Buyer beware: Eating Chinese garlic is a risky health decision
(NaturalHealth365) It’s hard to find a reason not to eat garlic. Aside from the wonderful depth of taste, the long list of garlic health benefits offer plenty of incentive to add it to dishes of all types. No wonder it’s one of the world’s most popular herbs! But, as many consumers are learning, Chinese garlic is definitely something to avoid – as you’ll soon see.
The reason? Garlic imported from this country is contaminated with potentially toxic chemicals – and the nation’s industry standards for cultivating garlic is leaving a really bad taste in people’s mouths.
Warning: Chinese garlic is contaminated with chemicals
Garlic is native to Asia and the Middle East and is a close relative to other vegetables from the onion family, including onions, leeks, chives, and shallots. And, although within the U.S., Gilroy, California has been nicknamed the “Garlic Capital of the World” – world trade practices have changed quite a bit over the years.
Botanically speaking, garlic is a veggie because it comes from an edible plant with leaves and a bulb, although most people consider garlic to be one of the most popular herbs in the world.
Proven garlic health benefits include improved blood pressure readings, lower cholesterol , better immune function and a smaller risk of blood clots. Garlic has also been shown to be an effective antimicrobial and can help naturally treat conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and upper respiratory infections.
But here’s the problem we as consumers are facing:
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According to many health-related resources, about 80% of the world’s supply of organic garlic – yes, organic garlic – is shipped from China. And natural health watchdogs are finding that the standards and methods of “organic certification” in China is iffy at best.
For one thing, China is able to produce such cheap garlic because of the way its cultivated. Many Chinese farmers use bleach (yes, bleach!) to whiten their “organic” garlic and kill bugs on the harvest.
Chinese garlic also tends to be exposed to cold temperatures, treated with compounds that will control or inhibit its growth after harvest, and over-stored – all of which will decrease the amount of allicin found in garlic, which is a natural compound that’s a major factor in garlic health benefits.
Also, consider the serious pollution problem that China is facing right now. High levels of air pollution throughout the nation is directly linked to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, and investigations indicate that Chinese soil and water are both loaded with heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic as well as high concentrations of fertilizers and pesticides.
Some Chinese garlic farmers are even believed to use pesticides and herbicides that contain illegal and powerful neurochemicals like parathion and phorate. There’s just no way that these harmful compounds aren’t getting into the food that the Chinese industry is shipping out to the rest of the world.
Really makes you wonder what’s on your plate, right?
Consuming garlic regularly will boost your health – here’s how to avoid low quality Chinese garlic
For what it’s worth, our team here at NaturalHealth365 uses organic garlic – grown locally. But, if that’s not possible – you may want to look at buying your garlic from McFadden Farms. And, no, we are not being paid to suggest this company!
Bottom line: no matter what garlic you go with, it’s clear that you should avoid garlic imported from China.
To help you avoid the troublesome herbs, here are a few tips:
- Chinese garlic tends to be lighter and less bulbous (an ingenious if not disingenuous hack used to save on shipping costs)
- Chinese garlic doesn’t taste as rich or bold as American organic garlic
- Chinese garlic typically has its roots removed, whereas American garlic does not
- Do your research on companies selling organic garlic powder – it’s possible that they are using imported garlic from China!
Lastly, for the ultimate peace of mind, buy your garlic from your local farmer’s market or consider growing it yourself.
Sources for this article include: