Are Microgreens Safe to Eat? (During Pregnancy, Home Grown, Raw)

Microgreens are generally safe to eat as they grow in a safe sanitary setting, but its best to lightly wash them before eating them raw.

Microgreens are nutrient-dense and delightful, to the point where they’re referred to be functional foods. In fact, we conducted a study to determine how healthful microgreens are. Microgreens have been shown to kill cancer cells, according to this report.

People had been eating microgreens raw.

Having said that, aren’t microgreens similar to sprouts? Is it okay to consume them raw if that’s the case? And why is that? What about the germs and fungus that are harmful?

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To summarize, are raw microgreens safe to consume?

Yes, for the most part. We don’t consume sprouts raw because they generally grow hydroponically in a soilless and moist environment (with inadequate ventilation and limited sunshine), which encourages bacterium and fungal growth. Microgreens, on the other hand, thrived in a far more sanitary setting.

When consumed raw, however, microgreens do contain dangerous microorganisms. As a result, you could get sick as well, but the chances are slim. Even so, it’s best to lightly wash them before eating them raw.

Food Poisoning Incidents: Raw Sprout Eating

Our bodies are built to deal with intruders, but our immune systems have their own limitations. Uncooked sprouts can cause poisoning, especially in people with a weak immune system, such as the elderly and children, who should avoid eating them.

In reality, seven people were diagnosed with salmonella and hospitalized after eating raw alfalfa leaves in a restaurant a few months ago, read more.

So, Why are Microgreens safer than sprouts?

People don’t consume the root portion of microgreens. The potting soil is loaded with enough nutrients for the plant to thrive, but this might lead to mold issues with microgreens. By avoiding the root portion, you can reduce your risk by half.

So, what about the other half?

Cooking thoroughly to eliminate all possible pathogens, including spores, bacteria, parasites, and fungus, is unquestionably the greatest way to ensure food safety. Cooking, on the other hand, will necessarily lower some healthful components (water-soluble vitamins and enzymes) and vitality, which is why most people avoid cooking microgreens.

Read Here: Microgreens Recipes: 11 Delicious Ways to Eat Microgreens

The importance of seed quality in growing safer microgreens cannot be overstated. You must ensure that the seeds firm from which you are ordering has a strong reputation.

Why do microgreens get contaminated?

Seeds, irrigation water and growing media are the main contaminated sources. I’ll go over each in more detail below.

Cleaning the seed

Sanitizing seeds is a step that many producers overlook, but it can help to prevent mold problems in the future, when soaking seeds, add a teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide, such as this one, to the water.

Allow seeds to rest for an hour before rinsing them with clean water several times.

Here’s an amazing discovery to help you understand how crucial this is. The bacteria (E.coli) contaminated radish seeds were used in a study to develop sprouts and microgreens. The results revealed that both groups were tainted to some extent. Similarly, the microgreens group had significantly less contamination than the sprouts group.

Select the appropriate growing medium.

For microgreens farming, there are various different types of growing media. We discussed where you should grow the microgreens previously (soilless or soil), and how important it is to provide the best possible contamination-free environment. We also talked a lot about hydroponic farming.

Between the two, there are definite advantages and disadvantages.

In fact, when compared to recycled textile fibre and jute-kenaf-fiber mat, a comparison research indicated a high germ count in peat-based potting soil. The E.coli and mold (yeast) counts are the most important. Despite the higher cost, the study concluded that the single-use growing mat is a more sanitary growing medium than peat soil.

That is to say, if you plan to cultivate microgreens on a smaller scale (for personal consumption), the growing mats will be ideal. The soil-based growing method is a far more profitable alternative for microgreens business, but it requires more attention.

Are home grown microgreens are safe?

Certainly not! Home growers lack the necessary sanitizing and quality-control procedures, which might result in variable quality and germ growth in a harsh growing environment.

If you plan to produce your own microgreens, properly storing them is critical to preserving their vitality and freshness. It must be kept refrigerated at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, I have four suggestions for correctly storing microgreens. Finally, eat it as soon as possible, within 3-5 days, and throw it out if it has a slimy appearance or a musty odor.

Are microgreens safe during pregnancy?

Pregnant women, the elderly, and toddlers should never consume raw microgreens. These persons have a weakened immune system and are more prone to illness. According to OutbreakDatabase, clover microgreens and sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and mung bean sprouts were all linked to food poisoning incidents in the United States.

Microgreens are generally considered to be safe to eat, although there is no guarantee.

What kinds of diseases may you get from eating raw microgreens?

Eating unwashed and raw microgreens might cause a problem. Many early indicators of infection are similar; I’ll go over four typical food borne infections you can get from eating microgreens below.

  • Bacteria (Escherichia coli) – One of the most prevalent diseases. Watery diarrhea is followed by bloody stools, abdominal cramps, fever, and other symptoms.
  • Bacteria (Salmonella) – Vomiting Nausea, fever, headaches, and other symptoms are common.
  • Listeria monocytogenes (bacteria) — Symptoms include influenza-like symptoms, diarrhea, fever, and death.
  • Norovirus (virus) – Diarrhea, fever, and vomiting are all possible symptoms.

Many germs died after cooking; if

  • You’re not sure about the microgreens, don’t consume them raw.
  • Left untreated, the majority of these infections can be fatal.
  • You detect any of the symptoms, you should get medical advice from an expert.

Is it true that microgreens can cause kidney stones? If you’re wondering, here’s what you should know.

What kinds of microgreens might make you sick

There are some microgreens, if you consume a lot of thems, you’ll get sick. Certain chemical components in them are mildly harmful to humans. In general, if consumed in little doses, they are completely safe to consume. Consider the following scenario:


Buckwheat is a fast-growing microgreen that contains the chemical fagopyrin. When consumed in large quantities, these hazardous chemicals produce skin redness, swelling, and a burning feeling. It makes our skin photosensitive, and it might last for days. Read the entire report.

The symptoms, however, may vary from person to person. Many people reported no skin problems, even when consumed (cooked) four times a week, as most of them were discussed in a forum. Others have speculated that it could be a species native to India, but not the one we eat.


Alfalfa is a well-known microgreen. It’s one of the microgreens with the largest number of infection breakout cases, and it’s commonly used raw in a variety of meals and soups.

Furthermore, thelectins (anti-nutrients), saponins (anti-nutrients), and canavanine (amino acid) are all present in high amounts in alfalfa microgreens. While these natural toxins are normally innocuous in little amounts, they can cause diarrhea, inflammation, indigestion, bloating, and lupus-like symptoms when consumed in large amounts (for canavanine).


Quinoa also contains saponins, which are anti-nutrients.

Getting rid of saponins

There are a few strategies you can utilize to get rid of saponins. The simplest way is to soak the seeds in water, rinse (and rub) them a few times till the soap-like suds turned clear. Some quinoa seeds are pre-treated to eliminate saponins before being sold in a box.

Here’s a list of over 87 different types of microgreens to get you started.

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