Olive trees play an important role in Greece's social and economic life as they are trees that can be fully utilized.
Olive tree wood is used as fuel, raw material for the manufacturing of various articles and tools and a fundamental component of wood supports, roofs, floors and doors.
Nowadays, olive leaves are also used as animal feed.
Finally, in addition to the olive fruit being edible, upon processing thereof, its kernel and olive oil are extracted. Subsequently, the kernel is used as fuel and animal feed as well as in the production of a type of oil, i.e. olive-kernel oil, which, in turn, is used in the production of refined oil and soap.
Olives and olive oil in people's diet
According to the findings of excavations that were realized in pre-historic settlements, the pre-historic man included olives in its everyday dietary habits.
In the Byzantine times, olive was widely used among the higher social strata (kings, state and church officials), mostly in fasting periods, whereas many dishes were based on olive oil.
The use of olive oil as a staple dietary element for the wider population was established during the period of the Ottoman Turkish Occupation when an increase in olive cultivation and, as a result, an increase in olive oil production, was deemed necessary.
Today, olive oil is a staple element of the Greek diet.