“Most oils sold in the United States are fake,” says Larry Olmsted, author of Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It. Olmstead is the current guest on Mother Jones’ latest episode of Bite.
Whenever food is packaged and/or travels a long distance before arriving on our tables, there is a greater likelihood that some degree of fraud is at play.
Of all the food fraud occurring in the United States, “olive oil leads the way, making up 16 percent of cases (followed by milk, honey, saffron, and orange juice),” writes Maddie Oatman.
Since extra-virgin olive oil is the most valuable, shady producers and distributors go about defrauding consumers in three typical ways: by diluting real extra-virgin olive oil with other less expensive oils; by diluting high-quality with low-quality olive oil; or by simply making low-quality extra-virgin olive oil.