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Pregnancy Diet with Olive Oil Benefits Unborn Development

Unborn 2A recent study conducted by researchers from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) and from the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences of the University of Milan (DiSFeB) has shown that a diet rich in olive oil has a positive effect on the development of the unborn child and may also affect the child during adult life.

Prof. Marilise Escobar Burger, one of the authors of the study, explained “During the gestation, there is a great incorporation of fatty acids into the fetal brain, in order to maintain the adequate development. Since olive oil is consumed in the Mediterranean diet with great results, the idea was that the olive oil, with a favorable fatty acids profile, could be good as well in the prenatal period.”

According to Camila Simonetti Pase, Federal University of Santa Maria, olive oil regularly consumed during perinatal period seems to be able to prevent oxidative damage and improve the expression of protective neurotrophins in the adult brain.

The researchers evaluated the influence of different diets on rodent pups by feeding them a diet enriched with 20 percent olive oil (OOED) with one group was subjected to a standard diet (CD). They monitored the pups at various times during pregnancy, lactation, and following weaning until adulthood. They focused on measuring oxidative and molecular brain parameters and weight during their lives and found positive results for levels of prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

Interestingly, the pups whose diet was changed from a CD to OOED 21 days after birth showed a greater weight than the group that remained the same original diet (OOED) to adulthood.

Researcher Camila Simonetti Pase (UFSM) explained that “an olive oil diet during perinatal period seems to be able to prevent oxidative damage and improve the expression of protective neurotrophins in the adult brain.” The neurotrophins evaluated in our work are related to cellular survival, plasticity and protection from neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.”

The idea of the study and the joint collaboration started when Dr. Angélica Martelli Teixeira, who used to work with fatty acids in Brazil, got in touch with the Italian researchers of the University of Milan during an exchange program in Italy for her PhD.

The study adds to a an ever-increasing body of research that demonstrates diets rich or poor in fats (good fats, in particular such as olive oil) or sugars may have effects on the mechanisms of brain function and functional recovery after traumatic injuries. Further, the results open a line of pioneering research on feeding and therapeutic strategies and on the potential of healthy eating habits to prevent neonatal conditions and their influence on adult life.

So, Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your diet can help your unborn and growing child throughout pregnancy and life. Let’s get healthy together!

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Let’s Talk Olive Oil Soap

Enjoy Little Angel traditional olive oil soaps!

Enjoy all three varieties of Little Angel/Patounis all-traditional olive oil soap!I can’t say I ever expected to find olive oil soap – or any soap for that matter – interesting enough to actually write about, let alone expect anyone else to find it interesting enough to read it. Yet, here we are talking about soap!

It wasn’t until I experienced olive oil soap that I began to understand the importance of soap. I mean, I always knew it was important. Mom always reminded me to remember to use soap and I found I had more success engaging other people after using it but I never understood how important the ingredients used in the soap actually were. In researching the perfect olive oil soap to bear the Little Angel brand, I began to realize that what it’s made of and how it’s made make all the difference in the world.

Little Angel/Patounis pure olive oil soaps are made in Corfu, Greece at the Patounis soap factory using traditional techniques for making all natural bar soap that have been in place for over a century. Since 1891, to be exact. The processes used in manufacturing our 100% Greek olive oil soaps may be ancient, but they seem to resonate in our modern world of artificial colors and chemically-engineered ingredients. Little Angel/Patounis Greek olive oil soaps are all natural using only the purest Greek olive oils.

Synthetic detergents (washing powder, shampoo, liquid soap etc), developed in the modern age, certainly offer practicality and create good impressions, as well as being cheaper and easier to manufacture. As a result, the long-standing, traditional approach to soap making – the quality of which depended not only on the maker’s skill, but also on the suitability of the oil used to make it – fell by the wayside when the more modern, mass-produced techniques took hold.

However, an important factor was overlooked: the negative long term effects of all the new chemical ingredients on our quality of life and on our environment. Today, we know that many of these chemicals are harmful and educated consumers are increasingly looking for pure and natural cleansing products. To meet this need the existing traditional soap manufacturing process, like that used in Little Angel/Patounis olive oil soaps is able to respond by offering a pure soap made of selected natural olive and palm oils. It has been long accepted that olive oil soap is the most suitable skin cleanser since it clears the skin’s pores by effectively removing dirt, oily substances and dead cells with harmful chemicals or additives.

We offer our 100% Greek all-natural olive oil soaps in three varieties: our traditional pure olive oil soap, our all-natural green olive oil soap, and our luxurious olive/palm soap. Each of these varieties serves a specific purpose in your daily cleaning regimen and no home should be without them.

Our Little Angel/Patounis Olive Oil Soap is made totally of pure virgin olive oil. It has moderate lathering capacity and is distinguished for its mild, yet thorough, cleansing action. It is ideal for cleansing the face, for infants, and for all levels of sensitive skin. We use it everyday at the sink and in the shower. It is the perfect choice for an all-around, all-natural cleansing soap.

For tougher cleaning jobs (like my hands after a morning in the garden), we offer Little Angel/Patounis Green Olive Soap. Made using the same all-natural ingredients and traditional methods, our green olive soap is made with olive pomace oil which is extracted from the skin and pit of the olives (after the extraction of olive oil). These extracts from the skin of the olives, include the olive’s chlorophyll. Therefore, the soap is green when is fresh, hence its name. However, the color fades on the outer layer as soap dries and matures. Green olive soap is reputed for its thorough cleansing, while being friendly to the skin.

Finally, our Little Angel/Patounis Olive Palm Soap is made of pure virgin olive oil (82%) and palm kernel oil (18%). It is a gentle soap with a smooth lather, making it pleasant to use. We have one customer who swears by it for shaving. He told us he has thrown away his shaving cream and uses only Little Angel olive palm soap. Who knew?

In case you hadn’t noticed by now, we are very proud of our all-natural, 100% Greek, pure Little Angel/Patounis olive oil soaps. We hope you will try and enjoy all three varieties and tell your friends about them. All natural soap is a great way to make a positive and healthful change in your life. We think you will be pleasantly surprised and may even find yourself talking to others about soap of all things.

Try our Little Angel/Patounis olive oil soaps now!

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Students Build High-Tech Olive Oil Sensor

A team of UC Davis students built a bio-sensor machine that can detect rancid or fraudulent olive oil. From left are: James Lucas, Sarah Ritz, Simon Staley, Yeonju Song, Brian Tamsut and Lucas Murray. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)A student team composed of some of the best and brightest young minds at the University of California, Davis, today took the grand prize in the finals of the global iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) competition in Boston. The team also won the Best Policy and Practices Advanced Presentation Award.

The competition, which this year featured 245 teams from Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, annually challenges student teams to design and build biological systems or machines and present their inventions in the international competition.

Why is this important olive oil news, you may ask? Well, it’s because this team spent several months building a high-tech, palm-sized biosensor to quickly evaluate the chemical profile of olive oil! Their creation provides a prototype for quickly and accurately detecting low-grade or adulterated olive oil and is intended to mimic the taste buds of humans and the parallel (or exceed) the human assessment process of olive oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil is flavorful and healthy, which could explain why sales of high-quality olive oil have tripled in America in the last two decades. But when you buy a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil, can you be sure the oil inside is, indeed, “extra virgin”?

Unfortunately, the answer is “no”. In fact, as much as two-thirds of the extra-virgin olive oil sold in the United States is actually much lower-grade oil, lacking the antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and flavor found in true extra-virgin olive oil. So, what’s a poor consumer to do?

The team of of UC Davis students built a biosensor designed to quickly and easily evaluate the chemical profile of oil, providing producers, distributors, retailers and ultimately consumers with an effective, inexpensive way to ensure olive oil quality.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding,” said Brian Tamsut, a sophomore majoring in biotechnology, surrounded by his teammates in the UC Davis Genome Center where their palm-sized biosensor was taking shape. “It’s especially rewarding knowing our project is practical and will solve a real, tangible problem.”

Ensuring olive oil quality is, indeed, a real concern for consumers and people throughout the olive oil industry. Shoppers pay more for extra-virgin olive oil and want to get their money’s worth. Honest olive oil producers want to keep fraudsters from passing off sub-par olive oil as the real deal, and retailers, distributors and producers want a quick, easy way to ensure olive oil quality. And it’s not just a question of fraud. 

“Even good oil can go bad,” explained Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center. “Extra-virgin olive oil has a shelf life.”

Extra virgin is the highest grade of olive oil, produced by crushing fresh olives and extracting the oil. True extra-virgin olive oil has a fruity flavor and no defects such as rancidity, the most common olive oil defect.

Rancidity is that stale taste and smell that you get when oil oxidizes over time or is exposed to too much light, heat or air. Lower-grade olive oils, produced using heat or solvents to extract the oil, lack the health benefits and flavor of high-grade olive oil.

There are olive oil standards set by the International Olive Council and the USDA, but they are voluntary. Importers, especially, can get away with mislabeling and selling a sub-par product because it’s hard to trace where and how imported olive oil is produced. Little Angel is proud to be a 100% pure Greek extra virgin olive oil that can stand up to any test of authenticity and purity!

Trained sensory scientists can distinguish fresh and high-quality from defective olive oil, but there’s no user-friendly machine that can quickly assess olive oil quality.

What does rancid olive oil look like, chemically speaking, and how do you build a device that can quickly, easily and inexpensively test for those signature chemical compounds? That was the daunting task facing the six iGEM team members, the best and brightest of the hundreds who applied to be part of the 2014 UC Davis team.

“It’s extremely complicated,” said Selina Wang, research director for the UC Davis Olive Center and one of four advisers to the 2014 iGEM team. “The chemical methods we have available now are either too crude and don’t correlate with sensory traits, or are too time-consuming and require expensive instruments. The students’ goal was to generate an affordable device to detect a comprehensive profile of signature rancidity compounds that match what we smell.”

They’re really close. Their electrochemical biosensor — shaped liked an oversized thermometer — comes complete with the computer hardware and software necessary to read rancidity levels in a single drop of oil.

“It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there,” said Aaron Cohen, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering.

Their biosensor will be best suited for producers, buyers and retailers because it’s probably too complicated in its current form to easily test olive oil quality at home. But Wang sees a day when a future generation of this technology could be built into every bottle of extra-virgin olive oil to guarantee freshness.

“That way, consumers can see at a glance whether their olive oil is starting to turn rancid,” Wang said.

In the meantime, people throughout the olive oil industry, here and abroad, could benefit from the new biosensor, which the team predicts will retail for about $125.

“UC Davis provides world-class agricultural research,” said Simon Staley, a sophomore majoring in biosystems engineering. “So it’s fitting for us to seek solutions to food quality and safety concerns.”

The UC Davis team is composed of undergraduate students Lucas Murray, Brian Tamsut, James Lucas, Sarah Ritz, Aaron Cohen and Simon Staley, with student Yeonju Song serving as an alternate or “shadow” team member.

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Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Ready for your Table!

Little Angel is here and ready for your table!

Little Angel is in the warehouse and ready for your table. Shop now!“What a long strange trip it’s been!” – Jerry Garcia

That line from a song best describes the glorious adventure the Little Angel team has been on to bring the first of our Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive oil and our great Greek olive oil products to the market. We are excited to announce that Little Angel is in the building! Now, the real work begins. It is time to share our great extra virgin olive oil with you so that you can share it with all of your friends and family.

Little Angel was started from an idea and a shared passion for all things Greek in May of 2014. One year later, the company is full of energy, great people, and that same passion that started the Little Angel spark. Along the way, we designed logos, got federal trademarks, designed labels, picked bottles, built our team, agreed and disagreed, met all challenges, and brought everything from Greece safely to our warehouse facilities south of Miami, FL. We can get tired just thinking about all the adventures and ups and downs. All that fatigue dissolves, however, as soon as we look at the beautiful pallets of Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive oil that now adorn our warehouse.

The greatest news of all is that everyone that has tasted our Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil has loved it! Before the oil was officially ready for sale, we were blessed with a bronze award at the 2015 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition. Next year, we plan to win even more awards in all the major competitions (we are certainly going to try, anyway).

Truth be told, the only major award we want to win is your approval. We think Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil tastes amazing and we are confident that you will, too. We invite you to explore all of our high quality Greek olive oil products including our Greek extra virgin olive oil, our premium Kalamata olives, our traditional and all-natural Little Angel/Patounis olive oil soaps, and our amazingly beautiful and handcrafted olive wood products. Also, be sure to check our our great Little Angel Gift Collections. We want you to join the Little Angel family of friends and have some fun.

Above all, we want to thank you for all the support you have shown us while we worked to get off the ground. Well, we are clearly off the ground and we think the sky is the limit!

So, enjoy!

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Little Angel Wins at Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition!

Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the proud recipient of a bronze medal at the 2015 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition.

Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the proud recipient of a bronze medal at the 2015 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition.Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the proud recipient of a bronze medal at the 2015 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition!

This competition, a world-class and respected international olive oil competition, was first run in 2000. To win a medal, an extra virgin olive oil entry needs to be favored by a panel of expert judges from around the world.

The 2015 Northern Hemisphere Competition received 500 extra virgin olive oils from 294 producers.  There were a total of 8 Best of Show Awards, 24 Best of Class Awards, 94 Gold Medal Awards, 100 Silver Medal Awards, and 104 Bronze Medal Awards and Dievole, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Italy received the Marco Mugelli Award. This year’s Northern Hemisphere Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition received extra virgin olive oils from China, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United States.

What a way to start off the selling season for our 2014 harvest! Everyone at Little Angel is excited to bring you our award-winning Greek extra virgin olive oil. Congratulations to all the medal winners but particularly to our fellow Greek olive oil producers.

“I was more surprised than I have ever been!” said Angeliki Aninou, President at Little Angel. “Our goal is to bring a high-quality Greek extra virgin olive oil to our family of friends and to have our goal validated by a panel of expert judges at the LA Olive Oil Competition is truly a humbling experience.”

Our oil is a monocultivar of the Koroneiki variety and it is 100% a pure Greek product. We hope you will enjoy all of our Greek products including our award-winning Greek extra virgin olive oil, our hand-picked fresh Kalamata olives, our all-natural Little Angel/Patounis olive oil soaps, and handcrafted line of olive wood products for your kitchen, your table, and your guests.

This is just the beginning for our team at Little Angel! We are humbled and we promise to work hard to earn your business every single day.

So, enjoy…!

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The Three Most Important Ingredients in a Mediterranean Diet

Vegetables, tomatoes, and a great extra virgin olive oil are the secret to a healthy Mediterranean diet.Regardless of what anyone tells you, regardless of what you read or hear, when it comes to nutrition, a healthy diet, and good health there are no silver bullets or shortcuts. The key to a healthy diet is combining nutritious foods and ingredients that, when consumed together, provide the health and nutrition benefits you seek. Such is the Mediterranean diet, known throughout the world for its flavorful and healthful effects with regard to reducing risks associated with a myriad of chronic diseases and unhealthy conditions.The secret behind this well-deserved reputation is the simple combination of three ingredients that work together to bring all the health (and flavor) advantages of the diet to its consumer: extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and vegetables.

Recent research studies presented at the National Academy of Sciences and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that when vegetables and common salad ingredients are consumed with  a “good” fat such as extra virgin olive oil (Little Angel, of course), the body enjoys an increased absorption of carotenoids as well as many important vitamins. The important thing to know about this scientific sounding stuff is that carotenoids act as antioxidants which is a good thing because antioxidants serve to reduce oxidative stress which is definitely a bad thing! Oxidative stress contributes to a wide variety of diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few.

These studies have shown that when tomatoes are combined with a high quality olive oil and heated, the combination increases the absorption of lycopene – a carotenoid commonly found in tomatoes. This combination of olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs makes vegetables much easier to consume and digest. And, since olive oil, tomatoes and vegetables are all foods rich in antioxidants, the benefits start flowing. Although each of these ingredients have high nutritional value in their own right, it seems that when combined, their individual values are multiplied.

Now for the best news, These three ingredients are the basis for an incredible number of Mediterranean diet vegetable dishes such as eggplant parmigiana (Italian), fassolakia lathera (Greek, and my favorite), and sofrito sauce (Spanish) which a main ingredient for paella. In other words: a simple tomato sauce made with a high quality Greek extra virgin olive oil like Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

How can you lose? Simple ingredients you like anyway combine to create a delicious sauce that promotes increased consumption of vegetables in your diet by making them taste better and their interaction multiplies the value of what you were going to get from them individually. Yet another one of the myriad of extra virgin olive oil uses that will contribute to a healthy diet menu and, therefore, a healthy lifestyle.

The best part is that this sauce can be made in advance and used whenever you like. Make it fresh, can it, freeze it, whatever. Add the sauce to any favorite (or not so favorite) vegetable dish suddenly positions vegetables as a main course, which means that in just one meal we can consume 2-4 servings of vegetables in one sitting. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has reported that Americans are not eating enough vegetables so adding just two vegetable main courses each week can make a big difference in our health and add a little spice and variety to our meal planning.

Think about how this can benefit meal planning beyond your table. Everything from school lunches to hospital food can greatly benefit from a Mediterranean style preparation of vegetables. No more trying to increase vegetable consumption in children through raw vegetables and salads, cooked vegetables with an antioxidant rich tomato sauce will encourage a much higher intake. Mediterranean vegetable casseroles often taste better the next day and thus serve to minimize food waste.

So, you want a Mediterranean diet food list? Here’s the deal: tomatoes, vegetables, and Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Read more about the Mediterranean diet here.

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Is That Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Your Cocktail?

Why not enjoy an extra virgin olive oil cocktail using Little AngelThere’s a new olive oil cocktail sheriff in town, partner.

If you haven’t already, you’re about to notice extra virgin olive oil setting around your favorite watering hole. The healthful and flavorful kitchen oil has been used for sautéing, frying, drizzling, baking, dipping and more, so why not in your favorite cocktail? Voila! The olive oil cocktail!

A flavorful extra virgin olive oil like Little Angel blends easily with vodka and gin-based drinks to add a unique, luscious, fruity twist. To take it even further, try mixing infused oils with spirits and take a simple beverage to a new level. The myriad of extra virgin olive oil uses now extends to the bar!

Man cannot survive on martinis alone, however, and an olive oil cocktail can compliment foods beautifully. Think basil and lemon paired with a white pizza, or rosemary and salt to accompany a classic recipe like Duck à l’Orange.

Though you can easily experiment at home with your olive oil concoctions, restaurants and mixology emporiums throughout the country have caught on to the olive oil cocktail craze.

Mediterranean favorite Fig & Olive in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, boasts its namesake drink created by combining cucumber infused vodka, blood orange olive oil, egg white, simple syrup, celery, lime juice, and blood orange puree. Sounds good enough to eat.

At Marvel Bar in Minneapolis, bartenders mix the savory “Oliveto,” made from olive oil, raw egg white, lemon, Licor 43 and Gordon’s. Notice how both drinks contain egg whites, which act as an emulsifier with water and oil.

Other ingredients that mix well with EVOO are fruits, sugar, and flavored bitters.

Up to the task at home? You’ll need a little muscle to get the completed drink to your glass–– a hearty shake is necessary to blend the cocktail well and bring it to a foamy consistency. To finish, pour the Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil potion into your favorite bar ware of choice and sip away. The great ways to use olive oil simply never end. Besides, now you can honestly tell your friends and family that you drink olive oil daily!

So, enjoy…

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Yassou from Greece: Introducing HuffPost Greece

Arianna HuffingtonEveryone in the Little Angel family of friends knows that we are all about being Greek and we enjoy the conversation in our blog devoted to Greece! And, being Greek goes beyond your heritage because everyone can be Greek just by deciding to do so. So, we are proud to announce to our family of Greeks the introduction of a new blog devoted to Greece. What makes this so special to us is that it comes from one our favorite bloggers and a fellow Greek — Arianna Huffington.

Below is an excerpt from her press release announcing HuffPost Greece. We wish her all the best and we promise to bring you select content from this great blog devoted to news about Greece as it grows and progresses.

ATHENS — As The Huffington Post has expanded around the world, I have used this space to introduce each of our new international editions. But none of the announcements I’ve made has had as much significance for me personally as what I have to share today: the launch of The Huffington Post in my native Greece. If I veer into some emotional territory (and spoiler alert: I will — it’s in my genes), it’s because even now, surrounded by our wonderful team of editors in our office with a stunning view of the Parthenon, I’m overwhelmed by gratitude.

For me, this is the ultimate homecoming, not only because this is where I and my accent were born but because HuffPost is very firmly rooted in a Greek tradition of bringing people together and facilitating interesting conversations. When we began our international expansion more than three years ago, I knew that one day HuffPost’s own odyssey (to borrow from one of my compatriots) would lead us to Greece. And I couldn’t be happier that that day has finally come.

Launching HuffPost Greece is, in many ways, about coming full circle. My father was a serial journalism entrepreneur who launched a succession of small newspaper ventures — all of which failed. (It’s no accident HuffPost is not in print!)

After my parents broke up when I was 11, I lived with my mother and my sister Agapi in a one-bedroom apartment in Athens. My mother was amazingly committed to making sure my sister and I had the best childhood possible. She would preside over long sessions in our small kitchen, guiding us through our daily problems by discussing Greek philosophy. And, of course, she was always cooking, clearly believing that if you didn’t eat something every 20 minutes, something terrible would happen to you.

This was a time when Greek women still needed dowries to get married. So my mother would always say to me, “Your education will be your dowry.” And to make that happen, she sold everything she had, including her last pair of gold earrings. That started me on a journey: college at Cambridge, a career as an author, marriage, motherhood, divorce, launching HuffPost. But Greece is where my story began.

Now HuffPost Greece will be telling the stories that matter most in Greece and, just as important, helping Greeks tell their stories themselves. The Huffington Post is both a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism enterprise with investigative reporters all around the world and a platform where people both known and unknown with something interesting to say can say it. And I’m so grateful to be able to bring The Huffington Post to Greece at this very challenging moment in the country’s history.

As HuffPost has grown, I have returned over and over in my mind to the traditions and wisdom of my home country. For my Greek ancestors, philosophy was anything but an academic exercise. Asking the question “What is a good life?” was a daily practice in the art of living. This question had to lie at the root of HuffPost’s mission to redefine success beyond the first two metrics of money and power to include a third metric, consisting of well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.

Still, like in many other countries, in Greece today the good life, by any definition, is up against steep challenges. Unemployment was at 26 percent in July, with youth unemployment at a staggering 49 percent. Austerity measures have crippled Greece’s economy, while suicide, drug use and overdoses have risen dramatically. The vicious cycle of budget cuts has reduced Greece’s ability to help its own most vulnerable citizens, even as their number has multiplied.

But Greece is moving forward. I’ve witnessed that Greek resilience firsthand many times in my life. In the summer of 2011, I spent many nights in Syntagma Square, directly across from the Greek parliament. The protesting crowd was mixed, full of young people and old, the self-employed, the unemployed, activists and pensioners, demanding the opportunity to live out their own versions of a good life.

That desire is stronger than ever, and the central mission of HuffPost Greece will be to open up the conversation about the ways we can tap into the inner resources we all have. Large-scale institutional changes are of course incredibly important, and we’ll be covering those too, but we don’t have to wait for them before we initiate change in our own lives right now.

To the Stoics, the most secure kind of happiness could therefore be found in the only thing that we are in sole control of: our inner world. Everything outside us can be taken away, as too many in Greece know full well, so how can we entrust our future happiness and well-being to it? Once we realize that, we can bring about a sense of imperturbability (or ataraxia, as the Greeks called it), and from that place, we can much more effectively and powerfully bring about change in our lives and the world around us.

At the same time that we will be covering relentlessly all the economic problems that Greece is facing, we will also, just as relentlessly, put the spotlight on its new entrepreneurial fervor for creating jobs, spurring growth and forging new connections. HuffPost Greece will also be a place to explore the intersection between modern science and the ancient Greek wisdom about living life with greater health and fulfillment and less stress and burnout. And while HuffPost Greece will be reporting relentlessly on the impact of austerity and all that is dysfunctional and not working, we’ll also be telling the stories of what is working.

Growing up, my favorite poem was “Ithaka” by the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy. Agapi and I had memorized the poem long before we could actually understand what it means. It opens, “As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery.” And so it has been. I’m so grateful to the many, many people, both now and through the years, who have helped bring us to this moment and the launch of HuffPost Greece. If I had a plate, I’d smash it. Please join me in welcoming Greece to the HuffPost family. Opa!

And, please join Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s blog devoted to Greece in welcoming HuffPost Greece to our family of friends!

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Is Your Italian Olive Oil Really From Italy?

Make sure your Italian olive oil isn't really Greek olive oil. Just buy Greek!The world loves olive oil – from Greek olive oil to Italian olive oil to blended olive oil. And, many olive oil lovers seem to prefer Italian olive oil over all others. Just go to the supermarket and you’ll immediately see that many bottles of oil are packaged to make clear their Italian origin.  But here’s the deal, when you buy a bottle of oil that says imported olive oil from Italy on the label, you need to check the small print on the label because you may find that what you are really getting is Italian olive oil blended with olive oil from other countries,  particularly with premium quality extra virgin olive oil from Greece.

Italy uses and exports more olive oil than its can grow and produce.  Natural olive oil from Greece is as good, if not better, than olive oil from many other countries, but it is cheaper to produce. Italian brands buy Greek oil, mix it with their own and sell it to you, quite legally by the way,as Italian product.  Greek olive growers grow and press more olives than home consumption can use and so they can sell their excess olives to Italy. The truth be told, if you have ever eaten extra virgin olive oil, you have probably eaten Greek extra virgin olive oil. You just didn’t know it!

Importing and mixing Greek extra virgin olive oil with Italian olive oil has become common commonplace to meet the worldwide demand for healthy and nutritious EVOO. If you take the time to read what it says on the label (and the producer is honest), you may well see that the oil is really a blend of oils from Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean countries like Tunisia.  Worse yet, some of the best quality, greatest tasting Greek olive oils, grown with care and love in Greece by Greeks, hand-picked and cold pressed, is being re-packaged and sold as premium Italian olive oil or blended olive oil.

Homer, the most revered of the ancient Greek poets, described olive oil from Greece as being ‘liquid gold’ and Greek olive growers, specializing in getting the best fruit from their rows of dark leaved olive trees take advantage of the glorious climate that Mother Nature bestows upon Greece.

So if you look closely at the label, your bottle of Italian olive oil is probably a mix of oils.  And, if Greek olive oil tastes as good (or better) as Italian olive oil, and if Greek olive oil is just as healthy as Italian olive oil, why don’t you just buy Greek olive oil in the first place? Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the highest quality oils you will find anywhere. It is real Greek olive oil and a 100% Greek product!

We guarantee it.

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