The Spice Trade

Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients

Vegetarianism, diets in the world, and their impact on food pricing

Photo: Matthew Rutledge

Many people initially scoff when they find out someone they know is a vegetarian. Their common response being something along the lines of: “What about protein?” or “Animals are still going to die.” But vegetarianism is a lot more than that, besides the fact that there are still countless vegetarian sources of protein. Dairy to Lentils and other Pulses just being the tip of the iceberg. In fact, a counter-argument is now being proposed. Research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that long-term vegetarians have a longer life expectancy than short-term vegetarians (and of course higher than meat-eating … keep reading

Asafoetida, the most adulterated spice in existence

Lump of Compounded Asafoetida

In this day and age, we’d hope that spice adulteration was no more. But sadly, this is not the case. With food prices rocketing higher every year, and some ingredients’s prices rising faster than others, the temptation to adulterate is often too strong. Most often in order to keep costs down, and ultimately prices on the supermarket shelves the same each year, spices are often diluted beyond belief. For example, see the graph below on the average price of Pepper, taken from The IPC. Prices have easily doubled in the last 5 years, but are you paying twice as much … keep reading



Dehydrated Garlic prices rise sharply due to higher fresh garlic prices. This, coupled with many factories refusal to dehydrate to capacity has led to further high prices. We expect demand and supply factors stabilise in a few months time, but must buy our new season crop before all the high quality produce is sold out. Price of garlic today: Garlic Flakes: 100G (3.5 OZ) PRICE: USD 7 200G (7.1 OZ) PRICE: USD 10 500G (17.6 OZ) PRICE: USD 20 Garlic Granules: 100G (3.5 OZ) PRICE: USD 8 200G (7.1 OZ) PRICE: USD 12 500G (17.6 OZ) PRICE: USD 22

Turmeric: The spice which started a medical revolution

Ayurvedic Medicine Shop

Not all natural remedies are worth anything, but when one ingredient in particular gets the whole world excited, it’s worth a closer look. Once discarded as a fraud herbal remedy, in 1995, Turmeric found itself to be the centre of attention in the medical world. Ever since then, the nature of medicines have been drifting further apart from science, and into the realm of the unknown. Turmeric is a fairly common spice. It’s used as an essential ingredient throughout India, as well as in a number of other cuisines. But the spice itself is not as innocent or normal as … keep reading