Organic olive oil begins to have more and more consumers within the different types of olive oil that you can find in the olive oil market.
When we buy organic food we tend to think that we are acquiring a higher quality food, but this does not have to be the case. In the next post we will tell you about the process of making organic olive oil and how to differentiate it when you buy olive oil for your home.
What is organic olive oil?
The organic olive oil market has a specific regulation by the European Union. Organic olive oil is regulated by regulation 2018/848 of the European Parliament and the council of May 30, 2018, which establishes everything related to the production of organic food and its labeling.
What does the European Union understand by ecological production? Something simpler than we think.
ECOLOGICAL PRODUCTION BY THE EU: Ecological production is a general system of agricultural management and food production that combines the best practices in terms of environment and climate, a high level of biodiversity, the conservation of natural resources and the application of demanding standards on animal welfare and production that respond to the demand, expressed by a growing number of consumers, of products obtained from natural substances and processes.
Although the theory may be simple, it is obvious that this will change depending on the of the type of food that can be found in each farmer's crop. To be able to talk about organic olive oil, there are a number of conditions that we must respect.
Olive tree diseases control
To protect organic olive oil crops, natural methods such as traps for insects are used, or the pasture of natural predators of pests is promoted. In addition, the use of natural products is allowed.
However, it is important to make clear that the use of phytosanitary products does not mean that the oil loses quality. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to maintain the rhythm of the harvest. It is also essential to know at what time of the year to apply them.
Olive oil quality depends on a set of factors linked together. A chain that starts in the olive tree and ends in the purchase of the olive oil bottle. If any of these steps are broken, the quality of the product is lost, so all the steps are equally important to find the best extra virgin olive oil.
Weed control is very similar to that of crop pests. Since the use of synthetic herbicides is prohibited, many farmers shepherd sheep to eliminate them and use their stools as natural fertilizer.
Organic olive oil fertilizer
Olive oil producers always use organic fertilizers, which can be of animal origin (what we know as manure) or vegetable (compost).
In this way, we get the product to manufacture our liquid gold. However, in the production process there are also a number of characteristics that must be respected in order to be able to talk about ecological olive oil.
When the olive arrives at the oil mills, the mass from which we extract the oil must be in contact with stainless steel or food gum. In addition, analytical controls of pesticide residues must be performed to verify that the final product is free of them.
Organic olive oil: market reality or fad?
Organic extra virgin olive oil is just one of the varieties of olive oil that can be found in the best supermarkets. In addition, it is becoming easier to find this type of products at a reasonable price.
Is the consumption of organic products increasing or is it a consumption trend that will soon be forgotten?
To answer this question, it is interesting to see the following graphics
On the left we have the official figures of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAMA) in the year 2017. We can observe with organic production by Spanish farmers has grown from 1991 to the present.
However, on the other side we have the organic products percentage that can be found in the shopping cart of a Spanish citizen.
In Spain, only 1.7% of our purchase is from organic products, compared to 9.7% from other countries such as Denmark. (Year 2018)
Spaniards spend around 36 euros a year on organic products. For that reason, it is still more a fad than a reality. The consumers of organic products usually go to specialized stores or prefer to buy online.
However, the big food companies are aware of these new consumer trends and have reacted to this. In Madrid center it is possible to find Carrefour Bio stores and chains such as El Corte Inglés have specific areas of organic products.
Organic eggs are the product with the most acceptance in the European market, which we know colloquially in Spain as farm eggs.
Why buy organic olive oil?
Once we have exposed the distinctive features of organic extra virgin olive oil, we must know if it is really worth buying this product. Even at the risk of being blunt, we can affirm that the methods of organic farming do not add "extra quality" to the final product.
While this does not happen in other products such as eggs or meat, if you see a higher quality of its ecological variants, in the oil the situation changes completely. In the end, the virgin olive oil is already a natural product, olive juice, without preservatives or additives.
Does this mean that we should not buy organic olive oil? Negative. There are two basic reasons to buy this product
Health and food safety
Consuming this product assures us to consume a product 100% free of traces of pesticides or other contaminants. Although a responsible use of them does not involve any damage to our body, some people prefer not to do so.
When we buy organic products, whatever their class, we are betting on a greater sustainability of the environment that surrounds us and we support crops that are more respectful of natural resources.
So if you want to buy organic olive oil, do not doubt that you will probably make the planet a little better. Always check the label, because according to European regulations, you must carry the logo you see below to comply with the European organic packaging regulations.
“Nature is not a place to visit. It's home” Gary Sherman Snyder
Are you one of those who prefer organic olive oil? In that case, take a tour of our website and find olive oil online at an unbeatable price. And if you prefer traditional olive oil, you can find all the varieties: Gourmet olive oil, aberquina olive oil, early harvest oil, etc...
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