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!