Imported imposters

Meanwhile, in China...

In recent years there's been major scandals - and fatalities - involving pollutants in Chinese milk, baby food, toothpaste and even the paint for kid's toys. Sadly there are problems with garlic from China too- the main source for our supermarkets.

Because Chinese farmers lead harsh and humble lives they do whatever it takes to improve their meagre profits. This involves short cuts to get their snow-white-looking, cheap garlic onto our shelves. And importers, wholesalers and retailers have to make their profits too. Hence the overuse of chemicals and other high pressure ways to push their produce. Finally an Australian family gets garlic of very poor quality.

(Sadly the story with imported olive oil is just as bad. Extra virgin? Don't you believe it. Olive oil? Not necessarily - a lot of inferior oils can be in that attractive, low-priced bottle)

'Efficiency' in food production, measured only by profits made or cents saved in the mass market are at the expense of farmers, the environment, nutrition, health, flavour and the customers.

Here at Elmswood Farm we are delighted that you go to the effort of learning about and carefully evaluating what you eat. We hope you will appreciate our unique garlic. We are proud of it. Thanks for your support.

The Australian difference

australian garlic field

The truth is - garlic is a very labour intensive crop, particularly when grown without the use of chemicals. Our garlic is planted  by hand, weeded by hand - and pulled, hung to cure, trimmed and packed by hand.  With Australia swamped by inferior imported garlic, the local garlic industry has dramatically declined -  it's the second biggest decline of an Australian horticultural industry after tobacco, (perhaps no great loss.)But unlike tobacco quality garlic is very good for you. Poor quality garlic is not! Taste Patrice Newell's 'glamour garlic', alongside the cheap Chinese offering and you'll reach the same conclusion. Yes, it costs more. But it provides much more in quality, flavour and nutrition.Here's the advice of  the Australian Garlic Association:

  • Chinese garlic food growing standards and regulations are inferior to Australia's   
  • All Chinese imported garlic must, by Australian quarantine regulations, be fumigated with methyl bromide. This is to ensure Australia remains free of the 101 bugs and diseases to be found in China. Methyl bromide is a seriously dangerous broad spectrum, highly toxic, sterility agent. 
  • As well as being a particularly hazardous chemical for agricultural workers to have to handle, its acceptable consumer safety credentials have been withdrawn in numerous countries, industries and crops over the last couple of decade    
  • Chinese garlic may be subjected to cold and over storage and treated with growth inhibitors to prevent sprouting;For more visit this article:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicure/fresher-and-smellier/2005/07/18/1121538895265.html