Choice slams “illogical” appliance
Not worth the investment: Choice experts have put Breville’s FoodCycler to the test, and declare it to be one of the most illogical appliances they’ve yet seen in their labs. Ouch.
The FoodCycler is a food disposal system that pulverises and dehydrates food waste, turning it into chips that can be put into a bin or garden. The Breville website praises the FoodCycler for its low energy use, but Choice found this statement to be untrue. Breville has added an energy-gobbling product to what’s normally a simple process – composting.
“If you’re someone who is environmentally conscious and looking for an easy way to compost your food scraps, this is one of the poorest choices you could make,” says Choice kitchen expert, Fiona Mair. “Each cycle takes about four to eight hours, and due to the device’s small capacity, you can really only fit about one meal’s worth of scraps in there at a time. This means that there are significant running costs associated with the FoodCycler.”
Choice’s performance tests found that if you ran the FoodCycler unit seven times a week, this would cost you $86 a year in energy running costs.
“You also need to replace the filters every three to four months, which adds up to $159.80 a year,” Mair says. “The separate carbon filter needs to be replaced every six months, at a cost of $63.20 per year. Total running costs for the FoodCycler add up to over $300 a year.
“Any benefits for the environment that you produce through using this device are lessened by electricity costs, and the contribution you’re making to landfill with replacement filters.”
Choice testers also found that while the FoodCycler is running through its cycle, it intermittently emits an irritating, high-pitched sound.
“The sound the FoodCycler produces while it’s running was so annoying, we had to move it out of the kitchen lab while we were waiting for the cycle to finish,” Mair says. “You just can’t deal with a noise like that for the four to eight hours it takes to get through a cycle.”
Finally, the testers found that the “eco chips” the machine produces have huge limitations. According to Breville’s instructions, you need to wait 90 days before using the eco chips on soil you grow food in to minimise potential health risks.
“Unlike simple composting, you need to keep the output of the FoodCycler around for three months in some cases before they’re useful,” Mair says.
You can read the full Choice review here. If you’d like to start composting your food scraps, check out this article on composting 101, this advice on what can go in your compost bin and this simple in-garden compost system.