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Olive oil from tree to table

31-10-2017

In a special feature, An Nahar described the arduous olive picking season in the country from the tree to the consumer’s table, with special focus on the Modern Olive Oil Mill and Press of Bint Jbeil. The latter receives tens of olive growers every day with a daily output of thousands of kilograms of olives (nearly 20 tons equivalent to 250 olive oil containers). The season, An Nahar wrote, begins with the picking ritual where families race to the groves to collect the harvest and rush it to the mill. There, the olives are sorted from leaves and twigs, washed and dropped into the press to be pummeled and the mush filtered to separate the oil from the dregs and the end product is pristine olive oil. An Nahar also mentioned that during the extraction process, the olive pits or residues are collected to be used as fuel for heating. It is believed, An Nahar said, that olive trees only bear a full crop every other year, but this is not realistic. The factors involved are multiple, most importantly are, the inadequate care for the olive tree and the lack of agricultural extension and recommended fertilizers, the newspaper pointed out. It also cited criticism by olive growers of certain agricultural associations that allege to assist farmers but which in fact do nothing to help. (An Nahar, October 31, 2017)

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