Consumers may be purchasing extra virgin olive oil for its purported health benefits, and are instead consuming toxins and low-quality vegetable oils. I write a column on European affairs for. Factory I write a column on European affairs for the editorial page of El Tiempo, Colombia's main newspaper. Our vision is to Introduce the world to the benefits of the Greek Mediterranean diet by combining exquisite Greek products based on olive oil with our penchant for tradition and simplicity. Items labeled non-GMO, organic, “heart-healthy,” or imported from a certain country line grocery store shelves. Greek olive oil brand, Gaea, offers a selection of unique olive oils like the Gaea Oxymelo. Gaea Authentic Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a first cold pressed olive oil from handpicked Koroneiki olives. This oil has … Agromafia. Freshly cut grass and artichoke are common. Smuggling. According to Lifehacker, the list includes many common household brands that we think we can trust. The P.D.O region of Sitia in eastern Crete is one of the most celebrated olive oil producing territories in the world. Olive oil comes from the process of pitting, grinding, and pressing of the olive fruit. According to the 60 Minutes Olive Oil Story, these oils are being “diluted with cheap sunflower oil or canola.” At best, the deception is merely the replacement of one variety of oil with another. They do so by importing lower quality vegetable oils from other countries, processing them in Italy, and stamping them as having been produced in Italy before exporting to other countries. We don’t need to remove it from our diet. Oh, my mistake - that wasn't the worst. Not only are these oils mislabelled, they’re dangerous. Gaea. “America is the dumping ground of all those fraudulent operations,” Gaea's David Neuman explained. What is the motivation behind the scandal? ABOUT GAEA. GAEA Extra Virgin Olive Oil With Lemon is an aromatic cooking or finishing oil made from our private orchard of healthy, non-GMO certified, handpicked olives. Some fake olive oil isn’t even made from olives. This superb Organic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the result of a long-standing collaboration between GAEA and a carefully selected network of organic producers who cultivate their olive trees with pure sustainable methods and according to the national and international standards of … Fake olive oil is literally everywhere on the market – up to 70% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the US are fake.And by fake I mean cut with cheaper oils. This item: Gaea Fresh Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil Single Origin EVOO 17 oz. Olive oil is known to support cardiovascular health and healthy body systems. VERSATILE - Gaea Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great addition to many different meals. Simply put, greed is to blame. So unless you bought it directly from a producer or a certified distributor, the olive oil in your kitchen marked “Italian extra virgin” is very probably a fake. These are terms frequently repeated in recent news stories related to olive oil. Gaea is named for the beautiful planet that we all share. I'm a dual Colombian-Luxembourgish freelance journalist, inveterate traveler and writer based in the world's only Grand Duchy. With increased popularity, we've seen increased demand. The best way to tell if extra-virgin olive oil is the real deal—which is to say not adulterated, mislabeled, or flat-out rancid —is to taste it. You want the worst news? By selling lower quality and fake olive oil at high-quality prices, the mafia is turning a huge profit. Values Gaea olive oil and olive products. David Neuman, CEO of Greek olive oil company Gaea North America and a certified master panel extra-virgin olive oil taster, compares buying fake EVOO to another sort of … News … Safeway Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? Consumers may be purchasing extra virgin olive oil for its purported health benefits, and are instead consuming toxins and low-quality vegetable oils. So unless you bought it directly from a producer or a certified distributor, the olive oil in your kitchen marked “Italian extra virgin” is very probably a fake. Estimates show that up to 80% of the olive oil imported from Italy is not authentic. In addition, some of these oils contain chemical solvents and pesticides. Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? on Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? The factory building covers an area of 6.500m² with 4 fully automated production lines: An olive oil bottling line, 6.000 bottles per hour. That has serious effects on the market of authentic virgin and extra virgin olive oil that naturally are more expensive. Italian newspaper La Stampa tested 20 of the most popular brands in Italy - where so much great olive oil is made - and found 45% fake. First of all, Gaea Authentic Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is highly regarded for the attractive, well-balanced flavor profiles of medium to intense fruitiness. Comments Off on Fake Olive Oil: ... At Gaea, all of our products are made with highest. Wiretaps. In addition, some of these oils contain chemical solvents and pesticides. That's why, even after the scandals, adulterated olive oil bottles are still on supermarket shelves.”. If an ingredient such as seed oil is left off of a label, a customer with an allergy may unknowingly purchase a concentrated oil with an ingredient they can’t consume. The antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil have been shown to help fight disease, as well as act as an anti-inflammatory in the body, protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation. But, olive oil itself is one of the oldest and most valuable health foods. … At best, we purchase a low-quality oil flavored with olive; At its worst, we are purchasing oil containing toxic chemicals, pesticides, and unmarked allergens. A study last year by the National Consumer League found that six of 11 bottles of extra virgin olive oil from three major retailers—Whole Foods, Symbols and certifications should guarantee the authenticity of the product. GAEA Planet - Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - (17 oz. 5 Tips for Choosing the Best Olive Oil. “The chain stores keep buying because it sells and everybody has become addicted to the low prices.". Here it is: Even the labels bearing the coveted "Protected Designation of Origin" or PDO stamp indicating the precise geographical origin of a particular extra virgin olive oil to ensure the quality of that region’s agricultural products, and which are subjected to more strict controls, have not escaped the illegal trend. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. That's easy enough to … It’s unfortunate that greed sometimes overcomes humanity to such an extent that they would jeopardize other human lives. The olive oil in your kitchen is likely not what you think it is. In any case, it's likely that when you buy olive oil, you're not buying what it says on the label. It's reliably reported that 80% of the Italian olive oil on the market is fraudulent. “This date can be really hard to find, and many brands won’t have it, although you’ll have more luck in a store like Whole Foods,” he says. Technology, tradition, and nature harmonize to provide delicious and healthy foods that you and your family will love. Yet, governments continue to permit the entry and commercialization of those products. According to Bernarducci, an olive oil should be used within 12 to 14 months of its harvest date (sometimes called a crush date). It looks right, but can you ever be sure? Enjoy this naturally flavored oil on salads, seafood, and grilled fish or meat. However, there are alternatives on the market. Best Practices The way to be sure: Joseph Ambrosini pours olive oil into a bottle after extracting it from olives... [+] collected at his grove at a three hundred-year-old mill. Not only are these oils mislabelled, they’re dangerous. Read More. GAEA’s factory is situated in a 15.000m² plot of land, 1.5kms from the center of Agrinion city. HEART HEALTHY - Our authentic GAEA Greek olive oil is made of the finest quality, single-sourced and hand-picked olives from Greece. And that is not being upheld.”. At worst, it's not olive oil at all but a vegetable oil disguised with coloring and aroma. News You may opt-out by. “The poor European harvests coincided with a bumper crop in Tunisia, catapulting the North African country to the top olive oil exporter spot and second-largest producer after Spain,” says the FT. While, Gaea has a well-rounded selection of greek olive oils that are available. If an ingredient such as seed oil is left off of a label, a customer with an allergy may unknowingly purchase a concentrated oil with an ingredient they can’t consume. Olives are grown in various parts of the world. In fact, Greece produces a wide variety of delicious olives with strong flavors and high phenol levels. Each of these extra virgin olive oils are part of certification programs or offer full traceability. Many well-known and trusted names are on the list of falsified products. Check your sources to find trustworthy suppliers. Olive oil's popularity has increased in recent years. Tampering. Professional olive-oil tasters grade it along a few lines, including aroma, texture, fruitiness, and pepperiness. Be wary of big name brands labeling products as “Imported From Italy.” For the time being, that stamp of quality has lost its merit. The Mafia, now being labeled the “Agro Mafia,” found this to be an opportunity that they could take advantage of. Estimates show that up to 80% of the olive oil imported from Italy is not authentic. In other words, you can be assured you are getting the real thing. Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? ", For him, the most serious issue is the fraud committed against the consumer: “The olive oil sold in supermarkets should meet the established standards. Considering how deep the deception runs, it can be tempting to distrust all olive oil and remove it from the pantry. Comments Off on A Story of Preserving Tradition With Innovation. The Financial Times reports that in 2014-15, global olive oil production fell 26% to 2.4 million tons, after output in Spain and Italy had already been virtually halved, according to the International Olive Council. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. For years, David Neuman, an olive oil expert and taster who is CEO of the Greek food company Gaea North America, has been warning about adulterated and mislabeled oils and finds it particularly frustrating that consumers, retailers and governments are turning a blind eye to the widespread fraud. The roots of this scandal involve the mafia. GAEA Fresh Limited Edition (NEW HARVEST) – Extra Virgin Olive Oil – (17 oz. These are terms frequently repeated in recent news stories related to olive oil. In constant search of the very best olive oil, Gaea has travelled all over Greece selecting producers and products of exceptional quality and distinct characteristics from the country's most celebrated olive oil producing regions. Unfortunately, the stamp of Italian import has long been a symbol of quality. The average consumer can’t tell the difference. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Some fake olive oil isn’t even made from olives. It involves olive oils from Syria, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia, bottled and sold as authentic Italian extra virgin to foreign markets, particularly the United States and Japan. He aims to make an experience for each and every visitor - for example, I came by myself, and he was still willing to see me at a time that was convenient for me, as opposed to having to choose a time with other groups. Then, they sell the consumer fake olive oil, bleached mozzarella, and other imitations of traditional cuisine. Bottle) $ 20 Enjoy with GAEA. Researchers did not examine whether olive oil was “fake” as such (i.e., something other than olive oil … “Although consumers are embarrassed to admit it, they are supporting the situation,” he says. Check the harvest date. If it doesn't pass that test, take it back to the store and demand a refund. It may seem like satire, but the Agro Mafia is big business and the oil in your pantry may be fake olive oil labeled as the real deal. They will taste the work, love and care that went into creating GAEA’s incredible olive oil. While fraudulent oils are being discovered in Italy, it is wise to switch up the source to one that is more trusted. Either it's low quality falsely marked as virgin or extra-virgin - and not even from Italy - or it's been mixed with other oils of dubious provenance. In countries where olive is most highly consumed – Italy, Greece, and Spain, the incidences of cardiovascular disease is low and this is attributed the health benefits olive oil provides. The situation has been exacerbated by Xylella Fastidiosa, a bacteria that kills olive trees - one million so far in Puglia, the largest olive oil producer - and threatens to extend to the rest of Italy and other Mediterranean producers. “There are not enough resources to control the over 350,000 tons of olive oil entering the country. “There is good olive oil and bad olive oil everywhere, and there are many Italian producers who stand by their product," he told me. GAEA extra-virgin olive oil will head to grocery stores and restaurants, where home cooks and chefs will use the fresh, super healthy oil to cook, drizzle, dip and beyond. It is has a pleasant aroma. “There's no incentive for grocery stores to get the good stuff," he added. Word on the street is, there is fake olive oil on our grocery stores. But, olive oil is an exceptional health food with a stellar reputation. So, which brands do we need to look out for? 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