing like crisps and should in fact be called EcoStrands ™. No matter what you call them, what comes out is sterilized and can be safely put on your potted plants and planters. I haven’t found my balcony attacked by seagulls or overrun by insects since using them. However, cooked leftovers have a smell quite similar to what they smelled when they were in the form of a meal. In fact, Chinese style chicken came out with a smell of delicious chicken flavored Chinese snack, but I was able to resist the urge to eat it.

Designed to sit in an open space in your kitchen, garage or laundry room, the FoodCycler doesn’t look like one of Sage’s ice cream makers – but don’t mix them up, or your day will be well and truly ruined. Compared with most countertop trash cans, it is big, but on the other hand, compared to industrial waste treatment plant, it is very small.

All you need to do is put your daily food waste in its internal bin and seal the lid to keep odors in. Once there is enough, you can begin the composting process.

Sage FoodCycler

(Image credit: Sage)

All of this, from your perspective, involves the push of a button. This triggers the FoodCycler on a three-step process, which is best done overnight, as it takes up to eight hours.

First, the waste is dehydrated. This is a low energy process, but the heat involved is enough to sterilize food scraps, even meat and fish. Then a powerful shredder reduces the waste to about 20% of its original volume. These low-odor chips can then be placed in your town’s food recycling bins, or spread in your garden or, more realistically, on potted plants.

If you have a garden, you can just use a compost pile to break down your food waste. That said, the genius of FoodCycler is that it can handle leftover meat and fish – even chicken bones and fish bones, but not the denser bones of larger animals. It is perfectly possible to compost meat and fish in the traditional way but the results can be very unpleasant indeed. FoodCycler saves you from horrible smells, dangerous bacteria and the likelihood of attracting vermin.

Sage says the system can pulverize and dehydrate almost all types of food waste, including “leftover fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, chicken and fish bones, grains, etc.” dairy products, eggs and shells, coffee grounds, filters and tea bags. , beans, seeds and legumes, as well as pet food. ‘

The FoodCycler might not be all that sexy, but it’s about as attractive as an electric food waste sprayer is likely to be. It is also surprisingly quiet in operation. The main bucket is also dishwasher safe – it is made of porcelain coated aluminum. Power consumption is quite low; equivalent to boiling a kettle about once every hour. Obviously, it’s not the fastest process, but you don’t have to do anything other than push a button and walk away, and it’s definitely faster than letting food waste rot. on a compost heap.

Sage FoodCycler

(Image credit: Sage)

Obviously, there are some drawbacks to this. The trash can of this compact device only has a capacity of 2 liters, which is really not much. I’ve found that you can pack grinding items in it, and it’s big enough for my needs, but if you have a large family or are just more prone to creating trash, you might find it inadequate.

The other problem I found is that although those 2 liters are reduced to a very small amount of EcoStrands ™ – Sage says 0.34 liters, from a full bin – I had created enough to coat every potted plant and planter on my balcony within a week. At this point, I store it in a large bucket, with a view to opening my own artisanal, locally sourced compost business. I think it might work well in my part of London. Or I could just start dumping it in the trash or scattering it around the local park.

Regardless, it’s not often that I see something really new and useful, and while FoodCycler undoubtedly has its quirks, I for one love it.

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