We’ve been chatting with a lot of customers recently who watched an interesting and disturbing piece on 60 Minutes about food fraud. The piece looked at fraud coming out of Italy and focused primarily on fake olive oils. What the 60 Minutes piece said was that major olive oil producers / manufacturers primarily in Italy have been mixing a bit of EVOO with canola oil or safflower oil and treating it with chlorophyll so that it looks like EVOO.
In a nutshell, here is what has been happening.
- Wholesale price of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is low, demand is high. It costs a lot to make a quality EVOO. So the food mafia has taken the opportunity to make some money by adding a lower cost oil to the good stuff.
- The EU gives subsidies based on production, so the more you make, the more subsidies you can get. However, for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, there isn’t a huge yield. One more reason to cheat.
- Most Americans have never tasted a high quality olive oil, so the opportunity existed to pass the fake stuff onto the US market .
The 60 Minutes piece interviewed Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity, Inside the Scandalous World of Olive Oil, and he speculated that approximately 70-80% of EVOO in the US market is faked. Ouch!
All of this leads customers to rightly inquire about the products at Mountain Town Olive Oil. We are proud to sell the highest quality olive oil in the world that meets the most stringent standards for quality. The Ultra Premium standard is applied to every oil we bring in and the oils are tested in a lab to ensure the quality standards are not only met, but exceeded. Come into any one of our 3 locations to learn more and do a tasting for yourself!
To watch the 60 Minutes piece, click here