The History and Uses of Olive Oil

TLDR Olive oil has a long history and has been used for various purposes including cooking, fuel, washing, religious ceremonies, and medicine. The production of olive oil has also led to the creation of byproducts such as Amorca, and the issue of fake olive oil has been exacerbated by the involvement of the Italian mafia.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Olive oil used to be one of the most important products in the world, with a wide variety of uses throughout the economy.
02:12 Olive oil may have originated in Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, or sub-Saharan Africa, and olives have been present in the Eastern Mediterranean for at least 19,000 years, with evidence of olive tree domestication by the Minoan civilization 5,000 years ago, and the production of olive oil near the Sea of Galilee 8,000 years ago, leading to an international trade in olive oil at least 4,000 years ago.
03:56 Olive oil production also resulted in byproducts such as Amorca, which was used for various purposes including wood finishing, leather protection, animal feed, medicine, and as a pesticide, while the oil itself was categorized based on the ripeness of the olives and used for consumption by people of all socioeconomic levels.
05:52 Olive oil was not only used for cooking, but also as a source of fuel, for washing and bathing, in religious ceremonies, and for medicinal purposes in the Roman world.
07:38 The International Olive Council sets the standards for different grades of olive oil, including extra virgin, virgin, refined, and pommas oil.
09:29 The Italian mafia's involvement in the distribution of olive oil has contributed to the issue of fake olive oil, particularly in the United States where the FDA has only recently started testing for counterfeit oils.
11:17 The host discusses a listener review and mentions the possibility of adding a daily email with a quiz to test retention of the show's content.
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