I get the best ideas from my friends. We were getting a pedi when Jill mentioned a recent episode of 60 Minutes that exposed the Mafia’s involvement in the olive oil industry. I didn’t see it (I was probably too busy shopping at Target, or listening to “Love Yourself” by Justin Beiber…LOVE that song!) but I told her it was a great idea for a blog post! I’ve actually been hearing about this situation for a few years in my own little foodie world, and I’m glad it’s finally getting some major media attention. Here’s the deal…
Right now, it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the extra virgin olive oil sold in the US is counterfeit in some way. Much of it is diluted, either with cheaper olive oils (guess those that have lost their virginity- ha!) or even crappy, processed seed oils (like sunflower, soybean, or canola) that have been colored and/or scented to resemble extra virgin olive oil. Gross! Right now Bertolli, the leading brand in the US, is the subject of multiple class action suits. A few of the other brands that failed to meet the standards are: Carapelli, Colavita, Filippo Berio, and Pompeian.
Now, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably someone who is trying to make some informed choices about what you are putting into your body. Because don’t we all want to feel happy, healthy and hot? We’ve been told that extra virgin olive oil is a healthy choice, and it is, unless the oil you’re buying isn’t even made from olives!
Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives. Not only does it taste great, it has health benefits as well. It can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, and the fatty acids are good for our heart. It also contains high levels of vitamins A and K.
So this whole situation pretty much sucks…but there is a solution! Here are some reasonably priced and readily available brands that actually do meet the standards for extra virgin olive oil: Kirkland Toscano, Kirkland Organic, California Olive Ranch (I get this at Target, and really like it), and Whole Foods Organic 365. There are also many smaller companies selling oil pressed from olives grown on small family farms. My friend Ann just bought locally produced olive oil not far from her home in Arizona. Sadly, there are no olive ranches here in Central PA!
Don’t freak out about the olive oil you are using now. Hey, live and learn. Next time, buy one of the reliable ones I listed above, or find some that is shipped directly from the farmer. Real extra virgin olive oil can definitely help you in your quest to feel happy, healthy and hot. It is delicious on so many things, which will make you happy. As far as healthy, high quality extra virgin olive oil has anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits. And the anti-oxidants and healthy fats support healthy glowing skin on your face and body, and that is very hot!
Hope this helped clear up the olive oil confusion…I’m off to Target to buy some more!