argan tree1

My name is Hamid. I was born in a little village just out side Rabat in Morocco.

Seventeen years ago I came to New Zealand. During my time here I have been busy in the sports and health industry. I have represented New Zealand internationally many times in my chosen sport and understand that nutrition is the key factor in living a healthy lifestyle.

I fell in love with New Zealand and remained here because of the beauty of this country, its fresh air, clean waters and the healthy outdoor lifestyle. I am proud to call myself a Kiwi Moroccan .

On my recent trip to my home village, I looked at my 98 year old father and I was once again humbly reminded of how important good nutrition is. I watched in awe and amazement as my father heartily enjoyed his traditional breakfast of black olives, honey with warm flat bread dipped in oil with mint tea. Not just any oil, but the oil I was raised on. The oil extracted from the nuts of the Argan tree and cracked by hand by the local Berber ladies. The seed is ground to a paste to extract the oil. This well kept Moroccan secret is simply called, Argan oil.

The very familiar aroma of the warm flat Moroccan bread cooked and dipped in the Argan Oil took me immediately back to my childhood. As the youngest son of ten children, I clearly remember us younger kids lining up in the morning waiting for my late mother to give me my daily dose of the oil. She swore by the health benefits of the oil. Moroccan families were raised on it for generations she would say, as she gently ensured that I swallowed my teaspoon of oil for the day.

Not only were we younger kids expected to drink our daily teaspoon of Argan Oil, I remember seeing my older sisters and brothers, preparing for work applying the Argan oil to their faces, hair and hands. Today when I look at my older siblings I marvel at their youthful appearance despite the Moroccan sun, Atlas winds and Sahara sands.

I wanted to rediscover this well kept Moroccan jewel. I convinced my brother to travel with me over 900km across the Moroccan country to the Amazigh Barbar villages in the heart of the Atlas Mountain.

We were very lucky to be able to meet up with our old family friend, Khalied, who has spent his entire life working with the Argan trees and nuts. I’ve learnt that Moroccan families have been using the oil of the argan nut for more than 700 years. Our forefathers firmly believed that the Argan oil has medicinal, nutritive, culinary and cosmetic value.

I’ve learnt that in the Atlas mountains the goats climb into the Argan trees for the ripe nuts that they chew on for over an hour to remove the husk and soften the nut as they are unable to digest the nuts. They then discard it where it germinates and grows into a tree.

The nuts gathered are handpicked so only the best nuts are chosen, they are then carried down the mountain by donkeys and delivered to the house of the Atlas Bedouin women who process the nuts by de-husking and grinding the nut down to oil. It is then canned ready to be picked up.

MOROCCAN’S BELIEVED IN THE MEDICINAL VALUE OF ARGAN OIL TO

MOROCCAN’S LIBERALLY USE ARGAN OIL IN THEIR COOKING FOR ITS NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND TASTE IN

COSMETIC VALUE

I have now made it my mission to bring the Argan oil and its benefits to my new home country, so I can share its miraculous attributes with my fellow kiwis.

The Argan oil I am bringing to New Zealand is from the Atlas mountains and is 100% Organic and ecologically manufactured. In fact the first time the Argan oil is near a machine is when it is loaded onto a truck to begin its journey to you…

Indeed my family is an example, my Father is in his late 90’s, my grandfather and his father all lived into their late 90’s or early 120’s.

- Hamid