Chinese garlic is bleached. According to Henry Bell of the Australian Garlic Industry Association, garlic from China is sprayed with chemicals to stop sprouting, to whiten garlic, and to kill insects and plant matter. He also reports that garlic is grown in untreated sewage, “Bell also calls into question some growing practices in China. “I know for a fact that some garlic growers over there use raw human sewage to fertilise their crops, and I don’t believe the Australian quarantine regulations are strict enough in terms of bacteria testing on imported produce,” he says. “I also challenge the effectiveness of the Chinese methyl bromide fumigation processes.”
If you’re buying imported garlic then sometimes you’re even getting last year’s crop.”
And the taste? Garlic, like onions and other alliums, is made up of a range of enzymes and remarkably volatile sulphur compounds, which remain relatively inert until they are mixed. That is, once crushed or chopped, the compounds mix and react with the enzymes, accounting for the pungent sulphurous odour and that fantastic, rich taste. This volatility also explains the different effects you get from garlic depending on how you use it: whether you bake it whole (resulting in a sweet, nutty effect), add it to the pan early and fry it (aromatic and infused), or add it towards the end of cooking or eat it raw (bitingly pungent).
Once the clove has begun sprouting, much of the sulphurous energy has gone into producing the shoot and the clove has lost most of its potency. So whether you’re hoping to cook with it or use it as a natural health remedy, the fresher you get it, the better it will be.
Did you know that over 80 percent of the garlic sold worldwide comes from China? In fact, a large amount of garlic we consume here in America is from China.
Chinese garlic heavily fumigated with methyl bromide to get rid of any bugs. Methyl bromide is a very toxic hazard. Exposure to high concentrations can cause damage to the respiratory and central nervous systems, even death. According to the UN it is 60 times more damaging than chlorine and is the base of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons).
Chinese garlic is also contaminated with lead, sulfites and other unsafe compounds.
Chinese garlic may be treated with growth inhibitors and subjected to cold temperatures, as well as over-storage. Over storage is particularly problematic as levels of allicin, one of the major constituents in garlic responsible for its health benefits, start to decline over time.