The Olive Oil Mafia: Has Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lost its Virginity?

From The Guardian:
How to buy olive oil

  • Some terms commonly used on olive oil labels are anachronistic, such as “first pressed” and “cold pressed”. Since most extra virgin oil nowadays is made with centrifuges, it isn’t “pressed” at all, and true extra virgin oil comes exclusively from the first processing of the olive paste.
  • Don’t worry about color. Good oils come in all shades, from green to gold to pale straw – but avoid flavours such as meaty, metallic, mouldy, cooked, greasy, and cardboard.
  • Look for bottles with a date of harvest. Try to buy oils only from this year’s harvest. Failing that, look at the “best by” date which should be two years after an oil was bottled.
  • PDO (protected designation of origin) and PGI (protected geographical indication) status should inspire some confidence, although they are not always a guarantee of quality.
  • Ensure that your oil is labelled “extra virgin,” since other categories—”pure” or “light” oil, “olive oil” and “olive pomace oil” – have been chemically refined.
  • Ask to taste it before buying. Find a seller who stores it in clean, temperature-controlled stainless steel containers, topped with an inert gas such as nitrogen to keep oxygen at bay, and bottles it as they sell it.
  • Prefer bottles or containers that protect against light, and buy a quantity that you’ll use up quickly.

From the Olive Oil Source:

“Extra virgin, virgin, light, pomace, filtered, cold pressed, stone milled, organic, …. The list goes on and on. If you are confused about which olive oil to buy, you are not alone. At the Olive Oil Source, we think that there are a few keys to choosing the right olive oil: first is knowing the types of olive oil available, the second is considering what you will use it for. Learning the different grades of olive oil and their characteristics will help you make sense of what you read on labels.”


Adulterated Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and UC-Davis (University of California Davis)

A detailed report from UC-Davis published in 2010 was entitled: Tests indicate that imported ‘extra virgin’ olive oil often fails international and USDA standards. It was discovered that fake extra-virgin olive oils are flooding supermarket shelves in California.

The UC Davis researchers in two studies tested a total of 186 extra- virgin olive oil samples, the both, imported and domestic, using standards established by the International Olive Council (IOC), as well as olive oil analysis used in Germany and Australia.

The results were that 69 percent of imported and ten percent of California-based olive oil labeled extra–virgin did not pass International Olive Council (IOC) and US Department of Agriculture sensory standards for extra virgin olive oil.

The facts

“More than two-thirds of common brands of extra-virgin olive oil  found in California grocery stores aren’t what they claim to be, according to a report by researchers at UC Davis.”.

In fact, approximately 69% of all extra-virgin olive oils in the US stores are not what we think they are. Interestingly, while 11% of the imported, Italian samples failed both sensory olive oil testing panels, the Australian and California samples only failed one panel.

There are many who questioned the results, since the research was funded in part by the California Olive Ranch and the California Olive Oil Council. Both these groups are connected to the Australian Olive Association.

However, evidence clearly indicates that the UC Davis olive oil analysis accurately reflects reality.

 UC Davis findings based on specific brands that were tested:

These brands, which were labeled extra-virgin, failed to meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:

  • Star
  • Whole Foods
  • Newman’s Own
  • Pompeian
  • Filippo Berio
  • Mazzola
  • Mezzetta
  • Rachel Ray
  • Safeway
  • Bertolli
  • Carapelli

On the other hand, the following brands did meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:

  • Kirkland Organic
  • Lucero (Ascolano)
  • California Olive Ranch
  • McEvoy Ranch Organic
  • Corto Olive

Nevertheless, the issue about the adulteration of olive oil got so bad that the E.U.’s anti-fraud division established an olive-oil task force. Still, olive oil fraud remains a major international problem.

Go here and peruse Tom Mueller’s best Supermarket oil picks and soak up his sage advice about  finding REAL, extra virgin olive oil.

ther included sources linked in Real Farmacy’s article:

Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s valiant contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are world renowned. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.