Last year, the Italians consumed record quantities of ginger roots, most of which were imported from China. This statement from Italian farmers' association Coldiretti came in response to consumer price data published by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), which added several new items to the collection of goods and services for household consumption (‘the basket’) that it uses to calculate inflation trends.
"With a record 73 percent increase in purchases in 2018, ginger enters into the ISTAT basket as a representative of the so-called superfoods, which are associated with specific health properties (such as) beneficial anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties," Coldiretti said.
The world's biggest ginger producers are China and India, followed by Indonesia, Thailand and Jamaica. In Italy, ginger is grown on a very small scale only, for example, in vegetable gardens, according to the Academy.
According to xinhuanet.com, other new entries into the ISTAT basket this year include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, which are prized for their high vitamin content as well as their anti-oxidant powers.