As a staple of the tried and true Mediterranean Diet, it's widely accepted that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) provides a raft of health benefits with its high volume of anti-oxidants, polyphenols and vitamins. But does the average consumer get what they pay for?
Many of us have parents, friends and partners that simply purchase bottles and cans of European olive oil from supermarket shelves based on factors such as price, ease and the respective European-ness of the label (dark haired woman in red dress? rustic looking Tuscan farmhouse? et al).
Recent reports flowing out of Europe and the US regarding the mislabeling and mixing of inferior oils with 'extra virgin' product and general dodginess are alarming. The issue is so rampant in Italy that a name for these food meddling crooks has been created - they are know as the 'Agri-mafia'.
Some articles to consider from one of our favourite industry news sources the Olive Oil Times:
So, can Australians trust imported olive oil to deliver what they've paid for? Do statements like 'extra virgin' and 'product of Italy' hold any weight?
A recent article from The Sydney Morning Herald titled 'Imported 'extra virgin' olive oil increasingly failing quality tests' would suggest the answer is a big ripe, plump NO. If clicking another link was a bridge too far, the title really does tell the story. Best surmising the situation is a quote from Lisa Rowntree of the Australian Olive Association regarding the last 4 years testing "..the failure rate of imported oils labelled as EVOO has increased from 60 per cent to 85 per cent."
Where to now you ask? Well, the answer is right in front of you - Buy Australian Olive Oil!
Australian grown and pressed olive oil is a world class product with no criminal activity in the industry (that we know about). The Australian industry can hold their head high when it comes to international standards of quality, freshness and flavour.
We know our wonderful customers will often be wise to these issues, but your friends and family might not realise they're being fed false information and inferior products so get the word out via Facebook, email or homing pigeon that Australian extra virgin olive oil is the way to go. And if you happen to choose our extra virgin olive oil, we'll be EXTRA happy.