Many businesses, perhaps unaware, or with misleading labeling, are selling products labeled as “Wild Greek Oregano” or “Wild Mountain Grown Greek Oregano.” There are some misconceptions about where the best quality Greek oregano is grown and many have the impression that wild oregano is somehow better than certified grown oregano. Studies have shown that oregano quality is more determined by the soil (limestone soil) and climate (hot & dry growing season) than location. So purchasing “wild Greek oregano” does not guarantee you a higher quality herb.
This includes even oregano oils that are labeled as being extracted from “wild Greek oregano.” Sellers of such products are possibly being very misleading or are helping criminals break the law in Greece!
In 2013, Greece introduced regulations to reduce the amount of wild herbs that were being harvested. The regulations state that only 2kg per person of wild herbs may be harvested in a year. This amounts to personal use only and these wild harvested herbs may not be sold commercially. The reason why the country regulated the harvesting of wild herbs is due to a couple or problems:
1. Wild oregano and other herbs help to prevent soil erosion.
2. There has been concern expressed about the possible over-harvest of oregano and other wild herbs that grow in the mountains of Greece.
While there are a few certified wild harvesters, these are very carefully vetted by the authorities in Greece and only a minimum are licensed. According to some Greek police officers, the trade in illegally harvested oregano and Greek mountain is becoming a serious problem. There have even been recent arrests of foreigners entering Greece with the sole purpose of collecting wild herbs illegally for commercial sale.
If you are purchasing Greek oregano (or derivative products such as oregano oil) that are labeled as “wild,” you may be contributing to the illegal harvesting of the wild herbs, which in turn contributes to soil erosion and over-harvesting.
KirIan Greek oregano has been certified grown for commercial sale – and the quality is tremendous. Lab tested in Athens, it is pure unadulterated Greek oregano with a bold taste and aroma. If you are looking for a dried oregano that has little taste and aroma, then ours is not for you. On the other hand, if you are into preparing gourmet-style meals, enjoy eating real Greek & Italian foods, you’ll definitely want our Greek oregano, which will put some sparkle into your dishes. Give it a try:
Greek Police arrests two men for illegal harvesting of herbs on the mountains. Keep Talking Greece