Japanese composting may be new food waste solution

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Associated Press

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 12 at 2:34 PM

MIDDLETON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts country club is among the few places in the nation trying an obscure form of composting called bokashi.

Bokashi is based on an ancient Japanese farming practice. It ferments food waste by covering it with a mix of microorganisms, which suppress its smell and eventually produce soil.

The Ferncroft County Club just started trying bokashi, and it's been used in regional pockets from Arizona to New York in recent decades.

Advocates say its big advantage is that the microorganisms it uses don't produce foul odors as they break down food. That means more types of food, including meat, can be composted without attracting pests.

But skeptics note there's virtually no credible research on bokashi. It's also not listed as a composting method by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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