So whats the big deal when choosing olive oil? We have all heard about the health benefits of olive oil, so I want to focus on helpful tips for finding fresh and genuine oil, but first some background.
Learn what negatively affects the industry
Sadly, the olive oil market is full of fake, mislabeled, or diluted product. It’s such a problem that you’ll find advocacy groups like Truth In Olive Oil and articles from heavy hitters, including Forbes.
Forbes has been tracking industry issues for a while. Two years ago, the magazine ran “The Scam Of Olive Oil, And Its Antidote” . It’s still an eye-opening piece about the fraudulent practices that affect us, the people looking for and buying oil.
More recently, Forbes featured “The Olive Oil Scam: If 80% Is Fake, Why Do You Keep Buying It?” The article covers helpful background, including current issues and scandals. Yes, scandals are prevalent. Watch this video from Truth In Olive Oil Founder Tom Mueller for more information.
From the magazine article, I found this quote to be especially relevant:
“‘America is the dumping ground of all those fraudulent operations,” Gaea’s David Neuman explained. “‘There are not enough resources to control the over 350,000 tons of olive oil entering the country. That’s why, even after the scandals, adulterated olive oil bottles are still on supermarket shelves.’”
Be informed and savvy—and find the best olive oil
It’s a little sad that we have to filter through bad supply, like the quote mentions above, but we can find good product if we know how to look for reliable quality.
Try these helpful tips when selecting olive oil:
1. Always purchase extra virgin olive oil. The process of creating extra virgin helps retain its health benefits. Please note that extra virgin has a limited shelf life, which leads to the next point.
2. Read the harvest date! With a limited shelf life, look for a harvest date from six months ago or less. Reason being, the polyphenols start to break down after six months, and with that breakdown, the health benefits of olive oil decrease. If you’re purchasing oil online, check out oliveoillovers.com, which allows you to filter by harvest date as well as country, region, and type.
3. Look for purity and quality. To pick quality, select oil …
• Packed in a dark glass bottle, reducing light exposure and maintaining quality;
• Smelling like fresh cut grass or green vegetation; and
• Offering a fresh, green, zesty, and/or biting flavor.
4. Use your instincts, senses, and experience. If oil tastes old, rancid, or moldy, it’s probably not good. You’ll also start to notice that quality oil varies in color, taste, and intensity. Use that experience to spot and skip bad product.
5. Learn about and pick a source. Even oil experts will tell you that labels with “packed in Italy or Spain” do not guarantee quality. Try these tips:
• I love California Olive Ranch. The product is great, and the company provides detailed information about picking a good oil. Visit: What to look for in olive oil bottles.
• You’ll find another detailed buying guide from Truth In Olive Oil.
Most of all, remember to check the harvest date and keep your oil fresh by placing it in a cool dark place. Once you find a winner, enjoy and have some tasty fun!
Have more questions about olive oil? Set up a consultation with Devi to learn more.