The olive has a history almost as long as that of Western civilization. Carbon-dating and archeological evidence suggest that olives were being grown in Crete and Syria as long ago as 2,500 B.C. This fruit of the olive tree is a common ingredient in everyday food throughout the world and olive oil is a great substitute for butter. The branch of an olive tree is the symbol for peace, but the olive itself can be the symbol of health. Low in carbohydrates, olive oil contains polyphenols, which are believed to keep cancer at bay.