Update 2016: Olive Oil, Fraud, Food Allergies
Olive oil is my main cooking fat, baking, too and I even use it as a moisturizer, especially in winter when I get eczema (works wonders and no side effects), but how do I know that I’m really getting real olive oil? This isn’t something I would have questioned a decade ago, not until these stories started popping up.
2008 NPR - "Italian extra-virgin olive oil has become so lucrative that adulterated olive oil has become the biggest source of agricultural fraud problems in the European Union."
2008 Allergic Girl Blog story - "We came across cans of olive oil that were for sale in Connecticut that had, after testing, these other oils in there — peanut oil, soy oil, hazelnut oil..."
And last week, January 2016, CBS did another story on olive oil fraud yet again.
So unless you’re getting your EVOO straight for the mill’s tap (which I did do in Southern France; incredible cloudy miraculous special EVOO), what’s an Allergic Girl or Guy or Family to do? For me, I found one purveyor that I like and that is safe for me, Lucini. I asked them how do they ensure safety and this is their reply.
California Olive Ranch, the producer of both California Olive Ranch and Lucini Italia brands of extra virgin olive oil, prides itself on producing and selling only the highest quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Here are a just a few of the steps we take to ensure the quality and authenticity of our oil:
California Olive Ranch Brand
- All of our oil is California grown. We own three ranches (totaling about 5,000 acres) and work with over 60 area farmers who grow to our specifications on long term contracts
- We mill all of the oil sold under our brand at our facility in Artois, California
- We store all oil in nitrogen flushed, stainless steel tanks in a climate controlled environment to ensure quality
- Our oil is certified as Extra Virgin by the California Olive Oil council
- Our investment in traceability ensures we can trace the history of each bottle we sell to the tank it was stored in, and ultimately the fields that contributed to the tank
Lucini Italia Brand
- Every bottle of Lucini contains only 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil, and only that. We, along with our Italian family producers, take great pride in the quality of our products, as well as their authenticity
- The olives used for Lucini extra virgin olive oil are 100% Italian olives, harvested and crushed within 24 hours for optimal quality
- We store all Lucini oil on our producers’ estates in Italy in nitrogen flushed, stainless steel tanks in a climate controlled environment to ensure quality
- All lots of Lucini extra virgin olive oil are tested for quality and authenticity and pesticides in strict accordance to exceed both IOC and EC regulations
- We test each lot (at least) once quarterly at our lab in California for quality to ensure it matches our strict quality specifications, as well as conduct a secondary reference check for authenticity and pesticides. This is to verify the results provided continue to be accurate
- Each of our family producers have traceability capabilities which are tested annually to confirm traceability from the bottle to their supply
- Each of our family producers are randomly audited throughout the year by the EC for compliance with their regulations on quality, authenticity, labeling, and traceability
Contact your favorite EVOO about your needs.