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The Garlic Debate

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At some point in the afternoon yesterday, the number one most emailed piece on the NYTimes.com was "Unlocking the Benefits of Garlic," which was about a recent study that revealed why, exactly, eating the bulb was good for you. While that in itself might not be so surprising, I did a doubletake when I realized that the article ran over a month ago, on October 15th, in Well, the paper's health blog. Then I did a few more doubletakes, when I read the following line—"Now, the downside. The concentration of garlic extract used in the latest study was equivalent to an adult eating about two medium-sized cloves per day," and when I saw various reader postings about popping raw garlic cloves like pills (as well as doing much more disturbing things—like putting cloves in between toes, in ears, and various other body parts). As a huge garlic fan, I see no downside to eating several cloves a day (only joy, especially when cooked in the following garlic-heavy recipes). But what I found most offputting was how a food item so intrinsically delicious was being viewed as a chore to eat, purely for health benefits (though to their credit, several readers wrote in about how much they loved the taste). Sad to say that if the piece instead were on ten great-tasting ways to cook garlic, I'm sure it wouldn't be the most emailed story—at least not over one month later.

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