Olive oil is a very ancient oil and is a staple in many cupboards of kitchens in North America and abroad. Tom Mueller, New Yorker contributor and author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, shares how many of the bottles labeled “extra-virgin olive oil” on supermarket shelves have been adulterated and shouldn’t be classified as extra-virgin. The term “extra-virgin olive oil” means the olive oil has been made from crushed olives and is not refined in any way by chemical solvents or high heat. Mueller chronicles how resellers have added lower-priced, lower-grade oils and artificial coloring to extra-virgin olive oil, before passing the new adulterated substance along the supply chain. His research shows that 50-70 percent of the olive oil sold in the United States is, in some ways, adulterated.
Mueller’s passion for good olive oil has prompted his grassroots efforts to bring awareness to the world, not only about the fraudulent industrial oils, but to shine the spotlight on those olive oil makers who are making real extra-virgin olive oil. He updates his website truthinoliveoil on a regular basis and shares his findings on the good, bad and ugly of olive oil.
Extra Virginity is not only very informative, it is an enjoyable read learning about the cast of characters whose lives have taken them across the globe in their quest to create really great olive oil. His book and this interview will change the way you buy olive oil!