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How to avoid olive oil fraud

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 20:35:26-05

Do you buy olive oil for your health? Turns out that olive oil you buy in the supermarket may not be real olive oil at all. So we wanted to share with you how to avoid a ripoff.

Business is booming at olive oil shops.

The Semertzides brothers, with shirts that say olive oil snob, sell their family's Greek olive oil to shoppers looking for the real thing.

A recent string of investigative reporters from 60 Minutes to Forbes magazine claim that much of the extra virgin olive oil sold in supermarkets is not the real thing.

The reports, and several recent lawsuits, claim many brands and blends of olive, sunflower and canola oils.

Manos and Nick shared with me samples of dozen different flavors of true olive oil imported from their family's olive grove on the Greek island of Crete.

So how do you know that you are getting the real thing? The folks here say the smaller the producer, the better.

Recent investigations say watch for the terms "imported from" or "packed in Italy." Those things often mean oil from multiple countries.

They also say that if it is the cheapest on the shelf, you risk a better flavored blend.

What about the law? There is no specific federal standard defining extra virgin olive oil, like there is for organic food.

So you have to be diligent, so you don't waste your money.