Are You Using Real Or Fake Olive Oil?

Olive oil pouring from a glass bottleCelebrity chefs have made olive oil a $720 million business in the U.S., but a new book is blowing the lid off an industry that might be built in part on the backs of crooks.

That’s the argument Tom Mueller makes in Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.

Mueller told the New York Post. “He was speaking in this hushed tone, and I had to laugh, because this was not black-market plutonium or drugs, this was olive oil.”

Mueller contends that because true olive oil is so pricey to produce, some companies have taken to doctoring bottles with chemicals and disguising cheaper oils with added flavoring. Then they slap on fancy labels with buzzwords like “Made in Italy” and “Cold-pressed” and ship them to stores without any rigorous quality control from the FDA, he says.

How Can You Tell Which Olive Oil Is The Real Olive Oil?

Consumers spend an incredible $720 million per year on olive oil, according to the California Olive Oil Council. But, clearly, not all olive oil is created equally. Follow tips from COOC to be sure you know what you’re buying:

  • Bottle color matters. True olive oil should be kept cool so bottles will be darker in color to extend shelf life.
  • Check the label. States like California place quality control labels from the COOC on all bottles of oil produced in the state. To earn a seal, a taste panel puts it through a vigorous chemical test.
  • Where you shop matters. Olive oil is definitely one of those products you never want to buy generic. Not all…