Personally, I never have leftover pasta. However, if you made more than you and your family can handle (or it didn’t turn out as well as anticipated), you’re probably wondering what your options are for your leftovers.
The first option, which unfortunately is the one taken by most people, is to simply throw your leftover pasta in the trash. If you’re reading this article, I’m guessing you’re more interested in the second option, which is to add your old or leftover pasta to your compost pile.
Let’s take a look at whether or not pasta is safe to compost and what to expect.
Is Pasta Safe to Compost?
Although you’ll get differing answers on this, the short answer is yes, uncooked, or cooked, pasta is generally safe to compost. While it is typically safe, there are some potential issues you should be aware of, and you need to provide special care to get good results.
What Are the Potential Issues with Composting Pasta?
For most people, the biggest concern when it comes to composting grains, which include pasta, bread, and rice, is that it can attract pests, such as rodents. This applies to cooked pasta, so if you’re wondering about uncooked pasta, go ahead and add it to your pile.
The other concern when adding pasta to your compost is that it’s typically going to be covered in other food items, such as meat, cheese, and vegetables. While most edible items are generally compostable, you need to take special care with meat and dairy.
If not handled properly, adding meat and dairy to your compost can lead to a bad smell, which can attract all sorts of pest. It can also cause poor aeration and even lead to an overgrowth of the wrong kind of bacteria.
When composting pasta, try to remove most of the meat and dairy components, if possible, to reduce your chances of dealing with the issues mentioned above.
The Right Way to Compost Pasta
When adding pasta to your compost, make sure you have a healthy amount of variety in your pile. In other words, don’t make grains the focal point of your compost pile. Include plenty of other items, such as plants and other food scraps.
To help keep rodents and other pests away, you’ll want to bury your pasta under the non-attractive parts of your compost pile, such as soil. Alternatively, use an enclosed bin to keep critters out.
Lastly, make sure you regularly rotate your compost pile. This improves the aeration of your compost, which helps get oxygen to the microbes doing their job, breaking everything down.
Regularly turning your compost also helps maintain the proper level of moisture and redistributes heat from the center of the pile to the outer areas.
Whether you found some old pasta in the cupboard, or you didn’t quite get to your leftovers in time, you can rest easy knowing that your pasta is compostable.
As long as you’re aware of the potential issues, and you properly maintain your compost pile, you should be able to contribute to the sustainability of our planet by keeping your pasta out of the trash bin.