Daily Archives: June 23, 2013

  • Olive Oil - Health and Beauty Benefits

    Olive Oil Cosmetics

    The recent years the olive oil is being used to cosmetic industry. The trend of finding physical and ecological products led to the establishment of new products for body care. Creams, shampoos and other products have gained a big share of the market. Those cosmetics that are clinically tested and derive from olive oil are first quality products that do not provoke allergies.

    Olive Oil Soap

    The soap has the property when mixed with water to remove the dirt from clothes and body. The olive oil soap has either green or white color and is pure and friendly to the human skin and at the same time it gives hydration and physical protection to the skin.

    It is not toxic and therefore the body care and the washing of clothes are definitely recommended. It is widely used because it is non-toxic, friendly to the environment and very effective.

    Olive Oil & Gastrointestinal System

    In this case the olive oil has protective action. Recent research proves that its consumption leads to the decrease of stomach cancer. In the enteron it increases the absorption of calcium and contributes in the protection of women against osteoporosis.

    For the liver the olive oil consumption is also very important as it contributes in the normal function of hepatic cells, it diminishes the production of low density cholesterol (LDL) and at the same time it augments the production of high density cholesterol (HDL).
    In cases of gastric ulcer olive oil is still very beneficial as it decreases the excretion of gastric acid.

    Olive Oil & Urinary System

    Among the cancers that are considered to have close connection with the nutrition the cancer of prostate is included. The consumption of saturated fat augments the metastatic phenomenon, i.e. the ability of cancer to make metastasis, while the consumption of olive oil leads to inhibition of the metastasis. Moreover the olive oil protects the kidneys from the toxic action of other fat or medicines and therefore diminishes the occasion of nephric deficiency.

    Olive Oil & Diabetes

    Great quantity of vegetables and generally the philosophy of Greek traditional nutrition are considered to be nowadays the ideal trophic model against diabetes. In cases of diabetes type II most dietitians consult to patients that they should cover 40-50% of the daily calories with complex carbohydrates, 10-20% with proteins and the remaining 30-40% with monounsaturated oils and specially olive oil.

    Olive Oil & Cancer

    It is widely believed that olive oil provides protection against cancer and especially for some particular types, such as the breast cancer. The decrease of the appearance of such cancer due to the consumption of olive oil varies from 30 to 50 per cent.

    It is worth mentioning that in Greece in areas where people consume only olive oil, the cases of breast cancer represents the 1/3 of the cases of United States. According to recent research the olive oil protects against other types of cancer as well, namely endometrial, gonads, prostate, stomach and liver cancer. Another recent research showed that olive oil may contribute in cancer of pancreas.

    Along with olive oil, the most effective nutrition against cancer would consist of small consumption of meat and daily consumption of herbs, vegetables, fruits and legumes.

    Cardiovascular Disease

    The consumption of olive oil contributes in the decrease or elimination of the appearance coronary disease and other cardiovascular diseases. It has been proved that the appearance of such diseases is relevant to hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure and smoking. The increased cholesterol of blood plays important role to the appearance of coronary disease. Consequently, the nutrition is vital to the prevention of such diseases.
    The nutrition of West and North Europeans consists mainly of saturated fat, which leads to increased levels of cholesterol of low density. On the other hand, those who follow the Mediterranean nutrition and thus they consume a great quantity of olive oil, their low density cholesterol is in lower levels, while the high density cholesterol (the good cholesterol) is higher.

    Article source oliveoilmani


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    Olive Oil Cosmetics The recent years the olive oil is being used to cosmetic industry. The trend of finding physical and ecological products led to the establishment of new products for body care. Creams, shampoos and other products have gained a big share of the market. Those... 
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  • The Olive Oil Legend says...

    According to the tradition and the legends the olive tree has symbolic value. The most common and interesting legend derives from Greek mythology.

    It is said that Zeus, the father of all Gods, promised to gift peninsula of Attica to the goddess that would bring to him the most valuable and useful present. Competitors to this challenge were Poseidon, the god of sea and Athena, the god of wisdom. Poseidon captured with his trident the sacred rock of Acropolis and sea water sprang from the rock. From the other hand, Athena planted an olive tree. Those days people were unaware not only of the cooking with olive oil but of the use of oil for lighting as well. With this gift Athena beat Poseidon to this challenge and from that moment and then the olive tree is considered to be sanctuary.

    Nevertheless, the challenge did not end as Poseidon got frustrated. For this reason he decided to leave peninsula of Attica without water. People were angry against Poseidon and moreover the son of Poseidon was also angry that his father lost the power of Athens. Thus he climbed to Acropolis carrying along an axe with the intention to cut the olive tree that Athena had planted. The moment that he raised his axe to cut the tree, just as a miracle the axe turned against him and it killed him.

    The symbolic power of Olive tree

    Even today the olive tree has retained its symbolic power amongst the different cultures and nations.

    The tree of wisdom: In several cultures the tradition says that the olive tree was gifted to from gods to people. Thus, the symbol of goddess Athena beside the owl symbolized an olive branch.
    The tree of peace: Irena, the god of peace, daughter of Zeus and Themed, was always depicted with an olive branch in her hand. Later, in periods of war, the couriers of peace were sent holding a symbolic olive branch in their hand.

    The tree of hope: In the Old Testament a dove returns with an olive branch in the ark, in order to announce the end of flood and bring hope to people.
    The tree of light: The olive oil was used as lighting oil and thus it was considered to be source of light.
    The tree of fertility: In folk tradition of Greek medicine the olive oil is considered to be aphrodisiac. People offered to new couples bread in oval shape were they previously purred the first oil of the year, as an antidote to sterility.
    The tree of health: The value of olive oil to the health is widely known for centuries. Thus, the olive tree symbolizes power and health. Moreover, this symbolism is totally accurate due to the fact that olive trees are long-lived, simple and resistant.
    The tree of wealth: For many families the olive trees and their products represent the main source of income.
    The tree of balance: The olive tree was considered to be the tree of balance by the Celts. For this reason they devoted the day of 23rd of September to it as that particular date the day has the same duration as the night.


    The latin word for olive, oleum, consists of two notions: the Cretan word “elaeva” which means olive and the semitic “ulu”.

    In spanish language the term “aceite” derives from the arab word for olive, al zaytun. “Oliva” in spanish language means only the olive tree, not the olive itself.

    Tea from Olive Leaves

    The leaves from olive trees can be useful in tea production. You may use either leaves directly collected from the tree or buy from the market.

    Recipe: Pestle the leaves and pure 1 or 2 spoons in boiling water. Five or ten minutes later leech and add some sugar or honey. The tea from olive trees can become very bitter if you boil it much time.

    This tea gives you much energy and it is recommended for adults to drink one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night, for young children one cup of tea per day and for school students one cup in the morning and one in the evening.

    Effective essences

    The most important ingredient of olive leaves is Oleuropein, which belongs in the team of the secondary herbal components. The olive tree produces this substance to protect itself from the invasion of microorganisms and insects. Oleuropein is a very effective antioxidant and it has anti-inflammatory qualities.

    The great quantity of chlorophyll protects people from arteriosclerosis. Moreover, it has been proved that it has ephidrotical action.

    Olive leaves provide with energy and fend for a general amendment of the health. More precisely they increase the resistance of the organization and they soften chronic annoyances such as aches in the articulations.

    Tips for storage

    Nowadays the olive oil is disposed in plastic or glassy bottles or in metal tins for larger quantities. In the house it is recommended to be stored in a cool, dry and dark place, such as a cellar or a storehouse. If such a place does not exist, you can store the olive oil into the fridge. Nevertheless, with frigidity the oil blurs, jells and small white spots are shaped. This doesn’t mean that the oil lost its quality. After a few hours in room temperature its color will recur and the oil will become once again clear.

    Article source oliveoilmani


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    According to the tradition and the legends the olive tree has symbolic value. The most common and interesting legend derives from Greek mythology. It is said that Zeus, the father of all Gods, promised to gift peninsula of Attica to the goddess that would bring to him the most... 
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  • Olive Festival in Oroville today blends history with the present

    OROVILLE — A festival that celebrates Oroville’s historic role in the olive industry and offers people an opportunity to learn about present-day growers will be held today in Oroville.
    Today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the historic Ehmann Home will be the site of the third annual Butte County Olive Festival.

    Olives are a big part of Oroville’s history.

    Freda Ehmann settled in Oroville in 1898 and started the Ehmann Canning Co. She developed the olive canning process and is listed in “Who’s Who” as the “mother of the California ripe olive,” said event organizer Alberta Tracy Friday in the home’s cheery kitchen.

    “What better place to have it than the home of the woman who started it, the house that olives built?” she said.

    Tracy said the festival got its start three years ago when Roseville author and historian Richard Calhoun visited Oroville and said he wanted to do an olive festival.

    “We were going to just sell olives,” said Tracy. “There was nothing to eat then. We just had growers, vendors and card tables. We didn’t realize then what it was and what it could be.”

    The event has grown.

    Last year, around 800 people attended. Tracy said they hope 1,000 show up today.

    The Butte County Historical Society is sponsoring the festival in partnership with Feather Falls Casino.

    “This is good for Butte County Historical Society, good for Oroville and good for Butte County,” Tracy continued. “It’s going to get bigger and better every year.”

    There will beplenty of olive products. At least eight vendors will participate, including local olive growers and olive-oil producers.

    The Olive Festival will offer olive and olive-oil tastings, a beer tasting, live music and food. Tracy said the Historical Society will have a booth selling food for $5 a plate. The food will contain olives in the recipes, she said.

    Also, visitors can tour the Ehmann Home, and there will be drawings for prizes.

    “The fun starts in Oroville,” Tracy said. “It’s another thing to put Oroville on the map, and at the home of Mrs. Ehmann,” she said.

    Jeannie Bede said that without Freda Ehmann, “we wouldn’t have olives.”

    “It’s a great community event,” she added. “Come out and be involved. It’s a great event to share the history and bring the history to today.”

    Article source orovillemr.com

    Alberta Tracy (left) and Jeannie Bede fill display boxes with olive cans on Friday for the annual…

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    OROVILLE — A festival that celebrates Oroville’s historic role in the olive industry and offers people an opportunity to learn about present-day growers will be held today in Oroville. Today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the historic Ehmann Home will be the site of the... 
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  • In Jaén, ‘Conquering Palates’ to Get a Fair Price for Olive Oil

    The more cuisines olive oil conquers in the world, the easier it will be to obtain a fair price for this product. – Francisco Reyes Martinez

    Admired for its production potential, questions have also been traditionally raised about the quality of the Jaén region’s oils. This reputation, which was perhaps deserved in the past, is completely unjustified nowadays.
    Proof of this lies in the growing number of awards which, year after year, all over the world, distinguish the excellence of its brands.

    The enormous efforts made by its olive and oil producing industry in recent years have contributed to this success, raising quality to the maximum, as has the drive provided by the Jaén County Council.

    Since his election as president of the Jaén County Council in June of 2011, we had only coincided with him at a small number of events.

    We were perfectly familiar with the vehemence of Felipe López, his predecessor in the position, in defending the interests of the olive tree and the oil from his land. However, we hadn’t had a chance for a good chat with Francisco Reyes yet. And so, with the excuse of the misfortunate legislation the EU was supposed to set in motion in January 2014, to oblige the HORECA channel to replace the traditional oil cruets with non-refillable and labelled packages, we decided to interview him.

    Just like the rest of us, in the course of his life Francisco Reyes has also come across the controversial oil cruets in numerous bars and restaurants throughout our country. A practice which, in his eyes, “undermines the prestige of quality oils by using recipients that do not do them justice.”

    This is why, even before the announcement of the new European measure, the Jaén County Council had already sponsored a campaign driven by the small farmers association, Unión de Pequeños Agricultores de Andalucía, among various restaurants in Jaén in an attempt to have them offer their oils solely in non-refillable and labelled packagings.

    In a surprising coincidence, just a few days after answering our questions, the European Union decided to block what, according to Francisco Reyes, would have been a response to a “series of requests and demands from the sector which, undoubtedly, would be positive for the olive oil producers.”

    We haven’t spoken to the president of the Jaén County Council again since the European Union made this decision, however something tells us that he can’t be very happy about it.

    It is no wonder that everyone identifies Jaén with olive oil, as it is the main production region not just in Spain but in the oil producing world. How is its relevance reflected in the characteristics that define the province?

    The image of Jaén, which is redolent of olive oil, is largely associated with its olive groves. Suffice to journey just a little into our territory to realise that the olive, that thousand-year old tree so closely associated with the Mediterranean, dominates practically the entire countryside. Indeed, over 60 million olive trees define the countryside and mountains of Jaén, from north to south and east to west of the province. Its omnipresence determines our economy, in which the olive sector represents over 15% of our Gross Domestic Product, we produce 28% of the world’s olive oil and 43% of Spain’s. Data that translates into returns of around 1 billion euros. In our province, which has over 600,000 hectares of land planted with olives trees, around 108,000 people are directly linked to this sector through the 66,000 registered farms, on which an average of 700,000 tonnes of olives are produced, which are pressed in over 300 mills. And the predominant varietal is the Picual, representing 95% of the total. From this olive, one of the best oils in the world is extracted, both in terms of flavour and in health benefits, as it is one of the oils with the highest oleic acid content.

    In the light of these figures, it is logical to assume that olive oil exerts an enormous influence on the everyday life of the people from Jaén. How does it specifically impact the social and cultural environment of the province?

    That’s certainly true, particularly in the small and medium-sized towns and villages, which constitute a majority in the province of Jaén. Here, the agricultural labour, the harvest and the cultivation of this tree mark the lives of its inhabitants. Although in recent years, a successful attempt has been made to diversify the productive activity in Jaén, there is no doubt that oil production is still one of our most relevant sectors, not just from an economic point of view, but also in terms of culture as, per se, it is a way of life with roots that date far back in time, which we have summarised in the term Olive Culture.

    Has the current economic situation affected the olive oil industry in Jaén? In what way?

    There is no question that the difficulties Spanish society is experiencing mean that all sectors, including olive oil, are suffering. But the small harvest of the last year has temporarily overshadowed the main problem we have been facing recently: the low prices that even fall below the profitability threshold. Since there is a smaller supply, the price has increased, but this year’s campaign will be less profitable for the oil producers and, above all, has led to the loss of over 6 million days of work, meaning this is a particularly tough situation for the thousands of Jaén families whose income depends directly on agriculture and for whom we at the Council have set up an Employment Plan with a budget of 7 million euro to partially relieve this loss of wages.

    From a purely physical plane, which peculiarities make up the Jaén olive landscape?

    Like I said before, the olive grove is present wherever you look in this province, to the extent that we always say it’s our fifth nature reserve. It is a humanized wood that is one-of-a-kind in the world, offering unique landscapes and orography, marked by endless rows of olive trees that spread throughout the plains, the mountains, close to the villages, the cities and even the most remote and hidden nooks and crannies.

    Some claim that the traditional olive groves, particularly those blanketing the mountain slopes, are not very profitable or competitive if compared to those cultivated intensively or super-intensively. Do you share this opinion?

    I think that rather than an opinion, this is a reality. The difficulties involved in harvesting these mountainous groves, or installing a watering system or simply doing the various agricultural tasks necessary, constitute an obstacle that ultimately affects the profit the farmer extracts from the olive tree in comparison to the flat stretches of farmland in which cultivation can be more intensive. This is why it is obvious that they are less profitable, but that should not make us forget the important social and economic function they fulfil in many of our municipalities, where they represent one of the main sources of income, which is why we always defend the need to preserve this mountain grove, because it contributes to maintaining the population in rural areas and because it is also important in terms of the environmental benefits it generates.

    A leader in terms of quantity, the province of Jaén also stands out for the increasingly-higher quality of its oils. What characteristics define them? How is the excellence of these oils certified?

    In Jaén, as I mentioned before, the Picual olive is the most commonly cultivated as it takes up approximately 95% of the olive-producing surface area, although in the area of Cazorla, the Royal varietal is also common. Its main characteristics reside in its aroma, which tends to be described as fruity, fresh and fragrant, while a slight bitterness predominates its flavour, with an intense taste of the actual olive itself, that leaves an exquisite and prolonged aftertaste. It is the olive type that is most resistant to oxidation, due to its higher polyphenol content. This guarantees its stability and preservation for a long period of time, one of the most important advantages of the Picual varietal, without neglecting the stronger presence of the healthy oleic acid. To guarantee its excellent quality, we boast some of the oldest Designations of Origin in Spain, the Sierra de Segura and also the Sierra de Cazorla. The Council works with these to raise awareness of the excellent oils produced in the province of Jaén.

    Jaén is known as a major producer of bulk oils. What percentage of the total production is made for this market? What types of oils are sold in this way? What is the current trend?

    The estimates indicate that around 80% of the oil produced is sold in bulk, mainly to the export market. In general, the olive oils exported tend to be the lower quality oils because normally a far higher percentage of extra virgin olive oils are packaged. The current, and also desirable, trend is for the oils produced to be of an increasingly high quality, and for both the packaging and the sale to take place directly at origin, because this will generate more added value, a higher profit for the producers and, as a result of this, more jobs will be created in the sector. For this to happen, it is also essential for us to continue to promote this product throughout the world, emphasising the benefits it offers to human health and its multiple uses in gastronomy, because the more palates we conquer, the easier it will be to receive a fair price for the oil that should at the very least cover the farmers’ production costs.

    You are a teacher by profession and so you must at some point, even if only in your own mind, have assessed the knowledge level of the children –and those who are not so much children- from your province about olive oil. In your opinion, what is their view of this product so inherent to them? Is this vision real?

    In the province of Jaén at least, the olive oil knowledge level is more complete than in other areas of Spain. Even so, and in general terms, I believe the term used to define the quality of the oils makes it overly difficult to distinguish between the best and the not so good. Olive oil is considered a top quality product, with infinite uses in the kitchen, an excellent flavour and it is more and more acknowledged as a healthy and essential foodstuff of the Mediterranean Diet. This is made increasingly clear by the growing number of scientific studies, the latest of which, called Predimed, clearly shows that this type of diet, supplemented with olive oil, reduces the chance of suffering a cardiovascular disease by 30%. This is the view of olive oil that we at the Council are intent on promoting among various groups, such as housewives, school children, restaurateurs, distributors … all with a view to conquering more and more cuisines around the world.

    Up close and personal:

    An extra virgin: Oro de Cánava
    An olive varietal: Picual
    An olive grove landscape: The valley of the river Cuadros and the mountains of Sierra Mágina.
    A restaurant that takes special interest in olive oil: Juanito, in Baeza.
    A dish with olive oil: French fries with eggs.
    A wish for olive oil: For the producers to receive a fair price.

    Francisco Reyes Martínez

    Born in the Jaén town of Bedmar, on July 10 in 1962. Although a teacher by profession, politics began to make a decisive mark on his life in 1987, the year in which he was elected councilor in his native municipality. One year later, he became mayor, a position he held until 1995.

    Between 1993 and 2000, he was also regional councilor, a position he combined with that of vice-president of this same institution for a while, and was also responsible for local Tourism and Development.

    Almost at the same time, in 1996 he went on to take up the role of organisation secretary of the Provincial Government of the PSOE party in Jaén. For another four years, he also combined this function with that of secretary general of the Local Branch of this political party in Bedmar.

    In the year 2000, he was appointed regional representative of the Andalusian government in Jaén, a position he occupied until the year 2008, when he was elected national councilor.

    In 2004, he began his role as vice secretary general of the PSOE in Jaén, until he gave up this facet to become secretary general of his political party in Jaén. At present, he combines this position with that of PSOE representative for the legal jurisdiction of Jaén.

    Since June 24 2011, Francisco Reyes Martínez has also been the president of the Jaén County Council.

    By Alberto Matos, Olivarama
    Olive Oil Times articles are presented in their entirety and are unedited by Olive Oil Market.

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    The more cuisines olive oil conquers in the world, the easier it will be to obtain a fair price for this product. – Francisco Reyes Martinez Admired for its production potential, questions have also been traditionally raised about the quality of the Jaén region’s oils. This... 
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