Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the most fraudulently peddled products on the market. In 2011, U.C. Davis released a study that showed at least 90 percent of the EEVO in American grocery and specialty store shelves isn't the real thing.
The real stuff, as defined by the International Olive Oil Council, contains olives that are harvested and pressed the same day with zero defects. It not only makes food tasty, but its health benefits are exactly what African Americans need. Compounds like oleocanthal fight against prostate, colon and breast cancer. All of these cancers are prevalent in the black community. Studies show these compounds also help prevent neurological diseases. EEVO has been proven effective against heart attacks, too. Unlike other oils, EEVO doesn’t include cholesterol and that does a body good.
So why aren’t African Americans consuming EEVO more? Or in the business of selling it?
Entrepreneur Zachary Harris is making sure black people benefit by adding EEVO to their diets as well as turning it into a business.
While on a recent trip to Italy in 2014, Harris made connections with top-rated EEVO producers. He also discovered the beauty and significance of it. Harris's dad is suffering from prostate cancer now. He’s terminal. Harris couldn’t let it go as it runs in the family (his uncle also suffered from prostate issues). Maybe a better diet, like more access to EEVO, would have made things different.
Harris wants to bring EEVO to black people by positioning himself as a bridge between quality EEVO producers and the African American community. Harris’s goal is to start an online business, and at some point, he wants to sell EEVO to community groups, churches, health fairs, bazaars and any place where African Americans are in social and business settings.
Harris wants to use crowdfunding to initially fund this idea. Harris needs a minimum of 300 folks to contribute $30 each (with a maximum of 3,600). Early investors would receive three bottles of EEVO: a half-liter bottle from Calabria, and two .25L bottles from Puglia. Each bottle would be made from a different type of olive, and since there are more than 800 different kinds of olives, the variety of tastes are endless.
It can be done.