Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin, the very seal that the EU themselves protect. Think of it as the DOC for olive oil. It has the very same concept that designates the product to be produced and made from that specific origin with an additional restricted method. It is the procedure, regulation, and the processing that is thoroughly highlighted and defined in order for any evoo to have the D.O.P. mark. If you want 100% guaranteed authenticity, D.O.P. products are your best option. However, due to its strict and exhaustive procedure, quantity are also limited and mostly reserved for and by the locals; and the legitimacy of its higher marketed price. Generally depleted few months after harvest, D.O.P.’s are usually second to depletion to organic blends. Though unlike organics, D.O.P. would only require an “advanced” notice to increase in production (in order to make the deadlines necessary under the D.O.P. process)
How and what do we define “organic”? The definition found over wikitionary or Webster’s Merriam dictionary? Or “natural product”? How do we even resolve the term organic on a food product? Now that may be a little easier to dissect. The lack of any use of chemical additives in producing and processing a product. Although, I am not thoroughly accustomed to other products, in order to protect the farms from unwanted guests, pesticides are used. The question then is how much pesticides/chemicals are accepted under each organization to be labeled “organic”. For each organization, they vary in length (IOOC/EU/USDA), and we as consumers will not be able to tell the difference between the taste of organic v. regular to organic v. another organic with fewer pesticides. The choice once again is preference and the notion of whether paying more is ultimately better.
Light v. EL v. Virgin
Obesity has been and is still an ongoing problem here in the states. But I think we’re all making some progress whether it be in weight, size, or the strides we’ve made in being more food conscientious. The healthful changes we’ve made may exponentially improve our health, but furthering out assumption that whatever is labeled light, diet, sugar-free, or organic does not always prove to be the best choices.
Light, Extra Light, Virgin, or Pure. If you spot any of those words, except for “virgin” I a m attesting of those just labeled as “virgin olive oil” and not the more prevalent “extra-virgin olive oil”, stay away. The terms are not in description for the dietary means, but more or less in description of the color and characteristics of the olive oil. It is only termed as such because it’s been refined to the point that it doesn’t have the healthful benefits of an extra virgin olive oil. Many would easily overlook this labeling mistake and assume that it’s less fat or more healthful. Straight to the point, any and all oil is fat, just like all breads are high in carbs, therefore if you want to cheat yourself with imitation oil, you’d be saving your wallet and diet by avoiding it all together. Would you want a 100% organic or just 50% organic?
Grocery Evoo Hardly EV
More like lightly! Ooooh. We could hardly tell the age of an evoo at a grocery store these days, especially the national brands. Generally the USDA standard to qualify the status of an “extra-virgin” is having a value of less than zero point eight% oleic acidity, which means a zero point seven-nine% still qualifies. This is hardly quality enough to be used raw, which is why it’s exclusively for heating.
Adulterated Evoo: Exposed
Certainly people within the olive oil community are well aware of the event taken place two summers ago with developing stories about adulterated evoo. Having to have narrowed down the suspect, all fingers pointed mostly to Italy. Despite being the second biggest producer, it was much more evident between the rate of consumption as opposed to their production. Having to have consumed XXXXX % of the world’s olive oil, only XXX% have actually been produced. That statistic may not hold the key to rooting out the altercation, but it does show that they have imported XXXX% of their consumption. In order to keep up with demands, unfortunate bullocks have added some percentages of other lesser quality oils – not specifically from olives in some cases – therefore increasing supply and still labeling it as the hailed product of extra virgin olive oil. To a typical consumer, this mixture, or adulterated evoo are relatively difficult to distinguish. Alternatively, once the adulterated olive oil is measured on an acidity test, it is exploited of its quality and characteristics that will soon show what is actually in the olive oil. But not to worry, once the news got out, both the EU and the Italian government intervened and took necessary actions weaving out the culprits that tainted the culture, food, and people who put their life into creating the delicate masterpiece they each call one of their own.
Any rebuttals or corrections? I think the list could go on, but hopefully I’ve covered the basics!