Do Pulses Spoil?

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Q: In a recent issue of BIRD BREEDER, there was an excellent article on feeding pulses beans, peas, etc.). I feed a diet that consists of a large quantity of sprouted beans. These sprouted beans sit out in the summer heat and humidity all day and do not appear to spoil. The only thing that happens to them is that sometimes they turn green from exposure to the light. By visual inspection, sprouts that are left in the dishes overnight are still alive and nutritious the following morning. Is this okay, or is spoilage actually taking place?

A: Sprouts are living, growing baby plants. They do not spoil because they have been left out in the heat and humidity. Our experiences are the same as yours. Live, uncooked sprouts are just as wholesome in the morning as they were when served the afternoon before. Cooked foods, however, are dead moist foods that will spoil if left unrefrigerated for an extended period of time. Soaked beans that have not begun to sprout could be alive or dead. If they are not viable, they can also spoil. They will not spoil as rapidly as cooked beans, but they are a potential danger. It is also important to note that beans or seeds that have not been cleaned well before the sprouting process, or those that have been bruised badly during it, will tend to grow bacteria and/or molds. These can also be a danger and should never be served. If you submerge your sprouts in water and mix them gently, and the water remains clear, the sprouts are of good quality. If the water is cloudy, the sprouts should he discarded.