With knowledge that consuming olive oil brings many health benefits, people are increasingly adding this delicious condiment to their diets. However, the unfortunate by-product is that the market is now flooded with fake and chemical-laden olive oils which do not provide the desired health benefits nor delicious flavor sought.
“The average supermarket offers numerous brands of olive oil all claiming to be extra-virgin and pure,” Rabbi Shmuel Veffer, owner of Galilee Green, an Israeli company which produces and distributes worldwide premium extra virgin olive oil, told Breaking Israel News. “Even olive oils from countries known for their high standards, like Italy and Greece, have been found to be selling fake oils.”
Extra-virgin olive oil, known as the healthful staple of the Mediterranean diet, provides healthy fats that help reduce many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and even obesity. This information has lead to a significant increase in olive oil consumption. In fact, in the United States alone, use of olive oil in the diet has tripled over the last 25 years.
“Unfortunately, where demand increases, so does greed,” noted Rabbi Veffer. “Many olive oils on the market today are actually mixed with canola oil, a highly processed and genetically engineered (GMO) oil, as well as cheaper oils which don’t provide the health benefits or flavor sought, like sunflower, palm or cottonseed oils, which may even be deodorized and colored to mimic olive oil.”
Dishonesty in the olive oil trade is widespread to the point where it is even covered in the media. CBS News show “60 Minutes” aired a segment in January 2016 on mafia involvement in Italian agriculture, introducing millions of viewers to the shady underworld of the olive oil trade and casting a fresh pall of suspicion over the “Made in Italy” brand.
In his book, Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It, food expert Larry Olmsted states that most olive oils sold in the United States today are fake.
Rabbi Veffer shared with Breaking Israel News some helpful hints for avoiding the purchase of subpar oils. “It is best to buy extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) from a direct source that you feel you can trust,” he said. “Extra virgin means that the oil has been extracted from the olives through a mechanical pressing process as opposed to a chemical one which uses toxic solvents.”
The EVOO label, however, still does not guarantee purity or quality of product. Another helpful hint is to check the expiration date or even the harvest date on a product. In this way there is a better chance that one is getting a fresher olive oil with the healthful polyphenols intact. Purchasing extra virgin olive oil regularly and in small batches also helps to ensure freshness.
“At Galilee Green, we harvest and extract the EVOO on the same day,” Rabbi Veffer proudly noted. “In today’s fraudulent market, it is practically an unheard of practice for extra virgin olive oil production to be sold in this fashion.”
The best olive oils are stored in a dark container as exposure to light increases rancidity. The oil should never be stored in plastic as BPAs (Bisphenol A), an estrogen mimicking chemical found in plastics, can leach out into the oil. In addition, avoiding overexposure to air and heat helps keep olive oil fresh.
With the abundance of false olive oils in the market, many people may not know how real olive oil is meant to taste. “Good olive oil should taste a bit peppery and somewhat bitter,” Rabbi Veffer noted. “It might even give a bit of a sting to the back of the throat.”
“More and more people are striving to improve their health through fresh and natural foods and want to avoid exposure to GMO products,” said Rabbi Veffer. “There is no surer way to build confidence in what you bring into your home than to purchase food items directly from the source of production and from people you feel you can trust.”
To find out more about Galilee Green Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can trust, visit here.