T Nation

Steps Against Bad Olive Oil?


#1

I have almost given up on buying olive oil because I so often doubt the product is truly olive oil.

According to this:


We may be moving a little closer to real olive oil.

In any case, it's a wake up call to the ease at which food and supplement companies can cheat people. It makes me wonder what other mislabeled foods I buy regularly.


#2

Makes me think that costco is actually ripping me off pretty badly.


#3

Until the other day I have never heard of "fake olive oil".

I mean, I thought food was at least decently regulated by the FDA to be the real thing.


#4

Does anyone know if you can tell good vs. bad by the oil's thickness? My roommate got another brand at Wal-Mart that has a lower viscosity (its thinner and runnier). Or do you just have to do the thermometer test?


#5

A discriminating palate is probably the only home-based method that could work.

As a guess, I suppose that most consumers being cheated don't try tasting the oil directly but only add it to foods.

While I wouldn't expect being able to pick up tiny amounts of added other oils, such as 1% or anything similar to that, probably the adulterators use much higher quantities of cheap oils than that. It might also not be easy to pick up even say 10% if the adulterant is near-flavorless. But a product that was seriously lacking in olive oil should be obvious if tasted directly, I would think.


#6

I bought a small amount of imported olive oil at an Italian grocery today and it tasted drastically different from the generic and cheaper costco/supermarket stuff.


#7

Taste (you'd have to be an expert at that though) and other points points such as smoke points would help.

That and going finding oil that you know is real without any doubt whatsoever. Plane tickets, anyone?


#8

Funny. I started a separate thread on this.

When I lived in Italy, I learned that the deeper green an Olive oil the better. Of course, if they're adding soy oil and nut oils, why wouldn't they add a coloring agent as well? Most of these companies have an 800 number you can call. I would call and ask them about tests they have done
to guarantee their oil is pure. I know that that is like asking the Big Bad Wolf what he did with Grandmother, but I think they'll get nervous and start telling the truth if enough people start cracking on them. Otherwise they could be liable for a class action suit. (I hate frivolous law suits, but this is one of those times I am glad we have this weapon).

One American distributor that I think we can trust is Bragg's. They make only a few products (Olive oil, Amino acid blend (a bit like soy sauce) and Apple Cider Vinegar). They're health nuts, and I would tend to think their products are what they say they are.


#9

I would be hesitant to trust any big name. Usually its the smaller, local guys with the good oil.


#10

I just read the article and became concerned myself. I'm just starting to workout and diet well and extra virgin olive oil is a staple to have(or so I've read on this site.) I live in Connecticut so I'd hope what I'm drinking is authentic. However I use Price Chopper which is a big named grocery store.

I just emailed the olive oil company guy that started that whole investigation about the legitimacy of Price Chopper Extra virgin organic olive oil and any brands that he knows will be safe. If I get a response I'll share it with you guys!

*Son of a gun I just realized how old this topic is. Oh well good info anyway!


#11

Yes, it's good information. Keep us posted. Some of us, like me, want to eliminate as much Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) from our diet as possible. Olive oil is mainly a Monounsaturated Fat (MUFA) and so a good one. I shit when I heard it was, at least in some cases, being tainted with shit like soybean oil.

So, yeah, I am looking forward to hearing how this proceeds in Connecticut.


#12

Its sad but true. I went to Italy 3 months ago, and couldnt believe what real olive oil tasted like. I agree with Bill Roberts in that your palate might be the only way to tell the difference. When I came back home, the olive oil here which I buy at an Italian deli is said to be real. I asked the owner who is Italian like me, and I kinda broke his balls yelling at him in Italian to make sure what he is selling is the real stuff. Not much got solved, other than me learning some more curse words I didnt already know.


#13

Damn that sucks. I normally get mine from trader joes. I usually get the unfiltered one. I hope I'm not getting ripped off!


#14

Interesting.

Can anyone provide a link or brand that is for sure actually olive oil? I'm really afraid that the stuff I add to my shakes isn't real; I read on a thread here somewhere that good olive oil is supposed to burn when you drink it and mine doesn't (this is supposedly Extra virgin, btw).


#15

Buy Goya, all their stuff is top notch. I'd be devastated if theirs was not as advertised.

I'd also stick with major brands like Bertolli to be on the safe side. Olive oil is their bread and butter.

BG


#16

I remember awhile back reading something about that on here. I think Tassos was mentioned as a brand that had passed the smoking point test.


#17

If I'm not mistaken, Bertolli was one of the major brands who were guilty of selling adulterated olive oil.


#18

Real virgin cold pressed olive oil has a strong taste and is green.

In Europe (France and Italy) I tasted real EVOO. Actually the intensity of the taste varies among different brand of EVOO. There are several factors which may influence the taste of olive oil (the place where olives are grown, the degree of maturity reached by the olives when pressed...)

Costo olive oil seems legit to me but I can't be 100% sure. What I can say is that the color and the taste are similar to the cheap real EVOO available in Italy or France, so it's not the best thing but at least it's real. Hope so!


#19

Yes, Bertolli's so called olive oil available outside Italy was heavily adultered or wasn't cold pressed. It tasted like shit, I mean it was more like it didn't have any taste at all, just like cheap canola oil. By the way olive oil from Spain used to be the worst stuff available.
In southern Europe (mostly France and Italy) olive oil available on the local market is strictly regulated. For instance in France it's illegal to sell adultered olive oil. All olive oil available in the market has to be first cold pressed EVOO. You can sell some shitty blend of different oils containing olive oil but you're not allowed to call it olive oil if you add any other ingredients even in minute amount.


#20

I use the costco one; you're saying the taste of real good evoo is even stronger than that??