The form taken by the by-product at the end of the cycle depends entirely on the fibre content of the pre-cycle food waste. Fish or cooked veggies, for example, should appear in powder form, however certain uncooked vegetables may appear in cereal form. Cake, rice, other starches and certain dense/fibrous items will have a thicker, chunkier texture.
Can my dog/cat eat the by-product?
We do NOT recommend feeding your by-product to your pets, as the by-product has not been tested in any of its forms as pet food or animal food supplement. While the by-product has been broken down and sterilized by the cycle, the pulverized and dehydrated food bits still contain components of the pre-cycled food waste. Therefore, if there is anything in the cycle that could be harmful to pets (such as chocolate, or sharp bits of chicken bone), this could be harmful or even lethal to your pets. Remember: what goes in is what comes out.
FoodCycler™ has not yet tested our by-product for pet use, so we do not recommend feeding it to pets.
How do I use the by-product in my garden?
To make the absolute most of your home-made fertilizer, we recommend letting the by-product sit in an open-air container following the cycle to allow any remaining moisture to evaporate for a period of at least 1 week.
Once you're ready to incorporate the by-product in your garden, we recommend mixing the latter in with your garden soil at a ratio of 1 part "foodilizer" to 10-15 parts soil, as the by-product is extremely rich in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can harm roots and impact the healthy growth of plants.
Ensure to mix in well below the soil surface, as any by-product that has been exposed to moisture will begin to rehydrate and may emit odour or attract pests.
Once the by-product has been mixed into the soil, we recommend a "curing" period of up to four weeks before planting seeds. This is not mandatory, however it will produce the absolute best results. The by-product must combine with the natural microbiome of your garden soil in order to regenerate lost bacteria. This curing period will allow the by-product to continue to decompose naturally in the soil, making it a natural, nutrient-rich environment for your plants.
What is the by-product, exactly?
The FoodCycler™ by-product is an all-natural soil amendment. This means that the food waste that you have dehydrated and pulverized with the FoodCycler™ is both safe and beneficial for gardening applications.
It is a particulate organic material with an NPK of 4-1-1 (Note: This is an average value and can vary depending on what is processed), and is therefore excellent for providing nitrogen to your plants. Just like with synthetic fertilizers, too much of a good thing can actually damage your plant roots and cause nitrogen "burn". Please read the "How do I use the by-product in my garden?" section for instructions.
Something else to keep in mind: the healthier the food waste you are cycling, the healthier your plants will be. Foods high in sodium, saturated fats, greases and sugars can do more damage than good. Food waste from vegetables (especially organic veggies), fruits, grains and proteins will produce the best soil amendment.
Why is my by-product moulding on my potted plants?
This is completely normal. Saprophytic fungi, which produce a thin, whispy white mould, are a natural part of the decomposition process. They simply indicate that there is organic matter decaying in your soil - which, of course, there is! Your by-product is not complete as a soil amendment until it has completely combined with your soil and begun to decompose, releasing crucial nutrients into its soil environment. This process can product mould, especially if the "foodilizer" is applied to surface areas. Always mix in the by-product with your soil thoroughly, with a ratio of 1:10. To eliminate the mould, try a small sprinkling of cinnamon when mixing your by-product in with your soil - cinnamon is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and will not harm your plants.