Did you know garlic protects against vampires? Our family has been eating at least two garlic bulbs a week for years, and no vampires have ever attacked usâ€¦. However, we donâ€™t get invited to parties often, hmm?
All jokes aside, our family DOES eat a lot of garlic. Between our favorite Italian, Mexican, French, and Southwestern recipesâ€”it seems we use garlic in nearly every nightly meal. The average American consumer eats 3 lbs of garlic, I would guess our family doubles, if not triples that amount.
So, I have made the decision to attempt to grow organic garlic. You might be saying, â€œwhy would she fill up valuable garden space with a vegetable that is so inexpensive at the grocery store?â€. The reason has nothing to do with fear of Transylvanians, but with concern with food coming from China. The Chinese have been shipping (both legally and illegally) garlic into the U.S. at rates that U.S. farmers simply cannot compete with. Thatâ€™s right, the same Chinese that sold us murderous pet food, tainted toothpaste and lead-based childrenâ€™s toys.
The Chinese are able to cheaply ship this food, since they have no food, environmental, or workplace health or safety restrictions. Our government can only inspect about 1-2% of shipments coming into our ports, and actually tests far fewer products than it (quickly) visually inspects. Previous instances of tainted garlic and â€œdumpingâ€ (shipping large amounts to drive down prices of a commodity so US farmers cannot compete) led the U.S. to impose tariffs on Chinese garlic. The Chinese simply shipped garlic elsewhere and claimed that country as the country of origin.
If you think I am being a little bit of a Chicken Little, NPR and the Washington Post also are concerned about the health risks of Chinese garlic:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=11613477http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00423.html
Even U.S. garlic has its drawbacks. The California garlic fields have been hit by some nasty fungal disease over the last few years. Here are some reports of what is put on the garlic in the U.S:
Tebuconazole is a fungicide, widely used: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Che ... Id=PC35028
Pesticides widely used:http://www.pesticideinfo.org/DS.jsp?sk=14007
Garlic is an integral ingredient in our familyâ€™s food life. I wouldnâ€™t let my kids ride their bike without a helmet, so why would I potentially expose them to lead, arsenic, other heavy metals, fungicide, pesticide, or other dangers?
When I get some time, I will add my wonderful garlic buying experience and how I am going to try to grow garlic here in our warm winter climate (I hope!).www.txwormranch.com