The first option was four bulbs of garlic packaged in white plastic netting @ 99 cents, which I noticed were imported from China. What the…? Why China? Apparently China has a very tight grip on the world garlic market and produce about 500,000 tonnes per year. The next biggest producer is the USA, with 70,000 tones per year. Over 90% of garlic sold in Australia is imported, mainly from China. The siteRipe Organics states, “Unlike imported garlic (especially garlic from China) organic garlic is never treated with methyl bromide, never bleached with chlorine and never treated with growth inhibitors or gamma irradiation to stop it sprouting.” So, I didn’t buy organic, but I did buy the next best thing.
The next option was Australian grown garlic for $3.98 a kg. So I chose Australian grown (of course), and chose the four biggest bulbs I could get my hands on, bunged them in my reusable shopping bag. We proceeded to the checkout, and I noticed that the price was only 88 cents for twice the amount of garlic than I would have received if I had have chosen the Chinese import.It just goes to show, that even though the packaged garlic looked cheaper, the Australian product was better value and has definitely travelled far less food miles. Ben was with us, so I explained to him why it was important to try and buy local produce, and he fully understood. I must admit that sometimes it is difficult to pick which product is better value for money, but because I chose in line with my values, I ended up a winner!
I wonder how many people when confronted with a similar choice, would have chosen the 99 cent garlic? I am so glad I planted some garlic this year. It is still growing well, and should be ready for harvest after December. I bet the bulbs will taste as good as the leaves do! You can’t get more local than that.