Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alfalfa Sprouts and Food Recalls

I have a real problem with food recalls. Happens all the time and I get ever so worked up when it's vegetables and what I consider to be healthy food! Do you remember when the cookie dough was recalled? My first reaction was it was the fault of the eggs. Well no, it wasn't! It was the flour! If you think you are safe because you don't eat meat or dairy, guess again. You can only do so much – stay informed*, buy organic, grow and cook what you can, and hope for the best. Since it seems alfalfa sprouts have had more than one recall and the "solution" is to boil the damn things, I've been growing my own. If you buy organic sprouting seeds and keep it clean, you should be okay. I start a batch of sprouts every week and they take 5 days. After each cycle, I run the sprouting trays through the top rack in the dishwasher and that way everything stays clean and sanitary.

My favorite sprouting trays are plastic and they can go up to 3 levels. I usually use only one tray. You can get them from Amazon for $24.50 Sprout Garden 3 Tray Family Sprouting Kit - Includes: Sprouter, Drainboard, Covers, 3 Sprouting Trays, 2 Oz of Certified Organic Alfalfa Seed, Instructions. Grow Healthy Fresh Sprouts in Your Own Kitchen!

Ingredients for 1 pint of sprouts
1 heaping TB organic Alfalfa sprouting seeds or organic sprouting seed mix (my favorite is 3 seed mix)

Put seeds in sprouting container and soak overnight. Drain the next morning. Rinse every morning and every evening. I do this when I get up and when I get home from work. It's automatic, I just DO it. That way the sprouts are happy and everything stays nice and sweet! If you live in a warm climate you probably ought to rinse them at noon too! But here in Alaska in my 63-67 degree kitchen, twice a day is just dandy. On the fifth day, rinse in the morning, drain and place in the sunshine. At the end of the day, I lift them from their little tops in clumps and place in a salad spinner, rinse under water to get rid of the seed hulls and then spin, baby, spin. I have a nice little plastic container with a bottom rack that I keep them in, in the fridge where they stay perfectly fresh without additional rinsing.

*Stay Informed! On April 15th, I went to
(you really need to put this in your bookmark tools) and the first two recalled items were: RAW Organic Food Bar and Archer Farms ground turmeric. For crying out loud, recalls on a raw health bar, and a spice?! Oh, oh, and on April 5th, "Fresh Express Announces Precautionary Recall of a Limited Number of Cases of 9 oz. Bag Spinach Due to Possible Health Risk from Salmonella." It makes me INSANE! The moral of the story is, stay on top of food recalls (and please, if you have a pet watch their backs too!) and grow and prepare as much food at home that you can.

One final thought, some of the recalls for the month of April 2011 (and this was only through the 22nd): 8 different dates for grape tomatoes (may be contaminated with Salmonella); Goodness Garden Chives (possible listeria contamination); and Mountain Pure Drinking WATER (mold contamination). If you eat grape tomatoes, PLEASE check the website to be sure your favorite brand is safe to eat.

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