You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - and You're Stupid Olive Oil!


Posted on : 4:53 PM | By : Anonymous | In : ,

So I was talking to my sister the other day and she's very wary of foods and their health, like us, and she told me that my Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil probably isn't olive oil.  She said if I put it in the fridge it would harden if it was the real deal.  I thought, 'Well, if it looks like olive and it smells like olive... it must be olive, right?'  

I popped a bit of it in the fridge overnight.  Nothing.  Stayed perfectly liquid and I poured it directly into my frying pan to saute some exotic mushrooms.  So at which point was I wrong?  

Unfortunately, I was wrong when I bought the oil.  The truth is, according to CBC, labeling laws haven't really caught up with the olive oil industry.  Many, many companies are using cheaper filler oils like canola to sell a lower-cost product.  If you ignore the fraud and mislabeling, is this really a big deal, healthwise?  There is a pretty big difference between the two - canola has a higher proportion of polyunsatured fats and much less antioxidant properties.  When you buy extra virgin olive oil, you are supposed to be getting the first olive pressing, without any heat to destroy the health properties.  To summarize, I was purchasing a product specifically for these particular health benefits, and they diluted it with something that does the exact opposite.  Canola may be a not-unhealthy oil, but itis not found in nature.  CANOLA stands for Canadian Oil Low Acid, a variety of rapeseed bred in the 70's.  And you know me... if it's not found in nature, I pretty much stay away from it as much as I can. Canola simply doesn't have the same properties.

And now I'm mildly irritated because I have to take back some of what I said about Costco.  The brand I bought is Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin in the glass bottle that's supposed to come from Italy.  It's supposed to be highly recommended for flavor, lol.  And yes, olive oil is really supposed to harden in the fridge.  So Costco basically sold me a mislabeled item.  

What to do?  Well I'm going to finish off the bottle and then by that time I'll have moved and I can really start using Spud and I won't be buying the cheap stuff anymore.  Frugality is a tricky business because it's a difficult balance between quality and quantity.  You can only be so cheap before you start risking heart attacks.  I want to be frugal in other ways but I certainly don't want to be forced to be frugal with our food.  You get what you pay for.

Comments (7)

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The Dangers of Canola Oil


Wow great link... great information. I suppose my statement that canola is 'not unhealthy' isn't entirely accurate, is it?

I had to laugh at all the references to 'the Canadians' though, lol.

You're kidding me! olive oil is sacred in this house. Where the heck does the olive flavour come from?

And is their any loophole on your label?

There's no loophole on the label... the only thing it says is that it uses quality 'oils' from Italy and Tuscany. Maybe that's the loophole? Argh.

I would return to bottle to Costco, even if only to let them know that they are selling something that is wrongly labelled. (And to let them know that WE know.)

I've had this problem with cheap olive oil, too. Unfortunately, I've also had this problem with olive oil that wasn't so cheap. I guess the only thing you can do is find a brand and stick with it. Our co-op sells bulk olive oil that seems pretty good, but of course it is not cheap.

What is SPUD?

Spud is a local/organic food delivery service: