Are sprouts dangerous and why are sprouts dangerous?

Are sprouts dangerous and why are sprouts dangerous?
Food, as the name suggests, is the means that keep us alive. There are many different types of food. From plant to animal origin, from low to high nutritional density (i.e. few calories to many), from nutrient-rich to completely worthless, from fresh to industrially produced, from organic to conventional, from dead to live food, etc.

Sprouts and seedlings, especially those you grow yourself, are among the freshest, most nutrient-rich, lowest-calorie and most vibrant (sprouts even grow while you eat them) FOOD there is.

And here lies the reason for the alleged danger. Sprouts are usually untreated and grow in humidity and room temperature. These are clearly also good conditions for pathogenic, disease-causing germs.

What can you do to safely eat these wonderful, delicious fresh vegetables?

First of all, we should differentiate between home-grown sprouts and ready-made sprouts offered in stores. Your own sprouts offer great advantages. They are not produced in factories, do not have to be packaged in plastic, do not have long storage and transport routes and are not days old when they are consumed. In addition to these advantages, your own sprouts and seedlings offer a certain level of security that they will not be contaminated with germs from the environment or germs from strangers. However, it is important to note that a certain basic level of hygiene (well-cleaned equipment, clean work surfaces, no contact with mold, etc.) is required when growing sprouts in your own four walls. This also includes regularly rinsing the seeds. The origin of the grains is also important. The origin of germinated seeds is agriculture, i.e. the field in which they grow. There can be contact with foreign germs. If these are on the grain and have a certain resistance, they will multiply properly when sprouting. It is therefore important to buy germinating seeds that are declared as such. These must be specially examined (microbial, germination) so that it can be ruled out that foreign germs are present on the seeds.

Another way to reduce possible germ contamination would be to blanch the finished sprouts before consumption.

Sprouts and seedlings can be compared to fresh salads. This means that there is not really a good reason to be afraid of consumption and to avoid this unique food. There is also no excessive number of known illnesses due to the consumption of sprouts. The EHEC issue in 2011 was an exception. Supposedly, fenugreek seeds from Egypt, which were contaminated with this germ, were the cause of many illnesses and even deaths throughout Europe. Apparently because the pathogen was never detected in the affected German sprout farm. The EU’s final report speaks of “almost certainty”.

A completely different type of “danger” when eating sprouts is one for your teeth. 100% germination of all grains is practically impossible. It can therefore happen again and again that some grains remain hard. This means that people with dental problems should exercise some caution to avoid the risk of tooth damage.

Conclusion: Home-grown, fresh sprouts have no higher risk than other fresh vegetables. It is important to practice a certain amount of basic hygiene when growing and to purchase germination seeds that are declared as such.


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