Olive Crazy: All About Olives and Olive Oil
Jan 162013

Many times you and I’ve heard the most popular and lawful reasons for that bottle of extra virgin olive oil in our pantries actually containing real evoo. The most popular being, “I’m a consumer, I bought extra virgin olive oil and that’s what I expect.”

When we read news articles and books about low-grade olive oil being substituted for fresh extra virgin or worse, mixed with rapeseed (canola to us Norte-Americanos) or hazelnut oils, what is our reaction? I can tell you mine. I feel cheated and disgusted.

But what if there’s another reason out there that matters more.

Last week I read a personal letter written by a young man from England named Graham. This young man has suffered for many years with ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is similar to Crohn’s Disease, which gets more headlines, but can flare up anywhere in the digestive tract.

I don’t know how long Graham has suffered with UC but I do know from acquaintances that have suffered with digestive tract disorders that each mouthful can cause pain and embarrassment that makes normal life difficult. It is difficult to travel, hold down a job, rest comfortably, and the list goes on. Worst of all – digestive tract disorders are life threatening.

Graham’s letter tells of his personal experimentation with treatments for the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Even with all the treatments he previously employed, with varying successes, he still has flare ups every four weeks.

At some point Graham began taking a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil each morning on an empty stomach and then ending his day with another tablespoon. To his surprise, after six weeks of the evoo regimen he didn’t have his usual four week flare up. And at another point, his wife mistakenly purchased plain olive oil, not extra virgin, and the plain olive oil did not help allay his UC symptoms.

Now, I know this is anecdotal health information, but since Graham did not appear to be receiving any monetary or other-than-health benefit from evoo, his experience provides a very good reason to be absolutely sure that the extra virgin olive oil we buy is indeed the real thing.

May the sun shine through your branches.


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