Olive Oil Scandal- is it extra virgin or lamp oil? CC
Hi, it’s Parris from Epic Reviews the health channel, and I wanted to talk to you about olive oil. I’ve been cooking mostly with olive oil the past several years since I’ve found out about it’s health benefits, and some of less-than-beneficial effects of some of the other oils commonly used for cooking. Now, olive oil is more expensive than a lot of the other oils, and I forgot what brand we used to buy. But we had heard, we read somewhere online that you had to be careful buying olive oil to make sure it was extra virgin, and to make sure it was actually from olives in the country you thought you were buying from. There were lots of tricky things going on where companies would buy olives from a variety of countries and bring them in and turn them into olive oil, and then say, “Product of Italy,” or, “Product of Greece,” but actually the olives were from who knows where. So there are organizational seals you wanted to see on your olive oil, and then you could be fairly confident what you were getting was high quality and the real thing. This is the brand we settled on. We bought this for several years. This brand you may be familiar with. And we don’t usually have the olive oil like in a glass – I mean in a plate and dip bread in it, not so like you do at the Olive Garden. We just cook with it. So the, the food taste will hide an altitude of sins apparently with your olive oil. Now, this olive oil may be perfectly good. All I know is that in September of this year I was eating out at Which Wich and happened to see an issue of the The Austin Chronicle newspaper – sort of the alternative news newspaper here in Austin. And they were talking about the olive oil that you’re buying you may not be getting what you think, and about a study done at the University of California, Davis where they tested. They bough off the shelf a whole bunch of different variety of olive oil, tested to it see if it really was the extra virgin, if there were any other oils in it and so forth, and they found that 69 percents of the oils that they bought off the shelf at the supermarket were not exactly what they claimed to be. So even with our certification on the back of this brand and so forth it turns out this was one of the brands, the expensive olive oil that we’ve been buying. Thinking we were getting 100 percent virgin olive oil meeting all the European standards and criteria because of the marks, the certifications, on the bottle itself. It turns out that this was amongst the brands that they found that didn’t quite meet up to what they said that they were selling. Well, there is some of the oils were mixed with other types of oils – wasn’t even all olive oil. Some of them were from olives that had fallen on the ground. I forgot the name for it, but it’s the tree-fall olives, which they’re not supposed to be using in the top quality olive oil. And that in fact in Europe the oil made from the olives that have been laying on the ground, you know, like with apples you get insects in them and so forth. That’s considered lamp oil. It’s not supposed to be sold for people to consume. They found that type of oil also mixed in with the oils that were being sold at a very high premium extra virgin olive oil. So I was shocked by this because I assumed with the certifications that this company and this oil if I bought it in Europe would have to meet certain standards, that would meet the same standards in the United States. Well, it turns out the United States isn’t party to that organization that does the standardizations. So they can put whatever they want on the bottle basically when they’re sending it from Europe over to the United States and importing it. And the U.S. doesn’t have much in the way of regulations about it because their hasn’t been much of a domestic olive oil industry here in the United States, nobody to complain as it were. But now, people are starting to complain because there’s a growing domestic industry, and their not liking what’s happening with the imports from Europe. So it turns out that the oils imported from Europe can pretty much say whatever they want, but they don’t get inspected. They don’t have to substantiate their claims. And so you would think buying the, you know, “These olives have been made in Italy. These olives have been made in Greece,” kind of oil you’d be getting the best in the world. Turns out much to my surprise that if you buy olive oil which is actually made in the United States you’re much more likely to get real extra virgin olive oil and top- quality olive oil. One of the brands they mentioned in the article, which of course I immediately ran over to the supermarket to see if they had it in our supermarket is this Texas Olive Ranch. And they have a variety of flavors. They come in these bottles, and kind of expensive I thought. Well, of course I thought this was expensive. We’ve must have paid about $12.00 for this, I’m thinking $12.00 – $14.00 for 17 ounces. These bottles are 8 1/2 half ounces, so about half, and this about $9.00 for these bottles. So it seemed kind of expensive, but of course if I’m actually getting what I’m paying for it’s a much better value than saving a few dollars to get a bottle of who knows exactly what’s in it. So we’ve tried these. They’re very good, very tasty. Once I learned about all this of course I had to go and actually try dipping some bread in it and seeing. And I actually do – I really like this garlic one, this garlic flavored Texas Olive Ranch brand. I’m here in Texas, so they sell them at the local supermarkets. Fortunately for me they seem to sell then throughout most of Texas what I can tell on their website. If you live somewhere else, and now you realize oh my gosh, what have I been cooking with for these last number of years thinking it was extra virgin olive oil, and you want to try out domestic brand there’s a website for the Texas Olive Ranch, TexasOliveRanch.com. I’ll put a link down below here if you want to check that out. California also has a growing olive oil industry, and so they have some brands that were rated very highly in a recent consumer reports review. Consumer reports didn’t go in for the chemical analysis. I think they did more of the professional tasters. People who really know their stuff with olive oil And they actually did review this brand I think it came in as good to fair. And so I’m paying top dollar for this, and even the consumer reports is saying it’s got a little bit of an off odor and a little bit of acidity, and this sort. . . . And I thought I was buying one of the top olive oils I could get. So wanted to make you aware of that. Do your own research. You can go to The Austin Chronicle. Just go to Google search for Austin – well, no. I’ll just put a link down below to the Austin Chronicle article too. If you subscribe to Consumer Reports go check out what they have to say about olive oils, which brands they like, which ones actually do taste and according to their professional tasters have all of the characteristics you want in a fine olive oil. But basically I just want what I’m paying for, and I want it to be healthful. I don’t want to be paying for a more expensive oil, and then not even knowing what I’m getting in the bottle. So from now on it’s Texas Olive Ranch oils for me. And so check out the links below, and research this. But by all means continue to consume olive oil. It’s a great oil, very healthful. All kinds of health benefits for you. But, make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.