Life is busy. Life is hectic and sometimes feels like a whirlwind. Life moves fast and leaves us afraid of missing out if we decelerate. But the truth is, hurrying up makes us miss out on much more. Let’s slow down intentionally. Let’s live in the present moment. Small changes will bring bigger ones and, ultimately, create a life we can truly enjoy living. A simple swap like butter for extra virgin Texas olive oil from Texas Hill Country Olive Co. is an easy first step towards slow living.
But what exactly is slow living? The concept originated in Italy and was initially applied to food. During the 1980s and 1990s when the fast food industry was gaining popularity, the Italians counteracted it with the slow food movement. The idea of enjoying a home-cooked meal, prepared with traditional methods and fresh, healthy ingredients, is at the core of what has now become a lifestyle. Today, slow living encompasses all of life’s aspects – eating, working, traveling, and even buying a house.
A slow-living lifestyle in modern times doesn’t mean giving up on comfort. It just means adopting a mindset that allows us to fully appreciate the many benefits of modern technology together with the wonders of the natural world. The Italians started with food. So can we. In the process, it helps to remember the SLOW acronym: sustainable, local, organic, whole. If we apply these four basic concepts every time we make a decision regarding our nutrition, everything else will follow suit.
It can feel like sustainability is a buzzword nowadays and it’s easy to discard it as just another fad. However, sustainability is paramount to our ability to continue inhabiting our planet. No action is too small when it comes to living a sustainable lifestyle and you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire CEO to make a difference. You simply have to be mindful of your decisions and informed about the available options.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO for short) is an excellent sustainable choice when it comes to those much-needed healthy fats in our diets. It all starts with the olive trees which require significantly less water to make olives than crops used in the production of other types of oil. The average lifespan of an orchard is 500 years, whereas canola or sunflower crops need to be planted again every year with tractors and other air-polluting machines.
Crops require the use of pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals seep into the ground and can damage it in the long term, ruining it for posterity, but they also end up in the food we consume. When we practice slow living, we enjoy each bite of food and the benefits it brings us. But when our food is contaminated with harmful chemicals, practicing mindfulness won’t help us reap benefits that just aren’t there.
Local. Texas Local.
Shopping locally is another important part of a slow-living lifestyle for two main reasons. Firstly, locally sourced products tend to have a lower carbon footprint (the total amount of greenhouse gasses emitted during the production and transport of products). Less travel and therefore less fuel is needed to get local items from the producer into our homes compared to imported products.
Secondly, buying locally is synonymous with investing in communities. When we chose to buy from local providers, we help them keep their doors open and have a fighting chance against corporations. Local businesses then use the money in the local economy for the benefit of the entire community. This is especially important in the aftermath of the global pandemic, which affected small businesses greatly.
While the concept of buying locally might sometimes limit our options (especially when it comes to food), EVOO is an exception. High-quality oil is locally produced in the Lone Star State from olives grown in US orchards by the Texas Hill Country Olive Co. This is a fantastic alternative to a bottle of Italian imported EVOO that costs both us and future generations more.
Demand for organic products has increased in recent years as more people learn about the environmental and health benefits. Organic farming is better for the habitat as well as the humans and animals that consume organically-grown foods. Farmers who employ organic practices use fewer pesticides and only chose ones that are naturally derived, as opposed to the synthetic pesticides used by commercial, conventional farms.
Organic farming produces foods that are more nutritious, providing us with several health benefits. Organic fruit and vegetables tend to contain less toxic metals and have higher contents of antioxidants that fight off harmful free radicals responsible for cancer and diabetes. Organic meats, dairy, and eggs contain more omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to healthier hearts and longer lives.
A high-quality EVOO is the ideal companion for an organic meal, whether it’s used as a dressing for a salad or a marinade for a steak. It will help enhance the flavors, along with the health benefits, of any other ingredient in the kitchen. Due to its natural composition, even non-organic olive oil is much healthier than other fats such as palm, canola, or sunflower oil. As mentioned above, these alternatives are not compatible with a slow living lifestyle.
The W in the SLOW acronym stands for whole – it refers to using and consuming products that go through as few processes as possible. When we use locally sourced whole foods that have an organic label, we experience slow living at its finest. EVOO is produced by crushing olives into a pulp by only using force – no chemicals are involved in the process. This method has been used for centuries and is crucial for obtaining a high-quality oil.
The Texas Olive Oil Difference
EVOO comes with many benefits that go hand-in-hand with the concept of slow living. It’s packed full of antioxidants and monosaturated fats. It has anti-inflammatory properties and keeps our hearts healthy. Plus, when you get it from Texas Hill Country Olive Co., it is locally produced with love and helps the environment for generations to come.