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Green Olives/Black Olives  This thread currently has 3,385 views. Print Print Thread
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yaeli
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 10:22am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I'd like to raise once again a question that has been asked in the thread Kalamta olives in November 2010, re the definition of 'black olives' that are included as a food in SWAMI, BTD and GTD - and remained unanswered.

In food industry black olives are still manufactured by dyeing olives black using food color. I really don't know how people put in their mouths such a thing. It has put me off since I was very young.

On the other hand, there are the olives which have ripened on the trees and turned purplish dark. These too are called black olives, and it is claimed that only these are healthy olives, as opposed to the green ones, which are picked before having ripened and are very bitter and inedible until pickled.

My guess is that Dr. D would refer to the second healthy definition (perhaps this goes w/o saying), but I'd like to make sure.

Does anybody know?


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yaeli
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 12:45pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The reason to my question is that I like olives and find it difficult to give them up completely.

In my SWAMI green olives are black dot, and black olives are a toxin (no dot). This doesn't make sense to me, unless black olives mean those with artificial colour.

If this is not the case, then there's some chemical process that olives undergo as they ripen on the tree which adds to their toxicity.


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yvonneb
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 1:14pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Hi Yeali, I vaguely remember there being an issue with fermentation? I couldn't find it for you, but here is some practical advice....

If you have no health issues you can have olives without guilt...

Assuming you eat 5 times a day (3 meals, 2 snacks), if you stick to 100% compliance in all the major components of your meals then a small handfull of olives every other day still gets you above 90% overall compliance!

Enjoy them as a treat or treat them like a spice you'd sprinkle on your food.

If you do have health issues...dude, get used to not having them  
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yaeli
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 5:30pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thank you Yvonneb.

Forget about a small handful    When I have them I have them in abundance. Therefore I  buy them only rarely, as a special treat, and organic, no vinegar. But my question stays. I'd rather have the ripe ones.  


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C_Sharp
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 5:43pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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When I have questions about what food is meant, I try to use the description of the food included in typebase.

The common black olive or Mission olive is a ripe green olive that obtains its characteristic color and flavor from lye curing and oxygenation. Olives that are tree ripened turn dark brown or black naturally. The majority of these olives are used for oil but the rest are brine or salt-cured and are usually packed in olive oil or a vinegar solution


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ABJoe
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Spanish olive description:
Spanish olives are picked young, soaked in lye, then fermented in brine for 6 to 12 months. When bottled, they're packed in a weak brine...


Black olive description in C-sharp's quote above indicates oxygenation as part of the processing, while the Spanish only gets the lye soak, then brine fermentation.

My guess is that the oxygenation process increases free radicals or similar...

One other difference I see is that the Spanish olive is packed in brine, where the black olive is packed in olive oil or vinegar.  I can't imagine the olive oil packing to be bad, but the vinegar pack could reduce the rating...



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Conor
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 8:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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With respect to olives, yaeli, I'm right there with you. To paraphrase Will Rogers, I've never met an olive I didn't like. (:

That said, my understanding is that all olives, irrelevant of color, must be cured before they can be eaten; i.e., even if allowed to fully ripen on the tree--Cailletier (better known as Niçoise due to its curing method), Kalamata or whichever--you likely wouldn't find the taste appealing to just pop a raw one in your mouth. Olives contain a glucoside called oleuropein, as well as oleocanthal, which account for their au naturel bitter taste. Too, in relation to color, olives cured naturally (without the use of dyes and/or extreme processing methods) vary in color from various shades of green to black, brown and purple (Kalamata is actually considered to be purple) to even the brownish-pink of the ancient Souri (a/k/a Syrian) olive originally cultivated in Lebanon (Tyre) but now grown primarily in Nazareth, Israel.

Fortunately, a number of U.S. consumers in recent years have become much more savvy about what makes a quality olive, and typical canned olives (cured with lye and artifically dyed, regardless of color) that were the only ones available in most grocery stores are not our only options today. While the lye processing and artificial dyeing still hold true for most all canned black olives, as well as many green olives from Spain and some brands of the Niçoise olive from France, it has become much easier to find olives cured in the old-school method of simple brine, wine and/or herb vinegar or just pure oil. Aside from the nutritional degradation of the olive when processed with lye and such, the most regrettable part of this desecration for me is that many people think of an olive as some tasteless, mushy or overly-hard thing that really has little relation to what real, traditional olives are. Plus, when an olive is pitted, a large part of the most flavorful olive meat is destroyed since so much of the flavor occurs right where the meat meets the stone/seed.

As you're also a type O, and a secretor, I'm approaching the color issue from our basic food list. For example, when I look at even a 'fairly clean' ingredient label for pitted, black olives, the list reads: black olives, water, salt, vinegar, oil and potassium sorbate. So, even ignoring the lye processing and dyeing beforehand, right off the bat vinegar is an avoid for us. So many commercial olives today, even organic ones, are pickled with one form of vinegar or another. I imagine the potassium sorbate is included as a preservative and to inhibit any mold/yeast growth. (I seem to recall from the ER4YT book that black pepper is an avoid for us due to its processing, and its potential for mold growth, as much as anything else ... I had a really hard time giving up fresh-ground black pepper.) Anyhow, the University of Oxford Department of Chemistry's material safety data sheets (MSDS) list potassium sorbate as a skin, eye and respiratory irritant. Not sure if this is one of the pieces of the puzzle as to why 'black' olives are an avoid.

One thing I noticed is that when I did my SWAMI profile, in my food lists, green and Kalamata olives are still a neutral food while black olives are listed as an avoid. You'll notice in the Typebase Index, both green and dark purple olives are categorized together (and listed as a neutral for us). Personally, I've continued to use a wide variety of olives, of every 'natural' color, almost daily in salads and haven't noticed any negative health effects from doing so. However, I only buy organic olives that are cured in either sea salt-based brine and fruit like lemons or extra virgin olive oil.

One other thing that might be of interest: another benefit of eating olives (and supplementing with olive leaf), is that both contain hydroxytyrosol (3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol), a phytochemical with antioxidant properties and, seemingly, a quite high-powered antioxidant. Current data states that its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is 40,000 umolTE/g. To put this in perspective, it's about twice the antioxidant activity of Coenzyme Q10  and approximately 10x higher than the ORAC value of green tea.

Long live the mighty olive! <;

I was about to click on 'Post Reply' when this thought occurred: just as green (unripe) papaya has different health benefits than fully ripened papaya, it would be interesting to see if there are any studies which researched the differences in phytochemical levels, et cetera, between unripened green olives versus ripened olives. Similar to green olives, unripe papaya is pickled into a condiment called atchara and is typically served as a side dish, especially with grilled meat such as pork ... not too dissimilar to how olives were traditionally served as an accompaniment for grilled lamb, and still are.

----------
Abstract: The olive constituent oleuropein exhibits anti-ischemic, antioxidative, and hypolipidemic effects in anesthetized rabbits. Journal of Nutrition. 2006 August;136(8):2213-9



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What is food to one man is bitter poison to others. ~ Titus Lucretius Carus
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san j
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 9:58pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I eat 'em rarely.

...


But I love 'em.
Schlepped Kalamatas back to Switzerland (when I lived there) by the LARGE tin-ful from Greece and gave away these little vats as gifties to mes amis. All appreciated them.

(Then shipped Swiss chocolates to Greece, to similar gratitude!)

And - yaeli has some mighty good olives to enjoy where she is. There's this in-between kind of olive common there - mostly green but with the blush of purpleness, and very fleshy. Mmmm...


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Kibble
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 10:11pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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I used to love olives.  I couldn't figure out which ones I might be able to eat so I gave up and quit eating all of them.  They are expensive so this decision saved me some money.  I have probably spent that money on tons of broccoli though.  
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yaeli
Sunday, May 20, 2012, 7:10am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from ABJoe
Black olive description in C-sharp's quote above indicates oxygenation as part of the processing, while the Spanish only gets the lye soak, then brine fermentation.

My guess is that the oxygenation process increases free radicals or similar...
This must be it!

Thanks for your help C-Sharp and ABJoe.

It's true I admit, recently I haven't checked the typebase al all, yet Dr. D adds new info currently.



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yaeli
Sunday, May 20, 2012, 8:24am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Conor
To paraphrase Will Rogers, I've never met an olive I didn't like.


Thank you Conor! Your scholarly and lovely post is like olive oil in my bones.

The info about the ORAC of olives is amazing. Also most interesting is that the taste is best near the pit. This makes sense of course, as the whole purpose of the fruit is for the birds to expose the pit.

Potassium sorbate, which doesn't appear in the typebase, is included in The GenoType Diet book as a toxin for Hunters and Gatherers. It must be then neutral for the other genotypes. It also appears as a toxin in my SWAMI.


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Conor
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Quoted from yaeli
Thank you Conor! .... the whole purpose of the fruit is for the birds to expose the pit .... Potassium sorbate, which doesn't appear in the typebase, is included in The GenoType Diet book as a toxin for Hunters and Gatherers. It must be then neutral for the other genotypes. It also appears as a toxin in my SWAMI.


My pleasure, and you make a very good point with respect to the birds and their role in the natural order of regeneration. I find it quite interesting that, similar to the date, the olive has been a significant agricultural player throughout the story of Western civilization. Imagine that there's an olive tree on the island of Crete that is close to 5,000 years old, if not older.

Too, if you don't mind, would you tell me under which category of your SWAMI is potassium sorbate listed? I cannot find it listed anywhere in my SWAMI profile. This is why I couldn't be more concise in my previous comments about potassium sorbate. I didn't know it's an avoid for Hunters and Gathers, but I'm glad to learn it. Thank you. (:



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san j
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Quoted from Conor


I find it quite interesting that, similar to the date, the olive has been a significant agricultural player throughout the story of Western civilization. Imagine that there's an olive tree on the island of Crete that is close to 5,000 years old, if not older.


Our yaeli lives in a region with many antique olive trees! Delicious oil is made not far from Jerusalem, often by families who've been in the business for centuries.
Sadly, thousands of these trees - still producing! - have been destroyed for political reasons.

We have some decent olives here in California, but the truly marvelous ones still tend to be from abroad. Part of their magic is in the romance; a knowledge of history can really enhance our enjoyment of many foods.



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kittykar1
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I take 2 T of Barlean's Olive Leaf Complex a day. Has given me energy and kept colds and flu at bay. I T has an Orac count of 7608. I miss olives. A few stores around where I live ( still have to drive 60 miles, though) have olive bars with several diffent kinds. So have an option to canned ones. I always walk by and look at all the yummy olives with longing and wish I could have some.


"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."John Lennon

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yaeli
Monday, May 21, 2012, 4:54am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from san j
Sadly, thousands of these trees - still producing! - have been destroyed for political reasons.
One estimation counts 2,616! This is of course a sheer crime. Crimes are committed for endless number of reasons. Any excuse is kosher for a criminal.

Hundreds of olive trees have been planted by Israeli nature and peace lovers in Arabic regions that had suffered such damages.

This also brings to mind demolished rain forests, and the wonderful BBC series Orangutan Diary about a sanctuary for orangutans whose habitat in Borneo had been destroyed in favour of palm oil industry.




Revision History (9 edits; 4 reasons shown)
yaeli  -  Monday, May 21, 2012, 7:11am
yaeli  -  Monday, May 21, 2012, 5:59am
yaeli  -  Monday, May 21, 2012, 5:49am
yaeli  -  Monday, May 21, 2012, 5:48am
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yaeli
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Quoted from Conor
under which category of your SWAMI is potassium sorbate listed?
Oops, I was going to include this and it slipped my mind! You are right, it doesn't appear in my SWAMI at all. I was too sure and didn't check. I check much less than I imagine. In The GenoType Diet book it appears under "Condiments and Additives".

This morning I've increased my Trehalose Complex dose to 3/4 a teaspoon....  



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yaeli
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Quoted from san j
Our yaeli lives in a region with many antique olive trees!
A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.
(Deuteronomy 8, 8.)




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yaeli
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The TypeBase relates to 3 cultivars of olives: Mission, Kalamata, and Spanish.

What I learn from the TypeBase is that Kalamata and Spanish (?) are neutral for me, and that Mission is an avoid. It has to do with the particular cultivars, not with colours. This is not a full info, but it is something.

I know Kalamata olives very well, they are imported from Greece and are rightly considered a deli.

The Spanish cultivars grown in Israel are Manzanillo and Picual. Manzanillo is the most popular cultivar in Israel, together with Souri.

I haven't heard of Mission olives before. Here's some additinal info regarding them:

Quoted from text
The California Mission Olive is a variety unique to the United States.  Although its origin was believed to be Spanish, tests at the University of Spain at Cordoba were unable to link it to any of the 700 varieties documented there. The roots of the California Mission Olive are in the orchards of the Jesuit and Franciscan missions founded several centuries ago throughout California. Mission towns pressed the olive into oil, which was used for cooking, healing wounds and lubricating machinery, as it had been in Europe for over 4000 years.
So apparently, the only cultivar which is an avoid for me is Mission. The rest would be black dot, and as long as they're not too salty and are not cured with vinegar, they are ok from time to time in moderate quantities.

I still don't know about lye, so I guess it is neutral.

This sums it up, I guess.



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san j
Monday, May 21, 2012, 6:48pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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But, yaeli - what is that "blush" olive so common in Jerusalem?
They're available in the States, imported in tins.
Really fleshy, fatty, yummy.


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Conor
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Quoted from yaeli
A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.
(Deuteronomy 8, 8.)

What do you think the "vines" refer to, yaeli, grapes? SWAMI listed one of my absolute favorite fruits, pomegranate, as a definite avoid. I was so bummed. Wheat and barley I'd already tossed before my profile (although I'm sure that today's wheat, and the processing thereof, has little in common with the wheat mentioned in Deuteronomy). At least fig and olive oil remained diamond superfoods! ((:



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san j
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Quoted from Conor

What do you think the "vines" refer to, yaeli, grapes?


Yes.



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yaeli
Monday, May 21, 2012, 7:32pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from san j
But, yaeli - what is that "blush" olive so common in Jerusalem?
They're available in the States, imported in tins.
Really fleshy, fatty, yummy.
Sounds like Manzonillo.


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yaeli
Monday, May 21, 2012, 8:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Conor
What do you think the "vines" refer to, yaeli, grapes?
Grapes are the fruit of the vine, and the vine is the bush itself. The blessing on the wine is to "The Maker of the fruit of the vine".

Quoted from Conor
SWAMI listed one of my absolute favorite fruits, pomegranate, as a definite avoid. I was so bummed.
I too am very sorry about this.  


Quoted from Conor
At least fig and olive oil remained diamond superfoods! ((:
How about the honey?



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san j
Monday, May 21, 2012, 8:17pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Not exhaustive, but an interesting picture guide to olive varieties:
http://www.foodsubs.com/Olivpick.html

The ones I'm thinking about look like the "blond" amfissa olives on this page:
http://ilida.gr/varieties_english.htm

...but apparently the amfissa olive trees can be 10 meters tall, and I don't recall such groves in Israel/Palestine?


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Conor
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Quoted from yaeli
How about the honey?

Honey is a neutral, but I know it's good for me in moderate amounts. I worked with honey bees growing up, because we had multiple hives to assist with pollination of alfalfa, et cetera. They're great little creatures; not once in all those years was I ever stung. (:

Grapes are a 'black dot' avoid but, then again, most of my grape intake comes from red wine. <;

Hmm, I just checked my SWAMI list and grape juice is a superfood. Grapes bad, but grape juice is good. Wonder what it is in the actual grape that categorizes it as an avoid for me? C'est la vie.



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