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May 9, 2007 10:47 PM

Filtered Water to Store Food

A recent purchase of a "powdered green" supplement product whose directions for use instructed the user to use filtered water (avoiding the harmful effect of mixing chlorinated water with the product) got me thinking about the way I store some of my foods, such as canned bean sprouts.

I normally buy canned bean sprouts, and put the unused portion in a small glass bottle filled with tap water. The water keeps the sprouts fresh for a few days, and I do rinse the container out each day and put in a new batch of water. But, the tap water is chlorinated, and I wondered if that chlorination may interact with the vitality of the sprouts and deteriorate its quality. The other option would be to use distilled water or filtered water that I can buy at the supermarket. (or simply use a PUR or Brita water pitcher).

Since I am stir frying the sprouts, I thought that whatever harmful effects might be imparted by the chlorination might be dissipated by the high heat frying.

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  1. If you're not seeing rapid deterioration aleady, then your water is probably fine. If you do decide to switch, I'd stay away from distilled, its likely to do very different things because its so inert compared to any other sort of water.

    We have an inline water filter installed under the sink (its on the cold water line and runs to a small gooseneck faucet next to our main faucet. Its basically a permanent brita filter without the need for a pitcher. I use that to store things like tofu or fresh mozz. cheese.

    One thing about the chlorinated water, may actually work better as a preserving liquid because it may be less likely to allow anything to grow.

    1. My rule is if I don't drink the water I don't store my food in it. I don't know about the canned beans because they are already preserved some but I have put fresh basil in tap and filtered tap water the basil in the non filtered tap water went bad in about a day and half the filtered water basil lasted for about a week. I use the brita filter works great.
      I have lived in plenty of areas where the tap water has been fine to drink. So I always use my taste buds as the deciding factor.

      1. canned vegetables are heated to extraordinary temperatures in order to facilitate canning. whatever vitality the product contained is mostly shot by the process.

        if you're worried abut the level of chlorine in your water, i'd use filtered water to store *fresh* produce.

        1. There seems to be a myth about bottled water and tap water and the salinity of both.

          As everyone knows, water is H2O. The only use of pure H2O is in "Clean Rooms" in semi-conductor manufactoring facilities, plus some refineries and utility power stations) which highly filtered water becomes basic H2O. The tap water and the bottled water both need to meet certain standards and the particles that are allowed per million parts is several hundred parts per million. Anyone who believes that a Brita Filter or a Pur filter is creating "pure" H2O is unfortunately under a misconception. Even home Reverse Osmosis units only target a couple of hundred parts per million on the output.

          But that being said, if you feel more comfortable sending the tap water through the Brita or Pur, go for it, but the idea that placing bean sprouts in bottled water is more safe strike jfood as little overreactive. Remember you still take a shower in that "tap" water and your skin probably absorbs some of the same molecules that you are afraid to ingest orally.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            i've lived in towns where the chlorine level in the water makes a shower or bath smell like a swimming pool and the tap water is accordingly undrinkable. i tolerated it in the shower, but even gave bottled water to the dog.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Couldn't agree more H. Happens to jfood a bunch on the road as well. Certain cities just have more chlorinated water than others, Phiily comes to mind.

              Fortunately Jfood has a well so no chlorine.

              Point of jfoods post is that these little filters do not bring water to zero PPM of salinity.

              1. re: jfood

                agreed. also the noted slack of people changing their water filters too infrequently, making the water actually even less clean.

          2. Unless your city chlorinates it's water with chloramines, the chlorine in your tap water will dissipate overnight. If you're really worried about the bean sprouts, just keep a pitcher o tap water on your counter and let it age a day before you use it.

            But....... unless your tap water reeks like a swimming pool, I wouldn't worry about it. If anything, the chlorination probably serves the same purpose for your sprouts as it does for the municipal folks -- to keep the various gazigglies from growing too much.