Broccoli sprouts make regular broccoli’s health benefits seem miniscule. You won’t have to eat a bunch of broccoli often if you consume a handful of light broccoli sprouts a few times a week. They can be tossed onto salads or included in sandwiches.
Sprouting instructions are at the end of this article, which contains an interesting food fight story and nutritional information.
When Johns Hopkins Morphed into a Monsanto Like Group
Broccoli is established as an anti-cancer vegetable. But are broccoli sprouts an anti-cancer improvement over regular broccoli? Johns Hopkins researchers certainly thought so. From 1992 to 1997, their department research team searched for broccoli’s cancer fighting compound.
Paul Talalay, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University isolated the cancer fighting phytochemical sulforaphane. He discovered that sprouting delivers more sulforaphane than broccoli alone with 50 times the anti-cancer power with the right strain of broccoli.
Well, the boys at Johns Hopkins decided they should patent their discovery after isolating sulforaphane and determining the variety of broccoli that creates the sprouting seeds with the highest amounts of sulforaphane.
They formed a company called Brassica Protection Products. And, shades of Monsanto, they started suing existing commercial broccoli sprout growers who didn’t pay royalties on their sales when using Brassica’s “BroccoSprouts” seeds, which are not genetically synthesized, for their broccoli sprouts.
International Sprout Growers Association (ISGA) members fought back. They couldn’t understand why something that has already existed managed to get through the U.S. Patent Office in the first place!
Even the few growers licensed to use Brassica’ seeds asserted there was no difference with the method of cultivating BroccoSprouts than any other variety they had used in the past.
Eventually, a Maryland high court ruled in favor of the ISGA defendants, stating that finding nutrients did not create the right to patent a food and farming practice that had already been in existence.
Avoid Broccoli Sprout Contamination by Sprouting Your Own
There have been actual cases of contaminated commercially sold broccoli sprouts recorded some years ago. And it was discovered that the seeds for sprouting were contaminated. As a result, several commercial sprout growers have succumbed to rinsing them in chlorine. Not too healthy.
The solution is simply ensuring seeds you purchase for sprouting are ISGA (International Sprout Growers Association) approved or USDA certified organic. Ask your health food store about this or search the internet.
You can even purchase the original Johns Hopkins Brassica seeds directly by calling the Caudill Seed Company (800-626-5357). They sell a pound of organically grown seeds (enough to make over a gallon of sprouts) for around $10 (plus shipping).
Besides assuring optimum quality, sprouting your own is much cheaper than buying prepared sprouts. You’ll get more bang for the buck with your super food level broccoli sprouts by sprouting your own.
Broccoli sprouts have a better, lighter taste, more like alfalfa sprouts than broccoli. And storing sprouting seeds is one solution for potential food shortages.
Basic Beginning Sprouting Directions
* Buy your organic sprouting seeds (organic). I’ve used Mountain Rose Herbs, an online source, but others are shown in this article or article sources.
* Find or purchase a large mouth one quart (approximately) glass container.
* Buy some cheesecloth and a few thick, strong rubber bands.
* Place around three tablespoons of sprouting seeds with at least three times the amount of purified water into the jar.
* Gently shake the jar with lid until all the seeds are soaked.
* Take off the lid and place the cheesecloth over the mouth, securing with a rubber band.
* Allow the seeds to soak for six to twelve hours, then drain them thoroughly and rinse.
* Leave the jar on its side, exposed to indirect sunlight. Repeat this process three times or so until the sprouts manifest fully and aren’t wet anymore. Refrigerate what isn’t eaten.
You have begun your veggie sprout “kitchen gardening.” You can store seeds and find ways online to mechanically make more at a time with special inexpensive devices sold for expanded production purposes after your trial run.
Sources for More Information:
Great source for seeds, sprouting equipment, and text and video instructions – the Brassica lawsuit details are on this site as well