Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is moldy food, which is recognizable, all right to use in the compost bin?

You can add moldy food (vegetables and fruits only) to a backyard composting bin anytime. Mold cells are just one of the many different types of microorganisms that take care of decomposition and are fine in a backyard bin. If you're using a worm bin, you have to be a bit more careful. Some molds that form in the low temperatures of the refrigerator are able to create weak antibiotic compounds. The mold cells use these compounds to keep other microorganisms away from their food supply, however, when worms eat these compounds, they may kill some or all of the beneficial (and essential) microorganisms that are in the worms' digestive system and this can cause the worms to become sick and die. The molds that form on most vegetables are usually OK, but the molds on some fruit and bread can be problematic. If you're in doubt, try a small amount first and see if the worms are bothered by it. If not, then it's probably OK to use it, otherwise, you should put them into your backyard bin instead.