Unfortunately, even though we often consume garlic, we know a little about this versatile vegetable.
China produces about 80 percent of all garlic sold around the world, while the amount of imported garlic by the U.S. grows every year. In 2014, we imported around 138 million pounds of garlic.
Hence, the chances the garlic we buy is imported from China are huge. Yet, the issue is that this garlic is loaded with harmful pesticides, and is heavily bleached.
Many Americans believe that the garlic they consume has been grown in California. Indeed, Gilroy in California proclaimed itself as the garlic capital of the world, being the biggest supplier, but the Chinese cheaper production won.
The low prices made the U.S. import garlic instead of producing it.
Yet, the Chinese foods are controversial in terms of safety. In the case of garlic, they initially use chlorine to bleach it, which is loaded with pesticides, grow it in sewage water, which is untreated, and might even be contaminated with lead.
As soon as the garlic is pulled out of the soil, it naturally has dirty stains, and the bleach is used to cover them up.
According to the Australian Garlic Industry Association Henry Bell, this technique of bleaching stops sprouting, makes it whiter, and destroys insects.
Yet, the fact is that the garlic is often fumigated with methyl bromide, which is a deadly toxin. In high levels, it leads to damage to the CNS i.e. central nervous system and to the respiratory system.
According to the UN, it is up to 60 times more harmful and dangerous than chlorine.
There is no doubt that our health is much more important than a bit lower price of the food we buy. Hence, we reveal three ways to spot American garlic and purchase it instead of the imported Chinese one:
The import regulations that China has to follow include one which asks garlic to be without the roots. Therefore, they remove it in order to prevent some illnesses and soil- borne diseases. The Americans do not do this, so if your garlic ha root leftovers, it is safe for consumption.
The imported Chinese garlic has a metallic taste, due to the allicin level, which contributes to its smell and taste.
The American garlic contains less water than the Chinese garlic, as it is around 42 percent solid, and the Chinese garlic is around 37 percent. Therefore, before you buy the garlic, squeeze it, and if it is firm, you can buy it right away.
If possible, find some local farmer and buy organic garlic from here, or ask for the origin of the garlic when you are at the market.