regarding cultivated olives

Toby Hemenway hemenway at
Tue Sep 19 14:17:45 EDT 2000

on 9/19/00 10:25 AM, Susanne Velander at susanne.velander at wrote:

> I have a friend who buys
> non-organic olive-oil assuming  that there is no difference between
> organic and ”common” ways to grow olives.

I've seen how olives are grown in California; I assume most olives are grown
the same way. The obvious differences: Organic olives are grown using
sustainable soil-conservation techniques, organic fertilizers, and only
organic-approved sprays.  Olives require fairly frequent spraying,
especially in insect-plagued California, where a lot of olives are grown.
Chemical olives use pesticides and chemical fertilizers from petroleum, and
herbicides on the orchard floor to kill all other vegetation (which also
eliminates beneficial insect and bird habitat). Chemical olive cultivation
is just as much a source of water pollution, soil loss and poisoning,
habitat loss, and other non-sustainable results as any other chemical
farming method. I assume there is pesticide residue in the oil. Even if not,
buying it supports non-sustainable farming and the chemical agribusiness
industry. Your friend is kidding him/herself.

Also, organic olives are generally grown on small farms, while chemical
olives come from industrial mega-farms.


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