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Old 28th May 2008, 01:00 PM   #1
welshie
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Beware of Chinese Garlic.

There is an interesting item in the latest Straight Furrow about the Chinese Garlic that is in NZ supermarkets. Apparently Chinese garlic is not grown to ANY standard! It is bleached to disguise imperfections and is grown in fertiliser that is harmful to humans. It seems that our lax labelling laws mean that importers don't have to reveal these "details"!
The item is written by the business development manager of a NZ Garlic company and also claims that MAF Biosecurity have kept very quiet about the details of disease in Chinese garlic in order to avoid political embarrassment. Additionally it is now accepted by the NZ garlic industry that Chinese garlic seed has carried many of the plant viruses that were not previously present in NZ, but are here now.
Makes you wonder what else we are not told!!
It's also worrying that lots of Kiwis plant this garlic in their gardens.
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Old 28th May 2008, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

I haven't bought Garlic for ages for this very reason and am going to try to get some from Koanga to plant myself as it is easy enough to grow, even for me. I notice now in the supermarkets they are labelling where the fruit and veg come from, well, mostly anyway, a lot has NZ on the signs now.
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Old 28th May 2008, 01:48 PM   #3
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by welshie View Post
There is an interesting item in the latest Straight Furrow about the Chinese Garlic that is in NZ supermarkets. Apparently Chinese garlic is not grown to ANY standard!
What vegetable is? Is there a beetroot standard in NZ for example?
Quote:
It is bleached to disguise imperfections and is grown in fertiliser that is harmful to humans. It seems that our lax labelling laws mean that importers don't have to reveal these "details"!
Fertiliser harmful to humans, that would include horse manure and lime and probably every commercial fertiliser available (in NZ)


Quote:
The item is written by the business development manager of a NZ Garlic company
So that would be an impartial opinion would it?


Sorry, but having grown up in the UK with food scare after food scare I have very little tollerance for scaremongering
Quote:
It's also worrying that lots of Kiwis plant this garlic in their gardens.
Why is it worrying? Yes the garlic has had some treatment, but can you tell me after 6 months growing in the ground what bad chemicals will be contained in the new growth?
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Old 28th May 2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Grow ya own, I reckon. Just gotta stick the stuff in the ground and wait 6 months... The trick is growing enough to last the year ofcourse, mine has run out already.... When faced with the choice of Chinese or US garlic, I bought US.
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Old 28th May 2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

We've grown our own since we got here and have always managed to get it from garden centres to plant, mainly because I assumed the supermarket stuff wouldn't work!
Oskatd is right though, getting the amount right is tricky! This year we have lots left so far, last year we ran out early!
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Old 28th May 2008, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

this year I will definitely be planting about 3 times what I did last year or even more, it only lasted a couple of months
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Old 28th May 2008, 03:33 PM   #7
ame
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Can you freeze it? Or can you mince it and put it in a jar? Google found a few suggestions, but I'd rather hear from someone who actually does it. (What I did find is you should never store raw garlic in oil as it can lead to botulism if not done properly).

A
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Old 28th May 2008, 04:05 PM   #8
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

I bought my freezer off an indian woman who used to freeze whole cloves of garlic, took years to get rid of the smell. Could have been worse though...
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Old 28th May 2008, 04:17 PM   #9
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Welshie's post is similar to my aussie understanding as well, and I haven't read anything from the NZ garlic industry at all.

I "thought" I read it from the Diggers catelogue from Victoria Aust. some years back. The thrust of the article I read was more about the sprays applied to the garlic prior to leaving China.
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Old 28th May 2008, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Garlic from China is required to be fumigated with methyl-bromide prior to arriving in New Zealand.
http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/ihs/garlic-prc.pdf
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Old 28th May 2008, 05:49 PM   #11
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

"I notice now in the supermarkets they are labelling where the fruit and veg come from"
yip, like the plums I saw today that were labelled "Plums- products of Chilli"
Ahem, what country was that again? Must be a fairly spicy variety then perhaps!
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Old 28th May 2008, 05:52 PM   #12
ame
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Oh noes!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromomethane

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Old 28th May 2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

I bought garlic for 'seed' today - finally found some, the bag had five bulbs in for $5.49, too much for me, do you want some tigger?
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Old 28th May 2008, 07:17 PM   #14
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Crikey Moggy, settle down. I don't think it's necessary to dissect and attack every sentence I write!
Yes, the author of the article I mentioned is in the NZ garlic industry but I see that as adding credibility to his words, rather than instantly deciding he is biased. I'd suggest he'd know a heck of a lot more about garlic growing and the importation issues than you (or me)!
I've been to China and in some areas have seen for myself the (hu)manure grow crops in! If you think that's nothing to worry about, and you're still happy to eat and plant Chinese garlic......then good for you. Personally I'll stick to growing my own from Koanga.

Tigger, my understanding from reading the reference you posted is that MAF accept the certification from China that the garlic is "safe".

I hope everyone takes a look at the wikipedia reference Ame has posted about Methyl bromide.
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Old 28th May 2008, 08:25 PM   #15
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Any garlic that has the root system removed is most likely from overseas, it you buy garlic make sure it still has the roots attached.
Growing it yourself is great too!
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Old 28th May 2008, 08:34 PM   #16
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ame View Post
Can you freeze it? Or can you mince it and put it in a jar? Google found a few suggestions, but I'd rather hear from someone who actually does it. (What I did find is you should never store raw garlic in oil as it can lead to botulism if not done properly).

A
You can freeze it, dry it or just leave it hanging for a year (if any cloves develop green sprouts either use them quickly or plant them
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Old 28th May 2008, 09:03 PM   #17
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by welshie View Post
I hope everyone takes a look at the wikipedia reference Ame has posted about Methyl bromide.
Haven't looked at the site but methyl bromide was used widely in NZ until banned for most uses because of the ozone issue. Still used in fumigation of timber for export and some imports as it is the only thing guaranteed to kill EVERYTHING.

Certainly not a substance you want to sniff but them the gases clear quite quickly so there is not going to be any on the garlic by the time it gets to the shop.

Still, we are growing our own this year simply because it is silly to ship it from China and the quality seems to be pretty poor at times.
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Old 28th May 2008, 10:29 PM   #18
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by welshie View Post
Crikey Moggy, settle down. I don't think it's necessary to dissect and attack every sentence I write!
calm down you posted it so you should be able to justify it. Yes Chinese garlic is treated (as is a lot of other stuff) but currently there is popular opinion against this. Back in the UK I got fed up of scare after scare about this food and that food, it almost seemed that eating anything meant you were commiting delayed suicide.
Yes I have bought chinese garlic, whatever it has been treated with has to be a fraction of the other chemicals digested from other foods. I still fail to see what "poisons" could be in the garlic six months on if you are growing it. Especialy considering the amount that is ingested iin a year.

It is not an attack on every sentence, just a question on it. People need to know potential dangers but it is so easy to distort the dangers in the written word. As I said thing dangerous to human health can include horse manure, I doubt many people would be jumping up and down saying ban horse manure.

Personally I will use chinese garlic to plant in the garden, I would rather though that I had enough of my own stuff that I did not need to
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Old 28th May 2008, 10:37 PM   #19
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Gidday

Moggy, the reason you shouldn't grow garlic, or anything else for that matter that comes from China is simp[ly our biosecurity is ten times better for something going to Little Barrier Island than it is for coming in from overseas and there is a very high likelyhood of the Chinese garlic being the carrier of some virus or other disease that this country neither has or wants. In other words, it is for your protection too.
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Old 28th May 2008, 10:44 PM   #20
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

I see your point, but if current legal practices say it is safe, then I will do what is convient to me and within the law. The treatment it has received prior to comming to the country should be enough to reduce the risk of infection, if not then the treatment itself should be re-evaluated
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Old 28th May 2008, 11:16 PM   #21
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

methyl bromide has been linked to motor neurone disease.
hasn't it??

Moggy, you might find chinese garlic doesn't grow as well or as big over time.

Last edited by clowder; 28th May 2008 at 11:24 PM..
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Old 28th May 2008, 11:49 PM   #22
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

I'm wary of anything produced in China. Pity Ms Clark and the FNDC mayor didn't feel the same as both seem to be hell bent on selling NZ to them. Garlic is going to be the least of our problems.

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Old 29th May 2008, 07:54 AM   #23
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Here's the original Straight Furrow article:

http://straightfurrow.farmonline.co....ope/82192.aspx
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Old 29th May 2008, 08:32 AM   #24
Andrea
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

Thanks for finding that article, tigger. I had posted something of the dangers of planting Chinese garlic when this came up a while back, but I had nothing as concrete as that article to back it up.

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Old 29th May 2008, 11:08 AM   #25
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Re: Beware of Chinese Garlic.

My understanding of chinese garlic is also that it fails to reproduce generous bulbs successfully...

I would be interested to hear if others have had success.
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