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116 Responses to “When Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil Isn’t So Wholesome”

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  1. Heather :) :) :)

    Okay, I’m clear not very crunchy yet, let alone even slightly toasty, but why is it important to use extra virgin olive oil versus regular?  I do agree checking the various brands to see if their product matches up with the claim on the label. Whole Foods? Wow, that came as a surprise :(  :( :( :(  I take my dog to a holistic vet in the area, and they recommended a tiny bit of olive oil in her food every day. It’s supposed to help her dry skin. Now I’m going to make sure I get my dog the best EVOO I can find. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather :)

    • OrganicOsloLady

      (Extra-)Virgin (and ‘cold-pressed’ is important too) basically means unrefined, mechanically-pressed/extraced (vs. chemical extraction).  Anything without the word ‘virgin’ is either blended with or consisting solely of refined, chemically-derived oil (=crap).  Simply put.  (depending on which ‘regular oil’ ur talking about?)  Anything thats unrefined contains more nutrients and has the ‘synergy’ effect you want in foods; where different components interact with one another to give you the proper and best effect.  Enzymes+vitamins+minerals+antioxidants and more..  Like whole grains for instance :-)   Other excellent choices: Grape seed oil & Flaxseed oil, Avocado oil, Macadamia oil.. (always buy organic, extra-virgin and cold-pressed! 3 rules of thumb). These companies are reputable and quality guaranteed: Udo’s Choice & ‘Essential Balance’ which is sold under brand name Omega Nutrition or Arrowhead Mills.  Your dog definitely deserves the best! :-D

  2. Aleishahamilton

    So after researching olive oil home tests online, I am finding that several say that if it IS extra virgin, it WILL solidify.  If it is not, then it won’t solidify all of the way.  I am confused, as this post states the opposite.  ???

  3. wow! I had no idea! This is crazy that the industry is not more regulated. Kind of a bummer. I totally buy Bertolli. But I do have a Costco membership (that I rarely use) and now I know where I can buy the good stuff!! :) I’ll have to check around here also and see if the local farmer’s market has anyone that sells it. How would I go about finding out if they sell the real deal or not? Thanks so much for opening our eyes!! :)

    http://munchtalk.blogspot.com/

  4. KarinSDCA

    I was at Costco today for my eye appointment and remembered our EVOO is down to the last couple inches, so I hunted down the organic Kirkland EVOO. They come in plastic, which does not thrill me in the least. Ugh, why does everything have to be a trade off?

  5. Terrie

    According to the following wikipedia article on Olive Oil Regulation and Adulteration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil_regulation_and_adulteration), “When genuine olive oil is refrigerated, it should become more viscous,
    that is thicker if not nearly solid. Blended olive oils and non-olive
    oils posing as olive oil will not solidify when refrigerated, and so the
    refrigeration test is one (although not conclusive) way to test for
    purity.”  I purchased Sprouts brand EVOO, which is labeled “Product of California”, “Grown, crushed and bottled in California.” It claims to contain 100% natural unrefined extra virgin olive oil.  Also, it “contains no genetically modified ingredients.”  When I refrigerated it for 24 hours it became thickened, but not crystallized.  According to other research I’ve done, viscosity, or thickening is the true test of the purity of EVOO.

    • creeem

      Yes that test may not prove if your olive oil is 100% genuine. But if your olive oil does not solidify then it sure 100% adulterated. So the test is good to find that out.

  6. Miranda

    After reading the test info, I’d guess that improper storage (or too much shelf time) is just as likely as fraud. The testers assumed adulteration with olive oil rather than other oils because the tests that would confirm adulteration with other oils were passed by all brands. Too much light, heat or time passing and your oil “loses it’s virginity” or degrades. It’s a natural process. Given that imported would take awhile to even arrive it’s no wonder more locally sourced oil had a lower fail rate. I’d suggest comparing average time waiting to be stocked, storage conditions at the store, time on store shelf, ship time to store, and shipping conditions before saying it’s a result of fraud at the source. Buying from a store that restocks with fresh regularly, when things are cooler for shipping, and storing in a cool area might result in a higher success rate.

  7. OrganicOsloLady

    For anyone who hasn’t seen the documentary ‘Food Inc’: rent, buy or download it and WATCH! They uncover a number of foundational lies & scandals in our food industry, and help you make better decisions by spreading knowledge about the stuff they have facts on.  A great documentary & very educational.  Highly recommended :-)

  8. Chunterathome

    Upon researching the “refrig test” for EVOO, I, too, found conflicting info.  Some say that a true EVOO will solidfy others say a true EVOO will NOT solidfy.  How do we know the truth?

  9. Susancw

    My understanding (not sure now where I read it) was that if your olive oil is cloudy, appears to have what looks like a ‘mother’, then it is a good one also. And why didn’t anyone test Trader Joe’s or Sunflower Market????

  10. Krez56

    I did the fridge test on my Zoe Organic EVOO and it just thickened slightly after 48 hours. Three days later it had crystalized, which I am hoping means it is the real thing.

  11. Renae Brooks

    Totally cracks me up that one of the brands that made the list is Walmart’s Great Value . . .

  12. Angel S.

    I’ve known about this problem with olive oil for a few years now, and because of this hardly ever use olive oil in my foods; when I do, I’ve been using California Olive Ranch (because I know the provenance of the oil).  I NEVER use olive oil for cooking – bad idea!  Too much oxidation. 

    I also didn’t even consider using olive oil when I started the oil cleansing method a few weeks ago.  I’m using NOW brand jojoba and it works great.  I have to order it online, but I have to order a lot of stuff online anyway; it’s just one more thing I can buy from iHerb.  

  13. Jess

    I am SO THANKFUL for this post. I checked out Extra Virginity from my library yesterday, and its descriptions of real olive oil are blowing my mind. I’m planning a trip to our indoor farmer’s market this weekend, which has a real, quality California EVOO vender. At any rate, I wanted you to know that this post has launched a new exciting, tasty, and healthful exploration for me!

  14. Amie

    I spent a semester in Italy in college, and lived around the corner from a fantastic oil and balsamic vinegar shop. The owner was also a part time agronomist and certified whether oils were extra virgin or not. As he described it, regulation of the term “extra virgin” (or enforcement of proper use, anyway) was rather…lacking. I miss that man, and that shop. He had extensive knowledge about each oil in his shop, and we were able to taste them before purchasing. I had never known how diverse olive oil could be in terms of flavors, etc. Now, I am always discouraged when I go to buy olive oil (and balsamic vinegar), as it feels impossible to buy something truly extra virgin, and with legitimate flavor to it. :-/ 

    • Rrjones

      I spent the last summer in Italy and  came in contact with a grower in Tuscany
      who also certified olive oils.  He told me that he had an American friend send
      him a bottle of Kirkland EVOO and confirmed that it is of high quality….I still
      brought back bottles of olive oil as gifts, but it’s good to know I can go to Costco
      between November and January (after that year’s harvest) and purchase top quality olive oil originating in Italy.

  15. Samsalmon

    True evoo really is amazing for the skin. I’ve been using it as a moisturizer for both face and body since I was in high school, and it’s never been the direct cause of any acne. My skin, if I do say so myself, is amazing! Much better than before I was using the oil (about 7 years ago).

  16. Stephanie B.

    I DID break out severly after using the OCM. I started that back in September ’11. Stopped in October when the breakouts started. It’s nearly March and I am JUST BARELY all cleared up. All though I still have red blotches from past blemishes. Who knows when those will fade.
    So will I retry it with a “verified” EVOO? I’m tempted. But 4+ months of SUPER PAINFUL acne tells me not to do it. Maybe if someone insured my face. I’d love to cut the cetaphil and tretnoin, and stick to au natural. But I am scared of feeling my pulse in the giant pimples on my face again. Not to mention the emotional/psychological toll it took on me. So, anyone willing go take out a policy in the name of crunchiness??

    • idwhite

      Not all oils work well on me either. Jojoba, EVOO and a few others break me out like a 13 year old. But recently I started trying Coconut and it was great on my body but not my face. Almond oil is the clear winner. No breaks out with a few drops. I found that it’s best to use the almond oil in the morning and then either wash it off about 5 minutes later and splash a few tiny drops of Apple Cider Vinegar. Putting it on before bed or leaving it on too long or too thick is really bad for me. Hope this helps. :)

    • nova

      Instead of doing over your whole face…just do a small patch, you know, the “test patch” that is just common sense when trying new products…

  17. Eleasah Bozescu

    Funny to read this, because I just made Garlic Infused EVOO, or so I THOUGHT EVOO, ehemmm…….. the last batch I made w/Filippo Berio-I put in fridge & I remember a slight crystalization, didn’t really think much of it, just shook it and used it. THEN, the batch I just made-yeah it is not quite a soild mass of white, but it is gloppy. I made 4-6oz bottles  in clear glass jars, one of them was slightly cyrstalized the rest gloppy. I thought the fridge was set to high, maybe the one jar had the better quality of oil and the rest go the store brand or maybe bc I used a store brand it wasn’t “cold pressed” and  that was why it got gloopy-then I read this post…

    As it turns out I used a pint bottle of Filippo Berio EVOO and kept the bottle and then refilled with a 1/3 gallon of Giant Eagle “Market District” EVOO bc it was cheaper, I originally used Filippo Berio, which is on the list  but according to the “test” of refridgeration Filippo Berio, passed–but Giant Eagle did NOT.

    Wished I would have read this a few hours ago, bc I just back from the store buying more EVOO (Or so I thought I was buying!!!), I bought a Rienzi brand, I like their cans of Roma Tomato and  Puree other tomato products. They seem to be one of the few companies that use whole tomatoes in thier puree and not condensed product…wonder if they are really an EVOO??

    I trust the Rienzi company & love their other products I will be very disappointed to learn otherwise, the label says manufactured in NY but imported from Italy, I HOPE it is really EVOO….

  18. Eleasah Bozescu

     Iteresting, I made garlic infused EVOO a few months ago and placed the oil in the fridge, slightly crystalized but stayed mostly clear-it was Filippo Berio brand. I make this often and have used nearly all EVOO’s on that list, just what is cheapest that day. I kept the bottle and refilled it with Giant Eagle “Market District” EVOO, when I made the garlic infused EVOO this time I made 4-6oz bottles, 1 was clear slightly cyrstalized, the rest are nearly solid. I was raking my brain trying ti figure out why, then I read this post…I was at first thinking if it was globby looking nearly solid it was NOT Evoo, now I thinking that means it is…I AM SOOO CONFUSED!!

    I HATE to see what is going to happen to our food sources if the law gets anymore lax.

  19. Heather

    Lol Rachael Ray!! That trader! Hey, any ideas where the Spaghetti Squash originated? I remember first seeing it on her show, but never before that. I smell some GMOz.. Anyways, thanks for such an awesome website!

  20. Dee

    I’m checking this right now . . . Eek!

  21. jennhsweat

    I know this is kind of late after this post, but hopefully it will still be read and can help someone out. :) I found an extra virgin olive oil the other day (by complete accident) that seems to be an actual pure oil. So, the husband and I were at our local Save-a-lot and he says “hey…we need olive oil”. And of course I immediately thought “holy crap…I’ll never find a good one here” but thats where we were so I told him to grab whatever one he saw. We got home and I thought “hmmm…let me examine this bottle…” and I was shocked when I saw the Imported from because all it said was “Spain”…just one country, not 5 different ones like my last olive oil purchase. Then I put it to the refridgerator test, and it passed! The brand is “Badia” and it was under $4 for the 1 liter bottle. While it does come in a plastic bottle, to me the purity kind of out weighs the plastic. And I put mine in a glass olive oil bottle when i get it home anyway. Also, according to the Badia website, you can find it at other places besides Save-a-lot if you dont have a one of those stores in your area. Hope this helps! Happy olive oiling! :)

  22. Rebecca Maguire

    Thanks for the post!! Glad to hear that the Kirkland brand is legit!!! That’s the brand I buy all the time and I use it in my skincare products…phew. I’m in love with your blog by the way. I’ve just begun my own and started an etsy shop selling some natural skincare products. Check it out if you’d like! http://www.thepumpkinseed.ca

  23. Great post! Yes, it’s really disappointing to learn about all the olive oil fraud out there. If you’re shopping by price in a big grocery store, you’re almost certainly buying adulterated oil. And this is nothing new – olive oil has been counterfeited since the time of Christ. Me, I go with Bariani olive oil out of California.

  24. MrsManda

    Wonder if Rachael Ray uses her own brand of EVOO? It’s like how I wonder if all those magazine hair models REALLY use the products they are advertising. Surely not.

    • nova

      Of course models don’t always use the products they advertise. Why would they? They’re in ads for hundreds, if not thousands of different products over their careers. You really think they’d use 20 different shampoos just because their image was used in 20 different ads? rofl!

  25. Pmarom

    Not a good thing, especially if you are allergic to soy and nuts and seeds!. Shame on the olive oil industry for endangering people. What about lawsuits if somebody dies from consuming sunflower or soy oil?

  26. I tested Sams’ Club Members Mark brand extra virgin by putting it in the fridge to see if it crystalized or solidified.  It passed! 

  27. OliveSoaper

    We produce our own EVOO in Southern Greece. We pick the olives and go with them to the press and watch our own oil come out. It is great EVOO that is all we use in our home and I make soap and creams with it…. organically grown… If any body would like the REAL FIRST PRESS from the best area … email me …we pick in November and EVOO is ready to ship in December ….. Email [email protected] …. 100% EVOO from the fruit to your table…. can’t get better than that….

  28. Teh K

    I unintentionally tried OC a few days ago, just before finding this article. I had taken a short course at my college to make natural and homemade skin care items; one was a body scrub with almond oil in it. I decided to try it on my face, excited to have something that naturally exfoliated. The results were immediate: Super soft and balanced skin! i thought for sure I’d have to take soap to it, thinking it wold clog my pores and cause a massive uproar of acne. But throughout the day, even though it was hot, my face never got oily, it felt nice and, like I said before, balanced.
    So when I stumbled upon your article, I was surprised to find that you could actually clean your face with just oil. And as I read on, it made perfect sense. Of course your skin is going to compensate and make too much oil if you completely strip away what was there.
    I’ve been struggling with acne since I was 12, living with very fickle skin: Anything, including products meant for sensitive skin, would dry it out horribly, then almost immediately after words become a greasy gross mess and explode with red and shiny acne. The doctors I went to weren’t very helpful. They sorta tried a few topical applications, with the results being either none, or harsh on my face, and the one oral I tried I turned out to be allergic (hives would “travel” all over my body. Couldn’t even walk let alone stand at one point. Fantastic times!). After that, they gave up on me.
    So I’m very excited to be trying this technique. I’ve done it thrice now, and so far it’s still promising. I don’t have any castor oil at hand at the moment, but so far olive oil and tea tree oil seems to be working.

  29. Teh K

    Aaaand for some reason my previous post was sent to the wrong article…? Pretend nothing happend.

  30. mmm… I’m doing a detox right now and I would just love to wash my face with bacon pizza. GAH! Cravings

  31. someone

    http://www.nashbrotherstrading.com/our-products/product/49 just purchased this an hour ago havent opened is this a good one? I put the whole bottle in fridge so I dont have to open I can return it…will the test work with putting whole bottle in fridge?

  32. Colie

    Whole foods might as well merge with Walmart.. They’re a scam. Tanks for the info! I remember skimming something similar before.mits sad when we can’t just not be fed lies. Literally.

  33. Alex

    Wow, I never imagined finding proper olive oil could be such a problem. I live in a country where finding ingredients that are commonly available abroad can be hard to impossible, or even more expesive than ordering them online (if thats even possible). But I just realized that I am lucky in one way: Olive oil. I get it straight from the producer, usually my uncle, whos in a village in Crete and has olive trees that have been in the family for generations. He stands above the oil as its being pressed to as to make sure the presser doesn’t mix it up with someones lesser oil by accident or on purpose. And thats in a locality famed for awesome olive oil, in a country with the highest per capita olive oil consumption in the world, Greece. For me, good EVOO from Crete is probably the best on earth. I use that :-)

    Some info for ya’ll:

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil: is the healiest, most nutritious, what can I say, its da bomb in too many ways. Mostly I ingest it, but not only. Use it cold or warm, but its not so great to heat it up too much, No deep frying type manouvers, that’ll burn it, thats very bad. Most oils used in cooking are seed oils, this is the only fruit that gives us oil in its ripe condition as far as I know. Contains plenty of Vitamin E, moisturizes, and treats many skin conditions (based on reasearch, not just my opinion), just to mention a few of the things it can do for you. 3000+ years (at least) of field testing.

    Olive Oil: is OK, tastes OK, its a mix of diferent grades, good if your on a budget but want the taste and health benefits of olive oil (something a restaurant or casual user might buy perhaps?). Its still better for you to ingest than any other oil I know about. Has slightly higher buring point than EVOO.

    Pomace Oil: Extracted by solvents and heat from the cores and plant matter left after cold pressing. This is how almost all food-oils are produced so dont think its a stange procedure. This oil is less nutritous than EVOO obviously, but has a very high burning point (good for stir fry for example), very little odor and taste – good for certain cooking and cosmetics applications. I heard people use it on their hair to amazing effect, as a carrier oil, and olive oil soap is made from this. Dont hate on it. Super-good price as well.

    Olive oil in general is greatly assimilated by the human body, and penetrates skin very well as well. The great assimilation of olive oil by the human body facilitates the absorption of vitamin-E and phenols as well.

    Now, how to tell olive oil grades apart:
    This isnt gonna be easy, but here goes. Learn to taste olive oil. Google ‘how to taste olive oil’. Practice with different olive oils, also ones you know to be unadulterated. In time you will know what you are tasting, there will be no fooling you. I recommend Greek olive oil to anyone who can get it. For me, since Im used to it perhaps, its just heads above the rest, but go and try for yourself!

    • Denise

      Snap! My EVOO comes from Larnaca in Cyprus and is from the first pressing. It’s SO different from store-bought, you can almost tell by smelling it that it’s the real deal. Thanks for that info :)

      To answer your call CB- this stuff is amazing for OCM. I use it uncut with anything else. I also use it on my son after his bath, and cured my niece’s eczma with it :) Thanks CB, you are a researching bloodhound!

  34. frances

    Can someone give me a name of a universal brand that is safe to buy? Ilive in Austin tx if that helps but I dont know which brand to buy and from where.

  35. Madison

    I use the Kirkland’s EVOO from costco to oil cleanse for about 2 weeks now, wih Grapefruit, lime, and tea tree essential oils in it, and have no problem with it with breaking out, and I have pretty bad acne, and I really feel like it has calmed SIGNIFICANTLY. I saw your oil cleansing post and clicked the link for why oil cleansing with olive oil is bad. So, are you saying that it is a bad oil for oil cleansing in general, or just the fraudulently “extra virgin” olive oil is bad? Thanks! :)

  36. Is Walmart’s great Value Extra Virgin Olive oil good to use for my skin? Is it real? Please answer asap! Thankyou!

  37. I am a passionate person for nutrition organic food,now i am on dieting that’s why im taking precaution and i thing olive oil is one of the best option for me,traditional food i enjoyed very much.

  38. Your article is now 2yrs out. Any idea on changes with the EVOO situation? Have some ‘fraudulent labeling’ companies changed their policy that you are aware of?

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  40. terran

    Does anyone know if Braggs organic olive oil made the list?

Trackbacks

  1. […] and you are using olive oil, you may want to try another oil or switch to an olive oil that is more likely to be pure. If you use almond oil and it irritates your skin, you may have a nut allergy and should switch. […]

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