How many times those religious,
and school curriculum stories have been repeated mantra like all over the world? The people who do now their history are bound to repeat the same errors. What a bunch of crap.
Perhaps you heard, read about the Balkans. Remember those killing machines in the 90's? It all started with Turks or ISLAM, centuries ago. That is that for know.
Olives, the fruit and the trees have often impressed me for their resilience and strange beauty. Not long ago I mentioned here the recent trend of selling of one hundred years old trees for landscaping. Uprooted from former plantations, sold for 1,000 euros, in Spain. Some are five hundred and even 1,000 years can be found, for some more money. Now lets go back in time to Greece to see what's the story.
FOOD IN HISTORY
Stein and Day
At the beginning of the sixth century B.C., Solon forbade the export of any agricultural produce other than olive oil. It was a well-meant gesture, but it struck the fatal blow at the Greek landscape.
Such fibrous-rooted as remained were felled for the sake of the olive, whose deep-striking tap root soaked up the moisture far down in the limestone and did nothing to knit, conserve or feed the topsoil. By the fourth century B.C., Plato was gloomily contrasting the bare white limestone of the Attic countryside he knew with the green meadows, woods and springs of the past. The pure and brilliant light which is so startling a characteristic of Greece today had been bought at the expense of the trees which had once kept the land fertile. It took thousand of years for the neolithic revolution to desiccate the flat countryside of Mesopotamia, but only a few hundred in the topographical context of Greece.
Cultivation of the olive seems to have originated six thousand years ago at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. The straggly, spiny wild plant, poor in oil, was widely distributed even before this time, but it needed the agricultural and mercantile genius of the Syrians and Palestinians to develop the thornless, compact, oil-rich variety which was to spread all along the shores of the Mediterranean.
Oil was everywhere in demand in the ancient world, for food, lighting and medicine, as well as for the lustrations of Egypt and the perfumed unguents with which the early Mediterranean peoples anointed their bodies. The olive was by no means the only provider, though it was the richest known during the Western bronze age. In Greece, oil was also extracted from the walnut and the oppium poppy, in Mesopotamia and Africa, from sesame, from almonds in Anatolia; flax and radish in Egypt, flax and cameline in norther Europe. South, Central and western North America
had, respectively, groundnut, maize, and sunflower seed oil, while in Asia the soybean and the coconut palm were probably the richest sources.
That is that. This book is one of my favorites, with me few years after it was published, when I was interested in gastronomy and cooking.
Just thought that your humble servant, like Plato, and I bet tens of others in touch with their surroundings, noticed during their time, in my case 15 of age, the evil, stupid, for profit irreversible destruction.
The first time I wrote to a newspaper about tree mutilation, was 1969. Published in La Semana, a local newspaper in the Caguas Country. I still have the brief letter.
You can make whatever from this post, I
can not help about the remarkable, futile attempt to create bio fuels from food. Corn, sugar cane and such. I understand to some extent oil from palm and Jathropa, however the destruction to the environment is no different from trash wood planted for paper.
I could go on and on, but let me finish here, in Puerto Rico, following the USA economic model: house, car, children has plastered as a consequence the Metro Zone with concrete/asphalt/C02, traffic jams 24/7, for what? For a better life? Haja bilingual epilogue.
Flowering down this mean isle,
Gloriosa rothschildiana. Meanwhile, the pink and the white Plumerias are getting naked, for later blooming.
Apaga i vamonoh.