Many people are huge fans of olive oil. And rightly so – it has fantastic flavor, lots of variety for those who take their admiration to the connoisseur level, and it’s proven itself to be good for your heart (as fats go…), which is good news for our heart-disease-laden United States.
But that’s not all you need to know! Olive oil is wonderful for many reasons and we here at Old Town Olive are here to help educate you about our favorite industry.
1) The Amount we Consume
Here in the United States, we consume about a liter of olive oil per year, and that number is growing rapidly (in fact, it’s doubled in recent years). But we have nothing on the Greeks, who consume roughly 15 liters per year, and countries like Italy and Spain where this precious oil continues to be a diet staple.
2) Not All the Oil We Buy is as High a Quality as We Think it Is
If you go to the grocery store and buy a nice bottle of extra-virgin olive oil you’d be upset to find out it’s something other than what you thought you paid for, right? Well…you have reason to be upset.
Virgin oil, by definition, is extracted using only physical processes (crushing) as opposed to refined oil, which can be extracted using heat or chemicals. But here in the U.S., with the marketing standards being more lax than in Europe, we aren’t always getting what we think we’re getting. Unfortunately, when you don’t get high-grade olive oil, you’re missing out on those wonderful health benefits as well as getting less of that amazing taste.
How can you protect yourself? Educate yourself on what good quality extra-virgin and virgin oils smell and taste like. Once you’ve done that, find a couple excellent brand names you can trust for quality and honesty, and stick with them.
3) It Really Matters How You Store It
Good quality virgin and extra-virgin oil doesn’t have the extended shelf life of its more refined cousins – just like fresh bread from an artisan bakery doesn’t last three weeks. That shorter shelf life is the price we pay for divine taste and carefully retained health benefits.
Light and heat are the enemies of virgin oils, so look for products sold in dark packing materials, then keep them in a dark cool place to help extend the shelf life. If you pay for the good stuff, make sure it stays good as long as possible!
4) The Health Benefits Just Go On and On…
Olive oil is still being studied for how it benefits our health, but thus far, it seems like everything researchers investigate comes up roses. Health issues like heart disease, stroke, depression, breast cancer, and cholesterol all respond well to the healthful properties of olive oil, as do some of society’s scariest diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Olive oil is powerful stuff! Can you see why we’re encouraging you to find and buy only the best quality you can get?
5) You Can Benefit from Olive Oil Without Eating It
Olive oil is good for your skin and hair, not just your internal workings. Whether you use it as a pre-shampoo moisturizing treatment, make your own soap or lotion, need to kill a few pimples, or remove paint, reach for olive oil. Those same antioxidant properties that our heart, liver, and cells love so much are available to our outside with some surprisingly simple ideas and recipes.
So, America, keep indulging in the gloriously tasty fruit that is olives. And most importantly, learn everything you can about the olive oil you buy so you know you’re getting the best for your taste buds as well as your health.
Here at Old Town Olive you are welcome to taste any of our oils and ask our helpful staff any question. We want you to be pleased with what you buy here and know that you can trust the products we offer. Come in and enjoy!