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The olive, fruit of the olive tree, is used to make olive oil of any grade (quality). EVOO is the top grade oil because (1) it is purest and (2) it is rich in two key nutrients:
In the body, antioxidants and polyphenols offer protection against chronic disease including heart disease, vascular disease, stroke, and several types of cancer. These compounds also may help reduce the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, and minimize factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome. Research also shows that people who follow a Mediterranean Diet, (high daily consumption of EVOO), live longer, healthier lives with a much lower incidence of chronic illness.
In recent years, news outlets such as 60 Minutes, New York Times, and others have run stories on imposter Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Increased global demand for EVOO has exceeded supply. At the same time, new technology, global trade, and climate change have affected the harvest, production, and distribution chain for the oil. Finally, the rise of the agro-cartel caused the olive oil industry to succumb to fraudulent activity. The result is consumers around the world paying a high price for “extra-virgin” olive oil that has been “cut” with lesser quality or less expensive oils (such as sunflower and canola), or colored with chlorophyll to make it look authentic.
Unless you know what to look for, it’s likely you’ve been buying an imposter EVOO in the grocery store. The production of EVOO is an art form in European countries, much like cultivating grapes for wine. Many countries have Olive Oil Tastings, much like wine tastings. Depending on the harvest region, environmental conditions, and the process used to produce the oil, EVOO will vary in aroma, flavor, consistency, and slightly vary in its color.
Authentic and quality EVOO:
In addition to the delicate olive aroma, olive oil may have hints of asparagus or artichoke, or something akin to fresh-cut spring grass, but the “oliveness” should be evident. If your EVOO does not hold these characteristics, the industry pros suggest you return it to the store.
Also, be aware of these factors when selecting EVOO
Enjoy this oil in salad dressings, for marinating meat and veggies, or saute with fresh fish, tofu, or tempeh.
Place all listed ingredients in a jar with a lid. Store at room temp.