There is an interesting fact that over 80 percent of China garlic are sold worldwide, which means that a large amount of garlic we consume can be right this one. For instance, the U.S. imported 138 million pounds of garlic from China in 2015.
Even the fact that California is called the “Garlic Capital of the World,” in reality the garlic was shipped from China. You can see on the label that it is an “organic” garlic from China, but this organic certification method cannot be regular in many cases.
CHINA GARLIC SPRAYED AND BLEACHED WITH CHEMICALS
Henry Bell from the Australian Garlic Industry Association states that garlic from China is sprayed with chemicals in order to stop it sprouting on the shelf, then it is bleached with chlorine to make it look white and healthy. In addition, it has by law been fumigated with methyl bromide to kill bugs and plant matter.
Bell also emphasized some growing practices in China, for example, that some garlic growers use raw human sewage to fertilize their crops. Because of that, he suggested the Australian quarantine regulations to be strict enough in terms of bacteria-testing on imported products. He also wants to challenge the effectiveness of the Chinese methyl bromide fumigation processes.
Heavy fumigation with methyl bromide to get rid of any bugs, leads to toxifying with pesticide chemicals. For this reason, exposure to high concentrations of it can cause damage to the respiratory and central nervous systems, and in some cases even death. According to the UN, the methyl bromide is 60 times more damaging than chlorine and is the base of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons).
According to lab analyses, the Chinese garlic is also contaminated with lead, sulfites and other unsafe compounds.
It may be also treated with growth inhibitors and subjected to cold temperatures.
HOW TO SPOT CHINA GARLIC
For you who are not aware yet, it is easy to find the difference between local farmer-grown fresh garlic and imported garlic.
Local Farmer-Grown Garlic
– It has some of the roots left on the bottom.
– It is heavier than imported garlic.
– Its taste is rich and much more flavorful.
Garlic from China
– No root as they have been treated
– Feels less bulbous and lighter
– It is less flavorful, almost bland.