Bokashi Composting: Overview, Advantages, and Drawbacks

Bokashi composting is a program of intense composting sans oxygen whereby food scraps are fermented inside a sealed bucket by means of a bran which is inoculated with effective microorganisms. Once totally fermented, the food waste is then typically entombed inside of a backyard garden where it breaks down quickly generating nutrient rich soil.

Heritage: Initially formulated and used in Japan, the process of bokashi biodegradation has been followed for hundreds of years. It was eventually popularized by Professor Teruo Higa who identified the appropriate amount of bacteria necessary to best biodegrade organic substances.

Composition: Bokasi bran is commonly comprised of wheat bran, water, molasses and microorganisms.

How it Works?: When Bokashi bran is combined with organic waste, the bacteria begin to develop triggering the material to ferment and break down.

Uses: Bokashi food recycling is practiced by people and companies.

In home functions, food is placed in an sealed container and the bokashi bran is added. Once a few weeks have passed, the bran and microorganisms start to digest and breakdown the organic material. Once the food is fermented it can be deposited in a compost mound, entombed in ditches, or in a backyard where it is going to easily dissolve.

Positive aspects: People that use Bokashi reference a variety of perks to using bokashi composting compared to typical food recycling tactics, including:

Speed: Organics decompose with bokashi bran for a length of a couple of weeks and are subsequently ready to get deposited in trenches or garden soil. Traditional food recycling typically takes more time (however it is dependent on your system of composting) and comes together over the course of a few months.

Scents: Since bokashi food recycling is anaerobic, the fermentation procedure has got to transpire inside of a hermetically sealed container. Thus, there is no bad odor involving bokashi composting.

Animals: Matured Bokashi organics are maintained inside a sealed container or buried in the soil and therefore, contrary to some backyard compost heaps, won’t generally bring in critters or mice.

Greenhouse Gases: No GHGs are made during bokashi food recycling. This is distinct from conventional food recycling through which greenhouse gases are created.

Health of the Soil: The water content in earth embedded with bokashi fermented food is normally higher than that of regular compost. As such, bokashi food recycling permits greater conservation of groundwater. The organic nutrients in the earth after bokashi fermentation are also less water soluble as are the nutrients derived from composting (with oxygen) and as a result are unlikely to leach away because of run-off following down pours.


Price: You will have to buy bokashi bran or mixture from a vendor like BokashiCycle.

Packaging: Bokashi fermentation is unlikely to break down and ferment compostable food packaging.