It’s time you learned the truth about the scandalous world of olive oil. It’s a billion dollar industry and as with any market that earns so much money, there’s bound to be bootleggers.
The wave of people looking for extra virgin olive oil has soared throughout the world, but a lot of them can’t tell the real thing from the fake — making them vulnerable to being taken advantage of by fraudulent entities.
Over 70% of the olive oils that you see on shelves in stores right now are adulterated and watered down with other oils like canola (rapeseed), vegetable oil and cotton seed oil.
So what you’re getting isn’t pure olive oil at all. However, you’re paying the hefty price tag that the olive oil industry has been able to maintain because of its popularity.
Unless you’ve been eating it for years like I have, you won’t really be able to do a taste test to know the difference. I’ll share with you the brands that have been tested and proven to have authentic extra virgin olive oil, as well as a neat trick to test your oil at home yourself.
How the fraudsters are getting away with EVOO murder
According to the University of California, there are an estimated 69% of extra virgin olive oils in stores that are fake. Yes, this includes popular top-selling brands that you’re likely using right now or have used in the past.
UC Davis researchers conducted two studies on 186 samples of extra virgin olive oil, which were compared against the standards that have been established by the IOC (International Olive Council), as well as against the methods used in Australia and Germany.
The results showed that 73% of the samples failed the IOC standards, some having failure rates as high as 94%! Other brands had varying failure rates, lowest being 56% — that is insane.
None of the brands from Australia and California failed both tests (IOC and the Australia/Germany standards), but 11% of the top dog Italian brands failed both sides.
Failing these tests simply meant that the olive oils they produced were oxidized, had poor quality and/or were mixed with refined cheaper oils, like rapeseed, soybean, canola and others.
Is it just me or is it a bit weird that Italy, the home of olives, failed the standards test worse than American and Australian companies? So if you are buying Italian imports, you may want to think twice before doing so again.