Black Olives are bad? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've heard that black olives aren't good for us.

Can anyone link to an article or site that explains why?

(I'm assuming it's because they're processed with lye, but is there more to it than this?)

Thanks!
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#2 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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I thought it was because unless they specify that they are tree-ripened, they are normally picked before they are ripe and "ripened" using formaldehyde. I may have that wrong though.

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#3 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
:

I thought it was because unless they specify that they are tree-ripened, they are normally picked before they are ripe and "ripened" using formaldehyde. I may have that wrong though.
OMG what?!?!?! DD eats them all of the time!

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#4 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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I don't *think* it's the lye that makes them bad, because all lye is is a strong base. It's aka sodium hydroxide, when it combines with an acid it reacts to form salt and water (type of salt depends on the type of acid).

Lye has a high pH (kind of like baking soda on steroids), but I'm sure they neutralize it before people eat it. Must be the formaldehyde, lol.
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#5 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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WHAT! Tell me it isn't so.

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#6 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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A Google search has yielded some information about chemicals being used to turn them black (ripen) artificially after picking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive
http://www.olives101.com/2008/09/08/...in-the-market/
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#7 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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You have got to be kidding me!! I just half a jar of those little buggers. Jeez it seems like every food we have out there now is dangerous.
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#8 of 33 Old 03-24-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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So I am assuming the "bad" black olives would be ones found in the cans sitting on the supermarket shelves? There appear to be at least some brands of black olives that are ok, such as these: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_olives.htm. That website indicates ferrous sulfate (a form of iron) is used to turn green olives black. Does anyone know if the olives you find in barrels at the store would be ok?
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#9 of 33 Old 03-25-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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Does this include organic black olives? :

+ = and .
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#10 of 33 Old 03-25-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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what about kalamata olives? I've never seen green version of those? or does this only refer to truely black olives, not brownish ones?

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#11 of 33 Old 03-25-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Yep, just the squishy flavorless black ones. Kalamata olives and others are really good for you. I can't remember all the reasons, but i saw a really interesting episode about olives by Alton Brown.
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#12 of 33 Old 03-25-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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I might have to stick my head in the sand about this one. I just bought a ton of canned black olives and I love them. :
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#13 of 33 Old 03-25-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JElaineB View Post
So I am assuming the "bad" black olives would be ones found in the cans sitting on the supermarket shelves? There appear to be at least some brands of black olives that are ok, such as these: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_olives.htm.
I have a jar of these olives. They are not the same type of olives like you'd find on a pizza or in a can. They're a Kalamata type olive.

At this point I go with salt cured, oil cured or water cured olives and stay away from the lye cured. I've never been a huge fan of olives, though, so it's a minor change.

And olives will turn naturally black/dk purple on the tree. So the problem is not that they're black, it's how they're treated.

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#14 of 33 Old 03-25-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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Dang it! I love popping open a can of olives and snacking on them!

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#15 of 33 Old 03-26-2009, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can anyone find a link that talks about formaldehyde being used on black olives?

I've been googling, and I can't find anything....
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#16 of 33 Old 03-26-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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The Santa Barbara Olive Company makes really yummy RIPE green olives - they don't turn them black, but they tate just like black olives - better actually. The rub is they cost twice as much.:
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#17 of 33 Old 03-26-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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Man, this blows. : Olives are expensive enough, I delighted in the fact that I could grab a small can and use in pasta salads, and taco salads for cheap. Oh well...I guess another thing to add to the list and just use the good ones for treats once in a great while. Makes me so sad though.

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#18 of 33 Old 03-26-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by calebsmommy25 View Post
Man, this blows. : Olives are expensive enough, I delighted in the fact that I could grab a small can and use in pasta salads, and taco salads for cheap. Oh well...I guess another thing to add to the list and just use the good ones for treats once in a great while. Makes me so sad though.
I have looked a few other websites and it appears during lye-curing the green olives turn black if exposed to air, giving you the standard "California Black Olive". Some form of iron is added to stablize the black color in most of the canned olives. So I don't think these types of olives are as high a quality as brine-cured or oil-cured, or organic for that matter, it sounds to me as if they are not dangerous (the lye is completely rinsed out before eating and replaced by brine). I haven't found anything about formaldehye, other than what a poster here said.

If you want really natural olives, without really any processing I found this:
http://www.funkyraw.com/shop/index.p...roducts_id=250
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#19 of 33 Old 03-26-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Ok this is one of the BAD things about reading too much. LOL

Put olives on the list of foods I will no longer eat. Sniff. And they are totally a favorite.
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#20 of 33 Old 03-26-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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What the hay?! No more monster fingers?

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#21 of 33 Old 03-27-2009, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JElaineB View Post
So I don't think these types of olives are as high a quality as brine-cured or oil-cured, or organic for that matter, it sounds to me as if they are not dangerous (the lye is completely rinsed out before eating and replaced by brine). I haven't found anything about formaldehye, other than what a poster here said.
Thanks!

If they're not dangerous (just poor quality), I guess one could eat them occasionally?
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#22 of 33 Old 03-27-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
Thanks!

If they're not dangerous (just poor quality), I guess one could eat them occasionally?
I read the links on this thread and they are not 100% reputable sources. I am not saying they are making stuff up but they could be or could be really stretching the truth. I mean you can find "proof" for anything on the net these days. Surely you cannot believe all you hear and read.

All I mean is I would like a bit more proof before I just ditch the olives. I mean heck the list of good food to eat grows slimmer by the minute.

PS Wikipedia is NOT a foolproof source nor is it an academic one. Anyone can post on it. Some of my profs give an automatic F if you put wikipedia as a source on a paper.
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#23 of 33 Old 03-27-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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What the hay?! No more monster fingers?
laughup
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#24 of 33 Old 03-28-2009, 03:33 AM
 
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This is sad. I love olives and so does DC and eats them all the time
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#25 of 33 Old 03-28-2009, 03:38 AM
 
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What the hay?! No more monster fingers?
OMGsh I was just thinking this. My 6yo brother loves loves loves to do that.

He makes veggietale penguins out of them too.

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#26 of 33 Old 03-28-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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Even the ones on the bar at Whole Foods..say it is a LIIIEEEE..:*(
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#27 of 33 Old 03-28-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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olives are one of the few foods i'd eat as a kid, espeically the black ones... well i'm not dead yet from them!!! i wonder how many lbs i've eaten in my life time! and i was just planning to buy some b/c i havenn't had any in a while.... but i'll eat any kind f olive it's just the black ones are so cheap and something i could actually afford.:

edit: from this website

http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/olive.html

Harvest: Olive fruits that are to be processed as green olives are picked while they are still green but have reached full size. They can also be picked for processing at any later stage up through full ripeness. Ripe olives bruise easily and should be handled with care. Mold is also a problem for the fruit between picking and curing. There are several classical ways of curing olives. A common method is the lye-cure process in which green or near-ripe olives are soaked in a series of lye solutions for a period of time to remove the bitter principle and then transferred to water and finally a mild saline solution. Other processing methods include water curing, salt curing and Greek-style curing. Explicit directions for various curing and marinating methods can be found in several publications including Maggie Blyth Klein's book, Feast of the Olives, and the University of California Agricultural Sciences Publications Leaflet 21131. Both green-cured and ripe-cured olives are popular as a relish or snack. For California canned commercial olives, black olives are identical to green olives. The black color is obtained by exposure to air after lye extraction and has nothing to do with ripeness. Home production of olive oil is not recommended. The equipment required and the sheer mass of fruit needed are beyond most households.
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#28 of 33 Old 03-28-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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While I'm glad to hear it's lye and not formaldehyde (turns out my sources were wrong thank goodness!), I still don't want lye on my food. So frustrating.

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#29 of 33 Old 03-28-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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While I'm glad to hear it's lye and not formaldehyde (turns out my sources were wrong thank goodness!), I still don't want lye on my food. So frustrating.
Lye is just sodium hydroxide, a strong base. Essentially the opposite of a strong acid (like hydrochloric acid, which is found in your stomach). It makes the pH of the solution the olives are soaking in very high, which draws out the bitter compounds. Then the olives are soaked in brine (saltwater) solution for a period of time which removes any trace of lye. Eating lye would be bad, yes. But it is gone by the time you eat the olives.
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#30 of 33 Old 03-29-2009, 02:03 AM
 
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aren't both hominy and masa (corn flour) treated with lye?
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