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U.S. olive oil consumption on the rise

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Olive oil has been in the news a lot these days. Most recently, it was cited in a study as one of the key components to lowering the rate of heart disease. Paul Vossen, a recognized University of California olive oil expert, says consumption in the United States has been increasing.

Vossen:          Prior to the downtown in the economy, we were seeing double-digit increases in the U.S. in olive oil consumption every year — going up 10, 15, 20 percent every year. Now, we started off fairly low — when I started looking at olive oil consumption in the U.S. it was about six-tenths of a liter per person, per year. Now, it's very close to 1 liter per person, per year. So, there's been a tremendous increase in olive oil consumption in the U.S. now, it's still nothing compared to the Greeks. The Greeks consume something like 20, 22 liters per person, per year. So, it wouldn't be hard to see over the next 10 years for consumption in the U.S. to double.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.