Bokashi is often referred to as a type of ‘composting’ but it is actually an anaerobic or aerobic fermentation process, resulting in a much different end product than that produced via traditional composting. Anaerobic bokashi composting is normally carried out indoors and is used in conjunction with specially designed bokashi buckets together with bokashi bran. Aerobic bokashi composting is normally done out of doors.
Bokashi works on organic materials and effectively ferments or pickles the organic material. With bokashi composting all waste foods can be composted. This includes foods not normally associated with traditional composting. Foods like meat, small bones (chicken carcases), cheese, fish, all cooked and uncooked food and all leftovers can be safely composted. This means that bokashi compost, just like a pickled product like sauerkraut has a higher nutritional value than compost that has not been pickled. Bokashi is suitable for use as a soil improver and also as a nutrient in animal fodder.
Bokashi bran is made from EM-1®, molasses, water and an organic carrier that has a high carbon content. The manufacturing process takes several weeks to complete and infuses the material with EM turning it into bokashi bran. The infused material is normally an organic material that is rich in carbon but any source of natural organic material that can be finely ground can be used. One company even uses organic sawdust to manufacture bokashi bran. Aerobic bokashi composting is done out of doors and is used to improve soil.
According to a study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), households throw away about a third of the food they buy. About half of the 6.7 million tonnes of food thrown in the “wheelie bin” each year is edible and the rest comprises waste such as peelings and bones. Food accounts for 19 percent of domestic waste. Cooked food is more likely to be thrown away than raw ingredients and fruit and vegetables are the most common uncooked foods to be discarded. All this waste then gets taken to landfill sites which are not only nearly full, but also account for a huge percentage of harmful emissions that pollute our atmosphere. This scientific study clearly demonstrates how harmful landfill actually is to the environment.