We are not talking about the war induced price of fuel oil that hit the roof due to the ensuing supply squeeze. We are talking about the impact of an overheating planet on the fields where olive trees flourish in the Mediterranean basin. Warm winters kept the olive trees from their needed hibernation and unseasonal rains brought the fruit fly, compromising output quantity and quality in most olive oil producing countries. Spain’s industrial orchards were hit the hardest, reducing the country’s olive harvest by 40%, with Italy down 30%.  Short supply and high demand gradually drove the producer’s auction price from $4.50/liter in the previous crop year to over $9.00/liter, an all time record!

Two years earlier, after a rich global harvest, the price had hit bottom to $2.50/liter, so low that the EU agreed to subsidize producers who need at least $3.00/liter to bring the olive oil to market. That’s how commodity supply and demand works!

The “season” closed with the “Mediterranean Tradition & Modern Application” 5 day  November Conference in Crete, where the Mediterranean Diet evolved. It was organized by Harvard Public Health Professor Stefanos Kalles and attended by over 100 experts from around the world who enjoyed Ken Toong’s and Rafi Taherian’s insights on healthful menu development to the academic communies at UMass-Amherst and Yale University campuses.