Oct 242011

When we hear of polyphenols it is usually in relation to what they do that is good for us. Polyphenols are found in plants and are powerful anti-oxidants that put the smack-down on free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that, due to their instability, damage cells. My husband, the scientist and engineer, could give you a more thorough explanation, but Olive Crazy is the writer in the house.

So, when olives are crushed and the first batch of unprocessed extra virgin olive oil is milled out, the resulting oil is high in the good-for-you polyphenols. The polyphenols eliminate the extra electron in free radicals, saving you for pursuits like living to a healthy and ripe old age so you can enjoy your grandchildren.

But Olive Crazy, you say, your title says that polyphenols are bad too – what do you mean?

Polyphenols are bad when they are heavily present in olive waste used as fertilizer. The polyphenols can reach toxic levels and harm the soil and plant growth that the fertilizer is intended to help.

Thanks to the University of Sevilla (Spain) School of Agricultural Engineering, a study was conducted on the use of alperujo as a fertilizer in organic farming. The alperujo is a byproduct of a two-phase centrifugation olive oil milling process.  It is all the olive waste that is left over, solid and liquid, after all the olive oil has been extracted.

The alperujo can be used to generate energy and is being used to do so at two power plants in Cordoba, Spain. It can also be used as mulch after careful composting. The composting process reaches high temperatures which destroys pathogens and weed seeds, breaks down the polyphenols, and converts the organic waste into a stable humus, ready to use in the place of chemical fertilizers.

This technology has been around for a few years, but despite the potential cost savings and environmental advantages the processing technology is not widely available and research money isn’t either. The Spanish government is busy paying for the storage of past harvests which, by the time the oils are bottled, will have fewer of the healthy polyphenols than our bodies need, but that’s another story.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Oct 232011

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

Turkey’s olive oil exports expected to reach $5 bln by 2023
Today’s Zaman
New incentives through Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture are increasing olive and olive oil production.

Recipe: Pan seared sea scallops
This flavorful recipe is courtesy of Chef Parind Vora from Restaurant Braise of Austin, Texas.

International Olive Council Market Newsletter September 2011
International Olive Council
The Market Newsletter provides provisional olive oil data among IOC member producers for the 2010/2011 crop years.

Cutting off the branch you’re sitting on
Israel planning to open olive oil market to competition and local olive oil producers are upset.

Study Recommends Olive Oil Byproduct as Organic Fertilizer
The Olive Oil Times
More information on alperujo.

Tostones con Mojo
Fox 10 TV’s Studio Ten
A vibrant recipe from Momma’s Mojo Cafe & Deli in Mobile, Alabama.

Recipes: Obsessed with olives
Some lovely recipes from Helen Melser, an olive tea drinker from Masterton En Zed. The olives in cheese pastry will go great with beer – mmmmmm.

Paradiso Olive Oils & Vinegars Brings Heavenly Tastes to Redmond
Redmond Patch
Kevin and Shirley Carder open their own (not a franchise) olive oil and condiments store in Redmond, California.

Beyond extra virgin: New standard aims to guarantee quality in olive oil
The Washington Post Lifestyle Section
A great article that “busts” some olive oil “secrets”.

A harvest of tears: Palestinian agriculture continues to suffer as a result of ruthless Israeli policies
Middle East Monitor
Solidarity and the olive harvest in Palestine.

FIORE’s Southern Hemisphere Harvest – Highest Antioxidants Available
Village Soup
The planetary southside’s olive oils get play in Ireland.

Italian comfort food prepared by Amaro Pizzeria and Vino Lounge
Arizona ABC 15
It’s gnocchi my friends. Either you love it (Mr. Olive Crazy) or you tolerate it (Olive Crazy).

Reactions Underscore “Super Premium’s” Long Road Ahead
The Olive Oil Times
Why is it that I always agree and disagree with this writer all in the same article? He’s a spin-master.

Farm to table movement comes to Camden library
Village Soup Herald Gazette
Mainers are eatin’ good.

Israeli settler destruction of 1000s of trees hits Palestinian olive harvest
Malta Today
Palestinian olive harvest down, more to starve, Oxfam weighs in.

Key Ingredient: Olive oil
Washington Post All We Can Eat
I’m in this for the olive oil biscuits – oh yeah!

Five things to do with…fennel
Sydney Morning Herald
I have never cooked with fennel. I guess it’s time to give it a try.

Balloonists seek attorney fees from JCM Farming olive farm
My Desert
You lost your business, you lost your job, now you want attorney’s fees? I bet ole JCM doesn’t agree.

Pumpkin Hummus
CBS Minnesota
I am coming to the conclusion that if you can squish it you can make it into hummus.

May the sun shine through your branches.