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Really Bad News for USA Olive Oil Lovers

Horrifying. I read the labels. I thought we could trust the labels. Thank God for independent testing. Bring on the Palestinian Olive oil!

Most ‘extra virgin’ olive oil bottles are actually cheaper mix

(See full article from WalletPop

More than two of every three bottles labeled imported extra virgin olive oil are either a cheaper grade of olive oil or adulterated with another type of oil, a University of California at Davis study found.

Top-selling brands including Bertolli, Filippo Berio, Carapelli, Pompeiian, Colavita, Mazola and Carapelli all had bottles that flunked the test — containing instead a cheaper virgin olive oil, the study by the university’s Olive Center found. Even a brand carrying the name of TV host Rachael Ray — who frequently touts her supposedly extra virgin olive oil — flunked the testing on two of three samples.

The chemical analysis did find that 90% of the California-packaged olive oils were indeed what they claimed to be. Two that were exactly what they claimed to be were Walmart’s Great Value brand and Costco’s Kirkland Organic.

“The intent of the study was to provide consumers and retailers with an accurate picture of the quality of olive oils now being marketed through grocery stores and other retail outlets in California,” Dan Flynn, executive director of the Olive Center, said in statement sent to Consumer Ally. “Our hope is that these findings will lead to improved methods for evaluating extra virgin olive oil, and increased consumer confidence that ‘extra virgin’ on the label means extra virgin in the bottle.”

Flynn said the United States is the world’s third-largest consumer of olive oil.

Consumer Ally contacted several of the largest manufacturers cited in the study, but only one immediately responded to the request to comment on the study. A Colavita official wanted to read the study before discussing.

A history of duping consumers believing they’re buying the rich-flavored and often pricey extra virgin olive oil led the federal government to enact more stringent olive oil standards, scheduled to take effect in October. In 2008, Connecticut became the first state to regulate olive oil after finding that some being sold included nut oils or soy oils, which could cause dangerous allergic reactions.

“Before this study, we had anecdotal reports of poor quality olive oil being sold as extra virgin,” Flynn said. “Now there is empirical proof.”

Some of the tests analyzed for problems that would affect flavor — the very essence of extra virgin olive oil. “Many of these oils just did not taste good,” Flynn said.

He cited the following reasons for the oil flunking the tests:
adulteration with cheaper refined olive oil
oxidation due to elevated temperature, light and or aging;
poor-quality oils made from damaged and overripe olives,
processing flaws or improper oil storage.

See full article from WalletPop:

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cooking, Crime, Experiment, Food, Scams, Shopping | 5 Comments

Gushing Oil Stopped

This is what the latest live feed of the Gulf Oil gusher looks like:

It is not totally stopped. It has already spewed millions of gallons of life-killing petroleum into the Gulf. No one knows how well it will hold, or if it will hold. No one knows what the long term effects of this gaffe will be.

We’re just all glad it is tamed for now.

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Environment, ExPat Life, Experiment, Pensacola | 3 Comments