I’ve heard I should not compost cooked food. Is that true?
Depends. You can compost most kitchen scraps, cooked or not. The problem with cooked food is the fat or sugar or meat that is added. The sugar and fat break down much more slowly than vegetable scraps. Commercially they are used as preservatives. Meat also contains a lot of fatty acids and decomposes slowly. And make sure you use a rodent proof composter if you want to compost meat! That is what you want to keep out of your compost: fat, sugar and meat. So hopefully that is not all you are eating! But the odd stale bran muffin or unpopular left-overs will decompose. An important composting principle is to cover the high nitrogen kitchen scraps with a layer of high carbon material like leaves, straw, sawdust or shredded paper. A layer of soil or old compost on top should prevent any flies or smells. So go ahead and turn those kitchen scraps into earth!