Microgreens

Posted by Laura Paulisich on

MIRACULOUS MICROGREENS

“mineral malnutrition is considered to be one of the most important global challenges to mankind that can be prevented and is one of the Millennium Development Goals...With respect to nutrition, the flaws in food systems create a dichotomous problem of excess and insufficiency. This is exemplified by one-third of the world’s people being overweight and/or undernourished...This problem impacts countries of every economic status...The reliance of urban populations on long food chains limits accessibility to produce that has short shelf lives and, therefore, poor transportability, and increases dependence on heavily processed and packaged foods; this creates ‘food deserts’ in urban areas in which people do not have ready access to a complete compliment of required nutrients...However, even the fresh produce that does reach its destination has likely lost substantial nutritional value during transport...a newly emerging crop that may be a dense source of nutrition in the absence of biofortification and genetic engineering and has the potential to be produced in just about any locale is microgreens. Microgreens are edible seedlings that are usually harvested 7–14 days after germination when they have two fully developed cotyledon leaves...A wide variety of herbs (e.g., basil, cilantro), vegetables (e.g., radish, broccoli, and mesclun) and even flowers (e.g., sunflowers) are grown as microgreens. Microgreens are generally more flavorful, some of them quite spicy, than their mature counterparts and have grown in popularity among culinary artists for adding texture and flavor accents to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes...The increasing culinary demand as well as the ease with which microgreens can be grown, even by inexperienced gardeners in urban settings, has piqued interests in growing and eating them...microgreens may have 4–40 times the amount of some nutrients and vitamins as the vegetables a mature plant would produce...the nutritional aspects they measured varied widely among microgreen types...Additionally...the methods used to grow microgreens (i.e., soil, compost, hydroponic) can significantly impact their nutritional value...The relatively high nutritional value of broccoli microgreens compared to the vegetable is consistent with previous studies reporting that produce at early growth stages (i.e., sprouts, microgreens, ‘baby’ vegetables) are denser sources of nutrition than their mature counterparts. It has been noted that vegetables, especially when grown on nutrient poor soils, have low mineral concentrations. Fertilization of nutrient poor soils can increase mineral concentration in plant leaves, but not always in the produce that is consumed because minerals are not distributed evenly in all plant parts...simply increasing fertilizer application does not represent a viable solution for improving the nutritional value of crops and simultaneously has negative consequences on the environment. Additionally, fertilizer manufacturing is no longer sustainable at current rates. In this context, the potential to grow microgreens themselves without the use of fertilizer application is intriguing.” - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5362588/


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