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Lisa Radinovsky
Unfortunately, olive oil is such a valuable and valued commodity that some
criminals do seek to exploit the public's desire for its unique flavor and
impressive health benefits. However, I find it disturbing to see this article
copied and reworked all over the internet, immediately, while dozens of
articles about the accomplishments of olive oil producers and companies, the
growing number of scientific studies providing evidence that olive oil can help
fight off dozens of serious diseases, and so much more positive news about the
olive oil world shows up far less frequently. (I don’t mean in Olive Oil Times;
I mean in the media overall.) Yes, olive oil fraud is a problem, but no, that
fraud does not deserve the prominence it gains when a comparatively small group
of criminals takes advantage of consumers, given that hundreds of olive oil
companies in Greece alone are working hard to produce an authentic, high
quality, healthy product that deserves to be purchased and appreciated.
Consumers need to learn how to identify authentic extra virgin olive oil,
partly by looking at labels (for the specific place of production and bottling,
the harvest date, and the grade, such as extra virgin) and partly by smelling
and tasting the oil (to detect a fruity aroma and perhaps something like freshly
cut grass or tomato leaves--or many other possibilities depending on the olive
variety, but nothing musty or moldy). And if the price seems too good to be
true, it probably is. Buyer, beware—but don’t give up on olive oil because a
limited number of criminals commit fraud, any more than you’d give up on great
paintings because a limited number of criminals commit fraud.