Chapter 3 – Successful Sprouting

The practice of sprouting is more than twice as old as the Great Wall of China. In ancient Chinese manuscripts from 2939 BC, the country’s emperor wrote about how good health came to those who ate sprouts. Today many people might enjoy bean sprouts in their Chinese food, or alfalfa sprouts in a sandwich or vegetable salad. But, this is just the beginning when it comes to sproutable foods.

When selecting foods for sprouting, seek out and use the highest quality ingredients possible. Avoid using chemically treated or preserved foods. Ensure they are being sold for human consumption, as many commercial seeds for gardening and farming have been coated with fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, or growth hormones. Seeds treated with these chemicals can be poisonous if eaten.

Any chemical eaten by you or your birds will have to be processed by the body in some manner. The liver is the primary organ of detoxification in the body. It processes pollutants present in the food, water, or air. If an individual is exposed to more toxins than the liver can effectively filter, it becomes over worked. This condition is described as having a stressed or sluggish liver. When
this occurs, you can provide some form of natural liver support. This will help it regain its ability to function efficiently. Birds are extremely delicate creatures and their sensitivity to chemicals in their food, water, or environment can vary greatly with each individual.

The highest quality ingredients you will find for sprouting will be organically grown, and can be found at natural food stores and from companies who sell foods especially for sprouting. If you are ordering your seeds on-line or through the mail, be sure to specify you want untreated seeds suitable for growing sprouts for human consumption.

More About Quality

When shopping for sproutable foods, look at the individual pieces. There should be whole pieces of legumes, seeds, and grains. Broken fragments will not sprout, however they can cause spoiling to occur in the rest of your sprouting mixture. Sproutable foods should also be a healthy color. Mung beans are a deep green, brown rice is a light tan, and adzuki beans are a deep maroon.

Unhulled sunflower seeds are naturally a soft gray color. If you see any that are yellowish, they have become old, and many even be rancid. Foods become rancid because the oils they contain have become old and have gone bad. Rancid foods have a stale odor, like cooking oil that has spoiled.

Businesses who sell organic foods understand that freshness is an important quality. In addition to organic sprouting ingredients being free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, they also possess more nutrients than their commercially grown counterparts. Typically, organic foods that can be used in sprouting will be fresh.

Dry Storage

When storing a sprouting blend, or ingredients you will use to make your own mixture, a cool dry location is preferred. Keep grain moths out by using an airtight zip lock bag, plastic jug, metal tin, or glass jar. Research indicates that sproutable foods can even withstand temperatures below freezing if these are above 10 degrees F, and they are double bagged.

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