Last week I watched an episode of the Dr. Oz Show (“Counterfeit Foods: Buyers Beware”) and I couldn’t wait to share with you what I learned! It is about choosing olive oil. There are some food experts that believe over 70% of the olive oil sold worldwide is fake–watered down, made from olives from multiple regions, and for extra virgin olive oil contains more than 0.8% acidity. These same experts did a study, pulled oils off shelves from grocery stores (some of which were well known brands), and they found that 65% of imported oils did not meet the standards for EVOO, even though the label said the standards were met. They also found that some of the olive oils were not even olive oil at all, sometimes being sunflower, hazelnut, and canola oil which had been dyed to look like EVOO. So, how do you tell what you are buying is the real deal? Dr. Oz gave the audience the below tips:
1. Look for olive oil in a dark glass bottle, since light spoils the oil
2. Look for harvest date (not best by date) because this will show when oil was made. Buy within 15 months of harvest date
3. Look for a quality seal (ex: California Olive Oil Council which requires oils to pass strict sensory and chemistry regulations). If an imported oil, look for a specific producer (mill or orchard). The label will say produced in Italy not packed in Italy (oil could have come from Tunisia, Spain, Italy, etc)
4. Put your EVOO in the fridge overnight. If it freezes or almost to the point of freezing, you are fairly sure what you are consuming is pure EVOO. If it does not freeze, you are fairly certain it is not EVOO since 100% EVOO should freeze in the temp of your fridge!
After watching this episode I ran to my kitchen to see what kind of EVOO I had been consuming for the past 6 years (since I have been buying the same brand for that long).
As you can see by the Filippo Berio bottle, it is clear, which is sign number 1 that it isn’t pure.
Second sign this is the wrong EVOO to be buying, the label says packed in Italy with oive oils from Italy, Spain, Greece, and Tunisa.
If that wasn’t enough, I put the Filippo Berio EVOO in the fridge overnight and when I woke up in the morning it was the same consistency as it was before putting it in the fridge.
So, down the drain this EVOO went and to the grocery store I went. After browsing the dark bottles only and the labels, I went home with De Cecco EVOO.
Besides the dark bottle, you can see the label says 100% Italian Olives and made exclusively from olives grown in Italy.
One more good sign is the De Cecco producer was also given on the label. I would also guess that this EVOO would freeze in the fridge if I left it over night.
I want everyone of my readers to go to their bottles of EVOO and check to make sure you are buying the correct oil! If not, put EVOO in your grocery list! For more on this episode and to watch video, Counterfeit Foods: Buyers Beware, visit HERE.