Can you compost bread? In this article, we’ll go over the dos and dont’s of composting your bread.
Do you have a finicky eater at home who will not eat bread crust, or perhaps you forgot about a loaf of bread that is now showing a bit of mold? If so, the good news is you can compost plain bread!
Since bread is an organic material, it should be able to go into your compost bin. Bread is rich in nitrogen and is considered a green compost material, so be sure to mix it in with plenty of brown compost material to maintain a healthy carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.
If you’re new to composting, we have an in-depth guide on exactly how to start composting.
Tips on Composting Bread
Bread in the compost pile can attract pests and hungry wildlife, but when it is composted correctly, your bin will benefit greatly from it.
Our first tip is to ensure that the bread is in the middle of the heap. Cover the bread that you wish to compost with a brown layer of leaves, sawdust, straw, and paper shreddings, then top it off with a layer of soil or manure. This will not only keep animals and critters at bay, but it will also help with odors as it decomposes. Covering bread with this brown layer on top will also help keep moisture levels healthy for your compost bin.
Another tip is to add bread to your compost slowly and break up the bread into smaller pieces. Bread already decomposes fairly quickly, so breaking it up into smaller pieces speeds up this process. Our last tip is to have a secure lid on your compost bin to keep rodents out from digging up the bread scraps.
Can Moldy Bread be Composted?
Yes, moldy bread and stale bread are even better than fresh bread and can be tossed into the middle of your compost pile. While moldy food should never be eaten, your compost bin will gladly appreciate it.
Mold is a type of fungus, and fungi are one of the many kinds of microorganisms that greatly contribute to the decomposition process by breaking down tougher material. Bread that has already started to mold over has begun decomposing naturally and will also speed up the composting process inside your bin.
Can you Feed Worms Bread?
Your worm bin is in for a treat when it comes to bread. Plain bread is full of nutrients and essential for their growth. Crawlers that are beneficial to your compost soil will love plain bread, but it should be given to them in moderation. Bread that is high in oil or dairy content, like pizza with cheese or heavily buttered biscuits, should not be put into your compost bin. Adding oil to the worms’ diet can make your worms sick and even kill them. This is because oil is high in fat which is very hard for crawlers to digest.
Earlier, we also mentioned that moldy bread is great for the compost bin, but some molds on bread and fruits, particularly mold that form from low temperatures in the refrigerator, can be harmful to worms. We suggest adding moldy bread in moderation by trying a small amount first and seeing if the worms respond well to it. Don’t forget that bread is a green compost material. If too much green material is added to the heap, the moisture levels can become too high, and worms may have trouble breathing and migrate to the top of the compost bin to access oxygen.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can and cannot compost, check out our What Can You Compost section!