A Brief Explanation of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the grade of oil which freely flows from an olive simply by squeezing it, using only mechanical means. Unlike lower grades of olive oil, no heat, chemicals, solvents or filters can be used during the oil extraction process (all of which severely damage the flavor and health benefits of olive oil.
- EVOO is a “superfood”. It is one of the healthiest additions you can make to your everyday diet. If you eat at least 2 tablespoons of raw, unheated EVOO each day, you should begin to enjoy the tremendous health benefits of olive oil which include reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, digestive issues and inflammation.
- The problem is that fresh, delicious and authentic EVOO is not easy to find at an affordable price. Most moderately priced imported national brands of EVOO are adulterated and do not meet the US or international quality standards. This means they are old, poorly made, mixed with inferior grades of olive oil, or in the worst cases are blended with non-olive oils. Any dishonest producer/importer can write “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” on their label and they know they will not be caught because there is no testing and enforcement of quality standards in the United States. In fact, an independent lab analysis conducted by UC Davis in 2010 of popular EVOOs being sold in California supermarkets revealed that almost 70% of the olive oils labeled EVOO in fact did not meet EVOO minimum standards. This is staggering proof that a consumer must demand to know more about the origin, age, and quality of the EVOO they are buying.
- In order to make an intelligent decision on what olive oil to buy, more information is better than less. At a minimum, the label should clearly show when the olives were harvested, where they were grown, and what olive varieties were used. And it helps to learn as much as you can about the producer – do they have a website and are they intimately involved in the farming, production and sale of this EVOO? The more information you have the better decision you will make.
- There is a price and quality revolution going on right now in the olive oil business, and it’s happening right in our own backyard! California is becoming a new player in the growth of olives and production of high quality EVOO. New advances in planting techniques, cultivation practices, harvesting methods and extraction techniques are bringing the quality up and the prices down of high quality domestically produced EVOO.
- VIRGIN CALIFORNIA is one of the new breed of California producers who is raising the bar on quality while keeping the price affordable enough for everyone to begin enjoying the outstanding taste and health benefits of genuine EVOO. Compare our three varietal EVOOs next to the imported guys and you’ll be impressed…and be supporting our economy as well!