THE OLIVE OIL INVESTIGATION  🫒



NEW THE FAKE OLIVE OIL INVESTIGATION 

UPDATED TRUTH ABOUT OLIVE OIL - NATURES GIFT AND MANS CORRUPTION


United States International Trade Commission  —  A study at the UC Davis Olive Center found that 69% of the imported EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) sold in California supermarkets did not qualify as extra virgin.  Tests indicate that imported EVOO often fails international and USDA standards.  

 The full report is available, factual and accurate —   👉🏼 United States International Trade Commission

Although U.S. production of olive oil remains small on a global scale, the United States is among the nontraditional producing countries that are responding to higher global demand, and output has risen quickly in recent years. Between marketing years 2007/08 and 2012/13,1 U.S. production increased by 50 percent annually on average, albeit from a small base, as producers responded to rising domestic demand and the potential profitability of investing in olive groves. 

But recent investment in U.S. olive oil production has slowed in reaction to lower global prices following a succession of bumper crops in Spain, and because of concern among U.S. producers that their competitive position in the domestic market is threatened by a lack of regulatory oversight.

U.S. and global consumption of olive oil has risen in spite of increased scrutiny from the media, government regulators, and policy makers following allegations of fraudulent practices in the sector. These practices mislead consumers through either mislabeling or adulteration. Mislabeling occurs when olive oil does not meet the standards for the grade (usually “extra virgin”) that appears on the label, while adulteration occurs when olive oil is blended with other oils, yet is labeled as 100 percent olive oil. 

Certain widely publicized reports concluded that many top-selling brands labeled as extra virgin failed to meet the standards established by the International Olive Council (IOC) for this grade.

According to U.S. producers, mislabeled and adulterated olive oil enters the U.S. market, in part, because of a lack of mandatory enforceable product standards and testing in the United States. However, a debate has arisen about the correct standards for defining extra virgin olive oil and the appropriate mechanisms for enforcing the standards.


O-Live Or Let Die —  The Best Olive Oils  —  I’ll cut to the chase first because when I do an article like this, I get the e-mails asking me as to what do I use?  I  use Segesta, as long as my deeply buried, climate controlled,  no sunlight, two metal containers last  — I use it sparingly —  Some good food items are scarce — 

It is a Sicilian olive oil from Castle Imports on the web.  I discovered it when interviewing the head chef on a  Caribbean cruise on the Coral Princess  — I was doing an article about the cruise and he gave me a bottle after I had commented about its taste in the Pesto and swore I would never use butter based oil again.  Sicily and Italy are close enough, the soil being slightly different but the quality is there with legitimate brands —   Oil is just like oil for your car if you go synthetic, you got to pay for the good stuff.  


The Cruise —  The cruise was the best we had been on, we have had our share of cruise bummers, especially on some of the super ships with 4000 people, too many lines, too loud, too many kids, crowds, and  you need a vacation after.  And the last zip lines I went on was at the Ranger Training Brigade at Ft Benning. 

The food even in the non-formal dinning areas was the best,  experience noted,  the Head Chef on board knew his stuff,  served us an incredible meal and we liked the medium size Princess Line Mighty Ships because two things make a cruise,  the accommodations and the people.  

Few if any kids, better food, nice intelligent people, great beds, and good locations we stopped at, it’s not a Mickey Mouse operation —  I am critical of food obviously and this was top drawer.  The Princess Cruise,  Panama Canal Trip out of Ft. Lauderdale,  best ten days on a ship I ever had,  the staff, and I almost pesto’ed myself to oblivion.

The chef recommended it for it’s flavor, and aroma for dipping and Pesto.  Several sizes. And it is available from    https://castleimporting.com/shop/segesta-sicilian-extra-virgin-olive-oil/    

He was right  and the importer is Castle, the real deal but since COVID changed things,  stocks are low — If you see it in stock buy it — It is very hard to find now.  I do list some subs if you can’t get it.


For My Moderate Usage —  Home and Charity — 

🫒   I  like California Olive Ranch Oil and Whole Foods has a great line of products — Premium Extra Virgin for Salads and Pesto, both great quality and as we have a store five miles and twenty-five minutes from me.  

They carry both and in large and smaller amounts unopened keep it fresh longer.  My shelves have about five kinds of oils.

I rarely deep fry —  preferring baking and saucepan  creations — and good oil — depending on the entree.   You match the oil to the palate and the food —  Some dishes I bake —  Using flavorful oils to compliment the dish —

 

🎇TODAYS SAFETY ADVISE AND A TRICK — If you fry on top of the stove in a good sized sauce pan — handles and  lightweight aluminum, are dangerous — too light on a range with circular heating elements, you can have a slip and burn situation - I witnessed one incident and she really got burnt and ruined the entire evening dinner —  I own no sauce pans or skillets in aluminum, I have only Lodge,  All-clad Stainless or Tramontina Pro Stainless heavies — for that reason, they stay where you put them, besides solid stainless or steel like lodge are excellent on a Bruton Induction top — 

You can take an old two part carafe drip coffee pot and gutted it —  And at Ace hardware found some stainless screening, also found some small bar strainers, and even ordinary paper towels are my filters system for saving good oil —  Don’t throw good glass jars away — most acedics like pickles come in glass and seal well. 


🫒   I retired from Charity Cooking -  It was a whole different world, and the man I admire the most is Jose Andreas he feeds the poor and needy —  I’m approaching the  octogenarian years, in four months.  After the COVID Pandemic , GLOBAL WARMING, and my AGE, I turned in my apron.  But heres how we did it —  I was happy to retire -

We used Commercial Cooking  brands of oil from GFS,  and Sysco for charity work,  in an outdoor fryer and we disposed the oil after a one day program at our city's free oil dump.   For bigger two-day events for charity we did outdoors,  again Commercial Cooking  if we had it,  or Canola oil, no aftertaste.  

Does well for outdoor gigs.  Burgers, Hot Dogs and French - Fried potatoes or Onion rings,  when they  get smothered in Catsup, Mustard, Relish, Hot Sauce and Pepper or Cayenne, it really don’t matter what you cooked them in.    

But lately with pricing going up, and questionable products,  I suggest buying and using more and more Canola oil which again has no taste and lets the flavor come through undisturbed, and usually half the price.  It also may be filtered if kept at below 355F and reused reasonably like the next day for a two day event —  



Whom  Do I Trust ?  Whole Foods — 

I Shop There For Unique Selection — High End Products — Quality 

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WHOLE FOODS MARKET’S  PREMIUM —   Single Origin (From One Country) olive oils are 100% extra virgin olive oils.   All of the imported olive oils at Whole Foods are certified by the   North American Olive Oil Association.  Probably one of the best selection of imported oils of quality are found at Whole foods — 

As part of this program, each batch of extra virgin olive oil is evaluated and tested for applicable chemical criteria—like pH levels, fatty acid composition and pesticides—to ensure they  meet or exceed our strict requirements and sensory characteristics before it is bottled.  

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The common bottles are marked from Spain, Greece, and Italy and the Mediterranean and uniquely differ in taste, but you will need a sensitive palate —  this is not catsup!

This program also includes periodic, random sample tests after the olive oil has been bottled. Additionally, the North American Olive Oil Association performs independent testing at a third-party lab to verify that imported oils are in compliance with the International Olive Council standards.

🔘   MANY OF THE BIGGER GROCERIES ARE OPO   (Oil Price Outlets) and carry the low end stuff in great selection, but not always great quality — Most Americans know little about oil and select the cheaper mild stuff —  

🔘   FOR OUR DOMESTIC OLIVE OILS,  are both made by America’s largest grower and processor of olive oil.   These olive oils feature a full traceability program with the ability to track where every olive came from, even tracing it back to the farm where it was grown.

🔘  365 EVERYDAY VALUE®  WHOLE FOODS MARKET —  Single Origin (One Country)olive oil program includes third-party facility audits, batch testing and random sample testing. 


The History Of Olive Oil and Facts   —  100% TRUTH — Olive oil is a staple commodity found in homes, restaurants, and religious institutions all over the world.  Known for its versatility, it can be used as a meal, skin treatment, fuel for lamps, and much more.   The biggest claim to fame, however, is olive oil used for enhancing foods. Primarily in Italian and Greek cooking, olive oil is essential when it comes to making a meal complete.

🔘  The oil comes from the fat of the olive. Despite the constant grouping with vegetables,  Olives are actually a stone pit fruit, similar to a cherry or plum. You can think of olive oil as a cold pressed juice from a fruit.   

🔘  The process of extracting the oil from the olive is called pressing and it is done at an olive mill.  Olives must be pressed at the right maturity; young green olives make for a bitter oil while overripe olives are rancid. That is also the distinction between green and black olives. Green olives are simply immature black olives.

🔘  The cold press is a method that does not use chemicals to artificially heat the olives to extract more oil.   Of course there are degrees of cold press ranging from gentle to total destruction.  There are two ways of pressing olives: cold pressed or mechanically pressed.  . The term cold is a bit of a misnomer; they are not pressed cold, but rather at temperatures lower than 81 degrees. 

🔘  Only olives that have first undergone this cold press process can be labelled as extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, also means that is has less that 0.8% acidity, and it has been flavor tested to ensure quality. The price of EVOO will be reflected in the quality as well. EVOO should be used as a finishing oil, and not wasted on deep frying items.

🔘  Fine, or virgin olive oil, has an acidity of less than 2%. Also, it has been heated by chemical means to extract more oils at a higher temperature, however, doing so alters the flavor profile and can destroy the natural aromas as well. Virgin olive oil will be compromised of lower quality olives and may contain a flavorless profile.

🔘  The organic food trend has everyone running for the fair trade olive. You must, however, keep a vigilant eye when purchasing your oil, as some may be mislabeled. The prime example is oils that say Imported from Italy, which can be skewed in such a way to distract you from knowing the oil was actually produced in Turkey, Spain, or Morocco.  

🔘  The International Olive Council (IOC) ensures that oils are labelled appropriately. Although the United States does not adhere to the IOC, they have their own council with comparable rules.

EVOO  —  As mentioned before, EVOO is the highest standard followed by virgin olive oil. Virgin oil is still good quality and it is of better quality than refined or blended oil. The oil you decide to purchase should be reflected in its use. For example, an extra virgin oil would not be appropriate for deep frying foods, nor would a pomace oil to dress an expensive salad.  


TV Celebrity Chefs can be all liars or stupid endorsers  — Rachel Ray called her Olive Oil Brand EVOO, played it to death on every show,  but when the Olive Oil Association DNA tested it was not, like we have said,  “ Politicians,  Theologians,  and Chefs,  have lots in common, they all lie”.   Un-Truth is sometimes a hidden ingredient when one wants an endorsement check.

The Politicians sell you on bullsh*t promises of money and glory they use for themselves, the Theologians on TV sell you tickets to Heaven if you pay their prosperity bill which is a lie, and the Food corporations sell you junk processed crap and lie through their teeth  about as pretty as Giada De Laurentiis’s smile — Gorgeous!

 

🔘  Whichever one you purchase, keep in mind that oil has a relatively short shelf life. Use within the first six months of purchasing it for optimal taste. Oil differs from wine, which gets better with age. Also, be careful of spoilage. Olive oil is very delicate to light. The oil on the table of your favorite chain Italian restaurant may already be spoiled from the harsh overhead light.

🔘  Many consumers are attracted to olive oil for the health benefits. The Mediterranean diet has been praised time and time again for this reason. It became a huge fad in the 1950s in America; however, most Americans were misinformed. 

🔘  The Mediterranean diet in Greece was for the poor and not an option; they simply could not afford to buy meat. As the economy improved in Europe, the Mediterranean diet began to include fatty meats and sugars. Currently, most Europeans want to mimic the American diet, which is high in sugar and fats. 

🔘  The irony is palpable.It was found that even 7 of the biggest olive oil makers in the USA, mix their items with cheap oils to get more profits. Namely, one of the products we regard as healthiest and a remedy for longevity has been corrupted.

🔘  Apparently, even 70% of olive oil sold in the USA stores is fake.  This is similar to the 2008 practice in Italy. This meant seizure for 85 oil farms that mixed some percentage chlorophyll with sunflower and canola to the olive oil.

🔘  The oil was mixed, colored, perfumed and flavored too, and these things made the Australian government investigate their oils.  The results were awful. After that, not one brand named extra virgin olive oil got the 2012 certificate of approval. These scams made the University of California to study 124 imported brands of extra virgin olive oil and discovered that more than 70% did not pass the test.


The Real Reason Your Olive Oil Is Probably Fake

Parts of a great works — BY MICHAEL SOMMERS/UPDATED: MARCH 9, 2021 1:48 PM EDT— 
 https://www.mashed.com/281801/the-real-reason-your-olive-oil-is-probably-fake/?utm_campaign=clip


🔘  Investigative journalist Tom Mueller is author of the whistleblowing classic Extra Virginity, which blew the lid off the olive oil trade by exposing how rampant it is with fraud.  Mueller shocked America when he claimed to 60 Minutes that "around 75 to 80 percent" of extra virgin olive oils sold in the U.S. are fraudulent.

🔘  Olive oil fraud has been around for thousands of years. Cuneiform tablets found in Ebla testify to royal inspectors visiting olive mills to monitor olive oil production. Even in Homer's day, EVOO was treated like "liquid gold.

🔘   More recently, fraud has had life-threatening consequences. In the early 1960s, olive oil doctored with jet engine oil left 10,000 people in Morocco seriously ill.
In 1981, over 20,000 people in Spain were poisoned from toxic rapeseed oil labelled as olive oil.
Although today's frauds don't always have such dire consequences, they wreak havoc on economies, livelihoods, and the future of those who produce authentic EVOO — while competing against cheap fakes stealing their "extra virgin" legitimacy. As rising demand transforms EVOO into an increasingly valuable commodity and fraudsters find ingenious new ways of counterfeiting it, the reasons why your olive oil is probably fake continue to grow.

🔘   Surprisingly, Italy only makes 15 percent of the world's olive oil. Even so, as The Guardian reports, it's the second largest exporter of olive oil after top producer Spain, which dominates 45 percent of the global market (albeit with prices 60 percent cheaper than Italy's). In recent years, due to factors ranging from changing weather patterns to ongoing attacks from deadly Xylella fastidiosa bacteria, Italy's production levels have plunged to record lows while prices of EVOO have gone up. The Guardian reports that 2020 output is predicted to drop by 26 percent in comparison to those of 2019.

🔘   The upshot is that while demand for Italian olive oil rises, there's far less of it to go around, making "Made in Italy" designations both highly coveted — and highly falsified. As The New York Times warned, “ much of the 'extra-virgin Italian olive oil' flooding the world's market shelves is neither Italian nor virginal.”

🔘   As Larry Olmsted, author of Real Food, Fake Food, notes, much of the oil that comes from Italy is bottled but not produced there. In recent years, countless undercover operations by the Italian police have uncovered massive scams in which tons of cheap, low-quality oils from Syria, Turkey, North Africa, and Spain are being bottled and sold as authentic Italian extra virgin to foreign markets. Among the biggest victims of this olive oil fraud is the US, to which Italy exports around 30 percent of its olive oil.

🔘   Much more valuable and beneficial than other vegetable and seed oils, all-natural extra virgin olive oil involves much more care, time, and effort to produce. Faking it amounts to making it — in terms of money. The financial rewards have skyrocketed in keeping with demand. According to Statista, in the last 20 years, Americans' olive oil consumption has increased by 58 percent.

🔘  At the same time, Olive Oil Times reports that falling levels in Italy as well as other Mediterranean olive-producing countries such as Greece, Portugal, and Tunisia mean that worldwide production levels in 2020 are down at the same time as demand is soaring, particularly for high-quality extra virgin olive oil. According to MarketWatch, the global olive oil market — whose value in 2020 is $16.6 billion — is predicted to expand by 5.8 percent over the next five years. You do the math.


The Godfather Movies Started With an Olive Oil Distributor —   

🔘   How poetic, maybe ironic is a better term,  it was the truth about the Olive oil Industry  —  people paid little attention to it — Except for the Mafia who realized an opportunity —  

🔘   A big reason for all the fake EVOO on supermarket shelves can be traced to the Italian mafia. Or rather, the "Agromafia." With counterfeit olive oil offering profit margins as high as 700 percent, organized crime has switched from drugs to more lucrative "yellow gold.” 

🔘   As one EU investigator observed in The New Yorker, “ Profit's comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks."  A 60 Minutes investigation found that authentic additive-free EVOO can sell for $50 a gallon, fake olive oil costs a mere $7 to produce while yielding profit margins three times higher than that of cocaine.

🔘   One reason fakery is so common is due to countless myths and misinformation surrounding olive oil. The Guardian journalist Alex Renton recounts conducting a blind EVOO tasting in which a panel of "experts" — an olive oil importer, an Italian deli owner, and some renowned foodies — were given a dozen products to rate. The outcome was humiliating. The importer rated his own premium product “ disgusting."  The deli owner praised a suspect "Italian extra virgin" oil purchased for $2.37 at a discount store.  And the foodies favored the scandal-tainted Bertolli brand, a leading brand in the US — 

🔘    In Extra Virginity, Tom Mueller describes how Bertolli succeeded due to a perverse twist in European law that, until 2001, permitted any olive oil bottled in Italy to be sold as “ Italian olive oil." According to Mueller, around 80 percent of Bertolli's oil wasn't from Italy at all, despite seductive references to " Passione Italiana" on the label. Moreover, like many of its competitors, Bertolli advertised its olive oils as being “ smooth" and “ gentle," adjectives associated with low-quality and doctored olive oils. A characteristic of authentic EVOOs are their bold flavors, often described as “ bitter and pungent.”   

🔲   Trust is a big word in the Olive Oil business  and from two sources Bertolli Oils are not a favorite of mine since I don’t know what I am getting.   

🔘   Consequently, many brands succeed at selling low-quality oils at high prices because they've convinced the average consumer that's what they want. Ironically, producers of authentic EVOO have difficulty selling the real deal because ill-informed consumers deem them to be overpriced and unpleasant-tasting.

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The Best Olive Oils That Won't Break The Bank — Locally Found 

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Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil   Costco, $17 for 2 liters (for Costco members) Despite the media's attention on olive oil fraud, it's not too difficult to find a quality product. In fact, you can find a decent extra virgin olive oil at a great price the next time you have to swing by Costco. . 


McEvoy Ranch, Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil  -  McEvoy Ranch —  McEvoy Ranch, $25 for 375 mL  According to a 2012 Consumer Reports taste-test of 23 different olive oils, California's own McEvoy Ranch Organic Extra Virgin earned some of the highest scores and was one of only two products deemed "Excellent." Furthermore, Food & Wine magazine lists McEvoy Ranch among their choices of the world's best olive oils. 

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Trader Joe's Extra Virgin California Estate   Trader Joe's, $6 for 500 mL  -  The other product that achieved top marks from the 2012 Consumer Reports taste-test was Trader Joe's California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Made from a blend of the first press of Arbequina olives sourced from various ranches in the Sierra foothills.  Consumer Reports isn't the only one praising TJ's California Estate. Writer and olive oil expert Tom Mueller doesn't like all of the Trader Joe's olive oil options, but he did find that California Estate is "typical of a well-made Arbequina.” 

Trader Joe's Premium 100% Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil  — Trader Joe's, $9 for 1 L  In fact, of the six oils he sampled, his favorite was Trader Joe's Premium 100% Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Mueller describes the oil's aroma as "spicy, complex," and "very fresh" while containing flavors of "nice mature fruit, real zing of pungency, pleasant bitterness," and "a gentle nutmeg-like spiciness." 

This product also stands out on the list as the first option made from Greek Kalamata olives. Kalamatas have a deep, almost wine-like flavor that pairs well with the tangy feta cheese and crisp vegetables found in Greek village salads. They can be distinguished by their almond shape as well as gorgeous, purple-black coloring--

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil  —  California Olive Ranch, $13 for 500 mL--When a Redditor asked the community to help them find an affordable, quality olive oil, the responses were varied, but one came out on top. California Olive Ranch seems to have lead the way in the case of the Golden State's olive boom of the early 21st century. The CA-based brand's extra virgin olive oil is available in several varieties (though our favorite is Everyday) and is perfect for roasting vegetables, frying eggs, and replacing butter in baked goods. It's more mild flavor makes it more versatile, but you still get a slight peppery aftertaste courtesy of the high levels of the polyphenol oleocanthal — a mark of quality in olive oils that also reduces inflammation. All that at about $13 for 500 mL.

California Olive Ranch Limited Reserve — California Olive Ranch, $22 for 500 mL --California Olive Ranch joins Trader Joe's as the second brand to have two high-quality, low-cost olive oils on this list. 

Their Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil earns its place because while the Everyday is great for, well, every day, the Limited Reserve features a more robust and complex flavor that is better suited for dishes where the oil is a main component.   In fact, the 2008 Limited Reserve harvest earned a gold medal from the California Olive Oil Council.  There are many ways one can compare olive oil to wine — they are both derived from fruits that require similar growing climates, for one — but unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age.  Best of all, each year's Limited Reserve batch tastes different and is made in small quantities, making it worth the slightly higher (but still affordable) price tag of around $22 for 500 mL. 

Texas Olive Ranch's Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive OIl  —  Texas Olive Ranch, $15 for 250 mL —  California isn't the only state to get in on "the other oil boom." The climate in parts of central and south Texas can be very similar to that of the Mediterranean – mild, rainy winters and very hot, dry summers. In these pockets of the Lone Star State, certain types of olives can flourish.

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La Tourangelle Organic 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil  — a Tourangelle, $11 for 500 mL  —  How you store your olive oil has a lot to do with how long it will retain its quality. Excessive exposure to light and air speeds up the oxidation process and can cause your olive oil to spoil, leaving a rancid, dirty taste in your mouth. La Tourangelle Organic 100% Extra Virgin Olive stands out not only for its awesome price and quality, but also its container. While most olive oils are packaged in a glass or plastic bottle, La Tourangelle packages their artisan oils in lightweight aluminum canisters that keep the light out and delicious freshness in. It's a great everyday oil that won't break the bank at around $11 for 750mL.

La Tourangelle is North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) certified for authenticity, meaning their Extra Virgin Olive Oil meets a full range of purity parameters based on the global trade standards set forth by the International Olive Council (IOC). Made from Spanish Picual olives, La Tourangelle is a smooth and full-bodied oil with a clean, fresh smell.

Lucini Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil —  Lucini Italia, $14 for 500 mL —  Argentina has a tendency to pump out its own versions of Italian classics, be it popes, wine, or — of course — olives. The temperate climate and rich soil of the Andean foothills is the perfect environment to grow several types of olives – many of which are used to make Lucini Italia Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil (which is produced in Italy). Lucini consistently meets standards established by the International Olive Council (IOC) when tested by the UC Davis Olive Center. So you know you're getting the good stuff anytime you buy it. 


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HOLD — Colavita EXTRA Virgin Olive Oil Colavita, $12 for 750 mL  — When it comes to Old World quality, you don't have to look much further than Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  thats the past— 
BUT — They might have been comprised during the COVID Pandemic.    Made by the Colavita family since 1912, this EVOO is now certified by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA). That means it falls within the purity parameters set forth by the International Olive Council (IOC), so you know you're getting a legitimate product. 

The other problem I believe is that they have a myriad of products,  many, many options,  a bad growing season, thing go bad, you have  warehouse filled and you ship, period,  and they had to fill orders with their other products —  I said I would look into it.

And despite its wallet-friendly price — around $12 for 750 mL — Colavita has the recognition to back up its reputation as a quality product. It's received high ratings from The New York Times and is also a two-time winner of the "Best Everyday Cooking Oil" in Men's Health Magazine's Annual Nutrition Awards.  At Whole Foods 

BUT — Colavita used to be a longtime good and trusted brand, but if you do not buy the virgin olive oil from a certified distributor,   like Whole Foods you may not be getting  the same quality.   They shipped a ton of variations for different customers world wide.  
As some people claimed, customers couldn’t
find the original taste of extra virgin olive oil when they bought Colavita.  No wonder loyal customers have expressed their frustration and disappointment when purchasing this brand. Moreover, they felt like Colavita changed the recipe or it was morphed for their products. I do not believe there was intent.  AsI said we are looking into it. 

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Partanna Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil —  World Market, $14 for 500 mL   Sicilian identity matters. Therefore Partanna Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil deserves its own place separate from its Italian cousins. 

The Asaro family has been growing, pressing, and packaging Partanna on the island of Sicily since 1916. Those who need to feed a lot can buy at bulk at the great price of 3 liters for around $33 — though the average household will be fine with a 500 mL tin for about $14.   

This olive oil is strong and herbaceous.  It will mellow over time as the sediment drops to the bottom. The oil is cold pressed. In our analysis of 22 expert reviews, the Partanna Pizzicante Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tin, 101-Ounce placed 6th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category.

Thats a pretty decent rating for going up against a ton of competition — I have witnessed one or two votes change number real quick — just like in shooting craps — numbers count — Easily found at Wal-Mart  —This Sicily olive oil received an award for quality that ranked it as the best olive oil in the world. It comes from a grower with over a century of experience for expertise that you can trust. The kosher designation means that it's suitable for use in observant Jewish kitchens. This extra virgin olive oil's texture is smooth and rich. Use it as a dip for crusty bread or as a base for salad dressings. Enjoy it plain or sprinkle in your favorite herbs for added flavor.


Whole Foods  365 Organic 100% Italian Olive OiI  — Whole Foods, $10 for 1 L —  Whole Foods frequenters, rejoice! Your favorite specialty grocery giant isn't one to miss out on an opportunity to make a quality product. At $10.99 for 1 L, Whole Foods 365 Organic 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best deals out there, rivaling Trader Joe's when it comes to affordability. And just about all of Whole Foods' extra virgin olive oil varieties — including their Spanish, Greek, and Mediterranean blends– are certified by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) for authenticity. 

Whole Foods 365 has a very green, "refreshingly light" flavor with notes of crisp bell pepper right at the front and just enough spice in the finish. Beyond its "green-ness," there isn't much complexity to Whole Foods 365. It's a great oil for those who aren't looking for a bunch of bells and whistles, simply a nice, basic EVOO they can turn to when it comes to everyday cooking. This makes it a great pick when you want to add the health benefits of olive oil to your dishes without imparting unwanted flavors.


Fraud, Fraud, And More Fraud —  

The results from Consumer Reports found that only 9 of the 23 olive oils from Italy, Spain, and California tested, and passed as being extra virgin olive oil even though all of them claimed so on the label. 

AND: “More than half tasted rancid, fermented or stale.” International standards for extra virgin olive oil are mostly unenforced” and thats the problem".  

Although the term “ Extra Virgin”  is generally understood to denote the highest quality of olive oil, industry certified representatives report that the current standards are easily met by producers and allow olive oil marketed as  “ Extra Virgin”  to represent a wide range of qualities.  This lack of enforcement has resulted in a long history of fraudulent practices, namely adulteration and mislabelling in the olive oil sector.” –  they should name these aberrations “ Extra Condom Olive Oil — 


Popular Fake Oil You Should Avoid — 

🔴   Carapelli  —   Both the Italian Authority and the University of California have proved that the Carapelli olive oil brands are inferior in terms of quality.

🔴   Mazola Olive Oils  —  This is also a famous brand when it comes to top olive oils. However, reviews have proved the opposite, and Mazola olive oils are not the best aroma and flavor.  Unfortunately for this brand, studies from different stores and platforms have shown that Mazola Olive Oil is a fake product, one of the poorest ones on the market. Moreover, the taste is also weak and quite nasty.

🔴   Primadonna Olive Oil  — Primadonna Olive oil is not even available on the vast market of Amazon, and no wonder, as this brand has fallen under market requirements.  According to EVOO, this brand denied the charges; however, customers should avoid them safer, according to specialists.

🔴    Pompeian Olive Oils  — Maybe Pompeian is the most popular counterfeit olive brand on the market, with a full range of olive oil products. Although this brand is rich in products, there have been many complaints and disappointments regarding the taste and quality of olive oil.  Most people claim that olive oil is poor, that they got a small amount of product, and the taste was far from the extra virgin oil flavor.

🔴   Colavita —  UNDER TEMPORARY REVIEW  —   Colavita used to be a good and trusted brand, but if you do not buy the virgin olive oil from a certified distributor, you may not get the same quality.  As some people claimed, customers couldn’t find the original taste of extra virgin olive oil when they bought Colavita.  No wonder loyal customers have expressed their frustration and disappointment when purchasing this brand.    Moreover, they felt like Colavita changed the recipe for their products. we are investigating as there is more to it — 

🔴   Sasso — Sasso is an olive oil brand that has been delivering products since 1860. This name is quite popular among home cooking lovers. However, many customers have complained about the odd fragrance and the purity of this olive oil.  Sadly, Italian media and authorities found the alleged fraud among some influential olive oil brands a few years back. And unfortunately for them, Sasso was one of these names — 

🔴   Badia Olive Oil —  Like the Sasso brand and other brands we have already mentioned, Badia is told to deliver low-quality olive oil. Italian media and the famous Telegraph newspaper have disclosed the reality among the quality of these olive oils and some pretty nasty commentary — 

🔴🟡  Bertolli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil  –And Conflict— It is made from organic olives and produced using organic farming standards.  This oil was on our list of not being approved because I believe they submitted the cheaper grocery store market items and  samples and not the best they make.  

But we have now learned from them and that was incorrect.  Here is a statement from the company: “Our Olive oil exceeds the rigorous and exacting standards of the International Olive Council (IOC) and European Union (EU). As proof, in 2017 alone, we achieved global recognition for the quality of our products, winning 4 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze awards at multiple prestigious international olive oil competitions.”  That was with their premium olive oil product obviously a step above they dump on the retail market relying on their name rather than integrity.  (Their more expensive line)
🔲   Trust is a big word in the Olive Oil business  and from two sources Bertolli Oils are not a favorite of mine,  since I don’t know what I am getting at the Grocery store.



Smart Thinking And Tops About Oil From Bobby Flay  —  If you're just learning the basics of cooking, one important thing to know is that there is a difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. It's not just a fancier name — extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a higher quality than regular olive oil, and also has more variations in flavor. The oils have separate uses in cooking, too. In fact, you probably shouldn't be using EVOO to cook your dishes or deep-fry ingredients. Wondering why? Bobby Flay breaks it down

" Flay dives deep into the ingredients that you're likely stocking in your pantry. Flay shares that his pantry staples include multiple types of oil, including EVOO. Flay explains of the oil, “  I don't usually heat it up very often because it can get really bitter very quickly."   Instead of cooking with EVOO, Flay uses this to finish off his dishes because of the rich texture, which he compares to a sauce.

What kind of oil does Bobby Flay recommend cooking with?  Since Bobby Flay doesn't cook with extra virgin olive oil, it makes sense that one of his other pantry staples is one that he does cook with, like canola or peanut oil. In the podcast with Sophie, the Iron Chef says that these types of oils have a higher smoke point.   According to VeryWellFit, this means the oil will withstand being heated to higher temperatures before it starts to smoke.

The cooking oils that have the highest smoke point include avocado oil and refined vegetable oil, and peanut oil is also up on the list. In fact, if you don't have canola oil handy, Flay recommends avocado oil as a substitute for canola oil. He called avocado oil “ healthier," and added that another benefit of this oil is that it's great for deep-frying foods because of the high smoke point.


Be A Detective Shopper —  Dirty Words —  Authentic —  Hints —  

🔘   Look for identifiers of authenticity — shopping at a specialty, gourmet, culinary shop, or a reputable market — with people who love cooking is harder to find these days   —  unfortunately, to give it the smell and taste test, you first have to buy the bottle. But there are a couple of ways to identify imposters without spending any cash.

🔘   Buy only olive oil labeled “extra virgin.” —   Dirty words like "pure,  light, authentic, even cold-pressed" are meaningless --  and have no official industry definition just another slant of lies — 

🔘   Pay attention to the harvest date.  Olives are harvested once a year in late fall. If your bottle has a harvest date within the last 12-14 months, it is as fresh as possible.  Look for labels with specific details about the olives  — not just the country, but the region they were grown in, the specific olive varietal used, flavor and tasting notes, and so on. Bottles with more specific information are less likely to have been diluted with fillers.

🔘   Look for producers that have third-party testing run on their oils and report important data, like polyphenol count and free fatty acid levels, which are important measures of quality. 

🔘   Look for a seal from a third-party certifier,  such as the California Olive Oil Council  (COOC) or the  International Olive Council (IOC).

🔘   Careful sourcing is a priority and you can taste before you buy.   

🔘   If you can find the same thing cheaper, shop there, vineyards produce different combinations and levels, same name, small print differentiates and varied bottling.  Low-lines and high-lines. But if the grocery store is your most convenient or only option, follow these additional tips.

🟡   If a label calls out the name of the producer or estate,  or the variety of olive used, it’s very likely genuine.  If you see the free fatty acidity level, or FFA, listed that's a great sign.  Typically, only high-quality producers bother listing it.  An excellent oil will have an FFA of 0.2 percent or lower, according to Mueller.

🔴   Ignore the “ by” and “ bottled on” dates  --  the "best by" date is arbitrary and lacks any legal standard, and “ bottled on" doesn't mean much.  “ It could’ve been in a tank for a year before it was bottled.”

🟡   Look for a third-party certification seal  —   in particular, the European union's protected designation of origin (PDO), Italy's DOP, or the “ COOC certified extra virgin" seal from the California olive oil council for California-made oils. (the council has its own standards and certification program that’s stricter than the IOC's.)

🟢   If you see EVOO made in Australia or Chile, buy it  --  it's going to be fresh and legit. Australia has the most stringent standards and a highly advanced testing system, and neither country mixes in carryover oil from the previous harvest. 

🔴   Don’t fall for fancy packaging and a high price tag  —  cheap is a red flag, but expensive doesn’t automatically mean quality, either. 

🟢   Trust your senses  —   Fake olive oil might taste greasy, rancid, flavorless, or just not pleasant.  Good olive oil—real olive oil—should smell and taste green, bright, peppery, earthy, grassy, or any combination thereof.  “ If it tastes good, it’s probably good," says Olmsted.



Designations And Definitions Of Olive Oils  —  Virgin olive oils are the oils obtained from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea L. ) solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, that do not lead to alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. Virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are include:

🟢   Extra Virgin Olive oil — Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams, and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.

🟢   Virgin Olive Oil —  Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.  This designation may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale. If not permitted, the designation of this product has to comply with the legal provisions of the country concerned.

🟠  Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil  —  Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.  This designation may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale. If not permitted, the designation of this product has to comply with the legal provisions of the country concerned.  English expression is “ Borderline” 

🟡   Refined Olive oil  —  Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.   This designation may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale.

🔴   Laminate - Olive Oil Not Fit For Consumption  —   Virgin olive oil not fit for consumption, is, designated lampante virgin olive oil.  By law designated laminate virgin olive oil, is virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams and/or the organoleptic characteristics and other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. It is intended for refining or for technical use possibly in machinery as a lubricant —   It is intended for refining or for high technical use.

🔴  Blended Olive Oil  —  Blended Olive oil is the oil consisting of a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. The country of retail sale may require a more specific designation.

🔴  Olive Pomace  ( 3 Types)  —  Olive pomace oil is the oil obtained by treating olive pomace with solvents or other physical treatments, to the exclusion of oils obtained by re esterification processes and of any mixture with oils of other kinds.  It is marketed in accordance with the following designations and definitions:

🫒   Crude olive pomace oil is olive pomace oil whose characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. It is intended for refining for use for human consumption, or it is intended for technical use.

🫒   Refined olive pomace oil is the oil obtained from crude olive pomace oil by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.This product may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale.

🫒   Olive pomace oil is the oil comprising the blend of refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are. It has a free acidity of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.  The country of retail sale may require a more specific designation and we wish they would have their heads examined at the same time— 

🟢   Olive Pomace For Fuel — Beware of a very low-grade versions of Olive Oil -  It is the bottom of the barrel but can be used as fuel in a Bunsen Burner — or almost any wicked burner  — or oil in an old car —  People have used olive oil with cotton or linen wicks to cleanse the air around them and to keep flames burning for light for thousand of years.
Olive oil is 99% pure fuel; it does not produce smoke or soot and does not burn if spilled. 

 



REAL TRUTH - WHATS GOOD AND HOW TO TELL  —  

🔘   It’s not possible to tell how pure the oil is just by looking at it. However you can do your own simple test at home: store the bottle in the fridge and, if after 30 min it gets solid, it means it is pure and has monounsaturated fats. If it stays liquid, then it’s cut with other cheaper oils.   As there are other ways of cutting the oil (for example mixing new oil with old oil from the previous years) this test would not guarantee the product we are using is a good quality oil.

🔘   Also many of these companies are like Fuel Oil Cracking Plants where they make several grades from one supply of “crude”.  Many brands market a range of oils. Bertolli’s olive oil has been tested and found to contain contamination—this is likely the product in the clear plastic bottle found at supermarkets everywhere. 

At the same time, they may also have a higher end product that is truly extra virgin olive oil, and that one would be found at higher end grocers. It’s hard to keep track because companies keep modifying their products due to customer demand and also public outcry.

🔘   The world’s largest olive oil producer reported that its profits in the first six months of 2018 had decreased by nearly $58.4 million compared with the same period last year.  This strategy is not going to be abandoned even if, in the short term, it means loss of market share in markets such as the United States where value is being lost.  It was attributed the decline to a “price war” in the United States, a decrease in sales in Italy and a weakening dollar compared with the euro.

🔘   Once you have found a good-quality oil that you like, be sure to store it properly -- in a cool, dry place away from light. If your favorite oil does not come in a dark or metal container, transfer it to a light-proof container as soon as possible, as light quickly degrades oil. Above your stove or on a sunny countertop are examples of bad places to store your oil. 

🔘   When oil has gone rancid, it might taste bitter or stale and have a stale, or plastic-y smell. Not only does rancid oil not taste good, it is not good for your health, as it contains free radicals, which can have the opposite effect of fresh, unspoiled extra-virgin olive oil -- since they can increase your risk of heart disease, and cancer. 

🟢   In short: favor domestic oils or oils from smaller producers, look for dark-glass or metal containers which protect the oil from light, read labels carefully, store oil properly, and trust your taste buds over marketing claims. 

🔴   Remember that a label that says ‘Packed in Italy' or ‘ Imported from Italy' does not guarantee that the oil actually originated from olives grown in Italy, nor is it any guarantee of quality. 

🔴   Words such as "pure," "light," or "extra-light" on an olive oil label do not indicate quality or lower fat content. On the contrary, they mean that the oil is a lower-quality, refined oil. These oils, however, can be perfectly fine for cooking and frying. In fact, using a really high-quality, truly extra-virgin oil for deep frying is a waste and can destroy the flavors and healthful components for which you bought it in the first place! I tend to use high-quality EVOO only raw -- for dressing salads or as a finishing drizzle on cooked dishes. 

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