If you haven’t given any thought to the olive oil you’re using, you are likely missing out on some truly major health benefits. Not all oils are created equal!
Unfortunately, there is a lot of fraudulent olive oil out there that is mislabeled as extra virgin, even when it’s not. A 2010 study conducted by the University of California–Davis Olive Center, tested supermarket samples of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and concluded that more than 69% of olive oil labeled “extra virgin” did not meet the legal standard under law.
Why does it matter if your olive oil is “extra virgin”?
Premium extra virgin olive oil is the juice that comes from the first press of green olives, which means that they are not yet ripe. This first press is important because it contains tons of polyphenols – the naturally occurring antioxidants that have been proven over and over again to improve health, reduce risk of disease and increase longevity. You can read the most recent research on the subject here.
When I started Kosterina, I learned that it takes 12 pounds of unripe, green olives to produce each 500ml bottle of a premium extra virgin olive oil. I’ll say that again -- 12 pounds of olives to produce one bottle! In order to be deemed extra virgin, an oil must have 55 mg/kg of polyphenol content. Ultra premium oils can have much higher polyphenol content (Kosterina has over 500 mg/kg!) so that just 2-3 tablespoons per day can truly improve your health and longevity. Greeks consume 20 times more olive oil than Americans and I now feel obligated to teach the American consumer about the incredible health benefits of true extra virgin olive oil and how to identify the good stuff!
Taste your olive oil like an expert
So how is the average health enthusiast to know what’s real and what’s fake?
The only way you’ll find out is if you smell and taste your olive oil--similar to how you would taste a fine wine. Here’s how to taste olive oil like an expert and what to look for:
No fresh scent, no bitter or peppery taste and no cough? Toss it and upgrade! Don’t waste your time with lesser oils!