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Extra virgin Olive oil, or is it?

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  • Extra virgin Olive oil, or is it?

    Have a read of this Letter from Italy: Slippery Business : The New Yorker
    A piece copied from the article: "The investigators also discovered where Ribatti’s adulterated oil had gone: to some of the largest producers of Italian olive oil, among them Nestlé, Unilever, Bertolli, and Oleifici Fasanesi, who sold it to consumers as olive oil, and collected about twelve million dollars in E.U. subsidies intended to support the olive-oil industry."

    I used to buy gallons of one of the named Italian Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive oil, makes me sick to think of it now. It is so annoying to think you are doing the right thing, and find you are not.
    Last edited by aussiesue; 07-07-2012, 07:26 PM. Reason: Didn't want it to look like was promoting an Aussie oil

  • #2
    Thanks so much for that link. I am not buying supermarket oil any longer - as a result of your post, I have gone online and via eBay, have bought some Greek olive oil which is coming direct from the olive farm, and am buying some Spanish single estate extra virgin olive oil from an English family who moved to Spain, bought a Finca and are selling their olive oil directly. 25 litres seems excessive, but I shall bottle it up and give friends bottles of it as gifts!


    • #3
      I read that article a while ago, and I've been looking into it since:

      Exposure to light, heat, or oxygen can cause rancidity. Look for extra virgin olive oil in dark green glass or in packaging that shields it from light; avoid plastic containers. Remember to store it in a cool, dark place at home; or wrap the bottle in aluminum foil to shield it from further sunlight.

      Many people think green olive oil must be richer in flavor than yellow olive oil. In fact, the color of the oil indicates nothing–it’s all about the way the oil tastes in your mouth, and light-colored oils can be high quality, too. The UC-Davis instructors had us sampling oils out of blue glasses so we wouldn’t be influenced by this widespread misconception. In fact, some producers have taken advantage of this myth by adding leaves to the olive crush, which increases chlorophyll and achieves a darker green color.

      “Light” or “diet” extra virgin olive oil doesn’t exist, and you can thank the
      olive gods for that! A light color does not mean the olive oil is lower in calories,
      and anything that says it’s “light” has almost surely been chemically treated to minimize strong smells and tastes indicative of inferior oil, as well as adjusted for color and acidity.

      From Tips for Buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil | California Olive Oil | Cold Pressed Olive Oil

      Tasting is prob the best method of gaging the quality of the oil, but apparently it's an art... in Tuscany you can do olive oil tasting (like wine tasting!).

      What distinguishes a great extra virgin is its layers of aromas and complexity of flavour. The palate complexity of olive oil comes in part from two unusual characteristics specific to extra virgin olive oil; bitterness and pepperyness. Most extra virgin olive oils have some bitterness and many also produce a peppery tickle at the back of the throat. This throat catching sensation is not unlike what you get from eating ginger or mild chilli. Both the bitterness and pepperyness of extra virgin olive oils is caused by the health giving naturally occurring substances found in extra virgin oil called polyphenols. Finally outstanding extra virgin oils display a harmony of olive fruitiness, bitterness and pepperyness. But above all, excellent olive oils are pristinely fresh showing vibrant lively fresh fruit characters without any hints of tiredness or fattyness.
      Olive Oil Assessment: How to Taste Olive Oil
      "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

      In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

      - Ray Peat


      • #4
        I have heard that buying store brand olive oil is a bad idea bc the profit margins on it are so attractive they "cut" the oil and add different crap to increase volume. Pretty much only store I trust anymore is Trader Joe's....


        • #5
          Here is a link to the oil I've bought, in case any UK primals want to buy some...

          ** EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL 5Ltr Spanish Cold Pressed ** | eBay


          • #6
            Buy California EVOO. Olivita(sp?) is a trust-worthy one.

            California Olive Oil Council - Certified Olive Oils

            As far as specialty grocers such as TJ or Whole Foods go, they may be unaware of the counterfeit EVOO on their shelves. There's no way to test every batch from each producer, so what ends up on the shelves may not be what the store buyers ordered. I've purchased crap-oil with the 365 Organic label at my WF before!
            “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi