Made-in-Canada kitchen appliance transforms and reduces food waste into compost

We tried it: Lomi by Pela kitchen countertop composter

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Lomi by Pela is made in Canada (Kelowna, BC to be specific) but is loved beyond our borders as a wonderfully efficient way to reduce kitchen waste volume (think carrot peelings, eggshells, soggy vegetable clippings, leftovers and coffee grounds) by up to 80 per cent .


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This amazing countertop machine is popular. So much so, people wanting the trusty kitchen appliance that takes the ick out of composting by transforming kitchen waste into garden-quality fertilizer, for indoor or outdoor plants, have to get in line.

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Don’t worry, the line isn’t that long. And after taking the Lomi out for a test drive, we assure you it is worth the wait. Lomi orders are shipping about four weeks after a deposit is placed.

Summary: Lomi is a Canadian success story and an eco-friendly and easy way to deal with the gross task of composting and add some dirt to our garden.

You might be interested in the Lomi if;

  • You hate collecting the compost because it gets stinky, slimy and gross
  • You don’t fancy the flies that sometimes find a way into the compost bin under your sink
  • You don’t want to go back to getting-the-worms-to-do-the-dirty-work kind of composting
  • You want to lower your carbon footprint by being less of a debaucherous human
  • When you say you want to contribute something to Mother Earth, you don’t mean copious amounts of trash
  • You like funky technology that makes your little home just a little more eco-friendly


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in the box

  • The Lomi
  • Activated carbon for two different filters on the machine to help snuff the stink
  • A pack of 45 LomiPods which are “a proprietary blend of probiotics that improve the speed of degradation the reduction of smell and most important help create the most healthy end product to add to gardens/lawn planters”
  • A paper instruction manual meaning you don’t have to consult a website or video to get started. This is very much appreciated by the team here at Shopping Essentials

The cardboard packaging in the box is, you guessed it, compostable if you break it down into smaller pieces and introduce it slowly, as in about 10 per cent of the total compost at a time.

What didn’t come with? Enough composting material for me to run the Lomi through a few rounds. My neighbors were more than happy to oblige by dropping off their kitchen scraps and fully impressed by how the fancy bit of technology took a full bucket of Lomi-approved waste (more on that below) and turned it into something far less offensive.


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What does Lomi do?

The countertop composter that does an ugly job but looks pretty good while doing it — it’s a sleek white-ish matte machine — breaks down organic waste into fragments that can be mixed with existing compost, added to your green bin with other compostable materials or, if you use the right mode on your Lomi, used as soil that is packed with nutrients and organic content.

Setting it up

It’s not hard. The most challenging part might be finding a spot for your Lomi. Depending on how often you use it, you could keep it in a pantry and pull it out once a week to do its job. Mine fits on my counter and although it is pretty enough, I really don’t fancy hogging counter space when not in use. I’d like to save that for more important things like dirty dishes and meal prep.


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some specs:

  • Lomi is 22 lbs with an off-white, matte-finish
  • It is 16 x 12 inches
  • Three processing cycles; drying, mixing and cooling
  • You can hear it operating, but it’s like a low hum, and we kind of like the sound of work being done, especially when it’s not us doing the work
  • Two filters require carbon pellets (that’s our fancy word) which need to be replaced once, maybe twice a year

More about the processing modes

These basically vary based on how long you want to wait and what final result you want.

Eco Express —Three to five hours. Offers quickest results with low energy consumption.

Lomi Approved —Five to eight hours. This mode is for bioplastics, compostable commercial goods and packaging that is Lomi approved. You can find more on their website.


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Grow— 16 to 20 hours. When you are operating in this mode, it runs at low heat “to preserve the microorganisms and bacteria most helpful to soil.”

What Lomi likes to be fed and what you ought to trash

It likes a diverse diet, so a mixed assortment works well and gives best results.

You can add everything from fruits and vegetables to leftovers, plate scrapings, meat scraps, soft bones and shells, coffee filters and grounds, tea bags, nuts, bread, pasta, rice, cheese yogurt, plants flower and yard trimmings.

Do not add hard animal bones, cooking oils, fruit pits, soiled diapers, cigarettes, metal, plastic, glass, fil wrap, styrofoam and pet waste.

Our experience

I filled the bucket to the maximum line, added one of the LomiPods and closed the lid on the stink. When I hit start, I didn’t realize it defaults to Eco-Express mode when what I really wanted was a little something something for my hungry houseplants. That’s fine, I had to try every mode anyway but just a word of caution.


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Compost material plus a LomiPod because it's being run in 'grow mode' so I can add the results to my plant pots.
Compost material plus a LomiPod because it’s being run in ‘grow mode’ so I can add the results to my plant pots. Photo by NADIA MOHARIB

By the way, the bucket where you chuck it all is made from aluminum with a non-stick coating and dishwasher safe. We fully approve.

It hums along, not quite as loudly as my dishwasher or microwave and quietly enough you can listen to music or have a Zoom meeting nearby. A few times, it gurgles and grumbles as it digests the contents but when it’s done, it’s a sight to behold.

In Eco-Express mode, I started with a big mess of egg shells, cooked quinoa, half a grapefruit, vegetable peels and pieces and some fruit that was well past its prime time.

When I excitedly opened the lid several hours later, there was what I would describe as a small amount of mulch-like sawdust at the bottom of the once two-thirds full bucket. Dry, clean, virtually scent-free.


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The results.  That's what one entire bucket full of food scraps became.  The grapefruit is there for size reference.  Oh, and it was also breakfast.  Clearly, it reduced my waste by a lot.
The results. That’s what one entire bucket full of food scraps became. The grapefruit is there for size reference. Oh, and it was also breakfast. Clearly, it reduced my waste by a lot. Photo by NADIA MOHARIB

The grow mode delivers something that is more soft and rich and ready to help my houseplants become even more luscious and lovely. It’s best to do this one overnight because it is the longest mode. The Lomi-approved mode can process bioplastics (the if you has more details) like Uber Eats containers and forks and knives.

For those concerned about how disruptive running a Lomi might be, the noise level is less than 60 decibels For reference, a normal conversation is about 60 decibels and a lawn mower is about 90 decibels.

It’s easy to clean by wiping the exterior with a soapy cloth and the bucket is dishwasher safe.

Others’ takes on the Lomi

Reviews are by and large fantastic. The makers say they have sold more than 85,000 units, sharing plenty of customer reviews here. One happy buyer calls it “their best friend,” which we think may be a bit much but other than that, we kind of agree on all the applause.


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We did find one critic scoffing at the technology saying it is counter intuitive given it takes hours of electricity to do its job. But (we did math) and using anywhere from .6 kWh to one kWh, (that’s during each hour of its longest mode) is hardly significant given the Average Canadian uses about 1,000 kWh a month.

A bit about Lomi by Pela

The minds behind the Lomi began in 2017 with the skin case, the first biodegradable phone case. In April 2021 the Lomi took off. Khloe Kardashian, out of the blue, (ie, she wasn’t sent a sample to review) dubbed it the Gift of the Yearsays Gareth Everard, Lomi’s chief marketing officer.

Last year the Kelowna-based company which created the kitchen gadget after tons of research and development done by hardware engineers, software experts and soil scientists, pre-sold nearly 50,000 units, mostly in Canada and the US, the bulk bought by Americans.


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Why is it called Lomi? It is cute and approachable and evocative of EVE from the WALLE-E film. It also plays the words’loam‘ and ‘soil.’

Why is it so popular? “I think people really like the reduction in mess and the no stink,” Everard says. “The thing that is really redeeming and heartwarming is how much impact people are saying the Lomi has on the volume of garbage. They reduce the number of bags they are bringing out to the curb.”

Where to buy: peel ($630 CDN) Due to high demand, Lomi orders are shipping about four weeks after a ($49 USD) deposit is placed.

The Shopping Essentials is a new category that features highly-researched products, new and exciting launches or behind-the-scenes info — learn more. All prices are accurate on the day of publication.


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