Food & Drinks

The Lomi Composter Can Solve Your Food Waste Problem—For a Price

The Eco-Express mode is the shortest composting cycle and uses the least amount of energy. It takes 3-5 hours to complete. According to the company, the final product from the Eco-Express mode can be tossed into your compost pile, green bin, or waste bin. While I understand that breaking down the organic matter before throwing it away reduces the release of methane gas, it still feels like a bit of a waste to just toss it into the trash. I also don’t have a green bin or a compost bin (because if I did, I’d just use that), so I never use this mode. But I can see how this option would be convenient for those who don’t have plants and have limited trash space or who are dedicated to their worm bin. With the Lomi reducing up to 80% of food waste mass, that means a lot fewer scraps in the freezer.

The Lomi-Approved setting is for select bioplastics in addition to compostable food waste, and it takes 5-8 hours. My experience with this setting has been a mixed bag. At first, I was thrilled that I could compost bioplastics from the comfort of my own home. Then, as I read the fine print, I realized that only a handful of Lomi-approved bioplastics could be processed with this setting. Not all bioplastics break down in the same way, and some require industrial composting facilities. The end product from the Lomi-Approved mode can go into the green bin or the waste bin, but not directly into your soil.

With all these settings running, I was concerned about the amount of electricity it takes. However, the Lomi uses about 1 kWh per Grow cycle, less than the electricity of a dishwasher. I further reduce my usage by waiting to run the cycle until the bin is at the max capacity.

What does the Lomi composter do well:

The Lomi does its job conveniently without much hands-on work. It typically takes a few days for me to fill up the Lomi bin, and the smell of slowly decaying produce is unnoticeable when the lid is on thanks to those charcoal filters. I know it’ll be especially appreciated during summers when fruit flies multiply in the blink of an eye.

I also love the fact that I don’t have to empty out my Lomi after each cycle. All the food waste that goes into the Lomi reduces into a very small amount of Lomi “dirt,” so you can run up to three cycles in a row before having to empty it. Being able to collect the dirt within the bin until there’s a substantial amount keeps the job from feeling tedious. There’s also something undeniably magical about seeing food scraps break down into something unrecognizable and then immediately being able to use it to repot your plants (at a 1:10 ratio with soil). There’s nothing quite like instant gratification.

What can the Lomi compost?

You can toss in food scraps such as fruit and veggie bits, grains, eggshells, meat scraps, soft bones, and coffee grounds. You can also put plant trimmings and compostable paper plates, bags, and cups in the Lomi. The grinding gear can’t process certain harder items like avocado pits or walnut shells but can handle small amounts of corn husks, pistachio shells, and sticky products like honey and nut butters. You’ll want to avoid putting in hard bones and cooking oil.

How exactly does Lomi’s composting process work?

Much of what the Lomi does is, simply put, drying and grinding up whatever you put inside it. However, according to their website, the Lomi uses several patent-pending sensors to ensure microorganisms are preserved while waste is broken down. An environment too hot will kill them; an environment too cold will hinder the breakdown of organic matter. These microbes are what make compost so good for the soil. This is also where the LomiPods come in. The pods (which look like white SweetTarts) are dropped on top of the waste right before a cycle with a splash of water, and they infuse the waste with a proprietary blend of probiotics. The LomiPods are an important addition because although the Lomi does a great job breaking down food waste, nobody does composting quite like Mother Nature. The extra probiotics give the Lomi compost a nutrient-rich boost.

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