The olive oil conspiracy (dyed canola being sold as olive) - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
moss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: here and there
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sooo....

apparently, more olive oil is exported from italy than they actually produce. A magazine article that i just read in fitnessRx stated that out of 750 olive oil companies tested, around 200 of them were selling green dyed canola and passing it off as olive oil!!! Anyone know if there's a list somewhere online of the reputable companies that are actually selling olive oil?

As a parent of a child who cant tolerate food dyes, i'm pretty concerned about this......

heartbeat.gif

moss is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 06:26 PM
 
Jojo F.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: cocka-poo-poo-pee-pee-shire
Posts: 3,785
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow! Thanks for letting us know, I had no idea. I am interested too now to know which ones are actual olive oil.

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
Jojo F. is offline  
#3 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 06:29 PM
 
kittyhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:but olive oil has such a distinctive, strong flavor... how could you not know that it was canola oil? canola oil doesn't have much of a flavor at all...
kittyhead is offline  
#4 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 06:32 PM
 
Wolfmeis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pugetopolis
Posts: 3,292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wolfmeis is offline  
#5 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 06:32 PM
 
ktbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NOVA
Posts: 2,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyhead View Post
:but olive oil has such a distinctive, strong flavor... how could you not know that it was canola oil? canola oil doesn't have much of a flavor at all...
Most people don't know that and couldn't taste it even if they did.
You'd be surprised.
ktbug is offline  
#6 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
moss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: here and there
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfmeis View Post
Quote:
To see if the olive oil you purchased is the real deal, just pop the bottle in the fridge until it's chilled. If it get cloudy and coagulates, you got what you paid for. If it remains clear, it's not genuine extra-virgin olive oil.
hm...

my concern is that it could be an olive oil/canola-dyed mix. how could you detect that?

maybe ewg or the green guide will do a story on this...

heartbeat.gif

moss is offline  
#7 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 07:34 PM
 
onelilguysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
well it smells very different...but then you have to buy and open it... hmmmm.

ive never heard this!
onelilguysmommy is offline  
#8 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 10:35 PM
 
avendesora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've actually been suspicious of Trader Joe's olive oil for a while. I was using it to make croûtons, and the croûtons maintained this funny green color, in a way that I found disconcerting. I didn't guess that they were dyeing canola oil, but rather, that it was cheap olive oil (not extra virgin) being sold as first-pressed olive oil.

Quote:
To see if the olive oil you purchased is the real deal, just pop the bottle in the fridge until it's chilled. If it get cloudy and coagulates, you got what you paid for. If it remains clear, it's not genuine extra-virgin olive oil.
That's from the article listed above. Useful info.

Aven
avendesora is offline  
#9 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 10:41 PM
 
beka1977's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Did you read the part of that article where they talk about selling the contaminated cheese? I swear - pretty soon I am only going to put things in my body that I have actually made myself. I find this all so ridiculous!

Let's see, I'm going to need some cows, a couple of goats....:
beka1977 is offline  
#10 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 10:48 PM
 
beka1977's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This was from NPR:

Quote:
Italian extra-virgin olive oil has become so lucrative that adulterated olive oil has become the biggest source of agricultural fraud problems in the European Union.

Some oil labeled "extra-virgin" is diluted with cheaper olive oils or other vegetable oils. In some cases, lampante, or "lamp oil," which is made from spoiled olives fallen from trees, is used, even though it can't legally be sold as food. One fraud ring is accused of coloring low-grade soy oil and canola oil with industrial chlorophyll, and flavoring it with beta-carotene.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=12571726
beka1977 is offline  
#11 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 11:06 PM
 
*Robin*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by avendesora View Post
I've actually been suspicious of Trader Joe's olive oil for a while. I was using it to make croûtons, and the croûtons maintained this funny green color, in a way that I found disconcerting. I didn't guess that they were dyeing canola oil, but rather, that it was cheap olive oil (not extra virgin) being sold as first-pressed olive oil.
I just put my unopened bottle of TJ's olive oil in the fridge. I'll let you know if this one it fake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beka1977 View Post
Thanks for this link. It's very informative!

wife to treehugger.gif, mama to carrot.gif(7/06) and joy.gif(4/09), plusdog2.gif

*Robin* is offline  
#12 of 112 Old 11-17-2007, 11:21 PM
 
Pam_and_Abigail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: NS, Canada
Posts: 3,641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow that's scary. See it's not just China selling us crap! (Okay, maybe it's not as bad, but it's still dishonest)
Pam_and_Abigail is offline  
#13 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 01:33 AM
 
Jeanne D'Arc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Native Californian,Washington trans
Posts: 1,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moss View Post
Sooo....

apparently, more olive oil is exported from italy than they actually produce. A magazine article that i just read in fitnessRx stated that out of 750 olive oil companies tested, around 200 of them were selling green dyed canola and passing it off as olive oil!!! Anyone know if there's a list somewhere online of the reputable companies that are actually selling olive oil?

As a parent of a child who cant tolerate food dyes, i'm pretty concerned about this......
OMG! I didn't know they were still doing this! Yuck...Canola??:

This has been going on since the Great Depression, except I think
they used Cottonsseed oil back then.
Jeanne D'Arc is offline  
#14 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 01:36 AM
 
Jeanne D'Arc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Native Californian,Washington trans
Posts: 1,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


All the olive oil I ever get it from Whole Foods Market...usually.

I know for a fact that Lucini is true Olive oil, very high quality stuff! You can TASTE the olives.

Gosh that makes me mad, esp since i avoid Canola.
Jeanne D'Arc is offline  
#15 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 01:44 AM
 
BookGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts
Posts: 6,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks for the heads up! Our olive oil just ran out. I'll be putting the new bottle in the fridge to see if it coagulates like it should.

I wish the people who did this undercover investigation went one step further and provided us with a list of makers who can be trusted.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
BookGoddess is offline  
#16 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 10:27 AM
 
*Robin*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay, yesterday as I posted, I put my unopened bottle of Trade Joe's "100% Italian, President's Reserve, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cold Pressed, Product of Italy" in the fridge and just now, this morning, it is NOT solidified.

I have to say, usually I get my olive oil at a little Arabic market, but my husband convinced me to get this bottle at Trader Joe's because it's just as good and cheaper. Ha!

So I have a whole bottle of fake olive oil. What do I do now??

wife to treehugger.gif, mama to carrot.gif(7/06) and joy.gif(4/09), plusdog2.gif

*Robin* is offline  
#17 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 10:49 AM
 
meowee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Don't put the whole bottle in, it will affect the taste. Just use a sample.
meowee is offline  
#18 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 10:53 AM
 
*Robin*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Don't put the whole bottle in, it will affect the taste. Just use a sample.
I already did, and it doesn't matter cause it's FAKE!
: now what??

I think I'll email NPR first.

wife to treehugger.gif, mama to carrot.gif(7/06) and joy.gif(4/09), plusdog2.gif

*Robin* is offline  
#19 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 01:07 PM
 
CathMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by robinlaroy View Post
... So I have a whole bottle of fake olive oil. What do I do now??
robinlaroy,
It's a good thing you didn't open the bottle, so there is no question as to whether it was tampered with post production.

I wouldn't merely return it to Trader Joe's, my guess is they've got a pretty good return policy (especially where it's unopened) and they may simply take it back without doing anything about it unless you make sure management gets involved. I would call the store, ask for the name of the manager and possibly even the district manager and so on up the line. Then I would write to the manager but cc everybody else to make sure they are informed, that way you aren't relying on the manager to do it.

I would also be careful about how you word it so as not to unnecessarily offend anyone. I would approach it from a quality control perspective, and perhaps mention the article but I would be careful about jumping in and calling the olive oil in question "counterfeit". You wouldn't want to be accused of libel or slander.

You need to be especially careful when you put anything in writing.
~Cath
CathMac is offline  
#20 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 01:15 PM
 
CathMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moss View Post
hm...

my concern is that it could be an olive oil/canola-dyed mix. how could you detect that?

maybe ewg or the green guide will do a story on this...
moss,
If it's not completely counterfeit but rather diluted with counterfeit oil I think you might see some "coagulation" but not as much as you would expect.

Fortunately I've put Olive Oil in the fridge before (I didn't know I wasn't supposed to) so I think I have some idea of what it should look like.

Does anyone know how long you need to refrigerate it to give it a chance to coagulate and whether if you take it out right away the taste would be ruined?
~Cath
CathMac is offline  
#21 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 01:16 PM
 
hipmummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 3,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I REGRIGERATE MINE SO i gues i would know if mine was bad. i have purchased the kalamata one before. i can taste the dif when it is a garbage one verses the good stuff.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
hipmummy is offline  
#22 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Refrigerating olive oil won't affect the taste or the texture after it's warmed up- it obviously will affect the texture while it's still cold since it solidifies.

Is there a list of safe brands of olive oil someplace?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is online now  
#23 of 112 Old 11-18-2007, 02:12 PM
 
*Robin*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathMac View Post
robinlaroy,
It's a good thing you didn't open the bottle, so there is no question as to whether it was tampered with post production.

I wouldn't merely return it to Trader Joe's, my guess is they've got a pretty good return policy (especially where it's unopened) and they may simply take it back without doing anything about it unless you make sure management gets involved. I would call the store, ask for the name of the manager and possibly even the district manager and so on up the line. Then I would write to the manager but cc everybody else to make sure they are informed, that way you aren't relying on the manager to do it.

I would also be careful about how you word it so as not to unnecessarily offend anyone. I would approach it from a quality control perspective, and perhaps mention the article but I would be careful about jumping in and calling the olive oil in question "counterfeit". You wouldn't want to be accused of libel or slander.

You need to be especially careful when you put anything in writing.
~Cath
Thank you. You are absolutely right. I don't actually know it's fake. I just know the bottle is still as clear as when we put it in. I'll post when we receive a response from Trader Joe's or the Better Business Bureau.

wife to treehugger.gif, mama to carrot.gif(7/06) and joy.gif(4/09), plusdog2.gif

*Robin* is offline  
#24 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 12:13 PM
 
mags.bubble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So, I tested my oils in the fridge overnight last night. Yesterday was the first I had heard about counterfeit olive oil.

Spectrum organic extra virgin olive oil - became cloudy with a little coagulation

Trader Joe pure olive oil - no change
Trader Joe reserve first press evoo - no change

Bertoli extra light evoo - no change

Does this mean that the ones that didn't change are not real olive oil, they smell and taste like olive oil. Although, if it is a mix then it would still taste like olive oil, right?

What brands are reliable? Any suggestions?
Maggie
mags.bubble is offline  
#25 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 12:32 PM
 
subrosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: MoCo MD
Posts: 247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathMac View Post
robinlaroy,
I would be careful about jumping in and calling the olive oil in question "counterfeit". You wouldn't want to be accused of libel or slander.

You need to be especially careful when you put anything in writing.
A statement or writing has to be "published" in order to be libelous or slanderous--so a private letter to a manager, etc. wouldn't qualify unless you started disseminating it to a bunch of other, unrelated people or the media. but I think CathMac gives good advice about the most effective way to address the issue.

Keep us posted!
subrosa is offline  
#26 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 01:54 PM
 
Shazer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The great NE
Posts: 951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just put my Whole Foods 365 Pure 100% extra virgin olive oil in the fridge to test. It smells like olive oil and I've noticed in the past that it does get cloudy, but I'll let you know for sure.

I'm absolutely disgusted after reading about the olive oil conspiracy. Who can you trust anymore for quality foods?

S & J . DD 2/8/7. DS 4/25/10. Natural foods eating, sleep deprived, gardening WAH mama.
Shazer is offline  
#27 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 01:58 PM
 
meowee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Refrigerating olive oil won't affect the taste or the texture after it's warmed up- it obviously will affect the texture while it's still cold since it solidifies.
That's not what the olive oil expert I heard on WNYC said. Olive oil is best stores air tight at room temperature, away from a heat source or sunlight.
meowee is offline  
#28 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 02:17 PM
 
zeldabee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pee Dee Ecks
Posts: 3,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
FWIW, I recently noticed my Trader Joe's olive oil was cloudy in my cabinet. I'm stingy with the heat, and butter left out is firm, coconut oil is hard, and the olive oil cloudy. I could taste the difference if it wasn't EVOO. Pure olive oil, I might not be able to taste.

I don't think that olive oil that had been refrigerated would have an off taste, as long as it wasn't served that way. I cook stuff in olive oil and refrigerate and reheat it without issues.

I'm not surprised that a lot of olive oil is adulterated. I personally knew people who'd been involved in adulterating food (or relabeling food) when I worked in the restaurant business in NYC. It's very easy to do, and very profitable.

I too would like to see a list of olive oil brands to stay away from.
zeldabee is offline  
#29 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 02:26 PM
 
kittywitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The Room of Requirement
Posts: 13,061
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I can usually taste if it's real Olive Oil. But is there a list, like Ruthla asked of brands that are consistently real?

I will test mine today and see. It's an off brand, though.

AP Mom to 5 knit.gifhomeschool.giftoddler.gif
 
  

kittywitty is offline  
#30 of 112 Old 11-19-2007, 02:43 PM
 
BoringTales's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't know what the difference was between Olive oil, Virgin Olive oil, and extra-virgin olive oil was so I wikied it. I know its not a great source, but this part of the article was interesting...

Quote:
Retail grades in the United States

Most of the governments in the world are members of the International Olive Oil Council, which requires member governments to promulgate laws making olive oil labels conform to the IOOC standards.

The United States is the only major oil-producing or oil-consuming country which is not a member of the IOOC, and therefore, the retail grades listed above have no legal meaning in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which controls this aspect of labeling, currently lists four grades of olive oil: "Fancy", "Choice", "Standard", and "Substandard". These were established in 1948. [6] The grades are based on acidity, absence of defects, odor and flavor. While the USDA is considering adopting labeling rules that parallel the international standards, until they do so, terms such as "extra virgin" may be applied to any grade of oil, making the term of dubious usefulness.
So are they basically saying that it doesn't matter if its labeled extra-virgin here in the US because that's probably not what we are getting? Or if it is imported EVoo, those labeling standards *should* still be true, right?

Nicole - Mom to FOUR healthy, happy, wild boys.
BoringTales is offline  
Reply

User Tag List



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off