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Olive oil

Olive oil is a fat acquired from the olive (the fruit of Olea europaea; family Oleaceae), a classic tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is developed by grinding whole olives and taking out the oil by technical or chemical means. It is usually used in cooking, beauty products, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is used throughout the world, but particularly in the Mediterranean places.

Types of olive oil

Generally, olive oil is produced by pressing or crushing olives. Olive oil comes in various varieties, depending on the amount of control involved. Varieties include:

Extra virgin - thought to be the best, least processed, composed the oil from the first important of the olives.
Virgin - from the second pressing.
Pure - undergoes some control, such as selection and refining.
Extra light - undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavour.  

How to care for your olive oil?

Resist the temptation to place your wonderful bottle of olive oil on the windowsill. Light and heat are the enemy of oil. Keep olive oil in a cool and dark place, tightly sealed. Oxygen advances rancidity. Olive oil is like other oils and can easily go rancid when exposed to air, light or high temperatures.

You can of course buy extra virgin olive oil in any grocery store. A good source on the internet for extra virgin olive oil is here.

Olive oil versus canola oil

Do not fall into the hype which is put out by traditional medicine regarding the promotion of canola oil (rapeseed) as superior due to its concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is far superior and has been around for thousands of years. Canola oil is a relatively recent development and the original crops were unfit for human consumption due to their high content of a dangerous fatty acid called euric acid.

If the taste of olive oil is a problem, or if you are frying or sauteing food, then you should consider coconut oil. Many nutritionally misinformed people would consider this unwise due to coconut oil's nearly exclusive content of saturated fat. However, this is just not the case. Because it has mostly saturated fat, it is much less dangerous to heat. The heat will not tend to cause the oil to transition into dangerous trans fatty acids.

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