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.


Dec 112011

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

Edible gifts can satisfy every taste
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For those of you who buy gifts for people who love to eat.

Locally Sourced Jordanian Olive Oil Factory Tour at Terra Rossa
Jen Maan in Amman blog
Jen visits a Jordanian olive oil processing facility. She has lots of great photos.

Boost your ‘good fats’ to help fend off diabetes
More on MUFAs and diabetes.

Sovena USA First Ever Lab to be Certified by International Olive Council in United States
PR Newswire
Largest US olive oil importers gets their lab certified by the International Olive Council.

Namibia: Local Olive Oil Takes Market By Storm
All Africa
Swakop River Olives entrepreneurs Eddie Angula and Wim van der Plaas are growing trees along Namibia’s Swakop river. Of interest is that they grew them from seeds purchased from South Africa. I don’t often hear of olive trees grown from seed.

VN Dalmia Offers an Olive Oil Reality Check
Olive Oil Times
India is marketing olive pomace oil to the Indian marketplace. If that is what the market demands then that’s okay. The key is truth in advertising.

Olive oils can prevent infantile diseases
Teatro Naturale International
According to many physicians and scientists, such as the pediatrician and neonatologist Giuseppe Caramia, extra virgin olive oils are important ingredients of preventive medicine.

Attack on olive oil consumption in Denmark
Teatro Naturale International
Denmark has a problem with obesity and is instituting a 7.1 % tax on each liter of olive oil. Is this ignorance or maybe a powerful dairy lobby?

Canton business offers imported oils, vinegars, gourmet foods
Watertown Daily News
Josie’s Little Pizzeria and Josie’s Olive Oil Company are selling California olive oils in Canton, New York.

Slick accents welcome on Oenotri’s dinner plate
Napa Valley Register
Oenotri’s restaurant in Napa has fresh extra virgin olive oils on the menu.

New Olive Pilot Crop Insurance Program Approved for Selected Counties in California
Insurance News Net
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announces a new a pilot insurance program for table and oil olives in 12 California counties, beginning with the 2012 crop year. The sales closing date is January 31, 2012.

China could be strong S.J. farm market
Chinese delegation visits Lodi, California. China’s burgeoning economy and rapidly expanding middle class hold great potential for sales of premium San Joaquin County products – including wine, cherries, tree nuts and olive oil.

Critical Information for Olive Oil Decision Makers
The Olive Oil Times
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California’s Napa Valley will host a seminar on January 12th for industry professionals. They will receive the information needed to protect themselves and their customers by learning.what constitutes quality olive oil.

Banks squeeze oil industry
Weekly Times Now
Australian banks unwilling to make loans to olive oil producers. Dumping is to blame.

Olive oil producers feel price pain
Weekly Times Now
Lisa Rowntree of the Australian Olive Association weighs in on olive oil price wars.

Olive Oil’s Growers, Chemists, Cooks and Crooks
The New York Times Books section
A review of Tom Mueller’s olive oil industry expose, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil

Chosen Bites: A hearty dish!
The Jerusalem Post
Recipes for Sautéed Butternut Squash, Kale with Pasta and Mushrooms and Turkey Meatballs.

Dining Out review: Schnitz Ada Grill offers good value, good food
A review of the Schnitz Ada Grill in downtown Ada, Michigan.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Sep 112011

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

Here is another viewpoint on US immigration reform from Deseret News in Salt Lake City, UT “Immigration reform is imperative to a vibrant economic future“. The article specifically discusses the agriculture industry.

Nothing like a pie contest, to make a mouth water. Here is an article from Maryland’s Gazette. net entitled “Competitors taste sweet – and savory – victory at Bethesda pie contest“. One of the savory pies was olive, tomato and goat cheese.

Health myths and fallacies” by Dr. Philip S. Chua in the Philippines Inquirer News. True and false questions answered. Are all fats bad? Should babies wear sunglasses? Interesting.

Another “nut” story – “Cobnuts enjoying revival as new vitamin-packed health food“. The article is complete with more oil smoke-point discussion. I’ve stopped paying attention to “lay person” or chef comments on smoke point. They are usually way off base. Check with a scientist or just experiment yourself.

From Lawrence, Kansas 6 News “Recipe: Pasta with Broccoli and Grilled Chicken with Tomato Cream Sauce”. The picture made even my eyes hungry.

Case of the missing article about the return of the olive fruit fly to California. Here is the information I got from Google Alerts with a link to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Bill Krueger’s, comments about the olive fruit fly. It is incomplete but I can’t find any other information about an increase in olive fruit flies this year in California – curious. Here is the blurb I copied from Google: “Olive fruit fly back, threatens crops“, Orland Press Register. There are considerably more olive fruit flies this year than at this time last year, said Bill Krueger, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Tehama and Glenn counties. “When it comes to the olive fruit fly we really don’t understand everything we …

Martha Stewart sets her sights on Israel” article from USA Today. That crazy gal is always up to somethin’.

Chicago Sun Times recipe for “Crab and Heirloom Tomato Salad“. Yummy.

Here is an article I find ironic considering Israel is always having a go at Palestinian olive groves, “Belgium PM Plants Tree in Grove of the Nations” (yes this tree was planted in Israel).

From Media Club South Africa “SA olive oil is the best, study shows“. The study was an International Olive Council study.

Aioli easy, so spread word” from the Orange County Register. I love aioli. This recipe makes it in the blender.

From The Huffington Post “The Healing Power Of Olive Oil“. Lots of great ideas.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Mar 222011

Maybe I should give the big disclaimer here – this article doesn’t provide medical or pharmaceutical advice. I’m letting you know the claims of experts and the convinced of the healing properties of the olive leaf.

For years we’ve been told of the health and beauty benefits of olives and olive oil, but guess what, the olive leaf has benefits too. Those benefits come from its anti-microbial properties. In 1995, elenolic acid and its salt, calcium elonate, were found to be the therapeutic components of the olive leaf, the components that cure or lessen the symptoms of the bugs or microbes that infect us humans, such as: bacteria; viruses; fungi; yeasts; and protozoan parasites.

Medical studies from around the world claim that the anti-microbial properties of the olive leaf are a quick cure for colds and flu, and that the leaves contain natural protease inhibitors that decrease HIV viral loads to non-detectable levels in a few weeks. You can find some good research in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. They have several studies on the benefits of olives, olive oil and olive leaves. You can also find links to other useful periodicals and articles from that site.

Another great and interesting resource is the book “Olive Leaf Extract” by Dr. Morton Walker. Dr. Walker is a medical researcher and journalist. He cites lots of studies and gives plenty of useful information.

Here is a very short list, from Dr. Walker’s book, of human infectious diseases on which the anti-microbial properties of the olive leaf may work:

  • Croup
  • Encephalitis
  • Head lice
  • Jock itch
  • Lyme disease
  • Pink eye
  • Ringworm
  • Shingles
  • Strep throat
  • Warts

Since you probably don’t have an olive tree in your yard, try your local pharmacy, nutritionist, or herbalist for olive leaf teas, olive leaf extract in capsule or liquid form, or powder. Make sure you consult with your physician and pharmacist before undergoing a treatment program and follow up with them to let them know how it worked out. This doesn’t just make sense since you may be taking other medications or engaging in other treatments, but because you can share with them your results and maybe help others.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Mar 162011

Welcome to Olive Crazy, the blog all about olives and olive oil: I cover topics from growing and harvesting olives to cooking with olive oil, from pressing olives to the proper storage of olive oil, and from the health and beauty properties of the olive leaf to recipes for a delicious martini, and much more.

Together we will have fun and learn. Let’s share what we know, as we explore this old fruit.

May the sun shine through your branches.