Category: Processed Foods

Fake Olive Oil Is EVERYWHERE! Here Are 7 Popular Brands You Should Stop Buying NOW!

Fake Olive Oil Is EVERYWHERE! Here Are 7 Popular Brands You Should Stop Buying NOW!

Fake Olive Oil Is EVERYWHERE! Here Are 7 Popular Brands You Should Stop Buying NOW!

The olive oil in your kitchen is likely not what you think it is. 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.

In 2008, more than 400 Italian police officers conducted an operation called “Operation Golden Oil,” which resulted in 23 arrests and confiscation of 85 farms. Companies were adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and selling it as extra virgin olive oil. As a result of these raids, the Australian government decided to allow olive oil brands to submit their oils for lab tests, allowing them to certify companies as pure “extra-virgin olive oil.” Alas, every company failed to gain certification in 2012.

Prompted by all of these olive oil scams, researchers at the University of California decided to test 124 different samples from eight major brands of extra-virgin olive oil. Over 70% of the imported oils failed the test.

What does it mean when an oil fails an extra-virgin test? It essentially means that all of these oils claiming to be “extra-virgin” are actually cut with cheaper, lower-grade oils (like canola oil, sunflower oil or cola oil). The oil is then deodorized, coloured, and then flavoured and sold as “extra-virgin” oil to a producer. So it isn’t actually the company brand who is at fault here – it is the sneaky supplier at work.

The brands that failed to meet the extra virgin olive oil standards were:

– Bertolli
– Carapelli
– Colavita
– Star
– Pompeian
– Santa Sabina
– Primadonna
– Antica Badia
– Sasso
– Coricelli

Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Giant and Whole Foods also failed to meet the extra virgin requirements.

Filippo Berio, Mazola, Mezzetta, Newman’s Own, Safeway, and Whole Foods are also selling fake olive oil.

Brands that you can trust are:

– California Olive Ranch
– Cobram Estate
– Lucini
– Kirkland Organic
– Lucero (Ascolano)
– McEvoy Ranch Organic
– Bariani Olive Oil
– Corto Olive
– Ottavio
– Omaggio
– Olea Estates 100% extra virgin olive oil

1. Refrigerate the extra virgin olive oil. If it solidifies, it means that it contains mostly monounsaturated fat, which is good because extra virgin olive oil is mostly monounsaturated, and should grow more solid when cold. Putting your oil in the refrigerator will make it become thick and cloudy. If this doesn’t happen, it’s likely that your oil is not extra-virgin. This isn’t a fool-proof test, however, as the olive oils cut with lower grade oils also cloud over. If the oil you put in the fridge doesn’t thicken at all, though, then you know for sure that the oil is fake.

2. Extra virgin olive oil should be flammable enough to keep an oil lamp burning. However, this test isn’t that dependable, for the same reasons mentioned above. But if the oil doesn’t keep the wick of an oil lamp burning, you know that it contains mostly refined oils.

The best alternative is to buy from the above mentioned companies that you can trust, or, buy from local olive oil farmers. In the United States and Australia, there are certifications that you can look for on bottles. The seal denoting approval by the California Olive Oil Council is labelled as “COOC Certified Extra Virgin.” The Australian Olive Oil Association has a seal labelled as “Australian Extra Virgin Certified.” Other seals of approval are labelled from Italian Oliver Growers’ Association such as Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA) and UNAPROL.

California Olive Oil Council



fake olive oil

5 Dangers of Processed Foods

5 Dangers of Processed Foods

Processed foods are unhealthy, but not every processed food is bad for us.  Most of the foods that we eat are processed in some way.  Fruits and vegetables are picked from plants and cheese is created from milk.  There is a significant difference between mechanically processed food and chemically processed food.  The processed foods we are referring to as “bad” are made from refined ingredients and contain artificial substances.  These foods are not “real” and are dangerous to our health.  Here are some reasons why these foods are so bad for you:

  1. Processed Foods are High in Refined Carbohydrates

There is much controversy when it comes to carbohydrates in our diet.  Many people think that carbs should be eliminated from the diet while others believe that we should obtain the majority of our energy from carbs.  The one thing everyone can agree on is that carbohydrates from whole food sources are much better than those from refined carbohydrates.  Simple carbs are broken down quickly and can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels which can cause carb cravings hours later when blood sugar levels drop again.

  1. Foods that are Processed Are High in Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup

Processed foods are full of added sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  If a lot of sugar is often consumed, it can be very harmful.  It is empty calories with no required nutrients that can give you a lot of energy.  Sugar can have devastating effects on the metabolism that are much more dangerous than its caloric content.  It can cause insulin resistance, increase the levels of harmful cholesterol and increase fat accumulation around the stomach and liver.  It can also cause heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.  The extra sugar that people are eating is coming mainly from processed foods.

  1. Processed Foods Provide “Hyper Reward” which causes Over consumption

We have taste buds that are designed to help us to navigate food choices.  We tend to enjoy foods that are sweet, salty and fatty because we know that those are the foods that contain energy and nutrients needed for survival.  Food manufacturers want people to buy their products, so they have to make them taste good.  Most processed foods are designed to be very rewarding to our brain so that they are more desirable than natural foods.  Our brains are designed to regulate the balance of energy – how much we consume and the calories that we burn which is designed to keep us at a healthy weight.  We have started to eat more than we need, and this is causing a serious health epidemic.  Processed foods provide such a reward to our brain that they make us eat more until it makes us sick.  Food manufacturers have the goal to create these hyper-rewarding foods that lead to overconsumption.

  1. Processed Foods Contain many Artificial Ingredients

When you read the label to see what the ingredients are in processed food that is prepackaged, you are probably not going to know what some of the ingredients are.  Most of the ingredients are not real food, they are added chemicals including preservatives, colorants, flavouring, and texturants.

  1. People Can Become Addicted to Junk Food

Processed foods have a serious draw for some.  They can become addicted to these foods and lose control over how much they consume.  Food addiction is a tremendous problem in our society today because people cannot stop overeating these foods.  Their brain chemistry has been taken over by that dopamine release that they experience when they eat these foods.  Some junk foods activate the same areas of the brain as drugs like cocaine do.

If you read the label of processed food, you will see that you cannot pronounce most of the ingredients.  The bottom line is that this is very dangerous.  The answer is to consume only real food and avoid processed foods.