Imported Garlic Unhealthy



For anyone buying and using garlic for health and cooking, it would be wise to learn where the garlic was grown.

Despite the fact that the U.S. uses 150 million pounds of garlic annually, the United States grows only five percent of the world's garlic. In 1992, the U.S. imported between 3 and 4 million pounds from China. In 1994, that amount was over 64 million pounds.

Garlic from Pakistan, the Philippines and Uzbekistan are now also coming to the U.S. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico are several other countries exporting garlic to the U.S. These countries still use pesticides and herbicides that have been banned in the U.S.

Imported garlic is treated with growth inhibitors and has been bleached with chlorine to make it look white which makes it appear healthy.

Garlic imported from China has also been fumigated with Methyl Bormide. Methyl Bromide is a very dangerous chemical that is toxic to all living things. The chemical is used to kill insects and other diseases on soil matter. Methyl Bromide can cause kidney damage and can adversely affect the central nervous system to the point where it can be fatal.

An organization called Americans for Wholesome Foods reports that imported garlic has also been found to contain lead, arsenic and sulfites.

Garlic grown in countries other than the US are fertilized with raw human sewage so E. coli and salmonella are possible contaminants as well.

The compound in garlic that gives it it's health benefits is allicin. Tests show that garlic grown in California contain 19 percent more allicin than any imported garlic.

Garlic grown in California has a little brush of roots on the bottom of the bulb and a stem. Garlic from China has but cut smooth to ensure no soil or disease organisms are exported with the bulbs. California garlic is also heavier and has a richer taste than imported garlic.

The only other solution to eating healthful garlic is to grow it yourself. Garlic can be easily grown in any backyard vegetable garden.

For more information on the health benefits and growing garlic visit these pages:

Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
Email: Current address on website