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Old 01-02-2017, 12:12 PM
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In my opinion, Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

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I am sure this will cause some controversy. Parrot people have been advising feeding sprouted seeds to birds, partly to help wean them off an all-seed diet, for a long time. Many folks have come to see sprouts as some sort of healthier version of seeds, beneficial to the eater. I can see how sprouting can help to transition a seed eater to a veggie-eater, but there are risks involved with feeding sprouts to people or birds, and you might at least like to know what they are.

You can google up a lot of words online about the toxicity of beans and sprouts. Short answer, many beans, legumes, contain toxins that are only destroyed by cooking, and should not be eaten raw. The common red kidney bean is one of these. There are arguments that the benefits of sprouting outweigh the risk of a small amount of toxin.

I don't believe there is a significant benefit to eating a sprouted bean. What happens with sprouts is the stored starch and proteins begin to be converted into more easily digestible (for humans) forms. But there are no miraculous new compounds created by sprouting to make any difference in your health. I think it's something about the sprout, being in this mysterious place where it's more than a seed but less than a boring plant, and anything so full of life must then confer that life on the eater. That's called sympathetic magic, like eating a lion's heart to become strong, and has no basis in fact.

The real danger of sprouts is in the bacterial load they inherit from the seed.

Sprouted seeds, I believe it was mung beans, were responsible for an e.coli outbreak in Germany that killed more than 30 people and left others with kidney damage. Sprouts are believed to have caused the worst outbreaks of e.coli infections in the world. How did it happen?

First, think of where seeds come from. They are out in the field, surrounded by nature, and nature is full of bacteria and fungi. Some of these settle on the seeds. Then, the seeds are harvested and stored in big silos or barns or tubs or baskets or whatever unsterilized thing is big enough to hold them. The bacteria begin to go dormant as the seed dries up, but they don't die.

Now, you take those non-sterile beans, soak the in water to distribute the pathogens on one seed to all of them, then keep them warm or at least at room temperature for a day or more. Would you eat a hamburger left on the counter for two days? What happens is exponential growth of any pathogens present.

Then the sprouts get washed, which doesn't remove the pathogens, and stored in the fridge, which doesn't kill the pathogens, then fed to people with warm digestive tracts perfect for more growth.

What kind of bacteria? E.coli, salmonella, listeria, and many more. If you know someone who says they have the "24 hour flu" what they have is probably food poisoning. Sprouts are very common now, and it's difficult to trace back an outbreak to the source, much less a single case.

I argue that the risk of infection from a sprout is far greater than any possible benefit. If you have a bird that will ONLY eat seeds, and they WILL eat sprouts, then maybe do it as a stopgap measure. If the bird will eat steamed sprouts, or otherwise cooked long enough/hot enough to destroy pathogens, that would be better. Then get them off the sprouts as soon as you can.

I can't think of a single benefit, other than modification of diet, that comes from eating sprouts that can't be supplied otherwise. Parrots live a long time, and the longer the exposure to sprouted foods the greater the chance of running into a contaminated batch. They are sensitive to pathogens and it's very hard to diagnose and treat these infections in birds.

Don't feed any sprouts to birds. Don't feed any uncooked beans to birds or eat them yourself. Be careful of where your seeds come from, choosing only human-grade nuts and seeds for food. Store them properly, in the freezer to prevent rancidity if they won't be consumed in a short time, wash the container every time you put new seeds in it, and throw away any seeds with mold, fungus, discoloration, or funny smells. It's a small thing we can do for them.

Last edited by Terry57; 01-02-2017 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:26 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

Wow that is some sharp stick! Will come back in a bit.

To start with the Kidney Bean is not one that I would sprout and on any lists I have seen, anyone with a shred of common sense should realise that if you have to cook it for so long to remove toxins then sprouting it is not going to do it, is it?

I always use GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) as recommended by Leslie Morán. This has been shown to be effective against 800 bacteria and virus strains, 100 strains of fungus and a large number of single cell parasites. FYI studies have also concluded that GSE is effective in killing numerous gram negative and gram positive bacteria, fungus and yeast including but not limited to staphylococcus, strep, candida, salmonella, e-coli, and giardia. Due to it's natural antibacterial and antifungal properties using GSE during the soaking process when sprouting for birds as a preventative measure will stop bacteria and mold before it can even get started. The antimicrobial properties occur at very low concentrations.

Sproutable foods have between seven and 40% protein, during germination starches are converted into simple sugars, protein chains are broken down into their basic amino acids, fats are converted into soluble fatty acids and vitamins are produced. Sprouts are a rich source of Vit A, C, E, B as well as antioxidants. For example Vit C in Oats increases 600% after sprouting.

I believe you are wrong in your recommendation not to feed sprouts and suggest you have a look for Leslie Moran and do some research. It is not possible to 100% guarantee that any food for ourselves or our fids are completely safe and in this day and age of money and profit margins rule, will get harder as short cuts are taken to produce food for this well overstocked and wasteful world.

Foods that can be sprouted fall into 4 categories: seeds, grains, legumes and nuts. (ALWAYS BUY GOOD QUALITY FOODSTUFFS TO SPROUT ESSENTIALLY ORGANIC)
Seeds - fenugreek, flax, millet, pumpkin, radish, sesame, safflower and sunflower.
Grains - amaranth, quinoa, unhulled barley, buckwheat groats, brown rice, wheat berries, rye and whole oats.
Legumes - alfalfa, red clover, adzuki beans, mung beans, garbanzo/chick peas, black turtle beans and french lentils. Soy and pinto beans BUT NO KIDNEY BEANS!!!
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Last edited by plumsmum2005; 01-03-2017 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:41 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

I agree with some of your arguments, certain beans must not be eaten raw, or undercooked! I make many bean dishes and used to make the mistake of cooking them at a too low temperature. Yes, they were tender, but still contained toxins, ugly bathroom tails!
But every food has it's risks if handled incorrectly! Look at meat! OMG, a dead animal, partially decomposed, and you are going to eat it? Yep!
Vegetable and greens(sprouts too) have the ability to pull minerals out of the soil in a form that we can use.
There is much more magic to sprouting than simple starch conversion. Risks? Depends on many factors!
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:51 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

I am a very gullible person and easily convinced by facts. Google health benefits of grapefruit seed extract and yes, there are lots of positive references. I think the Wikipedia entry for it has the best neutral summary. Detailed research studies found no anti microbial properties in GSE, and the extract available to consumers contains other compounds, added to it during processing - such as benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride - which are responsible for the observed antimicronial effects in prior studies. More and more, natural health practitioners are recommending that GSE should only be used topically and not taken internally.

I don't claim that sprouting of seeds doesn't improve their nutritional profile - only that it doesn't add any nutrients that can't be obtained otherwise from foods that don't carry the risk of the increased bacterial load created by sprouting seeds in warm, moist conditions.

Really not intending to wave a sharp stick around! I do try to keep most quibbles to myself, but there have been so many posts lately relating to sprouting that I jumped in. I did a lot of research on this a few years back when I was making some dietary changes, and many things - including GSE data - caught my attention, and I've been paying attention when I see things come across the news. Sprouts I had been on the fence until that huge outbreak in Germany a few years back that killed many people, which made me dig into it again and confirmed my reservations.

Even if seeds could be completely sterilized before sprouting - and they can't - the incubation process would bring the numbers right back up. And it's not possible to completely sterilize the finished product, either, as pathogens can be deeply embedded. GSE is not a selective antimicronial in any case, killing good bacteria along with bad.

Everybody can and will decide for themselves what to feed the fids. I only want to make some contradictory information available to anyone researching the subject. This is what peer review is all about - you show me your sources, and I'll show you mine, and folks can make informed choices based on a wider range of information. Much love to all of you, everything here is based on love!
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:56 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

The concern over E. coli is a valid concern. warm moist environments are prime conditions for bacterial growth.

That said, a bit of common sense and following standard procedure for frequent rinses go a long way to mitigating the risks such that they really aren't much of a concern when done properly.

And yes there are plenty of things that don't belong on a sprouting list. A bit of simple research will Reveal all these.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:03 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

You leave me speechless and we will let the readers of your posts decide for themselves.

Much love to you too!
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:06 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

Ughh, and we know how messy love is!
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:06 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

This discussion has me looking at my long held belief that the 24 hour Flu is not the Flu.

And on the lighter side, is you're going to sprout something, just let it go all the way to Beer! Much safer.

Great discussion!

I'm thinking that reality /truth will likely be found between the two end points with some seeds found just to dangerous and others safer.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:10 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
This discussion has me looking at my long held belief that the 24 hour Flu is not the Flu.

And on the lighter side, is you're going to sprout something, just let it go all the way to Beer! Much safer.

Great discussion!

I'm thinking that reality /truth will likely be found between the two end points with some seeds found just to dangerous and others safer.
Don't think seeds germinate in Pedigree unfortunately
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:13 PM
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Re: Sprouts are not safe for birds to eat.

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
Ughh, and we know how messy love is!
Thanks Al, you have such a unique ability to clarify things, LOL!
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