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Olive Oil Part 6

Olive Oil Part 6

Through the course of this series, we’ve dissected several components of olive oil in the modern world. At the end of the day, how do you as a consumer effortlessly and confidently select an olive oil? Saving time, money, and analysis paralysis by being distracted with too many options. 

Step 1: The price will reflect the quality. With olive oil, if it looks like you’ve found “steal” or “bargain”, it’s probably not real. Most oils are cut with low quality or refined oils and actually marked up from its value. 

Step 2: Find the expiration date. Never buy a bottle without a date. Even better is a “pressed on” date. If it seems economical to buy in bulk - it's not. Olive Oil goes rancid quickly. It makes more sense to buy a good oil in small quantities to save money and use butter, ghee, avocado oil, or any other oil of choice for cooking. Americans were marketed into a "butter is bad" mentality, which means the public will overspend on (fake) olive oil thinking that it's a butter alternative. Reasonable amounts of butter is totally healthy, all the "bad butter" messaging was coming from "big margarine". Recent studies actually disprove the cholesterol heart health theories that are generally held today. 

Step 3: Look for clear countries of origin. Even if the front label has a big Italian flag on it, the fine print will often reveal a blend from all over the world – even from South American non-oil producing countries. That is a clear indication it's blended with any variety of vegetable and seed oils. Tip: Never buy olive oil in a clear container. An aluminum tin is best. Also avoid buying a bottle on the top shelf of a grocery store; fluorescent light exposure will start spoiling the oil while it’s on the shelf.

Red Flags:





No country of origin on back label (front label is meaningless)

Green Lights:


Cold Pressed

First Cold Pressed

California Olive Oil 

Means Nothing:





Next week, the Olive Oil series will be concluded with an examination of what the labels really look like, because they are tricky. Use the email address in the header to write in any olive oil questions, areas of interest or specific brand questions. But do it this week so I can include any found data from you.

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