Letters to the Editor: If you think composting food waste is gross, you’re doing it wrong

The executive director of LA Compost in South Los Angeles holds up soil derived from decayed organic waste.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I applaud columnist David Lazarus for highlighting the enormous problem of food waste in this country, which is both a crime and a tragedy when so many Americans suffer food insecurity.

I only quibble with his characterization of composting as “nasty” and possessing a “yuck factor.” Properly done, it is neither.

A quick internet search of “how to compost” will turn up dozens of helpful tips. The key is mixing kitchen scraps with earth to speed the process. A bucket of kitchen scraps dumped in the backyard and left there isn’t compost — it’s a pile of rotting garbage and is, in fact, quite nasty.


People who live in apartments can compost (check the internet again), but the problem is what to do with the soil you’ve made. I don’t have a solution, but I bet there is one.

Barbara Carlton, El Cajon


To the editor: Walking through my local Costco, ogling its massive fresh meat department, I think to myself no way are they going to sell it all, so where does all the unpurchased product go?

Recently, as I ordered my sliced ham and swiss at my local supermarket deli and noticed the overflowing row of “fresh daily” trays of take-out meat, I asked the counter person (already knowing the answer), “Where does this go if you don’t sell it all today?”

Answer: “We toss it out.”

That’s the downside of consumerism — waste, tons and tons of waste, every day.

Jerry Collamer, San Clemente