Olive Crazy: All About Olives and Olive Oil
Jan 012012

Lately I have been munching through several books at one time, including my daily diet of olive-related news articles. Most of the books I am reading are of the business, economics, and crime flavor. One of the books in this “meal” is Tom Mueller’s, Extra Virginity … a book I started the week after it was published and am still savoring.

Sometime last week I began to notice relationships among these books, specifically, relationships between business/criminal actions of the past centuries and business/criminal activities of the present. This morning I woke up with a theory. I went to the sources that gelled my idea to verify my understanding of the passages that lead me to that theory. I verified what I could and modified my thoughts a bit.

Here are the books and the article that stimulated my idea, in the order I read or am reading them:

  1. Elements of Shipping by Alan Edward Branch
  2. Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster by T.J. English
  3. Sovena USA First Ever Lab to be Certified by International Olive Council in United States: Top Olive Oil Importer Becomes Only U.S. Company to Hold Certification published on December 5, 2011 on PR Newswire
  4. Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller also published on December 5, 2011
  5. The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
  6. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

Here is my theory:

The Mediterranean olive oil adulteration business/criminal activity is moving it’s main operations lock, stock, and bulk shipment to the United States.

I’m going to be kind of a jerk here and not explain how I arrived at my theory, instead I am going to provide you with a list of ingredients for this recipe for disaster. After you prepare this recipe tell me if it tastes the way I think it does.

Whisk together 5 books and 1 article. Slowly fold into this mixture 1 cup of boiling politics, 2 tablespoons of consumer ignorance, 1 dollop of soft regulatory environment, 1 loaf of potential-willing market torn into smaller pieces, and several million tons of “extra virgin olive oil”. Bake, sprinkle dish with 1 bag of EU economy crumbles, and serve. Mmmmmmmmm – nasty!

May the sun shine through your branches.


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