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Food Scrapping with Reta Meisner

Updated: 37 minutes ago


Yes, we certainly do!  We ate farm to table before it had a label and we know all the best farm stands and restaurants.  Nevertheless, it’s common knowledge that the produce consumed today has fewer nutrients compared to what we ate years ago.  This is due to the lack of nutrients available in the soil where our food is grown. So, let’s educate ourselves on the life cycle of food and get those nutrients back into our foods.

Simply put, the cycle “begins” with a seed in the ground. That seed grows into consumable vegetation. That vegetation is eaten but food scraps are created (think, the ends of an onion or core of an apple). Ideally, the foods scraps are recycled/transformed into nutrient dense topsoil. The cycle “ends” when that topsoil is spread on nutrient depleted fields where seeds are planted. The cycle falters when food scraps are sent to the landfill instead of being recycled.

Fortunately for us, there are many dedicated individuals already working hard on reducing the quantity of food scraps ending up in our landfills, which are already limited on space.  In a landfill food is buried and that produces methane gas, increasing our greenhouse gas problem.  So why not solve two problems at once by recycling our food scrap?  This will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and infuse/revive our top soil with much needed nutrients. 

I recently sat down with Columbia County’s Director of Solid Waste, Wendy Madsen.  Her department was instrumental in securing a funding grant for our County’s first EcoRich Aerobic Digester, which transforms food scraps into a carbon-rich soil additive.  This machine resides at the Greenport Transfer Station on Newman Rd.  At this facility, the County has implemented a Pilot Food Scrap Program for residents and houses bins for food scrap collection.  At present, they are accepting only food items, including bones, meat and dairy.  This machine does not accept leaves, or Christmas trees.  To learn more about approved food scraps, please go to their website:

For those of us that already compost, please don’t stop!  But for everyone else, please consider separating your food scraps and recycling them at the transfer station.  It’s for the good of the soil and your body.  Remember the life cycle of food! Bodies thrive on the nutrient dense foods supplied by the nutrient dense soils those plants are grown in.  If that doesn’t make sense and motivate you, then perhaps the fact that it will be mandatory in our near future will.

Claverack, let’s get ahead of the curve and enrich our soils and bodies now!

Keep your eye out for more articles in this food scrapping series. I hope to further discuss the EcoRich Aerobic Digester machine, the townships already utilizing it and address creating a roadmap so Claverack can transport scraps to the Transfer Station.

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