Olive Oil Scam REVEALED (And How To Spot The Real Stuff)

photo of bottles of olive oil, possibly fake

In April 2007, US Marshals burst into storage facilities in New York and New Jersey to seize a counterfeit and potentially dangerous substance.

The product they seized? Olive oil labeled as extra virgin – 10,000 cases of it. Turns out it was mostly soybean oil. The street value of this bust? Around $700,000.

Olive oil fraud is rampant

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 University of California at Davis study.

Instead, the oils were spoiled or made from lower quality olives unfit to be labeled “extra virgin.” Worse, some were outright counterfeits, made from soy, hazelnut, and even fish oils mixed with low grade olive-pomace oil.

Here’s a video I made about counterfeit olive oil

Why bother counterfeiting olive oil?

Olive oil is big business. Americans spend $700 million on olive oil annually.

Far more valuable than other vegetable oils, olive oil is also more costly and time consuming to produce. So people have been adulterating it since the time of Christ.

These days, olive oil is the most adulterated agricultural product coming out of Europe.

Part of what makes olive oil so valuable is its many health benefits. Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil can lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure while stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation in the body.

Is your olive oil lying about its virginity?

If you buy olive oil at a supermarket, the odds aren’t stacked in your favor. This is doubly true if you shop by price or consume “light” extra virgin olive oil. According to this NPR interview, it’s possible that some shoppers in America have never had 100% pure, extra-virgin olive oil in their lives – even though they’ve been buying products labeled that way for decades.

How to get real olive oil

  1. Avoid “Light” olive oil at all costs. This is the lowest quality olive oil on the plant.
  2. If you can find oils with the International Olive Oil Council certification, go for those.
  3. Buy Californian olive oils, which are far less adulterated than imported oil.
  4. Do your homework. Find a reputable company or source and buy small bottles from them.

What Olive Oils to Buy… and Avoid

In the UC Davis study, these brands failed to meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:

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

In the same study, these olive oils met the extra-virgin standards:

Sources:

About Genevieve

After battling weight, digestive, and immune system issues for years, I know firsthand the harmful effects of conventional life. Through a long road of detox, I discovered the healing power of natural living. This transformation spread into every area of my life - physical, emotional & spiritual. Now I'm on a mission to help other mamas live happier, healthier lives.

Please note: Many links on this site, especially those to Amazon, are affiliate links. Should you click on these links and purchase something, the price is no different for you and I earn a small commission. Thanks for supporting Mama Natural!

Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

108 Comments

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  2. Jessica March 5 at 7:41 am

    Thank you for posting this, I consume olive oil regularly and am allergic to soy. Thankfully my allergies only trigger my eczema, but it’s sad to hear such a massive industry isn’t entirely legitimate.

  3. Frank February 2 at 10:10 am

    Look I just want to know what olive oil to buy that’s real and what’s carp I will worry about my own health risks. I feel violated by these scammers and really would like to buy from a reputable source that’s all this argument about rapeseed oils is irrelevant and has no place on here this is about fake olive oil so get over it.

  4. luke January 28 at 8:28 pm

    THANK YOU!!! If you can do an updated list of this, that would be AWESOME! Thank you so much!

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  6. Deana November 23 at 7:12 am

    So what do we do about the fact that no produce from California (including olives) should EVER be eaten now because of the radiation that still daily pours into California from Japan? Is there a real extra virgin from anywhere else that we can trust?

  7. Healthy Notions, LLC September 22 at 7:27 pm

    Thanks so much for the informative article! I am so used to reading food labels that my eyes are crossed, lol. Oils are so important to our health and choosing healthy oils to cook with and to use for salad dressings, baking, etc. are so important these days.

  8. Vince September 12 at 8:10 pm

    What about regular olive oil? Was only the extra virgin oils checked?

    • OliveChirper September 12 at 8:34 pm

      By “regular olive oil,” I take it you mean olive oil that is just labeled “olive oil.” This is *refined* olive oil with 5% virgin-class (not extra virgin) olive oil added so it isn’t completely tasteless. I don’t know of any study (at UC Davis or elsewhere) looking for adulterated or substandard regular olive oil; unlike EVOO, “olive oil” is too cheap to be a significant target of food fraud.

  9. cynthia September 12 at 11:37 am

    UC Davis did the study, the only oils meeting the standards were Californian…hmm. Could it be that the study is biased? Not saying that some adulteration of oil is occurring, but you have to consider the source and the outcome of the study.

    • OliveChirper September 12 at 12:53 pm

      Cynthia, your skepticism is entirely reasonable, but in this case I think it’s misplaced. First, it isn’t quite true that only CA EVOOs passed: Kirkland Signature Organic (not the regular Kirkland product) also passed, but that’s a minor point. The brands were taken off of supermarket shelves, and most supermarket product sold as olive oil *is* garbage. California oils tend to be of higher quality than supermarket oils, because the economics push them that way: they’re small companies, they don’t get the subsidies that EU producers and bottlers do, and land values and labor costs are high, so they can’t compete with EU-based mass-market pricing and there’s more incentive marketing plan based on quality with a commensurately higher price. Additionally, many EU supermarket brands package their oil in clear glass, which accelerates their degradation while sitting on the shelf, and typically the California oils are fresher by dint of a shorter transportation chain and small scale which lets them sell out every year.

      Also, irrespective of the funding source, the oils were tested blind, and much of the chemical testing was actually done in Australia (and in many cases independently replicated by the UC Davis oil chemistry lab).

      Again, there’s good and bad oil produced all over the world, but it would frankly be shocking if most supermarket olive oil *didn’t* fail, because supermarket olive oil is mostly lousy the day it leaves the bottler and only gets worse with time.

      • cynthia September 12 at 1:26 pm

        Good points. I agree that there are a lot of “bad” oils hidden not only in nearly every processed product on the shelves of the ordinary (and even “health”!) store, and as pointed out in the article, that likely extends to the oils themselves. Just thought it seemed a bit too good to be true (UC Davis and California oils)! I personally use Bariani cold pressed california olive oil, which seems to be the real deal.

  10. Shirley September 11 at 5:03 am

    The California Olive Ranch bottle is not organic, but is Extra Virgin, first cold pressed, California grown, is in a dark green bottle, solidifies in the refrigerator, carries the California Olive Oil Council seal, NON GMO Project Verified and ingredients say: 100% natural unrefined extra virgin olive oil. Organic would have been much better but this bottle provided information that made me choose it over the imported varieties which I knew were questionable. Price was decent too.

    • OliveChirper September 11 at 6:08 am

      Shirley, and others: please note that solidifying in the refrigerator is absolutely no sign of olive oil authenticity, despite what is often said on the internet (and by Dr. Oz). What it mostly tells you is that there’s saturated fat (palmitic and to a lesser extent stearic acid) in the oil. Please see:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil_regulation_and_adulteration#Refrigeration

  11. Jaslyn T. September 10 at 11:19 pm

    So what am I to purchase for my family? Organic EVOO, or CA EVOO Organic or Regular? Am I at least correct to state,.. we are to avoid anything “light or virgin”, that it must be extra-virgin???

    • OliveChirper September 11 at 6:05 am

      As Shirley says, organic is better than non-organic, but that’s really a separate issue from the quality and authenticity of the oil. Certainly, you should avoid anything labeled “light” or “virgin”, and also “pure” or “pomace,” but the mere fact that the label says it’s extra-virgin doesn’t mean that it is. As I’ve pointed out several times in the comments here, “For a handy guide to authentic, high-quality EVOO, see the “Buyer’s Guide to Olive Oil in North America” by Tom Mueller, author of the famous New Yorker magazine exposé on olive oil fraud, and more recently of the excellent book “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil:” ”
      http://www.extravirginity.com/great-oil/how-to-buy-great-olive-oil/

  12. Shirley September 10 at 5:03 pm

    I bought a rather inexpensive olive oil at Walmart $5-6 for 16 oz and was about to throw it away when I read this report….but then i got to the bottom and read that the brand I bought California Olive Ranch brand is on the good list….So I wonder, if really true oils cost upwards of $15-17..what is this I bought a such a low price. I bought it because it was made in the US….but now not sure.

    • OliveChirper September 10 at 7:24 pm

      Rest assured, California Olive Ranch (COR) is authentic. It’s not the best olive oil oil on the market, but it is 100% olives, is extracted entirely by mechanical means, meets the basic requirements of the International Olive Council. I may have slightly overstated things when I quoted $15-17 for 17 oz, but I’m also very surprised you found COR oil for as little as you say: check out the prices company’s online store for instance:
      http://shop.californiaoliveranch.com/

      The other thing is that most COR oils are made from olive cultivars that are relatively low in phenolics; being as any oil you have now is at least 11 months old, it must really be reaching the ends of its decent days. See if you can find an oil from a Southern Hemisphere producer, which will be fresher.

      All that said, I wouldn’t simply equate “domestic” with “good” and “European” with “poor or adulterated.” There is great and lousy olive oil produced everywhere. The UC Davis study mostly found imports to be of low quality because their study focused on what’s on supermarket shelves, most of which is big-brand garbage that happens to be from the EU and sells because it makes you think it’s from Italy (when, as the fine print informs you, it’s actually a blend of oil from all over, and much of it old and of poor quality), and perpetuates the myth that the Italians have some special hold on good olive oil.

      • Shirley September 10 at 9:35 pm

        Thanks for your info…..I’ll take ‘good’ quality over adulterated any day!

  13. Kim H September 4 at 11:26 am

    Did you run any test on the crisco brand..?

  14. Karen F. September 4 at 11:06 am

    . . .I read that that study from UC Davis was PAID for by the California Olive Board, or similar organization, so that would mean that their findings would not be impartial.
    Of course they want everyone to buy California Olives and Oil.
    I can believe that olive oil is big business, but no one has really come up with a way to say how you can get pure olive oil for sure.
    This is sad.

  15. Jaslyn T. September 2 at 3:37 am

    Wow, ok,.. so I do believe I am more confused than ever! So what am I to purchase for my family? Organic EVOO, or CA EVOO Organic or Regular? Am I at least correct to state,.. we are to avoid anything “light or virgin”, that it must be extra-virgin???
    (We stopped buying regular Canola awhile ago now, due to the gmos, but do have one bottle of Organic Canola that we have just in case we need it for something,(???) at least it is not gmo,….. we use butter mostly, and up till now, Olive oil for sautees, which now is a no-no too. I guess back to using coconut oil and butter for sautees and the like.)

  16. Lauren September 1 at 10:44 am

    Holy cow, I can’t believe some the labels that didn’t meet the standards! Thank you for doing the research on this, I will definitely be sharing it!

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  18. Richard Meisler June 6 at 11:41 pm

    I am saying , organic oil is grown organically,It could be olive oil or EVOO EVOO needs to be tested to verify the chemical reading to make it EVOO.If there are no chemical levels on the label don’t buy it.READ the small print, bring a magnifying glass with you.

  19. Liz June 6 at 7:06 pm

    So, would you recommend the Kirkland Organic because it’s organic, or the non-organic California ones because they’re more local and usually less adulterated?

  20. Richard Meisler June 6 at 12:07 am

    If you get use to a brand of olive oil and it is not a EVOO you will never know the difference until you try the real stuff. People generally don’t like to be told that their oil is not good olive oil. The best part is that it has no health value. Why put that into your body. olive oil can be reprocessed to make it taste better but , labeling laws are non existent with olive oil. This is why you need to look for the COOC seal or know your farmer.Check out our website and you will see our label. Compare it to your olive oil in your pantry. 1 see the color of the bottle.Start from there.

  21. Richard Meisler June 5 at 7:33 pm

    Just finished a little festival in Templeton CA. I was amazed at the response I received after explaining to our new customers what is missing on most EVOO labels. Including the official seal COOC ( certified ) EVOO.A small round California Olive Oil Council sticker.That tells you the whole story that the oil is EVOO. Just a note from San Miguel Olive Farm.
    On the label. 100% olive oil ( is not) EVOO – 100% EVOO is .

  22. Henny Penny May 4 at 9:12 am

    University of California study funded by Olive growers in California ? No surprise. Fox in the hen house?

  23. Vicky February 24 at 4:01 pm

    Filippo Berio failed to solidify in the fridge which is a big red flag. Consume at your own risk

  24. c. boynton February 10 at 9:57 pm

    Can olive oil be made at home? If it was made in the ancient cities and villages of the middle east, why not in a modern kitchen? What
    would be involved?

  25. Richard Meisler December 31 at 2:11 pm

    Just a quick note; polyphenols- can range from 150 high or 300 high- up to 8oo; The average EVOO should nor be less than high 150- We are at 322.The higher these numbers the more peppery finish and tartness. .This is ok for people who like healthy EVOO. Makes a great topping. Acid levels .02-. 03 real good .Peroxide levels determine shelf life scale of 5-20 5 being long 1-2 years. Olive Oil with sediment usually oxidizes more quickly shorter shelf life. Look for these # and a Harvest date and year. ,also where it is grown.Color makes no difference, but a dark green bottle does.

  26. Richard Meisler December 31 at 1:55 pm

    My daughter purchased some olive oil in a pretty bottle. After tasting it it tasted like mineral oil. It was rancid and upset my inners. We are small production olive growers to the highest standards. Award winning certified and priced according to our chemical values which will be listed on the label with all pertinent information for the consumer. As a CA. grower will have to abide to many new standards this year, but we went beyond and are listing the polyphenols which also reflect on the antioxidants. The healthy part of the oil. We generally sell out months before the year end because of the stringent quality of EVOO. It is so sad when the oils in the store don’t compete with laws for the frozen sect or dairy section regarding their temperature etc.to keep the item fresh. OliveOil? Who cares. I care;That’s why we sell on line.

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  28. SA Oils & Co August 2 at 5:43 am

    Want to buy first quality olive oil, bottled to customers specifications please email us at info@saoilsandco.co.cc or call +27 (0) 83 582 4664, for more information on properties and price.

    • OliveChirper August 2 at 6:44 am

      From your website, you are ” manufacturers in oil press machines, edible and non-edible oil for cooking, frying, bio chemical purposes etc”; from a Google search, your most prominent products appear to be used cooking oil and refined canola oil. It would take a lot of documentation to convince me that you also sold true, high-quality olive oil.

      • Annettemarie August 24 at 10:11 pm

        Canola oil comes from the Rapeseed plant which is TOXIC to humans as well as insects. The name Canola was adopted since the plant is native to Canada and the connections to its true identity, the rapeseed plant, needed to be covered up. It was marketed as Canadian oil low in acid in order to convince the public that it was safe.

        Canola oil is used as an insecticide. Canola oil certainly is GMO. Canola is POISON. It is great for depopulation as well as enriching the medical industry / Big Pharma in the slow kill of the masses. People pay for their own painful demise…It is pathetic.

        http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/ConsumerAlert/Canola.aspx

        • Annettemarie August 25 at 9:24 am

          Canola oil has some very interesting characteristics and effects on living systems. For example, it forms latex-like substances that agglutinate the red blood corpuscles, as does soy, but much more pronounced. Loss of vision is a known, characteristic side effect of rape oil which antagonizes the central and peripheral nervous systems, again like soy oil, again worse. The deterioration takes years, however. Rape (canola) oil causes emphysema respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability and blindness in animals-and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991 when it was thrown out. You may remember reading about the cows, pigs and sheep that went blind, lost their minds, attacked people and had to be shot.

          Rape oil is also the source of the infamous chemical-warfare agent , mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skin of hundreds of thousands of solders and civilians during WW1. Recent French reports indicate that it was again used during the gulf.

          Between 1950 and 1953, white mustard ( rape ) seed was irradiated in Sweden to increase seed production and oil content. Irradiation is the process the experts want use to make our food “safe” to eat. Genetically engineered fruits and vegetables – which will soon have innocent things like hepatitis-B spliced into their DNA – are another example of man’s misuses of technology and abuse of public trust by powerful interests and “head-in-the-sand” watchdog agencies.

          Canola oil contains large amounts of ” isothiocyanates ” – cyanide-containing compounds. Cyanide inhibits mitochondrial production of adenosine triphosphate ( ATP ), which is the energy molecule that fuels the mitochondria. ATP energy powers the body and keeps us healthy and young !

          If you want life and health stay away from Canola oil. Be a critical thinker…research. Do not blindly follow marketing propaganda. Connect the dots. What is Agenda 21? Do you know?

          Read the following for vital information regarding the TRUTH about ‘Canola oil’ and what oils are actually safe.
          http://www.liferesearchuniversal.com/canola.html

          • OliveChirper August 25 at 12:56 pm

            Annettemarie, the material you are posting is simply copy-pasted from conspiracy theory websites. There is no scientific basis for this material, and neither your quotes nor the websites themselves make reference to any peer-reviewed scientific literature. There is a remarkable amount of half-truth and falsehood packed into these pages, such as the whopper that isothiocyanates are some kind of horrible toxin: isothiocyanates are, in fact, one of the main cancer-fighting compounds in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and (yes) wild rapeseed itself:
            http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/isothio/

            There are, in any case, next to no isothiocyanates in canola oil, because of refining — but the population would do well to get /more/ isothiocyanates in their diet, not to treat them as some kind of poison.

          • Annettemarie August 25 at 1:31 pm

            OliveChirper, now you claim that I am a CONSPIRATOR because I have exposed deadly Canola oil for what it actually is? How dare you assert the FACTS that I have submitted are ‘theories’.

            That leaves only one option which is recognizing you as a shrill for the Canola oil industry.

            Reminds me of the Nazi’s telling their victims, “you will take a shower to delouse and afterwards you will have hot soup. Don’t forget to tie your shoes together so you will find them again…”

            Agenda 21….

            Knowledge is Power.

      • Annettemarie August 24 at 10:17 pm

        Do you work for the ‘Canola oil industry’? Since you give out disinformation regarding the toxic Rapeseed plant what would be your purpose?

        • OliveChirper August 25 at 6:48 am

          I do not work for the canola industry, nor do I have any financial ties to any aspect of it. If you look back at my posts in this forum, you can see that I have very actively promoted the consumption of premium extra-virgin olive oil. My sole interest is to educate people about health issues and debunk myths and misinformation.

          Canola oil is used as a natural insecticide: it works by coating the bugs and suffocating them. You could just as easily use extra-virgin olive oil, or any oil that is liquid at cool temperatures: canola oil is usually used because it’s cheap. It is completely non-toxic to humans (and even to insects, except in the sense just given). It is not GMO, and it is not poison. It is one of the healthiest fat sources out there (as is authentic extra-virgin olive oil, and most nuts).

          The name “Canola” was indeed adopted with reference to its origin in Canada, but it was not to “cover up” its identity. Rather, it was given a new name because it was a new variety of rapeseed that had been bred (conventionally — again, it is not genetically modified) to be low in erucic acid. Erucic acid is a fatty acid present in high levels in oil from wild-grown rapeseed. When fed to rats in high concentration, erucic acid is toxic to their hearts, and there were concerns that it might be toxic to humans as well. By breeding a new variety of rapeseed that contained next to no erucic acid, Canadian agricultural scientists eliminated this problem. The resulting “CANadian OiL” (Can-o-la) was marketed as safe because it *is* safe. Again, the Lyon Diet Heart study shows not only that it is safe, but that it saves lives because of its high content of monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids.

          • Annettemarie August 25 at 8:51 am

            OliveChipper, you also give DISINFORMATION regarding olive oil. You claim that it is safe to fry with olive oil. That is False. Olive oil turns into a carcinogen when heated. I am of Italian heritage. I was raised on Olive oil. I use Olive Oil daily. I use it on salads and add to food AFTER it is cooked.

            Why do you give DISINFORMATION about Canola oil as well? You have no credence what so ever as far as I am concerned.

            Knowledge is power. I have no further interest in exposing your disinformation propaganda. If people want to know the truth, they will research.

          • Annettemarie August 25 at 10:04 am

            OliveChirper, You STATE that Canola oil is not GMO.

            That is a blatant LIE. Either you are simply ignorant or you are a shrill for the Canola industry.

            Video by Jeffery Smith and article exposes the absolute danger of Canola oil.

            http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/ConsumerAlert/Canola.aspx

            Stay with Olive Oil, Butter, and Coconut oil. No, No, No, Canola oil ever….It is hard to avoid…it is in everything….It is part of Agenda 21, the Planned Depopulation Project.

            Knowledge is Power.

          • Salvadori January 28 at 12:02 am

            Please don’t respond to these whack jobs anymore, with their psycho theories of “depopulation” and “Agenda 21″. You can’t fix ignorance when it is willful.

            And YES, people, you can fry with HIGH QUALITY evoo.

  29. del May 17 at 9:57 am

    Do I now have to worry about the purity of Canola Oil also?

    • OliveChirper May 17 at 1:39 pm

      No: canola oil is too cheap to adulterate. *Authentic* EVOO costs at least $15 for 17 oz, and refined olive oil goes for $5-$10 for the same amount. You can get a 48 oz bottle of canola oil for $3. That’s why it’s lucrative — and common — to put refined, low-quality, or seed-oil-adulterated olive oil in a bottle and slap an “extra virgin” label on it. It’s hard to think of something you could substitute for canola oil and get away with it without *losing* money.

      • del May 17 at 1:43 pm

        Thanks for the clear explanation on canola oil. One more question: is canola oil at all healthy, as a cheap alternative to frying when EVOO is not warranted based on cost?

        • OliveChirper May 17 at 1:53 pm

          It’s healthier to fry with extra-virgin olive oil, because its higher content of monounsaturated fatty acids and (if you buy a robust oil) polyphenols reduce the production of toxic peroxidation products and carcinogens. (Yes, a zillion articles online will tell you not to fry with EVOO because you lose the polyphenols in the process, but that’s to put the cart before the horse: those polyphenols are protecting you from nasties. Yes, a zillion articles online will tell you that EVOO has too low a smoke point to fry, but this just isn’t true of good-quality oil; see:
          http://www.aromadictionary.com/EVOO_blog/?p=147 ).

          Canola oil can be a decent choice as a salad oil base, eg, for a little bit of omega-3, particularly if you don’t eat fish — but I wouldn’t fry with it, or any refined oil.

          • del May 17 at 2:40 pm

            OilveChirper: Thanks for the eye opener! I did believe that I was wasting good EVOO if I used it for frying since it had a low smoking point. Now that you’ve cleared it up, I also notice David Rocco on his cooking show across Italy, uses EVOO like water. Of course, he gets it fresh from the olive groves where the owners are featured as he prepares his dishes. Looks like it’s EVOO and real butter from now on, but that is after I find good quality oil!

          • Annettemarie August 24 at 5:20 pm

            Canola oil is NEVER a choice if one wants to prevent an early painful death. Canola oil comes from the Rapeseed plant that is POISON. Insects do not eat the Rapeseed plant because it would kill them. The oil from the Rapeseed plant was used for industrial use. It apparently was decided to market this deadly oil for human consumption as it would be profitable. The FDA falsely claims that Canola oil is not GMO and is safe for human consumption. That is false. It is all about Marketing.

            I was at a famous “Food Market” and had something at the hot bar….looking at the food with the yellow oil I had presumed it was melted butter. I found out later that it was Canola oil, (after I had become ill) I am extremely sensitive to MSG and artificial sweetener. Perhaps that is why I had such an extreme reaction to the canola oil.

            Canola oil is everywhere, it is virtually in everything, because it is cheap, however, it is POISON. I use coconut oil for cooking and olive oil on salads or on dishes AFTER they are cooked. I store my olive oil in the fridge/freezer because that helps to retard if from turning rancid. When Olive Oil first turns rancid it does not give off an odor. All RANCID oils are carcinogens.

            I am of Italian heritage and was raised on Extra Virgin Olive Oil and I have noticed lately that some Olive oils taste “different.” One bottle that I had surely contained or was actually Canola oil…it was terrible.

            I would NEVER knowingly ingest canola oil. I am not suicidal.

          • Annettemarie August 25 at 11:14 am

            No it is NOT healthy to fry with Olive Oil. Olive Oil becomes a carcinogen when heated. Olive Oil is wonderful, it is extremely healthy, but do not fry with it.

            Wrong again. Canola oil is NEVER a decent choice for humans or animals. It is NEVER a choice, unless one is suicidal. It will lead to a painful death. It will destroy vital organs and lead to blindness.

            Excerpt from Holistic Health Encyclopedia

            Rape seed oil (Canola oil) is widely used in thousands of processed foods…with the blessings of our own government. Canola oil was first developed in Canada. It’s proponents claim that due to genetic engineering and irradiation, it is no longer rape oil, but “canola” (Canadian oil). They also claim it is completely safe, pointing to it’s unsaturated structure and digestibility. Although, I could not verify it, it is claimed the Canadian government paid the FDA the sum of $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the GRAS list (Generally Recognized As Safe). However it was done, a new industry was created.

            The truth is, however, that rape is the most toxic of all food oil plants. Not even insects will eat it. No wonder farmers like growing it. It turns out that rape is a member of the mustard family of plants, and is the source for the chemical agent, mustard gas, which causes blistering on skin and lungs when inhaled. Mustard Gas was banned after WWI for this very reason.

            Studies of canola oil done on rats indicate many problems. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals and thyroid gland. When the canola oil was withdrawn from their diet, the deposits dissolved, but scar tissue remained on the organs. Why were no studies done on humans before the FDA placed it on the GRAS list? Consumed in food, Canola oil depresses the immune system, causing it to “go to sleep.” Canola oil is high in glycosides which cause health problems by blocking (inhibiting) enzyme function. It’s effects are accumulative, taking years to show up. One possible effect of long term use is the destruction of the protective coating surrounding nerves called the mylin sheath. When this protective sheath is gone, our nerves short-circuit causing erratic, uncontrollable movements. Learn more (it takes about a minute or longer to load the info from Holistic Health Encyclopedia

        • Genevieve May 17 at 8:31 pm

          NO! Canola oil is a no-no! Way too high in omega 6s and toxic.

          I only cook with coconut oil and butter. These saturated fats are a lot more stable and can handle high heats. Refined, expellar pressed coconut oil is cheap and better for you.

          • OliveChirper May 18 at 12:58 pm

            The Lyon Diet Heart Study, a large clinical trial, showed that a diet centered on using canola oil and a special trans-fat-free canola oil margarine for all culinary uses dramatically reduced death from heart disease in high-risk patients, and apparently even lowered their cancer risk. Moreover, compared to the diet that these (French!) citizens were eating before, using canola oil actually *reduced* omega-6 intake. A diet using some (authentic) EVOO and some canola oil would be even lower.

            Remember, while many people do consume too much of it, omega-6 is an essential nutrient, and a few grams of it a day are needed for health.People became rightly concerned about the excess of omega-6 in the diet a couple of decades ago, because there was a lot of it in cooking oils and in processed foods, both of which were dominated by truly high-omega-6 oils (corn and low-oleic sunflower and safflower). Canola oil is 61% monounsaturated fat, , 21% omega-6, and 11% omega-3, and 7% saturated fat. For people eating a contemporary diet focused on whole foods, and not using these other oils, level of omega-6 in canola oil is fine, unless you’re serving the stuff up with a ladle.

          • Annettemarie August 25 at 11:23 am

            Genevieve, you are obviously informed and a blessing to your family.

    • Genevieve May 17 at 8:40 pm

      I would not use canola oil! Toxic and way too high in omega 6. Olive oil for raw foods, butter and coconut oil for heated foods are best.

      • Karen March 30 at 9:50 pm

        Most canola oil is GMO.

        • Annettemarie August 24 at 5:02 pm

          Yes, you are exactly right, canola oil is GMO. That is the least of the problem of ingesting this deadly oil.

          • OliveChirper August 24 at 8:16 pm

            Canola oil is not toxic, it is not particularly high in omega-6, and it is not GMO — it was produced through conventional breeding from rapeseed. See my comment of May 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm on the Lyon Diet Heart Study.

  30. JohnK March 4 at 3:33 pm

    Great eye-opener. Thanks!

    Maybe you should consider selling the good stuff? We need vendors with integrity…..

  31. OliveChirper February 19 at 7:54 pm

    For a handy guide to authentic, high-quality EVOO, see the “Buyer’s Guide to Olive Oil in North America” by Tom Mueller, author of the famous New Yorker magazine exposé on olive oil fraud, and more recently of the excellent book “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil:”
    http://www.extravirginity.com/great-oil/how-to-buy-great-olive-oil/

  32. OliveChirper February 15 at 7:19 pm

    First, I stand corrected: if I’m reading the second report properly, “only” 66% of the Berio samples that failed the sensory tests also failed one or more chemical tests. As noted, in any case, if the oil fails the sensory test, it fails. Extra-virgin olive oil may not have sensory defects.

    On polyphenols: both McEvoy Ranch and Bariani had nearly twice the polyphenol count of Berio, at ~375 ppm.

  33. OliveChirper February 15 at 7:11 pm

    Andriy,

    Meeting the sensory standards is a requirement for extra-virgin status in every jurisdiction where standards exist: the International Olive Council, the California Olive Oil Council, and the Australian Olive Association (and now Australian national standard). The tests are done by a panel of 8 trained panelists, and both the panelists individually and the panel as an entity have to be certified, all of which mitigates against any subjectivity. In any case, the standard is an extremely low bar: the oil has to be free of frank sensory defects, and have non-zero fruitiness. Arguably, for most consumers, the whole point of having the chemical tests (the “objective” tests as you call them) is to have a convenient way to detect oils that may not meet sensory requirements. In any case, in the second, larger study, all of the oils failed at least one chemical test: in fact, nearly all of them failed K268 alone!

    Yes, the samples had different “use by” dates: the point of the study was to get a representative sample of what’s on store shelves. All of the samples were purchased at random from store shelves from September 9 to October 21, 2010, so ostensibly, all the Berio oils had a year to go. If their oil can’t hold up, the expiry dates are misleading and it shouldn’t be on the shelf. (It would help their cause if they had been using dark green or amber glass instead of the clear bottles they were using back then, and if they weren’t in the habit of back-blending previous years’ oils into newly-bottled products and dating it as if it were good for two years from *bottling* instead of a year or two from crushing the olives).

    The scientists who did the University of California at Davis investigation *did* disclose their relationship with the California olive oil producing industry. It’s right there on the first page (after the cover page) of the report: “We are grateful to Corto Olive, California Olive Ranch, and the California Olive Oil Council for their financial support of this research.” And the chemical and sensory tests were performed independently by the Australian Oils Research Laboratory in Wagga Wagga.

    • Andriy February 15 at 8:19 pm

      Sorry, I missed information that California olive oil industry actually sponsored study. It only means that the whole study is worsless because it was sponsored by a company which oil was tested. Only fresh California oil was tested and this is the biggest second bias here. I don’t believe that there is only fresh California oil on the shelvesas as well as I don’t believe that there is only old Italian oil on the market. This study is very biased and because of these biases it can not serve public any good. Though it does serve very well California oil industry who payed for this study. Same thing we can observe in pharmaceutical companies though FDA is doing much better job here.

      I don’t buy that cheaper Berio in any way worse than more expensive domestic products. What this study showed is just that fresh oil is better that older one though it was not any news for anybody. What it failed to show it is wether old California oil is better than old Berio. We still don’t know if old California oil meets standards because it was not tested.

      • OliveChirper February 19 at 8:41 am

        What you say above about the difference in dates was true of the 2011 followup report, and you’re right that it confounds the results (although it still tells you what was *actually available* to consumers in these cities at the time). But bad oil is bad oil even when it’s fresh. And in fact, we *do* know from the original 2010 report that the California oils were of much higher quality than Filippo Berio, Bertolli, and the other supermarket brands of similar age . If you turn back to the original 2010 report, you’ll see that all of the samples were purchased at random from local stores in three cities between March 3 and March 10, 2010. The samples of Berio that failed had ‘Best By’ dates of 4/12/2011 and 5/14/2011; the Bertolli flunks were either 12/31/2010 or 1/31/2011; and similarly, the many flunked mass-market oils all claimed to still be good for nine months or more. If the major importer companies’ oils can’t stand up over time, they shouldn’t be putting misleading expiry dates on their bottles. Meanwhile, all of the Corto and California Olive Ranch oils had ‘best by’ dates of 10/1/2011 (two years after the California harvest), and had dramatically better chemistry; and the McEvoy Ranch had a harvest date of Autumn, 2008, which equates to an expiry on the California standard of Autumn 2010, and it still passed both the chemical and sensory standards with flying colors, despite the fact that it was the *oldest* oil of the bunch .

        This has nothing to do with “California oil” versus others: it has to do with well-made oil vs. crummy oil; with the big bottlers’ unsavory practice of back-blending old oil into later years’ product; with their foolish use of clear bottles, which speeds degradation; and with those supermarket-brand companies misrepresenting such second-grade oil as ‘Extra Virgin.’

  34. Andriy February 15 at 9:22 am

    Oliver, look at the tab in PDF document you provided. All numbers (objective data) regarding FilippoBerio met standards. The only standard that oil failed to meet was “Sensory”(2 out of 3). That is very subjective because it involves actual people testing oil and telling as what does taste as virgin and what does not.. I read the whole test regarding Flippo Berio as a pass because i dont relly on subjective method in such delicate subject us taste. Plus FilippoBerio contains twice as much of Poly(200) than lets say California oil

    • Andriy February 15 at 10:21 am

      Oliver, look at the tab in PDF document you provided. All numbers (objective data) regarding FilippoBerio met standards. The only standard that oil failed to meet was “Sensory”(2 out of 3). That is very subjective because it involves actual people testing oil and telling as what does taste as virgin and what does not.. I read the whole test regarding Flippo Berio as a pass because i dont relly on subjective method in such delicate subject us taste. Plus FilippoBerio contains twice as much of Poly(200) than lets say California oil.

      Regarding second study, the samples had diffrent “Use by Date” variable. California samples “Use by date” was more then 2 years(6/2012), Berio – les then 1 year(10/2011). How do we know that if we stored California oil for 1.5 year more it would pass all the tests?

      There are many other questions to this study that I just have no time to talk about. But huge additional concern regarding this study is that people who were managing the study did not disclose their relationship with any oil producing company, including Caligornia olive oil producing industry.

  35. Andriy February 14 at 9:36 pm

    Filippo Berio met Extra Virgin Standards.

    • Noe Silvas February 27 at 9:18 pm

      Very good blog post.Truly thank you! Really Great.

  36. Steve Horvath February 2 at 11:51 pm

    Well, I think if you want “real” Extra Virgin Olive Oil, than you must go to any Greek vendor who should have some and know all about Olives and Olive Oil. If you check the printed label on the bottle, somewhere on should read it was “Bottled in Greece,” but NOT in Wisconsin or elsewhere! If you can’t find one, I suggest you use Canola Oil. I do, because I can’t afford the real Extra Virgin Olive Oil on my meager budget. I hope this helped you in some or any other way?
    Regards, Steve Horvath, Chicago, IL

    • Genevieve February 7 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Steve for sharing but I would be cautious with canola oil. I don’t advise using it in any form. If money is tight, I would suggest not skimping on fats since they are so important to our bodies but with other grocery items. Buying grains and beans in bulk is a great cost saver. Buying conventional produce (except the dirty dozen) and washing well is a better option IMHO. Regular butter isn’t too pricey and occasionally goes on sale.

    • gypsea December 11 at 11:07 am

      Oh please “NO” not CANOLA !!!!!!!this is rape seed oil. If a pregnant sow gets into a field of rape seed , it will abort her babies !!!! What do you suppose it will do in a human ???????Live defensively !!!!

  37. OliveChirper November 23 at 1:40 pm

    Hi,

    Cute little vid. One point: your suggestion #3 was to buy EVOO “with the International Olive Oil Council seal.” Actually, that organization (now the International Olive Council) does not put seals on products, and is not a product-licensing organization. And, as the UC Davis study you referenced shows, some oils that pass the IOC’s chemical testing protocol were still defective, and required more advanced testing that the IOC has refused to mandate to detect damage by oxidation or adulterated, probably with cheaper refined olive oils. So even if the IOC were to start registering products, oils that met their low hurdle might still not be real extra-virgin olive oil.

  38. Saille January 31 at 12:51 pm

    The reason “light” oil may be heated higher is because the oils it’s being cut with have higher smoking points.

  39. Heather @ Mommypotamus January 28 at 11:00 pm

    I knew most olive oils were adulterated, but some of the brands that failed really surprised me. Thanks Mighty Mama Natural!

  40. Genevieve January 26 at 9:57 pm

    Sharing some comments from my Facebook page:

    Erma Basila
    Counterfeit olive oil?! That’s crazy!

    Shauna Wilkinson
    I had no idea! Thank you for sharing! Love the video!

    Lisa Di Lorenzo
    That is crazy indeed.
    Hey but you say to avoid ‘light’ olive oil, but it can be heated to slightly higher temperature so I thought it was healthier for light sauteeing?

    Amanda Lucas
    Really? Wow totally sharing with everyone. Even my hubby. I am actually freaking out for friends who have food allergies.

    Mama Natural
    ‎@Lisa, I’ve heard you can heat light olive oil to higher temps as well, but I’d be doubly careful choosing the right brand. Light oil is frequently made from pomace, or the leftover cake of olives after pressing.

    This olive oil seller has a nice rant on the subject http://www.elikioliveoil.com/goodoloilish.html

    Kate Sprague
    That’s disgusting! We avoid soy like the plague and its just dangerous for people with allergies.

    Mistie Moore Jones
    CRAP!! Thanks for the info. We have been buying and using coconut oil (checked out the company, process and purity already) for about two years now, but still use olive oil for Italian foods (for flavor). I’ll have to keep my eye out now.

    Misty Miller
    THANK YOU MIGHTY MAMA NATURAL! We’ve been SAVED!

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