So my little tweet on Saturday after a visit to Jan Power’s Farmers Markets has resulted in those markets announcing they will no longer allow Chinese garlic to be sold. YAY!
A huge thanks to Spencer Howson from 612 ABC radio for seeing my tweet and airing a segment on Monday morning, with Sammy Power from Jan Power’s Farmers Markets and I both interviewed. You can listen to it here and you can read the subsequent story on the ABC website here.
The best part was Sammy announcing that no stall holder at any Jan Power’s Farmers Market would be allowed to sell Chinese garlic. It’s a massive win, all due to one little tweet that generated quite a bit of community outrage. However it would also be good to see some transparency around who the nine Australian garlic sellers at these markets are…
All we need to do now is encourage a complete ban on this awful “food”. And yes, I say “food” as I personally don’t want to eat anything that has been gamma irradiated, sprayed with Maleic Hydrazide (a growth inhibitor – seriously, do you really want to eat that?), bleached to make it look white or fumigated with Methyl Bromide. All of which happens with Chinese garlic (by which I mean garlic that is imported from China – it’s not a variety of garlic, in case you are wondering).
However, according to the Australian Garlic Producers website, 95% of garlic in Australia is imported from China. It feels like a very uphill battle.
So, what can you do?
Well for starters, please don’t buy Chinese garlic. It’s easy to recognise as it’s usually glow-in-the-dark white (thanks to all those nasty chemicals), and it’s often sold in bulk in little bags. These little bags are also clearly labelled as being from China.
If you see Chinese garlic at your local food markets (and it’s there at far too many…) please ask the market organisers to place a ban on it – and explain its evils if they ask why.
Instead, if you’re in Australia, buy beautiful Australian garlic. Yes it’s more expensive, however because it’s flavour is so much stronger than nasty Chinese garlic, you won’t need as much. I learnt this recently when I used three cloves in a meal for four people and I still had garlic breath a few days later…
There are loads of different varieties of garlic grown in Australia, including both purple and white (I love the purple). If you’re not sure, then ask.
* Just note that it’s not currently the Australian garlic season, so any Australian garlic you buy between now and September is from last season – but it’s still waaaay better than Chinese garlic.
If you frequent any of Jan Power’s Farmers Markets in Brisbane can you please do me a huge favour and check that no Chinese garlic slips back in. As garlic eaters, we all need to be vigilant about ensuring it stays out. Thank you.
I should add that while my tweet focused on Chinese garlic, I personally have a big issue with farmers markets that have re-sellers with food that has not come directly from a farm, and an even bigger issue with farmers markets that allow ANY imported food to be sold. But this is the subject for another post.
Have you bought Chinese garlic before? Will you continue to? And why?