Monday, August 27, 2007

Olive oil — or not?

The New Yorker's got an interesting article on fake olive oil: "Slippery Business: The Trade in Adulterated Olive Oil."

What does that have to do with my kid's allergies? Well, just reading the first paragraph of the article gave me the shivers:
On August 10, 1991, a rusty tanker called the Mazal II docked at the industrial port of Ordu, in Turkey, and pumped twenty-two hundred tons of hazelnut oil into its hold. The ship then embarked on a meandering voyage through the Mediterranean and the North Sea. By September 21st, when the Mazal II reached Barletta, a port in Puglia, in southern Italy, its cargo had become, on the ship’s official documents, Greek olive oil.
We use olive oil all the time because it's supposed to be so good for you. My severely nut-allergic friend even used to add it to her son's food to get some extra good fat into him. Have we just been lucky all this time, that we didn't get any contaminated batches?

5 comments:

Allergic Girl said...

ok now that is seriously frightening....

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Oh.MY.Goodness. I swear nothing is safe these days...

Karen said...

UGH! We have ENOUGH to worry about! Thank goodness for mommas out there passing the word around!!

Chris said...

Thanks for this blog :)

I sent the link of this story (and that paragraph) to my large international yahoo group list. Hopefully by making folks aware of this, we will be able to help prevent or at least minimize this kind of crapola ...

There is A LOT of adulterated olive oil and olive pomace oil out there .. if you're on any of the soap maker lists you've probably seen it discussed recently on there.

In fact, myself and another local soap maker, whom I work closely with, had some locally distributed olive oil tested and found it to be adulterated with soy oil (heck, it was mostly soy with a wee bit of olive added - totally undisclosed on the label).

Luckily we have found a source for true blue unadulterated olive oil and olive pomace oil, but that hazelnut oil paragraph from that article highlights how, in addition to being a corrupt business practice, the misbranding of olive oil (and anything) can be potentially deadly to some.

It is REALLY scary to a momma like me who has a child that is literally DEATHLY allergic to hazelnuts (as well as all other tree nuts and peanuts) and it reveals an issue that goes well beyond the practice of undisclosed cutting of pomace and olive oils with cheap oils such as soy (which we know many folks are allergic to as well) .

BTW - not as a promo, but as a gesture of solidarity to all the allergic folks out there - I make 100% Olive Liquid Soap from tested to be pure organic extra virgin olive oil and I'm happy to send y'all a free sample size bottle of it. I know its hard to find real deal good stuff out there - this is why I make the stuff :)

catalina said...
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