Companies producing and/or exporting Greek extra virgin olive oil that is bottled and branded in Greece, in alphabetical order, excluding articles such as “the”

Many people do not even notice they are eating olive oil in baked goods, especially if the food includes plenty of lemon, orange, vanilla and/or spices. If you do notice it, and you prefer not to, try a milder olive oil rather than an early harvest, ultra healthy bitter one. Flavored oils (with orange or lemon, for example) can work well in many baked goods. 

Although these types of tourism deserve additional development in Greece, the country already offers a rich array of choices to visitors interested in agrotourism (or agritourism) and food tourism (or culinary tourism). 

Agrotourists can choose from 

  • botanical parks
  • olive oil museums
  • traditional rural lodgings 
  • olive mill and winery tours
  • encounters with working farms
  • landscapes covered with olive groves
  • monumental olive trees thousands of years old

Culinary tourists can enjoy 

  • open air farmers’ market visits
  • traditional Greek cooking classes
  • olive oil and wine tours, seminars, and tastings
  • restaurants offering local specialties & organically grown produce

Olive oil is good for us! Articles about the ever-growing number of scientific studies providing evidence for the various health benefits of extra virgin olive oil pop up in the mainstream press and medical journals so frequently these days that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I provide links to a selection of some of the best, most useful articles below.

Scientific studies have provided support for claims that extra virgin olive oil, if consumed regularly in substantial amounts, can reduce inflammation and also

helps lower 

  • “bad” cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • blood pressure
  • total blood cholesterol

helps decrease the risk of 

  • depression
  • osteoporosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • breast cancer
  • strokes
  • skin cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • heart disease

Olive Oil Times does an excellent job of keeping up with the latest news about olive oil’s health benefits, as well as summarizing these benefits in a special report. Dr. Mary Flynn also provides a useful summary of olive oil’s health benefits on her wonderful Food Is Medicine website .

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy, tasty diet and lifestyle associated with communities near certain parts of the Mediterranean Sea, especially the Greek island of Crete, based on the way the locals typically ate before the 1960s. The American professor Ancel Keys did the first major study of the health benefits of this diet at that time. In recent decades, study after study has supported claims about the benefits of this diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, often eaten with generous amounts of olive oil and moderate quantities of wine and nuts, plus limited amounts of dairy, fish, and poultry and less red meat. 

In 2010, UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean diet on its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. As UNESCO acknowledged, the “Mediterranean diet involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, and particularly the sharing and consumption of food.” Far more than mere consumption of healthy foods, “eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities throughout the Mediterranean basin.” 

While the healthy foods of the Mediterranean diet contain valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the relaxed, sociable lifestyle also reduces stress, leading to a host of additional benefits. There is even evidence that “adherence to a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern—compared to a typical American dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of red meat and dairy—reduced the environmental footprint, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved agricultural land use, and lessened energy and water consumption.” That’s one more reason to eat more plant-based products.

If you have a conference, exposition, meeting, class, or seminar to announce that meets the following criteria, please let me know:

  • takes place in or includes English
  • addresses an international audience 
  • features extra virgin olive oil and/or the Mediterranean diet

Governor of Crete, Agronutritional Cooperative president, 2-time gold winner at the Cretan Olive Oil Competition 2016

(Check websites to confirm dates and deadlines.)