To buy the best alfalfa sprout seeds, it's important to consider seed quality, which means buying only the best seeds produced specifically for sprouting from merchants that you trust, or from certified organic sprout growers. If you're buying alfalfa sprout seeds for agricultural use, safety and quality might not be as essential; however, only certified organic alfalfa sprout seeds should be used for sprouting and the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts. These seeds can be found online or in health food stores, but no matter where you buy them, it's always smart to inquire about their origin.
Raw sprouts grown from alfalfa sprout seeds are extremely nutritious, but due to several illness scares related to salmonella poisoning and strains of bacteria such as E. coli (Escherichia coli), many health organizations recommend eating only cooked sprouts. The potential problem is not with the sprouts themselves, but with the seeds from which they are grown. Many people falsely believe that sprouting your own seeds is a solution to any potential health hazard, but since the risk is in fact related to the seeds, the best solution is to make sure you know where your seeds come from.
When trying to choose the best alfalfa sprout seeds, look for seeds produced by certified organic growers. Such growers will most likely be smaller farmers. Seeds from large commercial farms, even if they are called organic, are not necessarily safe for sprouting because larger farms do not have the same growing practices as small organic farms. Wherever raw manure is used in the growing process, and large quantities of goods and materials comingle, there is the risk of tainted seeds, and only real organic farmers have a proven track record for not using raw manure and producing safe seeds.
Some websites and sprout eaters might recommend buying seeds for sprouting from farm stores or feed and seed merchants, but this could be a dangerous proposition. While the risk of being poisoned by sprouts is actually very low across the board, this is a perfect example of how that risk is created. Commercially produced seeds are less regulated and might come into contact with any number of agents that could taint them, including other seeds not meant for sprouting, large storage bins, farm equipment, and manure for fertilizing.
In addition to the risks posed by seeds from farm stores, some unscrupulous growers will market their seeds as safe or organic when in fact they are not. Many use bleach and other harmful toxins to "sanitize" their seeds, which goes against the whole premise of healthy eating. The key word to look for is not just "organic," but "certified organic." Even then, it's a good idea to do a little research into the origin of your seeds. Avoid anything imported since that's very hard to trace, and only trust growers that can provide satisfactory answers to your questions.