Goats do like to climb. In Morocco, they master the Argan tree. These southwestern Moroccan athletes savor the bark, leaves and especially the tree fruit, when available. In this desert land where the argan tree grows, the grazing goats have always enjoyed a treasure trove. The argan trees can live over 150 years and are vital to this desert environment, the roots of the tree actively seeking water, helping to prevent soil erosion and resist the advancing desert.
Over 50 years now, the Argan tree has been endangered
Too many domesticated goats have moved into the argan tree forested areas, the overgrazing affecting the fragile eco system. Along with the human overpopulation, this situation drew the attention of UNESCO and other organizations, like our co-op, Targanine. The forest has been reduced by 50%. Tangarine is helping to restore it by monitoring the goat grazing and discouraging the cutting of the trees. Objectives of the Targanine cooperative are also to preserve the forest by finding an economic use of the oil and help at the same time to improve the social and economic status of the rural woman.
It is easy to point a finger at the goats, but demise of the forest is not only their doing. The goats may even be part of the tree’s survival. The climbing goats have always helped to populate the trees. They eat and spit out the larger fruits that they cannot digest. They ingest the rest and poop out the seeds. Both the spit and the poop were survival means for the Berbers. Any not gathered produced more trees. Nature’s rhythm. Today the grazing times are regulated. No grazing allowed between May and August, during which time the ripened fruit falls to the ground. This method is providing oil for the co-ops and protecting the trees. It is working and now argan oil is a global commodity.
Argan oil is both cosmetic and culinary
Consumable, culinary argan oil uses roasted kernels, is slightly dark in color, and has a very distinctive nutty aroma which cosmetic oils don’t have.
The cosmetic version, which we, Earth to Body import from Tangarine, uses unroasted kernels. The oil is renowned for dry skin, acne, muscle pain, wrinkles, joint pain. We sell it as a wonderful aid to the skin.
But some argans on the market may not be pure, so shop wisely. The ‘Moroccan Oil’ for the hair ‘is popular, but NOT pure and is sold for the hair, not the skin. See ‘Ask the Goat Again About Pure Argan oil’. The goats do add colour to the story of the argan tree, but they may also be vital in helping to sustain it. Such is the magic of nature. Thank you for considering our argan oil. The co-op thanks you and so do the goats.