A hopeful guide to buying authentic olive oil

authentic olive oil By Leigh Wagner
February 8, 2017

Last year, 60 Minutes aired a piece on the "Agromafia" and the faux olive oil market. From the piece, we learned that about half or more of the olive oils sold as "extra virgin" in supermarkets do not actually meet that standard, and that the profit margin for fake extra virgin can be higher than that for illegal drugs.

Those of us who purchase extra virgin olive oil are hoping to get the touted health benefits of EVOO: Real EVOO can make our blood vessels more flexible – less rigid – and may have anti-inflammatory properties, much like ibuprofen or aspirin.

So, here is some guidance for doing your best to bring home an authentic extra virgin olive oil:
  • Dark bottle: EVOO should be in a dark colored bottle. The oil should not be in a clear bottle. Since olive oil is really 100% fruit juice, it will go rancid when light hits it.
  • Price tag: You get what you pay for, and you can be fairly certain you're getting fakey oil if it is the cheapest.
  • City or region: The bottle gives the name of the region or city where the olives were harvested from.
  • Domestic oils: California olive oils might be more likely authentic with potentially stricter regulation.
  • Buy direct: You can purchase directly from some producers, cutting out the potentially devious middleman/woman.


More from the blog

willpower Repeat after me: Willpower is a limited resource 
By Leigh Wagner
How many times do we say or hear “Oh, if I (he/she/they) only had a little willpower, then I (he/she/they) wouldn’t be so…”? Read more