Yesterday news urged US citizens to buy Olive oil instead of any other cooking oil to help save the economic situation in Spain. This also probably true for the economic situation in Greece. Evidently, there is an oversupply of olive oil for the US market. The other country in Europe that export olive oil to the US is Italy. If all of us here in US buys olive oil instead of other cooking oil, the news is predicting we may be able to help alleviate the depressed economic situation in the above three European countries, particularly Spain. The news inspired me to search for more information about olive production and consumption in the US. Here's a short information on olive production and consumption that I found in the Internet.
Three countries are the major olive oil producers in the world. First is Spain, second is Italy and third is Greece. Together, they produce more than 75% of the world production. Spain produces around 30% of the world's olive oil, with 75% of this being produced in the region of Andalusia, particularly within Jaen province. In Italy the major producers are called "Città dell'Olio", "oil cities"; some of the most important are Lucca, whose oil is widely considered the best for acidity and stability, and traditionally used by oil merchant as a term of comparison, Florence and Siena, in Tuscany. However the largest production is harvested in Puglia. Portugal accounts for 5% of the worlds production and its main export market is Brazil.
Australia now produces a substantial amount of olive oil. Many Australian producers only make premium oils, while a number of corporate growers operate groves of a million trees or more and produce oils for the general market. Australian olive oil is exported to Asia, Europe and the United States. In North America, Italian and Spanish olive oils are the best-known, and top-quality extra-virgin oils from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are sold at high prices, often in "prestige" packaging. A large part of U.S. olive oil imports come from Italy, Spain, and Turkey.
The U.S. imported 47,800,000 US gallons (181,000 m3) of olive oil in 1998, of which 34,600,000 US gallons (131,000 m3) came from Italy.
Olive orchards in California, and Texas and Arizona, as are producing olive oil that is appearing on USA grocery market shelves along side the Mediterranean olive oils.
Olive oil is by the way good for your health compared to other cooking oils. The reasons why most consumers do not buy it, because it is more expensive than the other cooking oils. But with oversupply of this commodity, the price is now comparable to the other cooking oils sold in your local grocery store. Buy a bottle of olive oil today and maybe help save the economy of Spain and Greece.
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