Zoubida Charrouf and the Story Behind Morocco’s Argan Oil – CNN’s African Voices

CNN, African Voices, by Errol Barnett (March 10, 2014) — Zoubida Charrouf is a professor and research scientist in Morocco who wanted to save the argan tree forests, which are indigenous to Morocco and deeply rooted in the country’s culture and history, but were in danger of being squeezed out between the advances of rapid regional development and the encroachment of the vast Sahara desert.

With her research, Charrouf discovered that argan oil, with its unique cosmetic and culinary qualities, could be the key to both saving the argan tree and empowering rural Berber women who had little opportunity for employment or education. Until, that is, the passion of one professor unlocked the door to what is now a remarkable story of environmental success and women’s empowerment.

CNN’s Errol Barnett interviews Zoubida Charrouf, the mother of the argan oil revolution in Morocco, in a three-part series for African Voices:

 

Watch it here:

Part 1: Passion drives Moroccan professor

Part 2: Inside Morocco’s argan oil co-op

Part 3: The business of argan oil

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5 ways to identify good quality argan oil

A little while ago I wrote a post about how to identify good quality argan oil. This is the follow up ….

1. It’s all in the argan nuts
in reality the argan nut is not a nut, its’ a fruit and the little thing that is pressed to extract the glorious oil is the kernel of the argan fruit.
Since the industry has gone rampant, some producers might use argan kernels that are old and mouldy.

2. These two lovely ladies.
You have probably seen this picture of these two lovely ladies working hard pressing argan oil. Many companies use this stock image and it appears like these two must be hand grinding and pressing argan oil for half of the world population!

Argane_oil_production

Companies want you to believe that the oil is hand pressed and that you are getting an exotic artisan product. The argan kernels might be cracked between two stones by hand, but pressing the oil is another ballgame. Back in the days,  the oil was extracted from the argan cake using water. Which was ok for life on the farm, as the oil only needed to be preserved for 3 months.

Adding water to argan oil makes it oxidise rapidly and deteriorate all the good components of the oil. It doesn’t sound as exotic, but once the argan kernels are cracked by hand, they are then pressed in special machines to extract the oil.

3. Deodorised
Watch out for this one! When argan oil is deodorised it goes through a steam and chemical treatment, which basically strips the argan oil of its wonderful qualities.

4. Light like a feather
Argan oil is the favourite product for the beauty industry as it can be included in skin and hair care products. It should be light as a feather and not leave a greasy residue.

5. Pure Argan oil
How do you know that what you are using is pure argan oil if it says it on the bottle? Well you don’t. You can only assume that it is. Unfortunately some oils on the market are mixed with inferior oils to maximise profit.

What makes Mira’s Hand argan oil different?
We are Moroccan ourselves and know the industry and the region very well. We work directly with our producers. Our argan oil is pressed for us every three months under a strict quality control system, is lab tested and packaged with the most care and flown out to Australia, not shipped, 3 days after pressing. We bring in only small batches of argan oil to secure the freshest and highest quality argan oil available on the international market.

FREE postage and handling!*

FREE-5

We changed our policy and are now offering FREE STANDARD POSTAGE AND HANDLING on all orders Australia wide!

Also, if your order is over $60, you will receive FREE EXPRESS POSTAGE AND HANDLING.

Order before 1pm and your order is posted out to you the same day.

Happy shopping!

*Australia only

Jamila

Moroccan beauty secrets unveiled

Ever wondered why everyone is talking about Moroccan women and their beauty secrets?

Fir centuries we have practiced the same body beauty regimen in the communal hammam bathhouses or in the privacy of our own bathroom.

You too can achieve healthy, glowing skin in 3 easy steps, 30 minutes, once a week.

To find out how, download your free booklet here.

Eat your argan oil this Valentine!

Mira's Table Product Line_Hi-resWe are so happy to be the first Australian owned business to bring you a range of delicious authentic Moroccan gourmet products under the name Mira’s Table. 

You can now enjoy culinary argan oil in your salads, stir fries or  as a dipping oil.

Dip or dunk your croissant in Amlou, a traditional Moroccan spread with argan oil, spread over crumpets and toast or brush over chicken skewers.

For recipe ideas and to order visit our new website.

And don’t forget that all orders over $60 receive free express postage! *

Enjoy!

*Australia only

Thank you!

Thank-You-word-cloud-1024x791As we start 2014, I cannot help but look back at 2013 and list the many highs and some of the lows we had in the past year.

  • 2013 saw us partner with the Peninsula Hot Springs, Australia’s first and largest first and largest thermal hot springs and spa centre. Check out the new Moroccan treatments on offer and the group hammam package. 
  • John Cotti saw his dream come true when he opened the magnificent Signature Spa Wellness Centre in Sydney. Designed over 3 opulent levels featuring 13 multi-purpose pods and 8 dedicated couple’s suites comprising of old-world traditional water therapies treatments such as the Hammam, Geisha Bath, Mineral and Thermal Therapy and the Dry Floatation. An amazing achievement and we are excited to be have partnered with them.
  • Sarah Wilson, journalist, blogger and auther of I Quit Sugar, posted a blog post and a photo of her 5 favourite products after which our website crashed 6 times that week.
  • Good Health Magazine wrote about us, you can read it here and here.
  • I shared the dream I have with the Commonwealth Bank’s Women In Focus Group.
  • Television show Getaway spent a day at the Spa at the Darling and had a Moroccan Hammam Ritual. 
  • International website healthspaguru.com named the top 5 hotel spas in Australia and picked out our Moroccan Hammam ritual as one of the best. 
  • We launched a Moroccan gourmet food range under the name Mira’s Table.
  • I became friends with the lovely people at B’stilla, made a few suggestions to add to their menu and they tanked me with my name on the menu.
  • Last but not least, the support I have received from clients (some who are now friends) has been nothing more than encouraging and kept me going. Just whenever I had a bad day, I would receive a sweet phone call, a thank you email, a funny Facebook post or and Instagram picture.

I cannot thank you enough for your support, your kind words and your encouragement! Here’s to 2014!

xx

Jamila