This Vitamix Turns Food Scraps Into Compost—& My Garbage Never Smelled Better

A worthwhile investment that saves you time and effort.

August 24, 2021
Photo by James Ransom

I was reminded recently about my love for the Vitamix Food Cycler when I had to take out the garbage. What would have normally been a bag of dust bunnies from my robot vacuum, random receipts, and half-used tissues ended up being three bags (two of which were leaking) filled with the aforementioned garbage as well as fruit cores, vegetable ends, chicken bones, and possibly banana peels (I couldn’t really tell). In a word: it was gross.

You see, the odor-absorbing carbon filters were past their prime and I couldn’t run a cycle without stinking up the kitchen. You bet I was immensely grateful for the mail carrier when new ones arrived a week later.

The Food Cycler has sat in a corner of my kitchen the last year, quietly drying, crushing, and grinding food scraps and leftovers gone bad into useful compost for my outdoor garden and indoor plants. Sure, I could’ve gone the traditional route with an actual compost bin or simply dug a hole in my backyard, but I get woozy at the sight of worms and food can take months to break down into black gold for soil. If neither of those things turn you off, then by all means, here’s our handy guide to OG composting.

Instead, I can drop food scraps into the interior bucket throughout the day as I prep meals and let it run overnight. At about a cubic feet in size, it won’t take up much space but depending on how much you cook, you might need to do two batches.

This bad boy can take most fruit, produce, meat, small bones, and even avocado pits and corn cobs. Carbs like rice or bread should go in sparingly, otherwise the compost can get too dry and clumpy. Once a cycle is finished (which can take up to eight hours, though that’s nothing compared to months), I just dump all the compost into the garden beds to mt\y fertilize hydrangeas and azaleas.

The Food Cycler doesn’t make it easy to be green, though. The machine itself is an investment, but factor in filters that cost about $25 every three months (you can stretch it to four if you don’t use it everyday like I do), and things will start to add up. But for those who don’t have a local composting program or who don’t want to deal with the OG method of composting, this is a worthwhile solution.

For me, the Food Cycle has cut down on food waste, smelly garbage, and leaky bags, all while contributing to the better health of my garden, plants, and the environment. Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty good trade-off. Now, I just need to remember to buy filters more often...

More ways to compost

What are your best tips on living more sustainably? Drop some inspo in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Jada Wong

Written by: Jada Wong

Jada is the market editor at Food52 with a decade of experience writing and editing for online publications such as Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, and Insider.