Don’t Eat Chinese Garlic Grow Your Own Instead

Garlic is one of the most easily recognized flavors and it’s loved by many. Late summer fun includes garlic festivals where one can enjoy garlicky foods you wouldn’t ordinarily think of, like garlic ice cream or garlic funnel cakes. There’s still time to plan a trip to garlic festivals on the East Coast, like the Pocono Garlic Festival in Pennsylvania.

Where ever you get your garlic, don’t buy it from the grocery stores as that stuff comes from China. No kidding! Check your shaker of garlic powder and see what it says in the small print…Made in China! Evidently, you have to buy the gourmet version from McCormick Spices to enjoy California-grown garlic.

Instead of buying food that comes from the other side of the Earth, get some locally grown garlic. Garlic grown locally will have the freshest taste just like all the other vegetables at the local fruit stand. Supporting your local farmers keeps your money in your community and that’s something worth the drive.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind getting in the dirt, grow your own garlic. It’s very easy and you’ll have enough to share with your neighbors and friends.

  • Pick an area that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day.
  • Prepare the soil by adding compost or organic materials until it can be worked easily.
  • Break apart a garlic bulb into its separate cloves.
  • Poke holes in the soil, one for each clove, about 2 inches deep and six inches apart.
  • Insert a clove in each hole with the pointy end up.
  • Cover the holes and mulch well with leaves or straw for winter protection.

Some garlic may sprout before the winter, especially if planted right after harvesting the garlic in the heat of summer. That’s ok because any sprouts that grow big enough can be pulled up and roasted or chopped and added to vegetables or salads.

Where Does Your Garlic Come From?

Garlic is one of those kitchen staples that we can’t seem to do without. Rice stir-fries, steamed veggies, pasta, seafood, steaks, potatoes … all these dishes go better with garlic, don’t you think?

We grow garlic in our garden because we love to eat it, but I have a revelation for you. We also enjoy growing it because what is offered in the grocery stores now comes from China. Surprised? Probably not as so many other things we buy come from there.

I found Made in China labels on packaged garlic bulbs in the produce section and also on powered garlic in the spice aisle of my local grocery store. Knowing that California grows lots of garlic, I was quite surprised about this so I called McCormick, the spice company, to ask them about it.

The young-sounding customer service person did a fine job reading the canned responses to my simple questions, but he was stumped when I asked him why did they sell food products from China?

When pressed on this issue it was offered that a gourmet version of garlic powder (the one with the black lid and glass container) contained California-grown garlic. The garlic powders and garlic salts with the red lids were…Made in China! So, if you don’t want to eat garlic produced halfway round the world, you’ll have to buy the more expensive gourmet spices from McCormick.

Alternatively, get to a local vegetable stand and pick up some locally produced garlic. Ask the people there where does this food come from? We all should strive to know more about the foods we eat and where they come from. If we all consumed more food that is produced locally, more of our dollars would stay in our communities and not disappear to lands so far away.

Buying foods locally helps to reduce the burden of transportation on the Earth by reducing pollution and the use of fossil fuels, not to mention the impact on global warming. Local produce is the freshest one can get and that’s got to be healthier for us. Support your local farmers and buy fresh, local produce. ‘Tis the season!