It's still an issue of constant confusion for my friends when I try to describe why I bother to buy Bokashi bran to help dispose of my kitchen waste. Why not just bury it directly? Why do I have to buy a product to help me pickle it first?
As I mentioned in my older post, my understanding is that two-stage composting using this method of fermenting, then burying waste, is a lot faster than traditional outdoor aerobic composting. Additionally, this system allows you to compost all kitchen scraps, and not just vegetable matter.
Below are a couple of explanations that I find helpful. The first, from the Seattle Post-Intellgiencer, basically reiterates what I said above - but with one important addition, which I've underlined:
"EM bokashi is a lot faster than traditional composting and works in an entirely different way. Instead of rotting, bokashi ferments food waste, then breaks it down into enzymes and amino acids directly usable by plant roots. The fermentation stage takes about two weeks, and the composting phase takes between two to four weeks."
I also found a comment thread from a blog post by author Amy Stewart, where a representative of EM America (a Bokashi bran and bucket producer) said the following:
"Materials actually break down faster when they are pre-treated with bokashi. The fermentation breaks down the lignin in the vegetables. Added benefits are that during the fermentation vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are produced and secreted in forms that plants will readily suck up. You can see growth spurts when plant roots hit the bokashi buried in the soil!"
To me, these quotes clarify that Bokashi composting is advantageous to simply burying food scraps in that the decomposition is much faster, and the presence of beneficial nutrients for plants is increased by the fermentation stage of two-stage Bokashi composting.