African American Entrepreneur Dives into the World of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil With a Unique Crowdfunding Campaignby GDN Shared Post February 6, 2017
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 EVOO on 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, not only makes food tasty, but its health benefits are exactly what African Americans need. Compounds like oleocanthals fight against prostate, colon and breast cancer. All of these cancers are prevalent in the black community. Studies show these compounds also help to prevent neurological diseases. And EVOO has been proven effective against heart attacks, too. Unlike other oils, EVOO doesn’t include cholesterol and that does a body good.
So why aren’t African Americans consuming it more? Or, in the business of selling it?
Entrepreneur Zachary Harris is making sure black people benefit by adding EVOO 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 EVOO producers. He also discovered the beauty and significance of it. Harris’ 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 EVOO would have made things different.
Harris wants to bring EVOO to black people by positioning himself as a bridge between quality EVOO producers and the African American community. Harris’ goal is to start an on-line business, and at some point he wants to sell EVOO to community groups, churches, health fairs, bazaars – 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 EVOO: 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 in tastes is endless.
It can be done.