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How to estimate how much olive oil to buy

September 26, 2020 3 min read

Many olive oil bottles seen from the top

You may ask yourself:  but why would I need to estimate my olive oil consumption? Surely olive oil is widely available?  Whenever I run out of one bottle, I just go and get another one at the store.  While olive oil is indeed widely available in supermarkets etc. - good quality olive oil is not that easy to get a hold of at any time. 

It’s like saying:  when I run out of my Chateau Margaux 1983 bottle (a legendary wine vintage), I’ll just go and buy another one …

Our limited production, artisanal, chemical-free olive oil from a small, pollution-free and heavy-industry-free area of natural beauty in Greece cannot always be supplied on a running basis.  It simply runs out because the field and the yearly crop only produces a certain amount.  When all stocks are sold, we have to wait to the next harvest from those trees in the following year to make more precious, hard-earned premium olive oil.

Olive oil is produced from trees that yield a crop of olive fruit once a year.  This fresh crop cannot be stored (as happens with grains and seeds), but has to be pressed into oil within hours of harvest or the olive fruit rots and becomes unfit for processing. 

So what should you do?

The recommended dietary advice for the daily consumption of olive oil in cooking and dressing of your meals according to the European Food Safety Authority is 30mls (equivalent to 2 tablespoons).  That means, you should optimally be consuming about 900ml of olive oil per month.  The idea is that we replace some of the more harmful oils and fats we currently consume with healthy, high-grade olive oil.  There are many healthy swaps we can make in our cooking and baking.    

For someone living in a country such as the UK and eating several meals away from home, 1 bottle containing 500ml of good quality extra virgin olive oil per month seems a reasonable minimum quantity guide for consumption for each personin your household.  If you're a household of 2 adults you would need a 500 ml bottle every 2 weeks or so.  If you eat more meals at home you may need to make olive oil a weekly purchase.

We noticed that during the Covid19-lockdown period in the UK, the consumption of better-quality olive oil increased as people cooked more at home and used healthier ingredients in their meals.  Let’s not forget that the human body needs to get about 30% of its daily calorie intake from fat to function optimally.   If your daily total calorie intake is about 2000 calories, your 2 tablespoons of olive oil (amounting to 240 calories) represent  only 12% of of your daily calories, not the full 30%, given that fats are also contained in meats, nuts, seeds and other foods we consume. The days when fat was vilified have long been replaced by a new era of understanding good, high-quality fats better and of distancing ourselves from the mass produced, inflammation-causing, low-value fats. 

In Mediterranean olive oil producing countries, households would supply themselves with a whole year’s worth of olive oil right after harvest time.  While this is not necessarily workable in contemporary city living conditions, with limited storage space, there are helpful guidelines as to how much it might make sense to provision for, once you have found a source of real, tasty, high quality olive oil.   You could think of it as setting yourself a healthy goal!

You can buy your excellent quality olive oil directly from this website for as long as stocks last.  If you are one of our customers, we can also help by storing the latest harvest’s oil on your behalf for the year and delivering to you small batches of 6 or 12 bottles (ie. 3 or 6 liters) at a time, depending on the size of your household, once per quarter or as your needs may be.  Please let us know what yearly amount you would like us to reserve for you.  It can also make for very thoughtful, healthful and tasteful presents on any holiday, birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion.