Sep 292011

I saw an article in Southern Oregon’s online news service the Mail Tribune. It is entitled “Olive tree is a gamble“. After I finished reading it I wondered if any of the US government agencies ever spoke with one another and coordinated their agriculture policies. Doesn’t seem like it.

In the article a woman, Emily R., comments and asks, “I recently returned from Greece with a small ‘airport-approved’ olive tree and was curious how the plant will hold up in this region?” WHAT?

Airport-approved? What does that mean? Was it purchased at the duty-free (this is not a substitute for destination, crop safety)? What about the US Department of Agriculture? What about the US Food and Drug Administration? What about the US Customs and Border Protection Agency? What about safe-guarding the world’s commercial olive crops, not just so someone can sell you a bottle of olive oil, but so you can have access to a healthy, human-digestible fat? What about the olive fruit fly? Did any of the government agencies who spend so much time controlling and quarantining plants and animals have any involvement in this “airport-approved” olive tree’s journey?

Yeah, it’s a gamble and not just because Emily’s olive tree might or might not survive living in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Here is some Olive Crazy advice – if you just got to have an olive tree, no matter where you live, buy it from an nursery inside the country you reside. That tree will more likely be a variety that can grow in your region and less likely to wreak havoc on your country’s olive industry and your valuable, food source.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Sep 282011

In “A Crazy Olive News Story” I told you a little about the lawsuit filed by JCM Farming of Indio, CA against a bunch of folks who flew balloons over JCM’s olive fortress. It is all over.

In the face of an impending site inspection, JCM dropped the lawsuit, but not before many of the balloon companies and balloonists spend several years and  many dollars defending themselves. Plus, the local economy took a hit. I guess JCM Farming did have something to hide.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Sep 272011

Medical professionals I met while recovering from salmonella say there is a rise in foodborne illnesses in the United States, and the rise is due to misinformation. The misinformation is that hand sanitizers are as good as soap and water for cleaning hands. This is untrue. The worst part is that this untruth has been known for over a decade by the US Food and Drug Administration and other governmental agencies, yet manufacturers of hand sanitizers are still permitted to advertise their claim of killing up to 99.9% of germs. The claim is for surfaces, like counter tops, but not for skin.

I’m not going to go into the whys and wherefores of all this mess, because the point is – before handling food, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. When moving from meat to vegetables, meat to meat, and vegetables to vegetables, etc. wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. After going to the toilet, taking a smoke break, texting your roommate, changing your child’s diaper, touching anything, and before handling food, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Now, before you leave the computer to go munch on some olives or dip some crusty bread in extra virgin olive oil from that freshly opened bottle of Arbequina – go wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Sep 252011

Every day I read lots of material about the olive, some from books and others from the internet. Each week I share with you the articles, recipes, research documents, and other information I find on the internet. Most of it is very interesting and some of it inspires me to write an article or two of my own. None of these links are in any way my opinion or are endorsed by me. I am sharing.

Olive Links of the Week

Even though this event has happened and there isn’t much to read, I love the picture of the three, pretty girls in what my Granny used to call a ‘head rag’. Oh yeah, there’s a picture of a pretty cheese too. From the Olive Oil Times “Slow Food Dairy Event Explores Cheese and Olive Oil Pairings“.

From Exchange 4 Media News Service “Leonardo launches user-friendly labels for its olive oil range” in India.

How about Turkey this year – from PR dot com “Join the Turkish Olive Harvest Dionysos-Style with Exclusive Escapes“.

Star Fine Foods is marketing the Holy Land in Seattle “For California’s Star, Seattle Is Ground Zero in Launch of New Olive Oils” from Market Watch.

Spanish Prosecutors Seek Nine Years in Jail for Three Accused of Olive Oil Fraud” from the Olive Oil Times.

A global conference on olive oil to be held in Australia next month. From Weekly Times Now, “Global olive alliance“. Can the new world order be far behind? It’s a joke.

From Yumsugar “Hassle-Free Smokey Flavor With enFuso Smoked Olive Oil“. I like smoke but just can’t imagine this combo.

From Lexology and the Association of Corporate Counsel “Florida EVOO lawsuits dismissed for inadequate pleading“.

More on the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian saga of olive trees old and new from the Huffington Post Religion section “Global Voices of Nonviolence“.

Breaking Down Free Fatty Acids in EVOO” an interesting article from The Olive Press.

For the world of cabbage lovers who also love olive oil, here are some recipes from The Grand Forks Herald dot com – “ONLINE EXTRA: Cabbage beyond coleslaw“.

I rarely see information about the Philippines and olive oil, much less Argentinian olive oil. From the Bacolod Sun Star “Natural Gourmet Import-Export opens branch in Bacolod“.

This article is included because it was held at the Fig & Olive in West Hollywood. I found it to be interesting. From Reuters news service “Is Hollywood Bailing on Obama?“.

Olive oil taste test results from Kitchen Daily – “The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Our Taste Test Results“. Make sure to scan through the pictures to read the comments.

May the sun shine through your branches.

Sep 242011

The State of Texas just ended “last meals” for death row inmates. This past Wednesday, white supremacist, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed for chaining and dragging, James Byrd Junior, a black man, behind his truck until the poor man was dead. Brewer ordered and then refused to eat his outrageously-lavish last meal. Texas lawmakers went nuts and the tradition is over.

I know this is getting off subject, but when you look at the article I linked below, check out Brewer’s picture. I am not sure where he got the “white supremacist” moniker. He looks like the guy who owned my neighborhood convenience store when I lived in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. The locals referred to the store and others like it as L’Arabe since they were typically owned by a Middle Eastern or North African family. These stores were open during hours the Parisian stores weren’t – like Sundays and the whole month of August. A girl could starve.

Whether a self-styled white supremacist or not, Brewer was a nasty man. I have lived a lot of places and been amazed and not amused by the inter and intra-race hating that goes on in the name of supremacy. Some people are just ignorant and stupid. Okay back to the topic.

In the article entitled “Texas ends the tradition of allowing death-row inmates final meal choice” by Guy Adams for the Independent in the UK, Mr. Adams tells us a little about how and why the tradition began and gives some interesting examples of final meals. Here is what he writes about the tradition. “The tradition of a final meal stretches back to ancient Greece, China and Rome, according to death-penalty historian K. William Hayes. He told the Associated Press that its roots are believed to lie in the ancient superstition that providing the food will help ward off subsequent haunting by the condemned men or women.”

Now you know – if you ever see a ghost, offer him or her a snack. If not being well-fed is a criteria for ghostliness then I’ll never be one.

At the very end of the article were several interesting final meals, including the last meal of Victor Harry Feguer. Victor was the last US federal prisoner put to death before our own home-grown terrorist and white supremacist, Timothy McVeigh.

Before he was hanged in Fort Madison, Iowa in 1963, Feguer asked for an olive with the pit still in it as his last meal. Guy Adams reports that Feguer wanted to eat the olive and have it grow from inside him as a symbol of peace. I do not believe that statement to be true. After Feguer was executed the olive was found in his suit pocket. Feguer had spent the night before with his priest and I believe the unpitted olive in his pocket was meant to be an act of contrition. It makes more sense that Fequer’s last meal request would be linked to his night-long prayer vigil with a Roman Catholic priest.

May the sun shine through your branches.