i was reading this today "Today, the stuff that is pawned off to us as quality olive oil is often just a tiny amount of the real thing, mixed with up to 80 percent of ordinary, less than healthy, cheap as muck sunflower oil. That is, if you're getting any olive oil at all. In fact, we're so used to shitty olive oil that apparently food connoisseurs reject the real stuff because it tastes fake to them."
I eat a lot of olive oil and if its fake that means id be ingesting all this omega 6 oils every day. I live in New Zealand, so i wonder if its legal to sell fake olive oil here.
Fair Go recently tested olive oils avaiable in New Zealand - there is a problem with many imported oils from Europe. http://paleozonenutrition.com/2012/05/19/extra-virgin-olive-oil-or-is-it-european-supermarket-oils-are-rancid-and-fail-the-evoo-test/
Similar tests have been done in California and Australia
Report: Most Imported Extra Virgin Olive Oils Aren’t Extra Virgin http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/report-most-imported-extra-virgin-olive-oils-arent/4316
Choice the people’s watchdog: Extra virgin olive oil 2010 review; Is what you buy the real deal? http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/food-and-health/food-and-drink/groceries/extra-virgin-olive-oil-2010-review.aspx
I'm Greek, and my mom buys olive oil directly from the place where they make olive oil in her village. Her olive oil is deep in color, and somewhat rich and thick. The ones I can find in the US are less so (even the extra virgin, cold pressed ones). So I don't know what's going on. It might just be a different kind of olive fruits, or pressing technique. Or it could be what Cracked.com claims about fake olive oil... At least for some brands.
Folks say to put olive oil in the fridge to see if it semi-solidifies. If it does, it's supposedly the real deal. All my olive oil samples have solidified, from store-brand all the way up to premium product. Maybe I've been lucky, or maybe the test is pointless.
EDIT: Amanda points out in the comments that it's not a good test for determining the quality of olive oil. I think that's probably true, it's the fat content that largely determines the freezing point.
Consider though if highly diluted with sunflower oil. Olive oil is mostly oleic acid (mp 13-14C in free acid form). Sunflower oil is mostly linoleic acid (mp -5C in free acid form). Triglycerides melt at lower temperatures than their component fatty acids. It seems likely that sunflower seed oil would not solidify at fridge temperatures, while olive oil may. (I haven't done the test myself, no sunflower oil on hand and not going to buy it out of curiosity.) Commercial salad dressings don't freeze at fridge temperatures, and they're vegetable oils (largely PUFAs).
If olive oil counterfeiters were smart, they'd use high oleic acid sunflower oil. Much more similar to olive oil in fatty acid composition, it might not produce a significant change in melting point profile. Not sure that's any cheaper than olive oil itself.
Then again, high oleic sunflower oil is probably nearly as healthy as olive oil.
Olive Oil is not fake. It is a real oil. The question has been poorly formed :).
I think one should always take care where one buys it, like anything else. I live in Spain and I still will take care. I will usually buy it from ecological cooperatives, with their own land, trees and olive press. When I have been in the USA, the olive oil sold in supermarkets looks and smells fairly weak. I once read somewhere that all imported olive oil was, by law, pasteurized. Not sure if this is true.
I am pretty sure that there are decent places to buy olive oil from California producers. Perhaps on-line
We use to get fresh pressed olive oil straight from the "farm" when we lived in Spain, so I now smell all the EVOO I get, it is not the same and you can find variations of the EVOO, I guess you really do have to look for it, but its weak by comparison.
Even though I distrust most of what corporations and the government here in the U.S. Try to feed us. Am I being naive to think that if it had other oils, it would list it on the ingredients just like the olive oil-canola oil blends?
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