Thursday, June 8, 2017
Tree-Climbing Goats May Actually Be Helping to Produce This Luxury Oil.
Tree-Climbing Goats May Actually Be Helping to Produce This Luxury Oil. The world's most expensive oil comes from the seed of the argan tree, which grows exclusively in southern Morocco. And that tree might have made a new friend in the tree-climbing domesticated goat. The argan tree produces hard, green, olive-like fruits containing large seeds that can be crushed to produce a highly prized oil. If the seeds are first roasted, the result is used much like olive oil; oil from non-roasted seeds is also marketed and used as a cosmetic oil for skin. A new study from researchers of the Doñana Biological Station, a public research group in Spain, which suggests that the goats not only aren’t injuring the trees, but might actually be helping them. What the researchers found is something unusual: the goats are actually gnawing the fruit off the argan seeds and then spitting them out, pretty much the same way you’d eat an olive. But because goats, like cows, are ruminants, their whole eating procedure takes longer than ours: they take it into a special stomach, then bring it back up again (this is how cows chew their cud). At that point, the goats spit out the newly cleaned argan seed after a period of time that allows them to have moved farther away from the tree—exactly what the tree wants. So it turns out that the goats might not be hurting the trees at all! They might actually be helping to propagate them. more