Monday, June 27, 2016

Are You Eating Toxic Garlic?


Organic Garlic is one of our recent crop harvests and we are loving all of the savory meals we've made.  It's delicious and nutritious....IF it is homegrown or locally grown organically.

HOMEGROWN GARLIC grown organically


I've started this article and stopped several times in the last month. I wish our current food system wasn't so corrupt.  I wish we could trust the "decision makers" in our food system to choose what is best for consumer and not what is best for a companies "bottom line."  Growing our own food is one of many ways we fight the corrupt food system.

IMPORTED GARLIC: Notice the absence of roots

Chinese Garlic accounts for over 75% of the world's garlic supply.

In 2010, the United States imported 164.4 million pounds, or 74,531 MT, of fresh garlic valued at $130 million (FAS 2011). The United States also imported 30,170 MT of dried garlic valued at $32.6 million (FAS 2011). For all uses, the country imported 4119.4 MT of garlic (FAS 2011).

China accounted for the majority of total U.S. garlic imports. Other top suppliers of garlic to the United States were Argentina and Mexico.  source


"In little more than a year, a single Chinese company has flooded the U.S. market with 60 million pounds of garlic, almost half of it through the Port of Oakland, in a scheme to avoid penalties that protect domestic growers.

The dumping of Chinese garlic has severely hurt the U.S. industry. Half of California's biggest garlic packers have disappeared in the past decade, says industry leader Bill Christopher of Gilroy."

THAT isn't even the worst of it. The methods of Growing garlic in China are much different than Organic Growers in the US.  Add to that, imported crops are fumigated and you have a recipe for toxic products being fed to your family!



Toxic Chemical and Gamma Radiation


"Garlic can be whitened by using chlorine or with a mixture of sulphur and wood ash. Whitening garlic helps to make it look healthier and more attractive to consumers. In fact this obsession with white foods has lead to the bleaching of many food products (flour, salt, sugar) using chlorine dioxide or benzoyl peroxide.


Growth inhibitors are used to stop garlic from sprouting and can be made from hormones or chemicals. When garlic begins to sprout, the garlic clove loses much of its potency. Growth inhibitors together with gamma irradiation extend the shelf life of garlic.

Gamma radiation is also used to sterilise many products, and in Australia, this treatment is not accepted for foodstuffs. This does not prevent food treated by gamma radiation to enter the country."





Contamination


From the USDA,

"Potential food safety hazards in China stem from many sources. High crop yields and animal output from intensively cultivated land are achieved by widespread use of chemicals and veterinary drugs, some of which leave toxic residues on food. Banned toxic agricultural chemicals are still available through underground vendors. Even where they are not used, chemicals may still be present in the soil from use in past years or may drift when sprayed on adjacent fi elds. Many of China’s farms and food processors are situated in heavily industrialized regions where water, air, and soil are contaminated by industrial effl uents and vehicle exhaust. Hong Kong researchers

found heightened levels of lead and cadmium in tests of crop soils from the Pearl River Delta region of southern China (Wong et al.). Contamination from human and animal waste also contributes to poor water quality, partly because most rural areas lack sewage systems"

FILTH

From the USDA,

"FDA has cited over 50 different violations in its refusals of Chinese products, but most fall into a few general categories that include general filth, unsafe additives or chemicals, microbial contamination, inadequate labeling, and lack of proper manufacturer registrations.
 

Here, we analyzed the FDA data on refusals of Chinese food imports by violation for 2002-04 and 2007-08 to characterize the types of problems occurring in imports from China

Our tabulations show the most frequently occurring violations in Chinese shipments. The occurrence of violations in products from all countries for 2002-04 is shown for comparison. Note that this analysis is based on the total number of violations and that many refusals had multiple violations. For example, many fish refusal reports listed both veterinary drug residues and filth violations; each of these violations were counted separately in this part of the analysis. 

The most common violations during 2007-08 included “filthy” and unsafe additives, each of which accounted for 20 percent of violations. These violations together accounted for 42 percent of violations for China shipments, nearly double the share of violations from all countries (a combined 22 percent). “Filthy” violations occurred when the food appeared to contain a filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance (like human or animal hair, feces, insects, or dirt), was spoiled, or was otherwise unfi t for food (20 percent of violations for 2007-08 and 25 percent for 2002-04). This category also included some shipments rejected for containing non-nutritional substances or embedded foreign objects. Filthy violations occurred frequently for all types of products. Unsafe additives, including colorings or dyes, dulcin, cyclamate, and excess sulfite levels, accounted for 22 percent of 2007-08 violations. Melamine adulteration is included in this category. Unsafe additives were most common in fruit products. The unsafe additive share of violations in shipments from China is much higher than the share among shipments from all countries.

Human Waste (feces) 

From Nat Geo,

Nearly 200 million farmers in China, India, Vietnam, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America harvest grains and vegetables from fields that use untreated human waste.

Ten percent of the world's population relies on such foods, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

**I understand using Humanure practices on your own homestead.  It's a natural way to fertilize crops and as long as you aren't on pharmacueticals, it's a great option.  I do not agree with mass use of untreated human waste on commercial crops.  Especially not one as easy to grow as Garlic.


Last but certainly not least,  
METHYL BROMIDE


Chinese garlic  heavily fumigated with methyl bromide to get rid of any bugs. Methyl bromide is a very toxic hazard. Exposure to high concentrations can cause damage to the respiratory and central nervous systems, even death. According to the UN it is 60 times more damaging than chlorine and is the base of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons).

Chinese garlic is also contaminated with lead, sulfites and other unsafe compounds.

Chinese garlic may be treated with growth inhibitors and subjected to cold temperatures, as well as over-storage. Over storage is particularly problematic as levels of allicin, one of the major constituents in garlic responsible for its health benefits, start to decline over time.

From the EPA,

"Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant and pesticide.  Exposure may occur during fumigation activities.  Methyl bromide is highly toxic. Studies in humans indicate that the lung may be severely injured by the acute (short-term) inhalation of methyl bromide.  Acute and chronic (long-term) inhalation of methyl bromide can lead to neurological effects in humans.  Neurological effects have also been reported in animals.  Degenerative and proliferative lesions in the nasal cavity developed in rats chronically exposed to methyl bromide by inhalation.  Chronic inhalation exposure of male animals has resulted in effects on the testes at high concentrations.  EPA has classified methyl bromide as a Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity."



Why rely on imported, potentially toxic food items when it is simple and easy to grow it yourself?  I'm baffled.  Please consider a healthier, less-toxic source for your next meal.


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1 comment:

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

Garlic is so easy to grow and harvest! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures