Olive oil has been known to mankind since ancient times and ever since it’s been largely used in cooking, cosmetics, medicine, soaps and even it’s been known as a traditional fuel for oil lamps. Ah, yes, I forgot to mention that once upon a time (I am not sure about present times) it was used for rituals as well.
For a long time Italy used to produce 25% of the olive oil in the Mediterranean Basin but in recent years it’s been replaced by Spain and nowadays it ranks second producer followed by Greece. And these three countries have the highest consumption per person.
Its production-consumption process starts when olive oil trees turn 100 years (okay … it’s also possible less 🙂 ). Then it continues with olive gathering/harvesting (almost always manual). Then whole olives are pressed before olive oil is produced. And we, consumers, accomplish the whole process by going to the nearest supermarket and buy it. But our task isn’t easy at all. Why?
We should make our choice among numerous country-producers and famous brands. We should find out the proper type of olive oil – either for topping a salad or cooking a meal. And then we ask ourselves whether to buy “virgin”, “more virgin” olive oil or to pay more and get it “extra virgin”. I am not such an expert of the “virginity” of olive oil. (Sorry, guys, it was a joke …. 😀 ) I mean that I know little about the composition of olive oil. As an ordinary consumer, I am aware that extra virgin olive oil is the best one and contains less than one percent of free fatty acids. If free fatty acid substance is between 1-1.5%, we have virgin olive oil and above these values we have ordinary one.
In conclusion, I might say that in our hectic lives under stress we should be more careful with our health and choose precisely what we eat no matter we should pay more for it.