I have an ongoing battle with my children. No, not the “please lift the toilet seat up when you pee” battle, but the “just try one bite”  battle, which is waged primarily at dinner time.

Yes, I know, I shouldn’t be making food a battle ground; and no, food shouldn’t be a control issue; and yes, I should probably be doing the sneaky chef pureed this-and-that in order to prevent both boys from getting scurvy. (And, truth be told, I have on more than one occasion, used some of the Sneaky Chefs recipes and they work beautifully. But I’m too disorganized–and okay, lazy–to stay on top of my pureed spinach needs.)

These food battles mean that a lot of food in our house goes to waste–and that mommy does a great deal of picking off half-empty plates, with the result that her waistline is way more than half-full. 

As I scrape food into the garbage, I want to invoke that age-old (and useless) threat, about how there are little children starving all over the world and it’s a crime to be throwing away noodles because “they taste funny.”  I do what I can with leftovers–but see above on disorganized and lazy–so what usually happens is I store things in the fridge until they are unrecognizably furry and then I throw them away.

Enter…compost. There are composting bins at the Union Square Greenmarket four days a week and almost weekly, I would bring home their explanatory flyers, think about it, and not do anything about it. Then one night Husband got all green and virtuous, pulled out an empty yogurt container and plopped it next to the sink. Et voila, a worm-poop container was born.  The worm poop people (aka Lower East Side Ecology Center) have big compost collection bins at the edge of the market, so I just dump my gross food bits into their bins and that’s it. It’s like the easiest “green” chore ever. Easier even than changing lightbulbs.

Now I scrape the noodles and coffee grounds and bits of old grape and onion skins and furry leftovers into my containers.  I don’t have a garden, so I have no need for one of those fancy composting bins like our friend Nancy has, but for the moment? I’m feeling a lot less guilty, I have to say, about my kids eating habits. I mean, yeah, they’re probably going to get scurvy and both of them are fairly sure that anything green is probably laced with arsenic–but at least the worms will eat what they will not.