Olive oil fraud? Seriously? This one shocked me
I prefer my fur faux but my olive oil? Authentic please! My smart, in-the-know friend, Jamie, alerted me of this sham last year so I wrote about it then. I was appalled by what I uncovered and have since learned more about the situation. Many brands are in fact not 100% pure olive oil. Like most people, I choose olive oil for its heart healthy benefits. I was pissed off at the thought of unwittingly serving my family trans fats and unhealthy rancid oils.
Consumers have been duped. Various investigations have exposed deceptive practices where products adulterated with oils includingseed, hazelnut, rancid vegetable oils such as canola, soy or cotton seed were sold to some of the largest Italian producers who turned around and sold it as pure olive oil. Others sold as extra virgin olive oil are in fact lesser quality and not extra virgin at all. Not only does this potentially mean the oil we are buying is not healthy, it could pose serious risks for individuals with certain food allergies.
Imported olive oil is not routinely tested by the FDA, besides, there are no simple testing methods. Your best bet is to go with certified organic olive oil. Dr. Andrew Weil advises looking for the International Olive Oil Council [IOOC] certification on the label when buying imported oils. The California Olive Oil Council [COOC] certifies purity of oil produced in California.
So, how can you tell if your olive oil is genuine? Put it in the refrigerator. If after a while the oil turns hard, you likely have the real deal, if it doesn’t, time to shop. Needless to say, I was relieved that mine, Trader Joe’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, solidified! This method is not entirely conclusive but it’s the best at-home test I came across in my research. Cheeseslave tested a few and found that Adam’s Ranch was authentic. Give your evoo the fridge test and let me know if it passed!