How Garbage Enzymes came about
Dr. Rosukon Poompanvong, an alternative health practitioner in Thailand and a vocal proponent of organic farming and sustainable living, has been promoting the concept of using a home-brewed fermented concoction rich in enzymes and largely-beneficial microbes for treating kitchen waste and sewage to reduce odour and disease and for treating farm soil and garden soil as a fertiliser. She calls the fermented concoction by the name "garbage enzymes", and has been promoting the idea heavily in Thailand, and the neighbouring Asian Countries.
According to Dr. Poompanvong's instructions, the garbage enzyme product is brewed by mixing one part of black or brown sugar with three parts of chopped kitchen vegetable waste(no meat) and with 10 parts of water. The mixture is briefly stirred and then allowed to ferment anaerobically in a large covered plastic bottle or bucket for about three months in a warm setting. It is also important not to use any animal products such as meat, fish or dairy as inclusion of these products will create undesirable odours and may encourage the growth of undesirable microbes.
Once the three-month anaerobic fermentation period has ended, the liquid portion of the resultant product is filled with beneficial enzymes and beneficial microbes, it will reduce odours of kitchen waste or sewage, and it can also be served as a "fertiliser" for soil in farming and gardening. The liquid may be also be used as a deodorising cleaning liquid for floors and for surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms. Garbage enzymes are most popularly used with detergent, as a cleaning agent. They can also be used as a fertiliser, pesticide, or air purifier. Their ability to lessen green house gases is a current research topic.
Food Wastage in Singapore
The amount of food waste produced in Singapore in 2011 was 0.68 million tonnes, out of which, only 10% was recycled. In recent years, the food recycling rate has decreased from 16% to 10%. Food waste in Singapore is generated throughout daily gratuitous food cycles of production, retail, and consumption. Unwarranted production and expiry dates together with numerous other frivolous reasons invoke fear of food poisoning, promoting the discarding, and thus wastage of edible food in Singapore.
Cosmetic filtering is the disposal of seemingly undesirable food products. Though they take place majorly in factories and retail outlets, cosmetic filtering has become an increasing trend in cities like Singapore, where average family incomes permit such lifestyles. Many food industries cite the high expectations and the need to upkeep reputation, as a justification to cosmetic filtering.
Another common leeway for food wastage is the National Environment Agency (NEA) restricting the sale and consumption of food past its 'consumable period,' which begins at time of production. Leftover food is, therefore, discarded.
The asian culture of copious food to guests at functions has been identified as another reason for high amounts of food wastage. Displaying a wide array of delights in colossal amounts emphasises the wealth and graciousness of the host. The masses of left over food disposed of at the end of such marvellous feasts make up a fairly sizeable portion of food wasted in Singapore.
Studies conducted by Singaporean students have shown that six in ten Singaporeans purchase food items in excess to what they require. 70% of Singaporean residents who were studied on, threw away edible food, unopened, before and after expiry dates.
Garbage enzymes assuage the frets of socialists and advocate the recycling of food waste. Garbage enzymes can be used as detergents, cleaning agents and fertilisers to enhance domestic life in a green way.
Garbage Enzymes as a pesticide
Due to its acidity, garbage enzymes when added to the surface of plants, can be used to destroy
microorganisms and insects that feed on plants. The solution of garbage enzymes should be diluted, so
as to ensure that the acidity of the solution does not affect the plant and its growth.