Olive oil is one of the biggest food frauds to hit the world food market and it is creeping into our favorite brands! What should you look for when you are buying olive oil? What color is your olive oil? Did you even know you needed to check? Well it’s true, there are several companies that are subbing out and mixing the oils with cheaper oil types that are not what you bargained for! The quality of the olive oil (extra virgin, virgin, etc.) is also being tested now because they are throwing in those fruit fly infestations and fungal diseases into the mix that are on the fruit. Grossed out yet? You should be!
In a report released June 18, 2014 they found that 69% of imported olive oil samples and 10 % of California samples labeled as extra virgin failed to meed the standards for extra virgin olive oil according to the University of California. The olive oil you are buying with the “from Italy” is most likely picked somewhere else and bottled in Italy mixed with oils like sunflower seed, saffron, canola and other cheaper versions then colored green to make you think it is olive oil in it’s purest form. US is not out of this loop and many of the oils you see with “made in the US” are also picked in some other country, shipped and bottled here and mixed up with who knows what. It’s very sad and hard to tell what is what! So here are some tips for you to keep your olive oil pure…
1. Buy Olive Oil Local
Pasolivo is a great example of a local company that grows, harvests, presses and produces their olive oil right here in Paso Robles, CA. They take you on a tour of the facility, you can taste all of their oils and you can even become a club member and get it shipped to you. You can see and taste that it is real and authentic and made in the purest form.
Directions and Info: geo.to/pasolivo
2. Buy Olive Oil in a Dark Bottle or Canister
This is so you know that it is protected from the sun during shipment and storage. The dark bottle shades the inside to protect it and the canister shields it completely for the best freshness.
3. Smell it for fruit and freshness
If you have the chance to smell the olive oil you can tell it’s quality if it is fresh and fruity smelling and not musty.
4. Check the Harvest Date
The harvest date should be on the back of the label and try to stick to California based Olive Oil growers so you can be more sure that the quality and process was not compromised or mixed with other oils.
5. Check for the IOC Seal (International Olive Council)
The International Olive Council puts the seal of approval on tested olive oils that passed the quality rating although some companies will put this on fraudulently as well.
The main tip we have is to know where and when your olive oil was made, taste it and really do your homework on the company. If you cook with it as much as I do you will want to make sure that the healthy option you are serving to your family really is..healthy!