Mom, can the worms eat our broccoli for us?

Graphic in the shape of a United States map showing breakdown of food wasted in the US.

Breakdown of food wasted from NY Times.

Thank you to the Shein family for sharing this story.

You mean it’s green to eat everything on your plate or feed it to the worms?

I think back, I used to rid my plate of unwanted food via an under the table pass to my dog Frank, a fake sneeze into my napkin or I just smothered it in cheese, plugged my nose and chewed.

How eco cool is it to feed unfinished food waste to big squiggly red worms? VERY!

On school visits I always ask the children if they know about composting. Their stories and explanations are enchanting, eager and joyful; they are filled with scientific wonderment and eco conscious pride. Most hands shoot up immediately anxious to tell me, others shout out that their school is now composting and 9 out 10 children know bananas, coffee grounds and orange peel go in, but interestingly enough no one has ever mentioned broccoli.

When I received an email from the Shein parents, sharing their story about their twins asking, “mom, can the worms eat our broccoli for us?”I thought, how brilliant, kids have thought of a new “eco” way to ditch broccoli. I was curious too, will worms eat broccoli? What else will they eat? Should I ditch my old composting ways and get more “eco cool” and start a worm composter?

Composting and vermicomposting are great ways to reduce waste, teach nature’s life cycle, and provide nutritious soil for your garden and plants and think green!

Some facts:

  • An average family of four produces 122 lbs. of garbage each month
  • Americans throw away 25-30% of food we prepare
  • America produces 96 billion pounds of food waste a year

Some links:

What else do worms like to eat? Share some compost stories that will inspire others to start composting.

It has been a fun week, thank you for letting me share some green things the children say! Kids definitely understand big ideas and can encourage us (adults) to think green and improve our world.

Published on: August 06, 2009
About the Author
Photo of Jeanine Behr Getz

Think Green! is Jeanine’s first published book, it has received several awards, fantastic reviews, has appeared on Channel 12 News. Jeanine travels across the country sharing the gift of reading and the message of Think Green!

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