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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Sustainable Ship Transport: A Smart Solution for this Extra Virgin Olive Oil Producer


 If you make healthy extra virgin olive oil and care about the environment, you will want your olive oil to travel in the best sustainable transport manner.

Loading Passeite olive oil 

Meet the Passos family, makers of Passeite extra virgin olive oil from Portugal. 

Marije and her partner Guilherme live in the Condeixa-municipality about 115 kilometers from Porto. There’s no outside help at Passeite farm, the family farm. They are solely responsible for their 2,000 olive trees and making extra virgin olive oil. (EVVO).

They deliver their high-quality extra virgin olive oil
to their customers by ship transport using wind transport. And, what’s great is that sustainable transport doesn’t have to cost the earth.     

Marije Passos laughed when I asked her what made her leave her home in the Netherlands to live and work in Portugal making olive oil.

“Pure passion for olive oils, you can’t make olive oil in the Netherlands.”

It’s not been a smooth ride for the couple. The family has faced numerous challenges over the years. Most have been setbacks caused by climate change. “We’ve had floods, fires, hurricanes, and now it's the pandemic," Marije explained.

Despite these obstacles, Marije remains stoic and determined to adhere to sustainable practices for her extra virgin oils.

"Our EVVO Passeite is special because of the terroir. As we are close to the Atlantic, our olives are fruitier and softer, a lot more than other Portuguese varieties.”

But there are drawbacks, as Marije pointed out.

“Galega, the native variety is super fragile; it has alternate bearing fruit and is very sensitive to olive fly disease.  I’ve learned to be creative over the years. We make our own olive flytrap, an experiment to fight the fly without the use of synthetic chemicals.”

Choosing Sustainable transport

With so much enthusiasm, so much loving care on the farm you can understand why she wants Passeite oil to use the right transport - shipping cargo under sail puts the planet and people first.

The cooperative system involving similar small businesses   allows her to share transport costs with the entire sales chain – producer, ship, and customer. Transporting goods using wind power means lower energy consumption. Still, Marije says that it’s not only about numbers or carbon dioxide reduction but also about a more humane way of trading.

She added:

With the ship comes stories and experiences. I think this is what the world needs now. We need to know where our food comes from.”

“Lorry drivers would just pick up a palette and drive off. They couldn’t care less about what we are doing here at the farm. The sailors are enthusiastic, care about our products, and our customers collect the goods at the port of destination. It's a cooperative process that works well for us.”

What does being sustainable mean to this olive producer?

With graceful simplicity, she replied:

 “I don’t want to have my Passeite extra virgin oil in a supermarket. We just want to make a decent living so our children can enjoy growing up in the beautiful countryside. I want my children to grow up knowing where food comes from, how it’s made and have space to play.

 Success means different things to different people but to this young couple success isn’t about making loads of money, it’s about appreciating and maintaining their olive oil heritage. It’s also about building relationships with their customers, consumers who understand the importance of buying healthy organic olive oil and the positive impact of transporting goods by wind power today.





 photo credit Sergio Ferreira 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Self-Care: Make your Skin Beautiful with Olive Oil

Healthy Self Care 

After a traumatic year of lockdowns and with the current uncertainty, you'll need to find ways of staying calm and grounded. Healthy self-care beauty routines with olive oil could help.


Do you struggle to find time to care for your body? Did you fall into the trap of making a list of self-care beauty resolutions you couldn’t keep last year? If you’re a working mother, practical well thought out intentions might be your best option, beauty treatments you can do at home. You could set an intention to look into ways of caring for and protecting your skin.

The good news is that natural extra virgin olive oil is chockful of healthy ingredients that work not only from inside the body but also on your skin. The start of the New Year is the perfect time to get your self-care routine going.

The top three essential components in this liquid gold to help you are :

·        Vitamin E, recognized for numerous health benefits due to its antioxidant properties. Check out the ingredients of skin products; you’ll find that most skin creams, lotions, and sunscreens all contain vitamin E.

·        Olive Oil also contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated healthy fat with antioxidant properties that adds a protective layer to the skin.

·        You may not have heard of squalene, a natural compound contained in olive oil. Squalene, also present in the skin's outer layer, is a lipid that protects you from environmental toxins and helps retain moisture.


Body Massage with olive Oil

Nothing beats a massage for feeling relaxed at the end of the day. Adding olive oil helps as the body tends to get dry during the winter months.

Start by putting 200 milliliters (7 ounces) of olive oil in your massage bowl, add the juice of one whole lemon and about eight drops or so of lavender oil, the essential oil recognized for its calming and relaxing properties. Your self-care oil is  ready to use.


For Shadows and Dark Rings

Those bags under your eyes are from stress, lack of sleep, and sometimes hereditary factors. You've heard of home remedies such as cucumber and teabags, but did you know you can also use a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice in your self-care routine?

Mix two tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of half a lemon. Using a cotton ball apply on the eyes, press lightly on the dark circles for five minutes, then rinse.


Face Mask

Cleansing the face is vital every evening, the best way to remove all the grime and dirt from the day and makeup. Ever so often, though, you need to go deeper, to pull out those impurities beneath the top layer of the skin.  Here’s a treatment you can use once a week that will also unclog your pores and get rid of pimples caused by bacteria.

Mash half an avocado with some olive oil and make it into a paste. Smooth it unto your face and leave for about 15 minutes or so and then rinse.


Olive Oil as a Natural exfoliant

Your body gets rid of dead skin naturally, but once a month or so, it’s good to push things along – to help your skin get rid of dead skin.  Use this paste for your self-care beauty routine.

Mix two teaspoons of sea salt with three tablespoons of olive oil. With the tips of your fingers, rub the mixture onto your face, neck, and body using circular movements. Pay special attention to the thicker skin of your knees, elbows, and the T zone area of your face (across the forehead and down the nose).

 Exfoliant 2

This sugar exfoliant, a mix of sugar and olive oil, is suitable for particularly hardened areas like the knees and elbows. Mix equal parts olive oil and sugar into a thick paste, rub into the hardened areas, leave on for about 7 minutes, then wash and dry.

Olive Oil bath

For all-over body smoothness, add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil into your warm bath.


Extra Virgin Hair Olive Oil and Hair

Don’t neglect your hair, include your hair  in your self-care routine. Of course, you want shiny, healthy hair. We all do.  Harsh hair products, dyes, pollution, and too much sun can cause hair to look brittle and attractive. Using olive oil regularly can restore the moisture to your scalp while strengthening the hair follicles.

Olive Oil Hair Mask

Heat3/4 cups of extra virgin olive oil in a pan or warm in the microwave for a few minutes.

Rub this into the scalp, gently massage, continuing right to the ends of your hair.

Put a towel in the microwave for a few minutes until it is warm but not too hot. Wrap the towel around your head for at least 30 minutes to let the warm oil penetrate. Wash your hair as you usually do with a mild shampoo.


There's no better time to start exploring healthy self-care intentions using extra virgin olive oil. A calming routine between work and home could just be what you need to  help  unwind, relax and recharge. 

Check out  7 Wonders of Olive Oil for more healthy options for 2021.


Photo Credit:JerzyGorecki   Pixabay.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Salad Niçoise: Adding Hearty and Healthy Ingredients as desired

 A  French chef recently got himself into trouble for cheerily telling viewers to add beans, potatoes, and parmesan in his salade niçoise recipe. It wouldn't be so bad if the report were in the local press, but this was on National French television Chanel 6. 

Purists defending salade niçoise, a salad made in the style of Nice, claim salade niçoise should only be made with the freshest of uncooked vegetables. You can’t help feeling sorry for Cyril Lignac; he had to put up with loads of unfair comments from angry spectators. With words such as 'Defiling our culture,' the poor guy felt compelled to revise his original recipe containing 17 ingredients.

It all seems a bit unfair because Lignac is not the only French chef who strayed from tradition. French culinary writer Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935) also added green beans and potatoes to his salad niçoise.  Defenders also attacked Escoffier saying he was not a real Nicois (a resident of Nice), which is unjust  as he was born in Villeneuve-Lou bet, a few villages away from Nice.

And, if you type in salade niçoise into your favorite search engine, there are tons of made from heaven recipes for this French classic. Purists should recognize sticking to traditional methods does not make us creative and adventurous when it comes to cooking  and enjoying food.

 Making  olive oil (so important for any salad nicoise)  is an excellent example of how traditional methods can improve over time. Today, most olive oil mills have a centrifugal system of pressing olives, replacing the original millstone method, which was unhygienic and time-consuming. But some consumers still look for olive oil pressed the authentic way, holding on to a tradition that is no longer efficient.  On visiting a modern mill at harvest time, they are surprised at the progress  commenting on how clean and odor-free the premises are.

Thankfully extra virgin olive oil is much tastier and healthier, all because of new modern techniques

To  summarize, holding on to tradition is not always the best solution.. And don’t fret, you can add whatever vegetables you like in a salad niçoise.

Here's what you need for a colorful, healthy, vibrant salad niçoise. 

Salade Niçoise 

 Salade Niçoise   – 10 ingredients

3 large eggs
Cos lettuce leaves
250 gms. French (green) beans
1 Lebanese cucumber sliced
½ red sliced onion
4 tomatoes cut in 8
3 waxy potatoes cooked and  quartered
1 tin of tuna chunks or fillets in olive oil, drained

1 can of anchovies in olive oil, drained

½ cup of green or black olives