Here's How Investing In A FoodCycler Made My Kitchen 90% More Sustainable
I'll let you in on a few of my sustainability-wins lately. Instead of shopping, I've been renting my clothes. I have broken up with plastic bags in all forms. And lastly, I've transitioned the soaps and detergents in my home to be nontoxic. Green star for me, but there's still one area where I need a lot of help.
A more sustainable kitchen (less food waste)
Every week, I go to the grocery store with a lineup of recipes I'm excited to try. But then life happens—unexpected work deadlines, social invites, my cat has to go to the vet—and before I know it, food waste is my guilt-ridden reality. And while this is a very privileged problem, I'm also not the only one facing it. After all, the average American wastes nearly one-third of the food they buy.
Food waste is largely a household issue—with households responsible for 39% of food waste (more than farms and restaurants). And while that might feel initially discouraging, here's the positive spin: We have a real chance to be a part of the solution. And a lot easier, with the help of the Eco 5, the newest generation of the FoodCycler™ by Vitamix®.
How the Eco 5 shrinks your food waste
I simply couldn't throw another bunch of kale away. Food waste is an obvious problem because we should only buy what we can realistically consume. But also because it impacts the environment. Food waste is responsible for nearly 6% of global greenhouse gases. Not only does it take carbon to transport and handle food waste, but once it reaches the landfill, it releases methane gas.
So when I learned that the Eco 5 could cut down the volume of my food waste by 90%, I felt like my kitchen needed this sustainability win. But first I had to know: How is that even possible?
This machine quietly pulverizes, dries, and aerates food waste. It breaks down nearly any type of food into a fine, dry powder that happens to serve as a nutrient-rich soil amendment, aka plant food for potted plants or a garden. It sounded like the perfect solution for my kitchen, but I had to see it to believe it.
First impressions of the new FoodCycler
I'll level with you: When a box of technology lands on my porch, I'm instantly anxious about what the manual entails and how many cords we're talking about. I thought the Eco 5 would be a project, but the whole setup was painless and took less than 10 minutes.
First impression: The entire Eco 5 unit is about the size of an office trash can. Inside nestles a food bucket that's both sleek and countertop-sized—but I kept my bucket in the corner of my kitchen. (The larger unit can be stored elsewhere, close to a plug.) Over the next few days, I excitedly tossed my food scraps in the bucket. Once it was full, I was ready to run my first cycle.
Here's what really got me: All I had to do was set the bucket in the larger Eco 5 unit, close the lid, plug it in, and push the power button. A few hours later, I was left with (as promised) about 90% less food waste than I had before. And some new plant food to give my green-thumbed friends!
This isn't composting, it's food waste recycling
Born and raised in Denver, I'm no stranger to composting. But unless you're a gardener and can oversee the whole composting process—it's a pretty tedious (and smelly) everyday solution to food waste. It might sound similar, but the Eco 5 isn't a composter. It's a food waste recycler, meaning that this technology creates a solution for the whole life cycle of food. It turns food waste into plant food, and that plant food then generates more food. Circle of life.
The 5-star recommendation
It's rare that a sustainability solution is actually as simple as pushing a button. But the Eco 5 immediately made my kitchen a greener (and cleaner) place. It's quiet, odorless, and stylish, plus has all the durability and quality you'd expect from Vitamix. Add it all up, and this machine is arguably the most handy appliance in my kitchen.
But it doesn't just get the five stars as a practical way to dispose of food waste. The Eco 5 has put me in the mindset of wasting less. Instead of my food waste going out of sight, out of mind—the Eco 5 keeps me honest about the food I purchase versus what I actually consume. Throwing away food has always felt like a loss. But when my food waste goes into the Eco 5 and comes out as plant food…I'd call that a win.