Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Changing the World One Garlic at a Time

I don't profess to know anything about the grocery store business, and certainly nothing about supply and demand and consumer habits, but I do know that when you live in a province and country that produces and exports a food product, you should be able to purchase that product in your local grocery store.
Case in point.  I live in Ontario.  Ontario produces wonderful, gorgeous, delicious and a variety of garlic.  Garlic keeps like onions over the winter in cold storage.

Most Ontario grocery stores have NO Ontario garlic, but Chinese Garlic.  And there is a market for it.
Vist the blog of Heather Cameron and read about her organic farm Missing Goat where they sold out of garlic this year.

And I'm just not comfortable with my garlic's Carbon Footprint not to mention the farming practices of some foreign countries.  It's not a food staple so I think we could all pay a little more (although that makes no sense why foreign veg is cheaper)

I know you are thinking that I am a silly old cow for droning on about garlic.  What kind of a cause is this.  BUT.  Multiply that by the number of foreign food products x a zillion retailers and that's a big point.

I have made it my mission to be the Crazy Garlic Lady.  Garlic has become symbolic for me.
Everytime I am in the grocery store, I ask the produce manager, clerk, Big Cheese manager, whoever........ if they have any Ontario Garlic.  Then I tell them they should.

It's been a few months and no change.  In the meantime I buy it from local farmers at roadside stands and farmers markets which are increasingly being brought into cities.
So my teeensy weensy contribution to Suzan's Project Genesis this month is to drone on about this silly little Grocery Store Misdemeanor.


  1. I totally agree with you on this one. Last year we watched The 100 Mile Challenge on the Food Network and it really made us conscious of where our food comes from.
    We grew garlic in our garden this year. They are rather small and I must read up a little more on them but at least I know where they came from, along with 30 and counting jars of tomato sauce and 13 jars of tomatoes I've put up in the past month.
    I love the farmer's markets and go every week if I can in summer.
    So drone on!!!

  2. I couldn't agree more. If we were to buy "home grown" it would save the earth and probably help the economy. We should export it and sell it locally. Makes no sense does it? Have a great day dear!

  3. I don't think you are crazy at all. They must ship it out and sell it because they make more money that way. Certainly doesn't make sense to me when you have something in your own backyard and don't even have any on hand to sell to the locals. I live in a country where there's not much local produce. Hard to grow anything in the desert, so most of what we get is shipped in every day from other Arab countries. No farmers market. I am able to grow tomatoes during the winter time. Still a few months before cooler weather will arrive around here. Keep hounding them. There's so much that just doesn't make sense these days in the food industry which is why I am now vegetarian. Wishing you all the best, Tammy

  4. Food economics seems to be riddle with examples like this that appear to make no sense at all - it is very bizarre. I think all anyone can do is change their little habits one at a time, and hopefully effect a bigger change.
    As for fresh garlic - it is truly amazing. My husband's family is from the South of France, where every year they have huge garlic festivals - they are amazing!

  5. Well, grocery stores should be at OUR mercy, because what the customer wants, the customer usually gets, ie; trans-fat free foods, and more organic produce. So, what should we all do to see that we get more local produce at our grocery store?

  6. So glad you posted this, Chania! We find ourselves endlessly furstrated because we live in the farm-rich area of Surrey, BC..yet grocery stores bring in produce from everywhere else, even at the peak of growing season! Our challenge this summer was finding local peas -best when eaten raw from their shells! They never did show up in the chain stores and we only found them a few times at local markets!?!

    Your point is a good one...I might join the cause and become Crazy Pea Lady! Love your photos, too..

  7. Im with you on the local garlic crusade! when I lived in ON I was always on the lookout in the big grocery stores....but it was never stocked.
    I would go to the farmers markets and get it when I could find it.

  8. Chania,

    Now just imagine if that same grocer of yours heard form 50 ladies that day about wanting locally grown garlic, and onions and tomatoes....

    We didn't used to be such pushovers as consumers, we have allowed corporations to dictate to us instead of the other way around. We all can vote with our voices, and our wallets, not just at the polls.

    This was great!

    Thank you Crazy Garlic Lady for joining us today! Keep it up...
    Crazy with purpose is good!


  9. I like your post today !!...happy Ria...

  10. Local is the way to go if you can. It's better for everybody.

  11. Okay, so did you know that there is a Garlic Festival every years in Gilroy, California? You'd fit right in!

    Your point is well taken, I live in Georgia, The Peach State and our grocery stores carry them from all over. Not only that, they are horrible tasting, nothing like a ripe peach right off the tree.

    I always check to see where the produce came from when I shop. If I can't buy it locally, I at least try to get if from somewhere in our region.

    Thanks, Crazy Garlic Lady, loved your post!

  12. There's nothing crazy about this - it's good to remind us all to think more about our food's carbon footprint.


  13. No, I do not think you are a silly cow, quite the contrary...only by droning on about this, causing conversation and voting with our dollar will we affect change.
    So...with my own two hands, I applaud you Crazy Garlic Lady!

  14. Chania - you've said it all in a garlic clove! My sentiments exactly. One reason why we grow our own veg!

  15. You aren't silly. It's the 'little' people doing little things that make a difference. I think we all know what waiting around for the 'big boys' to make a change will do. Not much.

  16. Bravo! I am vigilant about avoiding anything from China. More like Virtous Garlic Lady! olive♥

  17. This is a REALLY important and valid point. It makes NO SENSE to EXPORT local (and have none available for consumption) and to IMPORT foreign. There are stats somewhere that told me they exported a kazillion tons of something or other and imported exactly the same kazillions back OF THE SAME TYPE OF PRODUCT. It drives me BANANAS!!!!! [Just about broke my keyboard with that one:) ]But just as you say, multiply this by all of the ridiculous decisions made simply to keep money rolling in and out of some multinational's purse at HUGE expense to the planet and to the non-wealthy of the world, and you have hitupon something very much bigger than garlic. VERY interesting post - thank you so much. Now we need to find out how many of these situations exist and start asking whoever is responsible WHY!!!!!!!

  18. It doesn't make sense that your local store doesn't have local produce. Keep on asking though, they may stock it just to keep you quiet!!

  19. I've known for yrs that the garlic in grocery stores came from still amazes me...CHINA??
    buying locally always makes more sense!

  20. I Totally agree with your mission. It is the same here in Tasmania. We grow wonderful garlic here but often all you can get at the supermarket is from China as well. So wrong!!! I have planted a lot this year :)

  21. Fun post Crazy Garlic Lady...I love it! Why not grow your own...
    Wonderful idea; Thank you~ I love to work my green thumbs~


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania