How Authentic is Your Olive Oil?

Nature's Pulchritude

Various Brands of Olive Oil

“Much of the oil sold as Italian olive oil does not come from Italy, but from countries like Spain, Morocco and Tunisia.  After being picked, the olives are driven to a mill where they are cleaned, crushed and pressed.  This oil is then pumped into a tanker truck and shipped to Italy, the world’s largest importer of olive oil.  Meanwhile,  shipments of soybean oil or other cheap oils are labeled olive oil, and smuggled into the same port.  At some refineries, the olive oil is cut with cheaper oil.  Other refineries are even worse.  They mix vegetable oils with beta-carotene, to  disguise the flavor, and chlorophyll for coloring, to produce fake olive oil.  Bottles are labeled “Extra Virgin” and branded with “Packed in Italy” or “Imported from Italy.”  (Oddly, this is legal, even if the oil does not come from Italy–although the source countries are…

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