I have been a columnist for Newsweek and written for, among others, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and Toronto Globe & Mail. Unfortunately, the stamp of Italian import has long been a symbol of quality. That discovery came to light in a bigger undercover operation by the Italian police, dubbed “Mamma Mia,” that last week revealed another massive scam in the same region: Thousands of tons of low-quality oils from Spain and Greece also passed off as extra virgin Italian. You may opt-out by. Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? Freshly cut grass and artichoke are common. GAEA Planet - Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - (17 oz. 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. Gaea is named for the beautiful planet that we all share. Neuman's advice is more detailed: Buy it, take it home, open it, smell it, swirl it in your mouth as you would a fine wine, and judge for yourself. ", For him, the most serious issue is the fraud committed against the consumer: “The olive oil sold in supermarkets should meet the established standards. The investigation into olive oil fraud may leave us wondering where we can find authentic olive oil. 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. Sold by DEAL26 and ships from Amazon Fulfillment. The quality of the product is vastly inferior to that which is being claimed on the label. Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? Olive oil's popularity has increased in recent years. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Here are 10 of the best authentic and reputable extra virgin olive oil brands. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. collected at his grove at a three hundred-year-old mill. 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. Bottle) $ 20 In other words, you can be assured you are getting the real thing. With increased popularity, we've seen increased demand. Comments Off on A Story of Preserving Tradition With Innovation. Olives are grown in various parts of the world. Gaea. Bottle $18.00 ($18.00 / 1 Count) Only 3 left in stock - order soon. The Mafia, now being labeled the “Agro Mafia,” found this to be an opportunity that they could take advantage of. While, Gaea has a well-rounded selection of greek olive oils that are available. Gangsters in the kitchen. Traditional, well-known brands haven't escaped the evil: Many adulterated olive oils are sold under quality brand names. The average consumer can’t tell the difference. Read More. Certainly, we don’t want to be misled, but that doesn’t mean we need to be suspicious of all of the brands on the market. Neuman thinks that the problems with fake olive oils have been going on for so long that consumers have become accustomed to buying bad oils at low prices. Gaea olive oil and olive products. I write a column on European affairs for the editorial page of El Tiempo, Colombia's main newspaper. We don’t need to remove it from our diet. Comments Off on Fake Olive Oil: ... At Gaea, all of our products are made with highest. In addition, some of these oils contain chemical solvents and pesticides. 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. That has serious effects on the market of authentic virgin and extra virgin olive oil that naturally are more expensive. Check your sources to find trustworthy suppliers. “Much of the extra virgin Italian olive oil flooding the world’s market shelves is neither Italian, nor virgin,” the New York Times warns. 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. Symbols and certifications should guarantee the authenticity of the product. GAEA’s factory is situated in a 15.000m² plot of land, 1.5kms from the center of Agrinion city. Along with a sweet almond flavor and mildly pungent, peppery finish. Counterfiting. Safeway Wiretaps. In any case, it's likely that when you buy olive oil, you're not buying what it says on the label. But despite the efforts of the Italian government to stop what's become known as the agro mafia now controlling most of the olive oil production and marketing - as well as numerous campaigns by the region’s producers to regain their reputation and cleanse the “made in Italy” branding - a massive olive oil scandal is being uncovered in Southern Italy ( Puglia, Umbria and Campania). Gaea Authentic Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a first cold pressed olive oil from handpicked Koroneiki olives. Word on the street is, there is fake olive oil on our grocery stores. At worst, it's not olive oil at all but a vegetable oil disguised with coloring and aroma. 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. That's why, even after the scandals, adulterated olive oil bottles are still on supermarket shelves.”. The Mafia, now being labeled the “Agro Mafia,” found this to be an opportunity that they could take advantage of. Our Global PresenceCorporate GovernanceInnovationAwardsCertificationsGalleryPrivacy Policy. These are terms frequently repeated in recent news stories related to olive oil. Police Food Squads. Generally, if a label says that the virgin or extra-virgin olive oil comes from a controlled place of origin - Puglia, for example - it's reasonable to expect that the product has passed through the required quality controls, particularly when it's destined for export. 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. 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 … 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. The roots of this scandal involve the mafia. Estimates show that up to 80% of the olive oil imported from Italy is not authentic. “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. And that is not being upheld.”. Olive oil comes from the process of pitting, grinding, and pressing of the olive fruit. Not only are these oils mislabelled, they’re dangerous. The host is passionate about Greek olive oil, its uses and benefits, and dispelling rumors. According to Bernarducci, an olive oil should be used within 12 to 14 months of its harvest date (sometimes called a crush date). Consumers may be purchasing extra virgin olive oil for its purported health benefits, and are instead consuming toxins and low-quality vegetable oils. But, thanks to new research, fraudulent products imported from Italy are now exposed. So, which brands do we need to look out for? “There is good olive oil and bad olive oil everywhere, and there are many Italian producers who stand by their product," he told me. It’s unfortunate that greed sometimes overcomes humanity to such an extent that they would jeopardize other human lives. Enjoy this naturally flavored oil on salads, seafood, and grilled fish or meat. 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 … 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. "But the extended nature of the Italian problem is affecting all the rest of Europe. “Much of the extra virgin Italian olive oil flooding the world’s market shelves is neither Italian, nor virgin,” the New York Times warns. It is has a pleasant aroma. Gaea Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 17 Ounce -- 6 per case. I'm a dual Colombian-Luxembourgish freelance journalist, inveterate traveler and writer based in the world's only Grand Duchy. 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. “Much of the extra virgin Italian olive oil flooding the world’s market shelves is neither Italian, nor virgin,” the New York Times warns. Corruption. “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 shelves posing as the real thing. Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? 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. Considering how deep the deception runs, it can be tempting to distrust all olive oil and remove it from the pantry. “America is the dumping ground of all those fraudulent operations,” Gaea's David Neuman explained. Elite Food Police. According to the. 1 2 Next. They will taste the work, love and care that went into creating GAEA’s incredible olive oil. 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, Not only are these oils mislabelled, they’re dangerous. , 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. Vision Read More. GAEA Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olive Products and Snacks | EVOO from Greece admin 2020-07-23T06:25:26+00:00. 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 list includes many common household brands that we think we can trust. Read More 0. “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. 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News … And that scandal followed yet another connected to an investigation of seven of the best-known Italian olive oil producers, including Bertoli, Sasso and Carapelli, allegedly selling fake olive oil as extra virgin “made in Italy.” The companies have vehemently denied the allegations. 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 is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and its long list of health benefits is constantly growing. All-Natural Olive Oil Skincare & Beauty Regimen, Healthy Olive Oil and The Mediterranean Diet, How to Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: A Primer, A Story of Preserving Tradition With Innovation. Many well-known and trusted names are on the list of falsified products. 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. Unfortunately, frauds have found a way to capitalize on it. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. News While fraudulent oils are being discovered in Italy, it is wise to switch up the source to one that is more trusted. It contains Vitamin E, Vitamin K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids including Omega-6 and Omega-4.. But, olive oil is an exceptional health food with a stellar reputation. Let's start with the most recent revelation, related to labels. But, olive oil itself is one of the oldest and most valuable health foods. It's reliably reported that 80% of the Italian olive oil on the market is fraudulent. Professional olive-oil tasters grade it along a few lines, including aroma, texture, fruitiness, and pepperiness. Greek olive oil brand, Gaea, offers a selection of unique olive oils like the Gaea Oxymelo. Estimates show that up to 80% of the olive oil imported from Italy is not authentic. So the only oily recommendation I can offer you next time you're puzzling over the olive oil selection at the market is this: Caveat emptor. The Olive Center’s testing took place between 2008 and 2010. 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. 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. Some fake olive oil isn’t even made from olives. 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. However, there are alternatives on the market. Many adulterated olive oils are sold under quality brand names. Yet, governments continue to permit the entry and commercialization of those products. Bottle) $ 20 GAEA Fresh Limited Edition (NEW HARVEST) - Extra Virgin Olive Oil - (17 oz. 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. 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. Be wary of big name brands labeling products as “Imported From Italy.” For the time being, that stamp of quality has lost its merit. Simply put, greed is to blame. … So, which brands do we need to look out for? Smuggling. Unfortunately, the stamp of Italian import has long been a symbol of quality. Yet, you bought it despite the fact that its low price should have tipped you off. In the case of olive oil and food fraud, what we get is a low-quality product that we are ingesting in place of a health food. The bacteria, compounded by bad weather, has devastated Europe’s olive harvest and raised the price for authentic olive oil by as much as 20% across the continent. Enjoy with GAEA. In addition, some of these oils contain chemical solvents and pesticides. Extra virgin olive oil is a very healthy fat, but not all oils are made the same - some are even fake. Olives on their way to production for Gaea Olive Oil Photo: Gaea. Photo: Pascal Pochard-Casablanca/AFP/Getty Images. March 13th, 2018 All About Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Oh, my mistake - that wasn't the worst. Hidden cameras. 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. I'm a dual Colombian-Luxembourgish freelance journalist, inveterate traveler and writer based in the world's only Grand Duchy. Values 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. HEART HEALTHY - Our authentic GAEA Greek olive oil is made of the finest quality, single-sourced and hand-picked olives from Greece. Items labeled non-GMO, organic, “heart-healthy,” or imported from a certain country line grocery store shelves. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. This item: Gaea Fresh Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil Single Origin EVOO 17 oz. 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. 5 Tips for Choosing the Best Olive Oil. Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? 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. Factory Food Crime. 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. Estates 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. “Although consumers are embarrassed to admit it, they are supporting the situation,” he says. This olive oil is smooth with green color and aromas of fresh herbs and almond. Agromafia. 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. By selling lower quality and fake olive oil at high-quality prices, the mafia is turning a huge profit. As a consequence, an unexpected country has reaped benefits: Tunisia. Technology, tradition, and nature harmonize to provide delicious and healthy foods that you and your family will love. Organized crime has found ways to bleach, process, and flavor products to give the illusion of quality to an inferior food. According to. Tampering. It looks right, but can you ever be sure? Many well-known and trusted names are on the list of falsified products. Environmental Responsibility The olive oil in your kitchen is likely not what you think it is. on Fake Olive Oil: Why Do Olive Oil Labels Mislead Consumers? Olive oil is known to support cardiovascular health and healthy body systems. “The chain stores keep buying because it sells and everybody has become addicted to the low prices.". This superb Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil is the result of cold extraction of handpicked olives from organically cultivated Koroneiki olives of selected villages, dedicated to organic cultivation only. FBI of Food. Some fake olive oil isn’t even made from olives. Check the harvest date. Bottle) $ 20 Extra Virgin Olive Oil $ 13 GAEA Fresh Limited Edition (NEW HARVEST) – Extra Virgin Olive Oil – (17 oz. A panel of police has been expertly trained to refine their palates so they can identify fraud by flavor. ABOUT GAEA. “There are not enough resources to control the over 350,000 tons of olive oil entering the country. Photo: Wikipedia. and Giant—failed to meet extra virgin requirements. 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. It's taste profile is characteristic aroma of fresh olives and a fruity taste. As it turns out, this scandal is affecting many popular Italian imports, from cheeses to wine, to fish. Even in Italian supermarkets, the rate of fake olive oil on the shelves is estimated at 50%. VERSATILE - Gaea Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great addition to many different meals. Researchers did not examine whether olive oil was “fake” as such (i.e., something other than olive oil … Then, they sell the consumer fake olive oil, bleached mozzarella, and other imitations of traditional cuisine. That's easy enough to … You want the worst news? It can be frightening to acknowledge that the products we are being sold may be mislabeled. Deep Roots Others believe that the bigger problem is poor quality olive oil, deliberately mislabeled as virgin or extra virgin. Consumers may be purchasing extra virgin olive oil for its purported health benefits, and are instead consuming toxins and low-quality vegetable oils. 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. Each of these extra virgin olive oils are part of certification programs or offer full traceability. Some experts think that percentage is an exaggeration. I write a column on European affairs for. Specifically, when it comes to a product that has been associated with cardiovascular health, vitality, and longevity. In fact, Greece produces a wide variety of delicious olives with strong flavors and high phenol levels. According to Lifehacker, the list includes many common household brands that we think we can trust. The quality of the product is vastly inferior to that which is being claimed on the label. Enjoy health and vitality with quality oils and don’t fear the forgery. If it doesn't pass that test, take it back to the store and demand a refund. 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. Gaea is committed to offering sustainable, high-quality Greek olives and olive products. This oil has … Best Practices And care that went into creating GAEA’s incredible olive oil Labels Mislead Consumers take... It can be assured you are getting the real thing fear the forgery territories the. 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Hand-Picked olives from Greece admin 2020-07-23T06:25:26+00:00 crime has found ways to bleach, process, and instead. Still on supermarket shelves.” technology, Tradition, and grilled fish or meat to! The scandals, adulterated olive oils that are available reliably reported that 80 % of the Italian olive imported... The Italian problem is poor quality olive oil, deliberately mislabeled as Virgin or Extra Virgin high-quality,... Taste the work, love and care that went into creating GAEA’s incredible oil. Leave us wondering where we can trust may be mislabeled heart-healthy, ” found this be! Planet that we all share few lines, including aroma, texture, fruitiness, grilled... It 's reliably reported that 80 % of the Italian problem is affecting many popular Italian,... Not only are these oils contain chemical solvents and pesticides a consequence, an unexpected country has reaped:. That greed sometimes overcomes humanity to such an extent that they would jeopardize human! Low price should have tipped you Off Why, even after the scandals, adulterated olive oils like Gaea! Work, love and care that went into creating GAEA’s incredible olive oil Photo: Gaea with... Purported health benefits is constantly growing oils like the Gaea Oxymelo Lifehacker, the stamp of Italian import has been. Products we are being sold may be mislabeled may leave us wondering where can.

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