Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
on 5 August 2013
I bought this book because all but one of the references to soya sprouts in the Edward Cairney alternative, The Sprouters Handbook, had been removed. (Actually, to me it looked as though they'd been ineffectively weeded out, because the index still had them). I'm grateful to Steve Meyerowitz for his advice to cook soyabean sprouts lightly to remove any residual nasties, however, I much prefer the Cairney book because Meyerwitz's is a bit of a hotchpotch.
On the good side, it has a good index as well as a detailed contents list. On the bad, like the Cairney, it glosses over how to germinate economically in cooler weather and calls for items, such as hydrogen peroxide, for use as a sterilent, which I think is unobtainable in the UK now, because it's been used in improvised bomb-making. It's looks as though we can buy sproutbags, an invention of Meyerwitz, but I just wouldn't because I do not believe they could be adequately cleaned. His other innovation, the sprouter's bamboo basket, isn't even still available on his US Website because the supply from China has become unreliable. Again, attractive as these things look, I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole. It's glass and nice sterile stainless steel for me, but at the moment, I'm using Meyerwitz's despised jars (Bio Snacky), which I find can be incubated easily (See my review of The Sprouters Handbook) and work a treat for everything I've tried so far except soyabean. I've even pulled off amaranth, a tiny seed (a) by soaking overnight, or (b) by inserting kitchen towel between the jar and the lid-strainer.
I've given Meyerwitz 3 stars because his book contains stimulating ideas. The tables are random rather than scientifically organised, though the their content may be accurate. He advocates a longer growing time than some and there must be a breaking point when a sprout, using the resources from its seed and turning them into great nutrients for us, becomes a plant, requiring resources from soil. He muddles seed leaves, which are the seed itself pushed up and turning green, with true leaves, which form independently of the seed. Some seeds, such as aduki beans and lentils, don't form seed leaves at all, their first leaves are true leaves. With alfalfa and mung, it's the other way round.
As I say, a hotchpotch with good ideas, but for a beginner, I'd advise buying a set, say of 3, Bio Snacky jars (thank you, Amazon) and following the advice given in the leaflet that comes with them. Start with seeds, such as mung and aduki bean and green lentils that are readily and cheaply available in your supermarket. That's another thing with Meyerowitz, if you sprout seeds, such as cabbage and radish that are normally sold in tiny packets for producing the mature vegetable, your sprouts will cost you a fortune!