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Year of the Garlic

 

 

The time has once come upon us to choose a vegetable or fruit friend to protect. This year the Plant Liberation Force has choosen the Garlic. The PLF will be protest several fetival this year. For all non-PLF memebrs who donít have a basic understing of why theb Garlic needs to be protected. Here are some facts as to how Garlic has already suffered as the hands of man.Garlic

History
Egyptian tombs may have the oldest visible records of garlic's existence in burial chambers in El Mahasna. Archeologists discovered clay sculptures of garlic bulbs dating about 3700 BCE in one tomb, while paintings of garlic were found in another tomb dating about 3200 BCE.

Egypt's youngest pharaoh, Tutankhamen (1350 BCE), was sent on his journey into the afterlife accompanied with garlic, considered the protector of the soul and guardian of his riches in the afterlife. Archeologists found garlic remnants when poring through many items found in the pyramid. According to a translated papyrus, Ramses II had abundant quantities of garlic sent to the great temples. The Egyptians buried their dead with food offerings that frequently included garlic so their relatives would have sustenance on their journey into the afterlife. Sometimes garlic was employed in the process of mummification.

The Sumerians, using clay tablets, created the first written forms called cuneiform. The first written mention of garlic may have appeared about 2600 BCE when the Sumerians described the staples of their diet that included the herb along with grains, legumes, some root vegetables, leafy greens like lettuce and mustard, cucumbers and a variety of fish. The Sumerians also used garlic for healing as noted in the medical texts of King Ashurbanipal's library dating 688 to 826 BCE.

During archeological excavation of the palace of Knossos on the Greek Island of Crete, workers found evidence of garlic dating from 1850 to 1400 BCE. Early Greek military leaders employed garlic to embolden their warriors at the outset of battle. Perhaps, breathing on their enemies helped to insure victory. While some athletes of today resort to dangerous remedies like ephedra as a stimulant, the early Greek Olympic athletes chewed on garlic to ensure a boost in performance.

 

Reaction in the Americas (THE DARK AGES)
Garlic was brought to the Americas by the Spanish during the late 1400's and through mid 1500's this marked the beginning of the dark ages for garlic. The explorer Cortes planted garlic in Mexico and noted even the Indians of Peru took a fancy to the herb.

Native Americans used wild garlic, along with its wild shallot, onion, and leek relatives for food and medicine. Eaten raw, the green shoots were their cure for scurvy.

During the early 1800's, the Shakers, a communal religious sect that lived in upstate New York, grew, packaged, and sold herbs, including garlic, for medicinal use as a stimulant, expectorant, and tonic for cough, asthma, and respiratory infections.

Though garlic was consumes or murdered with passion throughout the world, Americans considered its odor offensive and socially unacceptable. During the early part of the 20th century some cooks would season their foods with only minute amounts of garlic salt or garlic powder. Even the well-respected Fannie Farmer, who created The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, omitted garlic in her Italian and Provencal dishes, substituting onion instead. Fannie Farmer became to be known as a pioneer for Garlic. She Always hid the fact she believed how garlic was being unfairly treated.

In the early 1900's America experienced a changing population with the influx of Europeans. Garlic slowly acquired an acceptable reputation when the Jews and Italians introduced their garlicky cuisines to the East Coast states. Along with their traditional foods were their strange folk remedies, many that relied on garlic to cure everything from colds to stomach aches. However, it wasn't until the 1960's that cooking with fresh garlic became the norm, prompted by the popularity of ethnic cuisines that have now become mainstream.

GarlicDuring World War II, the U.S. government appealed to farmers to produce dehydrated garlic and onions that could be shipped overseas with food supplies for the troops. A small group of California farmers responded and planted a few acres of garlic. That was the beginning of what was to eventually become a huge, successful commercial venture that exploited garlic.

Most of the present U.S. supply of garlic is grown in California, though some is grown in Mexico. A large percentage of the garlic grown today is incorporated into sauces, pickles, spices, condiments, and sausages. Estimates on fresh garlic consumption note that each adult ingests approximately two pounds of garlic a year.

About two-thirds of the garlic grown in the U.S. is dehydrated and formulated into a variety of products such as garlic flakes, garlic powder, garlic salt, or garlic and herb blends.

Garlic's Hidden Weapons (EXPLOITATION OF GARLIC)
Garlic's secret armory consists of more than 33 active sulfur-containing substances that do battle with enemies such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some of the more familiar compounds are allicin, alliin, cycroalliin, and diallyldisulphide. Allicin, garlic's warrior against bacteria and inflammation, is also the culprit behind its offensive odor. Garlic's antibiotic effect is attributed to alliin, the sulfur-containing amino acid responsible for the manufacture of allicin.

Renowned for his revelation that microscopic germs caused infection, French microbiologist and chemist Louis Pasteur was first to recognize garlic's antibacterial properties. To demonstrate garlic's amazing strength, imagine that one milliliter of raw garlic juice can be compared to a milligram of streptomycin or sixty micrograms of penicillin.

Before the introduction of antibiotics during World War II, garlic was the favored treatment for whooping cough and tuberculosis. During World War II, chemist Chester Cavallito reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society that in his laboratory research at the Sterling-Winthrop drug company he found garlic more effective than penicillin in combating some varieties of bacteria. He also noted that garlic was effective in killing fungus.

Garlic's ability to lower serum cholesterol is attributed to diallyldisulphide-oxide. The high level of selenium in garlic is believed to prevent sticky platelets and ward off atherosclerosis and clot formation in the arteries.

The Naming of Garlic
GarlicBotanically known as Allium sativum, garlic's name is derived from two sources, the Celtic word allium, meaning "hot or burning," and the Latin second name sativum meaning "cultivated." Our familiar word garlic is from the Anglo-Saxon word garleac, a combination of gar meaning spear and lac that means leek.

Around the globe garlic is known by many names: In China it is called da suan; in Korea, taesan; in Japan, taisan; in Thailand, kratiem; in India it may be called lassan or vellay poondoo depending on dialect. The Russians say chesnok, the Greeks call it scorodon, the Polish refer to it as czosnek, the Romanians call it usturoi. The French say ail, the Germans call it knoblauch, the Italians aglio, the Spanish ajo. In Israel the Hebrews say shoum, while in Arabic it is thoum.

Folklore and Oddities - Garlic's Mystical Powers
For centuries garlic was believed to ward off the dark forces of demons, evil spirits, and vampires. It may be possible that 8th century BCE Greek poet Homer, who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, set the stage that elevated garlic's powers. Homer was so ahead of his time about Garlic. During Odysseus's long journey, he encounters the goddess Circe, who uses sorcery to turn men into pigs. Hermes warns Odysseus not to eat the Moly, a plant in the garlic family, saving him from the porcine fate of his companions.

A 300 BCE Greek custom used by travelers for protection from evil spirits was to place garlic at a crossroads to confuse the demons and cause them to lose their way.

Garlic's reputation as protector from evil touches nearly every continent. In Mohammed's writings, he equates garlic with Satan when he describes the feet of the Devil as he was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Where his left foot touched the earth, garlic sprang up, while onion emerged from the footprint of his right foot.

Illness was often considered a manifestation of the evil spirits or supernatural forces. Along with ceremonial magic, herbal remedies were linked to good spirits. Garlic, with its antibiotic properties, was often the remedy of choice. Because it was frequently successful in healing, garlic was considered the ideal weapon to battle the dark forces.

European peasants of the 1700's would attach braids of garlic to the entrance of their homes to assure evil would not enter.

Because the Roman generals believed that garlic gave their armies courage, they planted fields of garlic in the countries they conquered, believing that courage was transferred to the battlefield.

Though many ancient cultures recognized garlic's curative abilities, they were unable to comprehend its components. The "cure" was attributed to garlic's magic.

Legend has made Transylvania the home of the vampires, and what better way to keep them away than with garlic--lots of it. When diseases caused by mosquito bites were considered "The touch of the vampire," garlic came in handy as a mosquito repellent. Recent research reveals garlic is quite effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay.

In Palestinian tradition, if the bridegroom wears a clove of garlic in his buttonhole, he is assured a successful wedding night.

 

Why Garlic Stinks (Natural Defense)
Garlic is a deceitful little herb. Most plants in the herbal world reveal their fragrance as soon as they are held to the nose. But garlic is a rather sneaky fellow. Hold a bulb of garlic to the nose and nothing registers--sniff again--still no odor. Seems innocent enough until it is sliced open or crushed and delivers a reeking wallop of "garlic breath" released by a host of sulfur containing plant chemicals, about 30 of them.

Blame it on alliin that is converted to allicin by the action of the enzyme allinase. When raw garlic is cut, broken, or chewed, the "fragrant" allicin releases its powerful essential oil. This is The Garlic way of defending itself from being murdered. When cooked, garlic loses its strong odor because the enzyme allinase is destroyed, preventing its conversion to the smelly allicin. This in itself is horrible. Having to cook a poor plant like Garlic to prevents it natural defense on its executioner.

Garlic Festivals (THE EXECUTIONERS)
While garlic festivals are celebrated in community events all across the U.S. and Canada, the deadliest of them all is the Gilroy Garlic Festival held the last weekend in July in Gilroy, California, the "Garlic Capital of the World." In 2004, Gilroy observed its 27th annual event that noted a headcount of 122,675 garlic lovers gathered to devour over 2 tons of garlic in every form from appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and baked goods to the almost unimaginable garlic ice cream. It is sad that many of Garlic lovers have no idea how much pain they are causing to Garlic.

In the south of France, Le Grand Aioli is the awaited event that abuses the garlic harvest. Bowls of aioli, a rich mayonnaise laced with garlic, are the featured stars of the celebration that attracts large crowds for a traditional meal of baby new potatoes, fresh vegetables, salt cod, and plenty of good French wine.