Washington Post: FDA Pressured to Combat Rising “Food Fraud” –March 30, 2010 (Print: Page A1) Online Link.
In a nutshell, what is labeled ‘extra virgin olive oil’ on the grocery store shelves may actually be modified with “low-grade soybean oil, colored with chlorophyll and flavored with beta carotene”. We could get into a long discussion on supply and demand, and how Italy’s consumption plus the exported product totals far more more olive oil than they produce—and whether the junk is dumped in the U.S. Instead, let’s look at two methods of production and bottling.
While olives are harvested between October and January, in Italy, the pipeline from plant to grocery store must be continuously supplied throughout the year. What do you do if you don’t have enough supply? Do those producers modify their products? One wonders.
At Olio2go: our suppliers run out. The harvest is the harvest. They pick, press, and bottle—most often, on their own estate. The pipeline is not continuous throughout the year. With each coming harvest we do our best to assess our needs for the coming year. As we approach summer and place additional orders with our producers, they often can’t be filled. There’s no more oil.
So, when you are staring at the shelf in the grocery store, it is fair to consider the authenticity of the mass produced product. As you consider the label and the price, give thought to journey from field to store.
We support petitions to the FDA for better standards to “which would make it possible for companies to sue competitors that sell and adulterated product.”