giovedì 30 gennaio 2014

It hurts 2 - First reactions

We apologize for keep writing about a task that is far from promoting sustainable olive growing, but probably this case deserves it - or it's just because we're acting jingoistic.

Few days ago the NewYork Times published some graphics that sharply and rapidly dismantled Italian olive oil reputation. We wrote about it in the post "It hurts" trying to keep us one step beyond any kind of polemic and presumptive debate.

But today, we can say something more. Today is the day that finally the first reactions are coming out, one above all the others, the reaction of Tom Muellers who, within his spoke at the Italian Parliament, took the distances from the 15 vignettes specifying they are full of mistakes and misleading information (read here). For example, presenting one of the Italian major security forces' corp as conducting investigations on olive oil frauds relying on the smell of their units. Or when it is given for grant that anybody can write almost any thing on an olive oil bottle while Italy (and Europe) require precise references to the olive oil provenience, among the others.
There's much more to say than Tom Mueller did. Not just under the technical perspective.

But as we wrote already, the worst is starting a war of polemics and, moreover, Italians have to learn from this. But there's also more to question and to interpret about what's happening in the media world, especially in a share of this world. We believe professionalism will solve this empasse.

lunedì 27 gennaio 2014

It hurts

It hurts to see things like this:

It hurts even more when you know, or I should say "suspect", that it's ALMOST true. Years of tradition, centuries sometimes, burned like a matchstick. I was going to write a small post about my last tasting session of olive oil from small family-owned olive groves, spending words about sociability and rural life, but suddenly my inspiration was frozen.
The link goes to a few illustrations from Nicholas Blechman, illustrator and art director of the New York Times Book Review, that translated into sharpening and eloquent images what it was brought to light by Thomas Mueller in his book ExtraVirginity and in his blog Truth in Olive Oil.
The short presentation depict the Italian olive oils as the mere results of frauds, no way for redemption or salvation.
For the sake of neatness of the message, the images cut out everything it's good about Italian olive oil tradition that, still, Mueller reported in his book. Common places are there, burning like fresh wound because few weapons to demolish are available. Even the efforts for quality that the other mentioned Countries have spent so far are demolished, pushing them back in shadow.
What can we say? As Italians, Southern Italians, we feel depressed. As researchers seeking and promoting environmental, social and economical sustainability we feel even worst.
However, if what Blechman depicted is ALMOST true and the Italian olive sector have to work hard to protect, support and adequately communicate its quality producers, like everybody in the world should do, eyes should be kept opened on the efforts some media are spending on olive oil.

Time to change for every body. Time to change. Keeping in mind that reputation takes year to grow and one minute to be destroyed.