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Beware Of Dangerous Bleached Garlic
If you love garlic and have been buying organic garlic for both its taste and health benefits, you are not alone! Most people believe that their garlic comes from the “Garlic Capital of the World” — California. Unfortunately, this is not true. A very large amount of the garlic we consume comes to us from China. In fact, America imported 138 million pounds of garlic from China just last year.
If you think that you are safe because you buy “organic” garlic, think again. Even garlic marked as organic cannot be trusted, as China has no official certification methods.
The Australian Garlic Industry Association has found that Chinese garlic is bleached. This garlic is sprayed with certain chemicals to make it stop sprouting, and turns it white, while killing insects at the same time. Some of the growing practices in China are also questionable. This same article states that Chinese garlic growers use raw human sewage in their fields to fertilize their crops. Henry Bell of the above Garlic Association also states that he believes Australian quarantine regulations are strict enough when it comes to testing imported produce for bacteria.
In China, garlic is heavily sprayed with a very toxic pesticide — methyl bromide — to kill insects. Exposure to this chemical alone is enough to damage both the central nervous system and the respiratory system.
This commonly imported garlic is also believed to be treated with growth inhibitors and then placed in cold storage as well as long term storage. Long term storage is especially problematic as the healthy levels of allicin, the active ingredient in garlic which makes it so healthy, declines over time. Garlic is best consumed when it is fresh and organically grown. There is absolutely no assurance that any of the garlic you buy from China are either of these things.
You can usually notice the difference quite easily between that fresh, California-grown and imported Chinese garlic by these three rules:
- American garlic normally has some roots remaining
- American garlic is normally larger and feels much heavier than Chinese garlic
- American garlic smells stronger and gives more flavor than imported garlic
You can also assure yourself that you are buying truly organic, American garlic by purchasing from local farmers or by growing some yourself! Garlic is easy to grow in small garden pots or in tall containers, such as 30-gallon trash cans.
Don’t risk your health by purchasing garlic from an unknown source. Always buy garlic from reputable locations that you know and trust.