You think your olive oil is extra virgin, but is it really?

02/27/2012

Extra virgin olive oil has been my hair’s best-y for a minute now—for pre-pooing, oil rinsing, sealing, the list goes on. When my skin started acting the fool, I tried a number of things, including the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) with my beloved extra virgin olive oil.

For the unindoctrinated, OCM is the popular facial cleansing method in which a combination of oils is used in lieu of traditional cleansers. Nothing dissolves oil better than oil, yes? Plus, the skin benefits from all the fatty goodness found in oils like olive. Sounds good, except that in just 2 days of trying the OCM, I ended up with more zits than a friggin’ teenager. I chalked it up to one of those things that just wasn’t for me—then I came across this post at one of my fave blogs, Crunchy Betty.

The post referenced a recent UC Davis study in which a wide variety of olive oil brands were tested to see how “extra virgin” they actually were. Turns out up to 69% of those tested were fraudulently labeled. Lawd. Many failed because of:

  • “oxidation by exposure to elevated temperatures, light, and/or aging;
  • adulteration with cheaper refined olive oil;
  • poor quality oil made from damaged and overripe olives, processing flaws, and/or improper oil storage.”
The post also reveals how the olive oil we purchase at the market could be tainted or even cut with some other random oil. Translation, buying authentic and pure extra virgin olive oil is a crap shoot.
Here’s a list of the olive oil tested in the UC Davis Study, and the results:

Brands found to be fraudulently labeled as extra virgin

  • Whole Foods
  • Rachel Ray
  • Safeway
  • Newman’s Own
  • Colavita
  • Bertolli
  • Filippo Berio
  • Pompeian
  • Star
  • Carapelli
  • Mezzetta
  • Mazzola

Brands found to be accurately labeled as extra virgin

  • Kirkland Organic (Costco brand)
  • Corto Olive
  • California Olive Ranch
  • McEvoy Ranch Organic
Did your brand receive a passing grade?