Plants can be classified according to part harvested or purpose:
1) Plants that are planted for fruits (mango, santol, guyabano, rambutan and durian).
2) Plants that are planted for leaves ( pechay, mustard, talinum, cabbage and unsoy).
3) Plants that are planted for roots ( camote, radish, cassava and purple yam).
4) Plants that are planted for flowers ( cauliflower, broccoli and himbabao/ hinbabao).
5) The latest addition: Plants that are reared for sprouts. The popular examples are alfalfa and mung bean sprouts. Other veggies such as radish, pechay and mustard can also be planted for sprouts. Plants are harvested at very early stage of life. Wash, rinsed and package for sale.
Sprouts became popular because they are rich source of vitamins, minerals and non-meat proteins. Its perfect protein source for vegetarians.
I already saw a laboratory where sprouts are reared in a controlled conditions. No soils are required. Seeds and needed fertilizers are fed in a machine. Then harvested after a definite time period. Resulting sprouts are clean and safe for human consumption.
Problems arise when sprouts are grown organically. We know the source of organic fertilizers are animal manure and decaying plant parts. The E. coli bacteria thrives well in feces and the popular source of Salmonella bacteria are broiler chickens and they might also thrive in feces. The risk of infectious bacterial contamination in organic farming is high.
Sprouts are to be eaten raw and never undergo enough heat treatment to kill microorganisms. It has been the subject of several foreign food recalls due to high bacterial contamination.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.