Beware of Supermarket Olive Oils
The critical importance of freshness is why we recommend avoiding olive oils sold in stores, where the oils routinely sit on the shelves for months and even years, growing stale, musty, and rancid. Forget “best used by” dates. They tell you nothing about how recently the olive oil was pressed. The world’s best EVOO producers put a pressing date on the label (also known as the “harvest date”). Preferably, you want to see a date less than six months before your purchase.
Unfortunately, the producers of the mediocre, mass-market olive oils in stores do not put pressing dates on their labels because they don’t want you to know how old, stale, or rancid their oils may be. If fact, you can verify this by checking the bottle in your own pantry right now. If you bought it in a store, the odds are overwhelming that the pressing date was intentionally omitted from the label. This is no coincidence…and it’s no way to buy your EVOO, not when freshness is the most critical factor in olive oil flavor and nutritional goodness.
Watch Out for Mafia-Made Fake Olive Oil in Stores
There’s another reason we recommend avoiding store-bought olive oil.
NBC News has reported that “fake olive oil is rampant.” In an explosive exposé titled “Don’t Fall Victim to Olive Oil Fraud,” 60 Minutes has cautioned that you face a “sea of fakes” when you shop for olive oil in stores.
Why so much fake olive oil?
Thanks to the many health benefits of authentic olive oil, demand is soaring worldwide. But pure extra virgin olive oil is quite expensive. Just as crime families pocket fortunes by creating cheap knockoffs of designer clothing and handbags, they palm off fake olive oil in fancy packaging as the real thing. New Yorker magazine has reported that the profits from counterfeiting olive oil are “comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks.”
How Harmful Are Fake Olive Oils?
In his New York Times best-selling book Extra Virginity, olive oil expert Tom Mueller warns that investigators have found contaminants and even cancer-causing agents in fake olive oils, adding:
“Then there’s the 1981 case of toxic oil syndrome in Spain, when rapeseed oil adulterated with an industrial additive, sold as olive oil, killed 800 people and seriously injured thousands more.”
This is why you never want to feed your family counterfeit olive oils cooked up by criminals who couldn’t care less about you or the people you love.