Are aquaponic vegetables safe to eat?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question, “Are aquaponic vegetables safe to eat?”. We will discuss the potential health risks and benefits of eating aquaponic vegetables. We will also look at the safest ways to grow aquaponic vegetables.

Are aquaponic vegetables safe to eat?

Yes. Aquaponics is one of the safest techniques of agricultural production if done correctly. Aquaponics requires healthy fish that act as a biocontrol against pathogenic microbes. Pathogenic microbes are effectively inhibited by the strong bioactivity of an aquaponic system, making their chances of survival slim. 

In fact, nature’s immune system, rather than industrial chemicals, is working hard to keep our food safe to eat.

What are aquaponic vegetables?

Vegetables grown using aquaponic technology are called aquaponic vegetables.

Aquaponics is a type of food production that does not require the use of soil. Plants are grown in water instead. It’s a sort of hydroponics. Plants are grown using nutrients dissolved in water in hydro-culture. Hydroponics is used in aquaponics as a part of the entire system. 

The aquaculture system is also used in aquaponics. Aquaculture is the practice of raising aquatic creatures in a water tank.

Aquaponic vegetables can be cultivated in a small space. So it is increasingly used by small-scale organic farmers.

Are there any risks in eating aquaponic vegetables?

Yes, there can be risks from fish and microbes in the water. To minimize these risks you have to thoroughly wash the vegetables (specially root vegetables, where the edible part is immersed in water) before cooking. Good agriculture, proper sanitary practice, good management techniques, and waste and feed management can be used to overcome all these risks.

Here are some potential risks from aquaponic vegetables.

  • Contamination with bacteria can cause foodborne illnesses in humans. In aquaponics, the proximity of fish culture water to food plant culture is a particular problem. Furthermore, bacterial infections, mycotoxins, or veterinary medicines could be present in fish diets.
  • The supply of water being used in the aquaponic system is critical for the quality of the vegetables. Contaminated water is sometimes a source of various diseases, including E. coli and Salmonella spp. Contamination of these bacteria mentioned above can cause  serious foodborne illnesses. Always use clean water from a reliable source. Filtered rain water is a good option. 

How to safely grow aquaponic vegetables?

Here are some safety tips that will make your aquaponic vegetables safer to eat.

  • Never allow an aquaponic system to grow rancid or stinky (like a sewer). This is a clue that something isn’t operating properly. Bacteria die off when the temperature is too hot or cold. 
  • Always dry your fishnets upside down (not in a bucket or pail) and try using the same nets for each tank, rather than bringing one in from across the farm where a dead fish was just removed.
  • Don’t overfeed fish or feed them stuff that will grow rancid if they don’t eat them.
  •  With regular water quality inspections, you can keep your water tanks clean and safe. 
  • Remove any dead fish or crops as soon as possible! Remove any leaf litter or damaged crops from your crops to keep them clean. Never leave dead leaves and fish for too long since fungi will start to grow on it right away.
  • Always wash your crops before consuming them after harvesting.
  • Using unclean water is a big risk for the vegetables as well as the fish. So make sure you’re using fresh water in your aquaponic unit, such as rainwater or pH-neutral well water. If your water has been cleaned with chlorinated, chlorine must be removed before it is used. Allowing the water to stay out for about 48 hours to remove the chlorine.

What are the benefits of eating aquaponic vegetables?

  • The aquaponics system is environmentally friendly because it does not utilize artificial fertilizers or pesticides that can hurt or kill the fish.
  • Water is recycled and utilized in an efficient manner.
  • Aquaponic crops have a high nutrient consumption rate.
  • It’s inexpensive and simple to keep up with.
  • Whether you live in a city or a high-rise structure, you may install an aquaponics system and eat fresh, healthy food year-round. Furthermore, the farming approach can be used regardless of whether you live in a hot climate or a cold climate.
  • That may be a major source of revenue, and your client will only get fresh, wholesome food devoid of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Other FAQs about Vegetables that you may be interested in.

Do aquaponic vegetables taste good?

What can I use instead of vegetable shortenings?

What can I substitute for fennel seeds?

What are the best veggies for aquaponics?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Are aquaponic vegetables safe to eat?”. We discussed the potential health risks and benefits of eating aquaponic vegetables. We also looked at the safest ways to grow aquaponic vegetables.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323387975_Food_safety_hazards_related_to_fish_produced_in_aquaponics