Can You Compost Bread?

Can you compost bread? It seems like a very straightforward question, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The short answer is you can absolutely compost bread. Yet, some choose not to use it in their compost pile because it can attract pests and critters. 

There are many myths and criticisms about composting breads that we need to examine. The questions become, do you want to waste such a nutrient-rich and easy-to-break-down compost material? Will it have adverse effects on your pile? 

There are useful ways to add bread to your compost heap to help mitigate the harmful effects of using food scraps. Following these allows you to gain the benefits that bread can give your compost and soil.When you start adding bread to your composting process, you will see some incredible results.

Why Compost Bread?

Bread is easy to use organic material that goes stale or starts to mold fairly quickly. Instead of throwing it away as a food scrap, adding it to your compost bin will give your soil a lot of extra nutrients. The bread breaks down quickly, especially when it is in small pieces.  

Benefits of Composting Bread 

Microorganisms love bread. Many different fungi and bacteria colonies thrive on stale bread. After they are done breaking down the bread, they will happily move on to the other scrap materials you put in your compost pile. 

Bread as a composter adds a decent amount of nitrogen to your compost tumbler. It also breaks down into other vitamins and minerals that can help infuse your soil with nutrients. When you mix bread and other mineral-rich items into your compost, like eggshells, you can achieve great results.

Is Bread a Green or Brown Compost Agent

Bread is considered a green material for compost. Green compost matter adds more nitrogen to your mix, and brown compost matter adds more carbon.

Originally the two sources were named brown and green as a simple memory tool. Many brown things like dead leaves and yard waste are brown and carbon-rich items. Veggies are green and add nitrogen. However, the material’s color doesn’t affect its category, and there are ample examples that go against the color rule. 

Finding the right types of compostable material can be tricky. You need to have a mixture of nitrogen and carbon sources that can give you balanced compost. You are aiming for a 50/50 breakdown. 

How To Compost Bread for Best Results 

The best way to use bread for composting starts with the selection process. Already stale bread and moldy bread are your best picks. You can add them to the compost pile right away. 

Once you find the right bread, you want to tear it into smaller pieces. It will expose more of the bread to microorganisms to eat the bread faster, which will lead to the easier breakdown of organic matter. 

Place the bread in the middle of the pile and cover it up with more of the composite. If you make it hard to get to, you can avoid rodents and other animals trying to eat it. Adding citrus peel with the bread can also help keep some pests away due to the strong smell. 

For even better results, only add bread and other leftover food to a compost bin with a lid. It will stop many creatures from getting to the composting bread. Also, if you keep a worm bin, starchy foods can give your worms a treat, and you don’t have to worry about pests. 

Can I Compost Bagels, Pasta, and Grain?  

As long as you are willing to take steps to deal with possible animal interest in your composting, you can use baked goods, grain, and pasta. They will have many of the same benefits as bread, so you can get many good nutrients for your compost. 

All kinds of different grains make good composting material. It not only includes grains that make flour but also grains like rice and corn kernels. Cooked rice and other grains, especially if they have been steamed, break down quickly to add nutrients to the compost pile. 

What If The Baked Goods Had Meat Or Dairy

Remember to be careful not to add other materials with your grains and bread products. If your cooked pasta or other cooked food is covered in butter or meat, you could be adding difficult to manage compost material. Adding things such as meat, dairy products, or diseased plants to your compost could do more harm than good.

If you accidentally add meat or dairy, your compost may start to smell horrible and attract many more scavengers and pests. It can also throw off the balance of your whole composite system by accident. 

If your pasta does have some of these products on it, you can place it in a bokashi bin. These bins are an effective way to add meat and dairy products to your composting plans safely.

Why Shouldn’t I Compost Bread? 

One of the only concerns with adding bread to your composting is that it can attract unwanted pests. These can include animals and insects that may make your compost pile harder to handle. These pests can invade your compost for any kitchen scraps, so you need to be careful.

If you plan on adding compost bread, you may have to take a few more precautions than you would have to with just wood shaving, paper towel, and coffee grounds. Some compost enthusiasts don’t want the added hassle, so they skip bread scraps.

Final Thoughts

So, can you compost bread? Absolutely. You just have to take all the proper steps and precautions. It’s crucial to ensure that your composite pile keeps its adequate balance and doesn’t attract wildlife. 

Moldy food will always have a home in a compost pile. However, you may have to help it find the proper place. Compost tumblers are affordable and fully sealed options that also help you break down your compost faster. 

Creating a compost bin with a lid is easy, and it allows you to use a whole bunch of new organic waste in your compost. If you haven’t started your compost pile yet, get started today. You’ll be surprised by the fantastic soil that only finished compost can add to your garden.  


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