Olive Oil Wars

UPDATED May 26, 2020
The conflict within the olive oil industry began in 2012. When the EU 432/2012 labelling health claim regulation for polyphenols in olive oil came into effect. It is growing more vicious, and more manipulative. The true motives behind this conflict are becoming more obvious. One thing is clear. It has nothing to do with olive oil. The root of this conflict is the clash of cosciousness. It comes in 3 parts;
Part 1, we have the industrialized olive oil production based on selling plain olive oil which has been chemically cleansed of bad odors.
Part 2, we have the extra virgin olive oil where organoleptic judges have set themselves up as the gate keepers to quality, based on the aromas and taste. They have a strangle hold on the marketing of olive oil via the olive oil competitions. They claim they can assess more than 800 olive oils in a matter of 2-3 days and award gold medals and best of class etc… much like a beauty contest to find the best smelling and best tasting olive oils. What ends up on the shelf is a story to be told another time.
Part 3, we have the new health claim that affirms what research scientists have known for a while; the main health banefits of olive oil are derived from the phenolic concentration and not from the mono unsaturated fat content as we have been led to believe. We have the technology snce 2012 to measure the concentration of phenolic compounds in olive oil with accuracy. 
We have new found knowledge:
The health benefits of olive oil are 99 percent related to the presence of the phenolic compounds, not the oil itself,” said Nasir Malik, research plant physiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s
Agricultural Research Service.
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It is true that if you radically change your diet and eat very little meat or none at all and increase the intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes and have the vast majority of fat intake in your diet be from olive oil, it will indeed provide a great deal of health benefits. But high phenolic EVOO can have a measurable health benefit even if you do not change your diet. This last sentence is what drives the chefs, olive oil tasters, and the gastronomy industry to choose conflict instead of cooperation. Why not just accept the unique enhanced health benefits of high phenolic EVOO instead of fighting them or trying to minimize them by spreading false information? It would be better for everyone; especially the consumers who are being confused and being forced to take sides in this ongoing war, which is actually a clash of consciousness.
Since 2012 we also have the tools to measure the concentration of each phenolic compound in olive oil for the first time; using the 1H-NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance method) developed by Dr. Prokopis Magiatis and his team of researchers at the Univ of Athens. Now we gained the ability to measure scientifically, rapidly (5minutes) and accurately the heathfullness of each olive oil; and validate the health claim for the concentration polyphenols it contains.
Athan tasting EVOO at sial paris 2018

Athan tasting EVOO at Sial paris 2018

This is what created the conflict with the olive oil industry that was focused on selling lower quality olive oil derived from rotten olives, and extra virgin olive oil quaility based on a very subjective taste method of assessment and the ever expanding olive oil tasting industry events and seminars that has grown to support it. Transparency had finally arrived in the oilive oil industry and they immediately sprung into action to stop it by trying to invalidate the health claim by all means. They have succeeded to delay the full implementation and increase producton of high phenolic EVOO with a health claim but have failed to stem the growing demand.
Human clinical trials are beginning to indicate the health benefits of phenolic compounds in olive oil may even be used in the future to treat a number of diseases and conditions such as: Alzheimers, in certain cases may even replace blood thinning medications, and anti inflammatory medications for neurodegenerative arthritis, stop the development of Acute lymphocytic leukemia, breast cancer and many more. These are the beginning stages of research but it is very promising and the anecdotal evidence is growing rapidly.
The part that upset the olive oil industry establishment the most is that in these clinical trials a measurable positive effect was achieved without any change to the human volunteers diet except for replacing their usual oil with high phenolic EVOO. They continued to folow their normal diet plan whatever that was. The next stage of development is to find the most effective diet plan or combination of nutrient supplements to maximize the effects observed already. As a great man once said: “let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food” Hippocrates 460 – 375 BCE.
This is why this is a clash of consciousness. It is a battle for the hearts and minds of consumers who are actually looking for the transparency and the healthiest products and not the cheapest or the most aromatic. Most people purchase high quality olive oil for its health benefits and not for its gold medals in taste competitions. This is why most consumers looking to receive the most health benefits from olive oil are choosing high phenolic olive oils instead of plain extra virgin olive oils with gold medals on the label. High phenolic olive oils provide actual certificates of analysis for the presence of phenolic compounds as proof of quality and organoleptic certificates certifying there are no taste defects.
The fact is the olive oil competitions provide gold medals but they are not qualified to provide actual IOC (International Olive Council) approved certificates. These olives oils are not even certified to be in the extra virgin category.
Here are the 3 different states of consciousness in olive oil:
1. The lowest state of consciousness is the plain olive oil,
2. the ordinary state of consciousness is the extra virgin olive oils and the
3. highest consciousness is expressed by the high phenolic extra virgin olive oils.
High phenolic EVOOs express the “Spirit of Excellence”
States of consciousness are expressed in a variety of ways. Each one has its own key words and phrases. The one that expresses mediocrity goes something like this: “That is impossible”, “There is no way you can do that”, “You are not qualified”. The one that expresses the spirit of excellence goes something like this: “Oh yeah? Watch me!” The spirit of excellence is what drives people to go out and attempt the impossible. I say attempt because there are no guarantees of success. Very few people are able to see the uncertainty and still move forward to fulifill their dream of reviving the ancient “medicinal” quality of olive oil. The spirit of mediocrity is what drives people to try to stop the spirit of excellence.
Mediocrity lurks behind every twist and every turn just waiting for you to fail. At first sign of trouble, they spring up out of nowhere and gleefully exclaim: “See? I told you it was impossible.” They hunger to prove that excellence is not worthy of pursuit; they would never even attempt it. So they lurk in the shadows of social media waiting to attack anonymously of as “friends”, to minimize those that attempt the impossible instead of celebrating it. This attitude unfortunately is very common in Greece these days. This is why high phenolic EVOO is so difficult to produce in large quantities. Here mediocrity is the name of the game to survive especially for the Greek olive oil industry focused on exporting olive oil in bulk with the full support of political friends and powerful allies abroad.
The Greek olive growers that have managed to produce these extraordinary olive oils had to suffer the negativity and taunts of their neighbors at every turn. Mediocrity is alive and well in this once great culture. The good news is that High Phenolic EVOO is reviving this ancient spirit of excellence with remarkable results. More and more Greek olive growers are choosing EXCELLENCE above all else and thus making a direct link with their ancestors’ culture of excellence.
High phenolic olive oil is not another marketing scheme or product to sell;
it is a symbol of the revival of excellence first and foremost!
And it does have some amazing health benefits!
If we could taste excellence, it would taste like high phenolic olive oils.
Lively, energetic, bitter and peppery
No matter how many times the spirit of excellence has been able to overcome the sirens of doom and gloom, mediocrity still reigns supreme. In ancient times excellence was the only goal in dance, sports, theatre, music, politics, war, or any other human endeavor. The consciousness of mediocrity, the consciousness of denial, the consciousness of holding someone back from attempting to fulfill their destiny is the main focus of mass culture today. In ancient times this spirit of excellence was front and center in every activity and was embodied in the ancient Olympic games – there was only one winner. There were no silver or bronze awards given out. Just one wreath made from an olive branch.
In modern times, mediocrity has flooded our cities, darkened our skies, poisoned our food supply, water and air. It did not have to be this way. The spirit of excellence is accessible for those who wish it, desire it, and are willing to sacrifice to achieve it. 
My first direct experience with the spirit of excellence happened when I was 11 years old while watching the 1968 Olympics. One athlete Bob Beamon made an enormous impression on me because I was training at the time for the triple jump. This world record busting long jump event I watched on television in 1968 inspired me deeply and set the tone for the rest of my life.
I became interested only in the spirit of excellence: “Oh yeah? Watch me”
I felt transformed from that moment on as I watched Bob Beamon destroy the long jump world record by 29 inches. Furthermore he did this with little sleep, after a night of drinking in the company of some members of the female gymnastics team. He also did something never done before he landed on his feet and hopped out of the sand pit like a bunny rabbit. Witnessing something like this when still young enough not to have been fully indoctrinated into the consciousness of mediocrity, made a huge impact on me. It gave birth to its positive opposite. Whenever I would be challenged and something is impossible, that I could not possibly do it I would laugh; “Oh Yeah? Watch me!” This became my battle cry against mediocrity, and it still holds true to this very day: what others see as the impossible I saw as a certainty. I was willing to try without hesitation. There is one consistent theme in the universe; mediocrity is always wrong. Excellence may not always be achievable, but it is always worth trying. 

This photo below was taken last year by Dan Flynn at the Aristoleo Awards 2019. I was attempting to recreate a solo dance at age 62, I originally performed almost 40 years earlier in 1981 which was also the last time I did it and the last time I trained as a dancer. I performed it just before the Aristoleo Award ceremony in front of an audience of the leading olive oil researchers and the best high phenolic olive oil producers in the world. I surprised them before the awards. I stood there in the middle of the stage and began removing my suit and tie revealing my dance outfit underneath. I declared I had a surprise for them; I was going to dance naked I said, as I began taking my clothes off; everyone had a good laugh. I did attempt this dance, accompanied by Stephen Horenstein who came from Jerusalem to recreate it with me. He can be seen also in the background poster playing while I danced at Israel Museum back in 1981. 2 photos separated by 38 years; from age 24 to 62. How did I do it? I did not train physically. I trained my nervous system to recreate the emotional condition for my body to be able to withstand the strain without injury. It was less than 7 minutes. How hard could it be? Watch me!

Same dance 38 years later

“Resilience is a state of beingness”. 2019

What other proof do you need that the impossible is indeed possible? After the Aristoleo Awards 2019 were completed I revealed to everyone that I was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of prostate cancer. The Dance I had performed called “Resilience” was my answer to cancer.

Athan solo choreographed by Flora Cushman 1981

I did find a doctor to inject me with pure oleocanthal and although the results on my prostate cancer are unknown at this time, we did discover something remarkable about the nature of oleocanthal. I had a few injections leading up the administration of 300mg of pure oleocanthal by way of infusion, twice over 3 days in Nov 2019. The minimum required concentration stated in the health claim is 5 mg of polyphenols in olive oil. This was 60 times that amount. So all the articles appearing lately about the dangers of antioxidants are suspect.

High phenolic olive oil is the most revered superfood of all time, I still hear the chorus of mediocrity: “this is impossible” I hear it over and over again. Even if you prove to the naysayers that not only is it possible it has already been achieved they still respond with mediocrity: “Yeah but it does not include everyone,” “you are an elitist” As if we need to go in reverse and turn excellence into mediocrity in order make it more accessible. You never leave behind those that fought with you side by side in battle. These naysayers that complain about being left behind were never in the battle to begin with. How can you take them with you when they are not even there at your side in heat of the battle? Here is the leap that changed my life forever and eventually inspired me to become a ballet dancer at age 18.

What do I have to do, go into their homes and drag them out? Go into the olive groves and stop them from tilling the soil by force? Stop them from walking on the olives as they pick them off the olive trees? Drag them to a school so they can learn how to produce high phenolic EVOO? The true elixir of olive oil and the original superfood is high phenolic EVOO? How do I know? Modern science has confirmed it.

Excellence is not for everyone. It is only for the ones like Ulysses that can withstand the sirens of mediocrity telling them it is impossible. Even if they have to restrain their wish to give up, surrender, not make waves, be like everyone else, blend in take it easy… When you stand out you become a target. If you are going to lust, then lust for excellence in everything you do. When they try to convince you that you are wrong, that it’s impossible, you are not qualified, you may just hear the most beautiful melody in the world come out of your mouth: “Oh yeah? Watch me!” This simple melody has created the most exceptional individuals that ever walked this earth. Embrace this melody and you will become anything you want. But only if you are willing to work hard and sacrifice everything and stop listening to the sirens of mediocrity – the melody of self destruction.

Within the next 2 weeks we will revealing the original superfood scientifically and organoleptically proven to be some of the best olive oils in the world. ARISTOLEO AWARDS 2020 “THE SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE”


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