Know Your Garlic: How To Avoid Harmful Imports
We don't all have the space for growing garlic at home. However, many people use garlic every day. It's commonly found in meals, cooking processes and recipes. You might not munch on raw garlic cloves, but you probably eat foods that contain the crop in some way, shape or form. And although the list of health benefits is long, there are many risks now involved when purchasing garlic.
It's natural for people to purchase garlic at the local grocery store or market, or to eat it in a meal at their favorite restaurant. And majority of this garlic is imported from China (USA having imported almost one-third of its garlic from China).
SFGate reported in 2014 that "little more than a year, a single Chinese company has flooded the U.S. market with 60 million pounds of garlic, almost half of it through the Port of Oakland, in a scheme to avoid penalties that protect domestic growers". Considering this huge takeover and shift in our garlic industry, we feel it's extremely important for our Grow.Bar family to understand that some of this garlic produced in China has been found to be toxic.
And it's not just quality that stands to question, it's the practices of growing and harvesting the crop that may be causing harmful effects. There are Chinese producers known to use forbidden chemicals and pesticides to boost their production quantities. Do phorate and parathion sound good to eat? Yea. We didn't think so.
Don't gamble with your health or the overall well-being of your loved ones. In order to protect yourself against purchasing the "bad" garlic, you'll need to be aware of a few key factors.
What to look for
- Garlic with the root and stem still attached is usually safe
- Chinese garlic is often lighter and color and has fewer bulbs
- Homegrown or organic garlic will be much richer in taste and flavor
While we don't know how or when this problem will be solved, we hope our readers will take comfort in knowing how to avoid harmful toxins and crops. Always look towards growing your own food, if possible (like with the Grow.Bar), or shop local at farmers markets. And always go for the certified organic products.