An agar sediment test was developed to evaluate the suitability of organic waste streams from the food industry for recovering nutrients by the aquatic worm Lumbriculus variegatus (Lv). The effects of agar gel, sand, and food quantities in the sediment test on worm growth, reproduction, and water quality were studied. Agar gel addition ameliorated growth conditions by reducing food hydrolysis and altering sediment structure. Best results for combined reproduction and growth were obtained with 0.6% agar-gel (20 ml), 10 g. fine sand, 40 g. coarse sand, and 105 mg fish food (Tetramin). With agar gel, ingestion and growth is more the result of addition of food in its original quality. Final tests with secondary potato starch sludge and wheat bran demonstrated that this test is appropriate for the comparison of solid feedstuffs and suspended organic waste streams. This test method is expected to be suitable for organic waste studies using other sediment dwelling invertebrates.