So I got this little alfalfa sprouting kit thing for my birthday and it says I need to soak the seeds (alfalfa, mung bean that sort of thing) in a 2% bleach solution for 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly.. Is this necessary? It weirds me out.
When sprouting for myself, I've never bleached the seeds.
That said, I have been sprouting seeds (wheat/oats/BOSS) for my rabbits and chickens. The standard process is to add a "splash" of bleach to the initial soak water. This is to address mold, not E.coli. I just can't bring myself to use bleach. Whether because I don't add the bleach or other environmental factors, I struggle with this sprouting process to the point that I've decided just this morning that the remaining grain (100lbs worth) will be fermented for the chickens and ducks but not fed to the rabbits (they can't eat fermented foods). I'm just done with trying to keep the sprouts mold free/ferment free. So, the rabbits will get their daily ration of forage and pellets rather than forage/sprouts and occasional pellets.
I say all that to say this: I don't think it is necessary to use bleach to prevent E.coli...mold would be a more likely problem. Oh, and DON'T try to replace the bleach with vinegar...the vinegar will prevent the seeds from sprouting at all. Don't ask me how I know this....
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Thanks everyone! I think I will proceed without the bleach. I mean, a couple other people I asked said they would rather consume bleach than be blowing chunks all week from food poisoning but I just have a really hard time putting fucking bleach on my seeds. It just seems WEIRD. And totally unhealthy so I will take your advice and just get them started.
on occasions that it feels necessary to disinfect seeds i will use HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.
H2O2 is basically water with an extra oxygen molecule, which is unstable. basically once exposed to air the extra molecule flies away and leaves the hydrogen peroxide turning it into water. its the oxygenation that gives it disinfecting power.
though i have heard of many others who use this in a soak for seeds, i havent ever encountered people who use bleach for seeds.
just a bit of it in water will help seeds that have already gotten a bit funky, or use as a preventitive. like before i put things in the fridge for a long cold strat, or with some seeds i soak them for a long time and the H2O2 seems to help prevent them for getting funky.
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
posted 6 years ago
This recommendation is likely based on fear of litigation . Commercial sprouting operations have periodically produced listeria , salmonella , and e-coli outbreaks . Those microbes being colonised in the institutions and nurtured with their methods . At home you will have a minimal risk of such things with normal kitchen habits . Frequent rinsing and good airflow being the best mold deterents .
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More fear mongering and making people reliant on "the system". Rinse the seeds thoroughly before soaking. Rinse the sprouts thoroughly before eating, and the most important food handling safety tip - wash your hands with soap and water before handling food.