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Food waste is a significant global problem, with a staggering volume of food scraps ending up in landfills every year. As the urgent issue of climate change looms over us, finding sustainable solutions to reduce our environmental impact has become crucial. One innovative device that addresses this concern is the Vitamix FoodCycler Eco 5, a compact food recycler designed for indoor use. I’m so excited to be able to offer this in depth FoodCycler Eco 5 review to my readers.
The new FoodCycler Eco 5 is a much needed upgrade from the previous FoodCycler FC-50. Both electric composters are produced by Vitamix, a company that is well known for producing quality products. I mean, really, have you ever met someone who was disappointed with Vitamix high-performance blenders? You’d be hard pressed to find someone who complains about Vitamix.
True to the Vitamix standards, the FoodCycler family of compact food recyclers are quality products. I’ve been using my FoodCycler FC-50 for over two years now and have been impressed with how well the machine has continued to run. It runs as well today as it did two years ago!
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Benefits of using an electric composter
If you’re reading this, then you probably already understand the benefits of compact food recyclers. However, if you aren’t well versed in all the pros and cons of using an electric composter, I’ve got you covered.
Traditional composting has long been relied upon to transform food waste into nutrient-rich soil amendment. However, this method is often limited by the type of food waste it can process and requires outdoor space, making it impractical for many households. Vitamix’s design with the new FoodCycler Eco 5, on the other hand, fits seamlessly on a kitchen counter, offering a convenient and efficient alternative to traditional composting.
As much as I love the ease of an electric compost system, I’ll always prefer traditional backyard composting. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to compost in their backyard or send their food waste to a municipal compost program. Although, I truly wish that every city had a compost program!
For those that don’t have the ability to compost with traditional methods, the FoodCycler Eco 5 is a wonderful new option on the market. One that I can truly recommend for any household.
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Does the FoodCycler really work?
The FoodCycler works exactly as advertised. Most electric compost systems are simply dehydrators and grinders, the FoodCycler Eco 5 is no different except that it has a much larger bin, twice the capacity of the original, and works much quicker. The end product is simply dehydrated and ground up food waste that is much easier to dispose of. You can easily add the end product to soil.
At the heart of the FoodCycler Eco 5 lies its unique grinding system, which effortlessly breaks down a wide range of food waste, including vegetable peels, uneaten leftovers, and other household food scraps. By converting these scraps into a nutrient-rich fertilizer, the FoodCycler Eco 5 helps reduce the food waste of an entire household while simultaneously creating a valuable resource.
Differences between the FoodCycler FC-50 and the FoodCycler Eco 5- Which FoodCycler is better?
Compared to its previous generation, the new-generation FoodCycler Eco 5 boasts several enhancements. With its compact design, this appliance can easily fit into any kitchen without occupying much space. It also operates quietly, ensuring that the cycles do not disturb the household. Furthermore, the FoodCycler Eco 5 has a 5-liter collection bucket, providing ample capacity to process a significant amount of food waste.
Here are the main differences between the FoodCycler Eco-5 and the FoodCycler FC-50:
- More color selections. The new FoodCycler Eco 5 is available in two colors- gray and white. The original FoodCycler FC-50 is only available in black.
- A huge difference is the liters of food waste capacity. The Eco 5 has a 5L collection bucket as opposed to the 2.5L bucket in the FC-50.
- The FoodCycler Eco5 has upgraded to a refillable carbon filter that is so needed. One of the biggest complaints from environmentalists was that they couldn’t recycle the filters from the FC-50.
- The removable waste bucket in the Eco5 is much more visually appealing and has a carbon filter lid. The waste bucket can easily hang out on a kitchen counter and look chic.
- The Eco5 runs slightly faster than the FC-50
- The finished products of the Eco 5 is much finer than that of the FC-50
- Quieter cycles are a huge improvement. With the FC-50, I would only run it once I left the house. I can easily fun the Eco 5 at any point in the day and not get annoyed by the sound.
- The display on the FC-50 is much more user friendly than the new FoodCycler Eco 5. I find it odd that the error indicators are so specific. Hold onto your user manual so you can troubleshoot your FoodCycler Eco 5 if the motor overloads or if the air temperature is abnormal.
- There is a large price difference between the two products. The Eco 5 is $200 more than the FoodCycler FC-50
What is the end product of the FoodCycler Eco5 and how do I use it?
The end product is not actually ready to use right away. I appreciate that Vitamix doesn’t oversell the finished product or suggest that you use it immediately on your plants. Since the microbes aren’t present in the FoodCycler, the finished product isn’t 100% ready to be fed to your plants directly.
Instead, Vitamix suggests that you add the recycled food compound to soil at a ratio of 1 parts FoodCycler end product to 10 parts soil. It is also suggested that you feed the FoodCycler a variety of foods. Healthy foods make healthy soil, so it’s best to limit the amount of fats and meat that you put into your FoodCycler if you plan to use the finished recycled compound on your plants. However, you can process meat, dairy, eggs, eggshells, and even chicken bones in the FoodCycler Eco 5!
One thing I really appreciate from the user manual is the suggestion that even if you don’t have a garden, you can use the FoodCycler Eco 5 to reduce the size of your food waste and still send it to your municipal solid waste program either through the green bin or in the trash. I love the idea of sending it with my yard waste! Adding it to your trash may sound silly, but it is still much better than taking up so much space in the landfill.
What can you put into the FoodCycler Eco 5?
I love this easy to understand graphic that Vitamix put together for the user manual.
- Most fruit and vegetable scraps
- Coffee grinds, filters, tea leaves, and natural fiber tea bags
- Poultry and fish bones
- Meat, tofu, poultry, and fish
- Eggs & eggshells
- avocado pits
- Shellfish and the shells
- Beans, seeds & legumes
Cut Up Prior
- Fibrous herbs
- Pineapple leaves
- Corn cobs & husks
- Small amounts of toilet paper/ towels
- Whole fruits & vegetables
- Celery, asparagus, and other fibrous plants
In Small Amounts
- Sauces, dressings & gravies
- Pork & lamb bones
- Starches such as bread, cake & rice
- Hard pits such as peach, nectarine, apricot, lychee, and mango
- Dairy products
- Jellies, jams & puddings
What to avoid in your FoodCycler Eco 5
It’s best to avoid the following:
- oils & fats
- beef bones
- compostable coffee pods
- candy & gum
How do you use the FoodCycler Eco 5?
Using the FoodCycler Eco 5 is a breeze. Simply place the food waste in the grinding bucket, press the button, and let the appliance do its magic. The device handles the rest, with easy cleaning after each use. Its user-friendly interface and intuitive operation make it accessible to users of all ages.
How long do FoodCycler filters last?
There are two locations for filters in the FoodCycler Eco 5. The carbon foam liner on the underside of the unit should be replaced every 3-4 months. The refillable carbon pellets can last a little longer, up to 6 months or 500 cycle hours. I’ve used enough electric composters to tell you that you usually know when it is time to change the filter. You can smell it!
It’s easy to buy your filters. Simply get on the Vitamix website here and order them.
How to compost your carbon filter pellets
The great thing about the new FoodCycler Eco 5 is that the carbon filter pellets are refillable and you can dispose of your carbon pellets yourself. The user manual for the FoodCycler Eco 5 suggests that you dispose of your carbon pellets in accordance to local recommendations.
Personally, I like to compost my charcoal pellets. A handful of charcoal to your compost bin can be beneficial every few weeks. Unsurprisingly it is a great source of carbon! And it helps to make soil less acidic, which is great for most plants.
You can also use a handful of activated charcoal in the bottom of your potted plants. This helps with drainage. Just make sure to only use this method on alkaline loving plants.
Do I need FoodCycler Foodilizer Tablets? How do the Foodilizer Tablets work?
No, you don’t need the Foodilizer Tablets in order to make the Vitamix FoodCycler Eco 5 or the FC-50 work well. The tablets are optional and are not actually used in the FoodCycler itself.
If you are familiar with compact food recycling products, then you might know that the Lomi comes with LomiPod Compost Accelerator for you to use in the machine. Each LomiPod has beneficial microbes that accelerate the composting process in the Lomi itself. The Foodilizer Tablets are not the same as the LomiPod.
Instead, the Foodlizer Tablets are to be dissolved in 20 ounces of water and sprayed on the mixture of recycled food compound and soil. The tablet acts as a soil probiotic that promotes plant health. One tablet should last en entire planting season.
The FoodCycler Eco 5 does not come with the Foodilizer Tablets. They must be purchased separately here.
Just a few more reasons to love the FoodCycler Eco 5
The FoodCycler Eco 5 addresses one of the largest categories of household waste, enabling users to take an active role in combating the global food waste crisis. By transforming food waste into nutrient-rich plant food, this device contributes to less waste and reduces the need for harmful disposal methods. It’s amazing how the FoodCycler can reduce our waste down to a tenth of its original volume! Moreover, by diverting food waste from landfills, the FoodCycler Eco 5 helps mitigate the production of greenhouse gases, thus curbing global emissions.
The sensor technology guarantees efficient and optimized cycles, resulting in high-quality soil fertilizer for use in gardens, community gardens, or any other green space.
Where to buy the FoodCycler Eco 5
The best place to buy your FoodCycler is directly through the Vitamix website. Each appliance comes with a 3 year warranty.
Check the current prices on the Vitamix website below: