Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Olive Oil Fraud “Widespread” Warns New Yorker Magazine- But You Can Get The Real Thing. Here is How!

I've been reminded by this article by Fresh Pressed Olive   that I need to dig deeper into how people choose the olive oil they eat, if there is unremitting inflammation. The person may be consuming fake olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is probably the number one fake food out there. And the fake stuff has oils that are in the omega 6 category and I recommend reducing the omega 6's in an anti inflammatory diet. Some people may be keeping their omega 6 oil levels up without knowing it when they eat and make foods from just any old EVOO. Here is what I wrote about the evidence for the rampant adulteration of EVOO found in North American stores and some suggestions for finding the real thing. 

Scientists at UC Davis found that 69% of the imported extra virgin olive oils they tested were fake, adulterated, stale, or so subpar that they failed to meet international and USDA standards for being labeled “extra virgin.”

This Is Outrageous!

This [amount of fraud] is an outrageous shame because authentic extra virgin olive oil—the real stuff—is so healthy for you. Medical science has determined that it is one of the healthiest foods you can consume. For example:

Scientific studies have shown that authentic extra-virgin olive oil lowers “bad” cholesterol and cuts your risk of heart disease and stroke. It helps protect against cancer, especially cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon. It’s a godsend for arthritis sufferers because it can cool inflammation and ease joint pain without any side effects.

It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes, and may even help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you want to avoid osteoporosis, it’s outstanding because it enables the calcium in your food to be better absorbed into your bones. Finally, it’s loaded with some of the most powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols known to science, which fortify your immune system and help it protect every organ of your body against disease.

Way back in the fourth century BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was way ahead of his time. He loved his Greek olive oil and considered it beneficial for over 60 therapeutic uses, hailing it as “the great therapeutic.”

Read the whole article to find out how to avoid the second issue with buying EVOO and that is how to tell when it was bottled. It is best to consume the EVOO by six months of it being bottled. 

There is another three ways to buy authentic EVOO.
One is to check the Consumer Reports which has a list of EVOO products that were found to be authentic, found at the first link above.

The other is to find a source of single estate (family farm) EVOO at your local farmer's market or ethnic shop. You have to ask questions until you are satisfied it is the real thing.

And the other is to look for a bottle with the yellow and red seal symbol with the words............Denominazione D'Origine Protetta which indicates the real EVOO comes from Italy. Or the label Appellation d'origine controlee (AOC) if it comes from France.  Or Denominacion de Origen (DO) if it comes from Spain. More and more stores are carrying these products which have labels that indicate the product has passed strict quality control evaluations and have met clearly defined standards set by the EU and received this protected designation of origin. 

One last word. In the US, there appears to be only one certified label for EVOO and it is for Californian olive oil, so look for the seal with California Olive Oil Council ( COOC). 

After going to all this trouble to find the real extra virgin olive oil, treat it gently to maintain its health benefits. Please don't apply high heat to it. If you are sauteing or frying use an oil like coconut oil that withstands higher heat and does not lose its goodness, and pour some olive oil over the meat, fish, eggs or veges as you are serving it. 

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara