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Don’t Use Meat or Bones in Your Compost

Composting is not a difficult process at all. All that is required is some organic materials such as leaves, grass, straw, paper, or food scraps, some time, and a location to allow the materials to decompose.

A major question that people always wonder is should they use food scraps in their composting. The truth of the matter is it really depends on what you want to do. Many people say that meat and bones are not compostable, but that simple isn’t true. They are compostable, but not really recommended.

The fact is that meat and bones will biodegrade and turn into a soil that is usable in your garden or for plants. The problem is what the meat and bones attract, rodents. Rodents love to eat. I know that is a big secret, but it is true. If you decide to use meat in your composting, then you should expect to attract some rodents that are looking to feast on your stock pile of food for them.

The second reason you might consider not using meat and bones in your compost is the smell. As meat and bones rot and decay, they let of an awful smell that you may not be ready to tolerate. This smell can carry far beyond your yard and enter those of your neighbors and trigger complaints to the local municipality about you and your unhealthy smells. Now, if you have a secluded property far away from neighbors and out of their nose’s reach, you may want to consider composting with meat and bones.

However, meat and bones are not the best materials to use in your composting. The main problem is that they most meats have been cooked and process in oils that do not compost well. There are too many fatty acids and preservatives in them and they may not breakdown completely. Another issue is many of the works, which are great for composting, will not touch the meat and may be driven away. This meat may not be completely broken down and you end up with compost with chunks of meat inside of it because of this.

At the end of the day, this is your garden, your project, and your decision. Just be advised of the possible adverse effects that may result from using meat and bones in your compost. Also, consider how easy it is not to use meat and bones in your compost as the other items such as leaves, food scraps, grass clippings, paper, and straw among others are freely available.

The next problem is that oils or food items cooked in oils generally do not compost well, as the oil and fat act as preservatives. Red wiggler worms, which are great for compost, will not touch the meat. So you might end up with finely composted material with chunks of oil-coated meat still intact. In summary, an attempt to compost meat may not result in material that can be taken up by plant roots.

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