Having a pest adviser's license and having worked with some licensed pest control people, I must disagree. "I would recommend home grown garlic over Chinese garlic too - but not because of any pesticide issue (as any residue remaining would be miniscule and in too small a quantity to be harmful),"
1. All people react differently to pesticides. What will put one person under will not affect another.
2. Some pesticides (dermal and oral toxicity) vary greatly. Some former organic pesticides like Nicotine sulfate would put you in the grave if you spilled the concentrate on your palm. Others like Malathion you could pour on and probably get little reaction (comparative) BUT, Malathion never leaves your body and gets stored in your body fat. One day, being complacent with this "safe" insecticide you will apply it and keel over needing to be hospitalized. Other pesticides being applied to crops are fine powder like substances that can be windblown from the application to other crops. They also are deadly to bees. Most EU countries have banned them.
3. We are ignoring the herbicides and fungicides being applied to crops. The latter has turned out to be a big issue as well, esp. to soft fruits like raspberries, strawberries and fuzzy peaches. Hard to wash off.
4. We are also dealing with water (irrigation) that may be contaminated by all the above as well as fecal coliform.
5. Sometimes shipping also adds to the problem. Residues of fumigants in apples and sweet cherries can be a real problem. Methyl bromide fumigation is commonly used in the shipping of many fruits, avocados, oranges etc. Some countries such as Japan have banned the importation of such treated fruit. I can attest to this! A friend bought a couple of boxes (Co-op buying) of oranges and then threw the empty boxes into a burn pile. Fir and Cedar trees twenty away defoliated from the released fumes. Nothing to do with the heat!!! -- just the smoke.
So as you suggested buy locally and buy from an organic grower if you can.
I would return you to the site I mentioned.http://gourmetgarlicgardens.com/
Check out the umpteen varieties he carries. A list of varieties can be found here! http://gourmetgarlicgardens.com/boutiqu ... phabetical
I remember one he called the "Firecracker garlic" Nothing too bad, until a few minutes passed. It then would explode in your gut and you would start sweating like you couldn't believe. I thought even my hair (when I had some) began to sweat.
Some varieties can also be used to make great insecticides.