Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

My question is whether or not it is safe to eat root crops grown in aquaponics.  After all they are submerged in fish waste.  I have had some people say never to do it, and other people say it doesn't matter.  I have mixed feelings still on this subject.  Even in my soil garden if i ever do use manure it is composted or predigested animal manures (minus worm castings).  I would never put straight manure on anything in my soil garden let alone root crops.  But once again there are people who do this without thinking twice.  Maybe in NFT since a beet, for example, would never really touch the effluent, just the dangling roots. I think this is an important topic and Im curios to see what you all think.

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If you look back at the food safety questions around fish waste raised by Dan Brown, and the discussions with food safety and aquaponics as themes in other papers and forums, you will constantly get referred back to the same theme.  The gut organisms that occur in cold blooded animals such as fish are different from warm blooded creatures, and thus the only risk at being contaminated from an AP system is through the introduction of a disease vector by something warm-blooded.  The organisms in fish guts pose no risk to you.  If you make sure that system contamination does not happen, rinse off the food crops you produce in AP, handling roots of the crops with care (no not drag and splash them all over the other crops) and rinsing your crops properly before using, you have no worries really.  I eat spring unions out of my system regularly and have some radish going right now.
I eat green onions and am about to eat beets in about 2 weeks.  Kobus is correct.  Simply wash them as you do all fresh foods and you will be ok.

as long as you are not using turtles or ducks or manure from warm blooded animals to feed your AP system it is generally quite safe.  Most root crops like turnips and beets even in a gravel bed are not comming in contact with the fish water but even if they did a good wash should be just fine.


(Manure of warm blooded animals should be composted and those who use it on fields without composting are supposed to use it like six months before anything can be harvested from the field.)

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