Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Allergies & Olive Oil
June 19, 2014 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Hi all. I've been diagnosed pretty recently with allergies severe enough to warrant carrying an epi-pen. For the purposes of this discussion, the only relevant allergy is to nuts.

Thing is, as we know from the Blue somewhere, olive oil is frequently counterfeited, often adulterated with hazelnut oil (among others).

Does anyone know of certified 100% came from an actual olive oils that are a) available in Toronto, b) not horrifically expensive, and c) following on from b, are cheap enough that I could cook with it on a daily basis?

I think I may lose my mind if I have to give up olive oil, as the expensive artisanal stuff is out of my budget and only good for finishing with anyway.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know if this is an easy to manage option for you, but I buy Kirkland organic from Costco, which has consistently tested as real, and has also never caused any reactions. I also have epipen level nut allergies.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 12:10 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]


If you have a Costco near you, the Kirkland brand olive oil is both good and reasonably priced. Here is an article about brands to pick up or avoid.
posted by skycrashesdown at 12:10 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty bullish on California Olive Ranch, it appears to be available in border towns in New York (fancy doing the customs hokey-pokey for Olive Oil?) They offer a delivery service that will replenish your olive oil on your schedule.

I like the flavor and it's good to cook with as well.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:14 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I don't know specific brands, but I've really only heard about this being a European problem - I haven't heard anything against North or South American olive oils. Granted, a lot of the research into olive oil adulteration seems to come out of UC Davis, so it's possible it's slanted. But anyway, when I don't have the option of buying a brand I know well, I generally go for a California or Chilean oil.
posted by mskyle at 12:48 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Kirkland from Costco is absolutely an option via people I know with Costco memberships. Thank you!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:55 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Here is a story about authenticity in olive oil, based on an evaluation done at UC Davis that is no longer available online.
Independent tests at the University of California found that 69% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the US are probably fake.(3) This study reported that the following brands failed to meet extra virgin olive oil standards:

Bertolli
Carapelli
Colavita
Filippo Berio
Mazzola
Mezzetta
Newman’s Own
Safeway
Star
Whole Foods

.....

The same University of California study listed the following brands as having met their standards for being true extra virgin olive oil.

Corto Olive
California Olive Ranch
Kirkland Organic
Lucero (Ascolano)
McEvoy Ranch Organic
Pompeian
So, yeah, Costco brand is good if you can get it
posted by I am the Walrus at 1:04 PM on June 19 [12 favorites]


As a fellow tree nut and peanut allergic person with many, many epipens, I wanted to toss out some reassurance--generally speaking, highly refined oils have the protein (and thus the allergens) stripped out of them. Last time I accidentally ate something with peanuts in it, it took two epipens to stop my throat closing up, but I'm sitting here right now eating chips that were cooked in peanut oil.

Hazelnut oil and other nut oils sold as finishing, unrefined, or aromatic oils are definitely in the do not consume category, as are many imported peanut oils (Chinese peanut oil, in particular, is significantly less refined so as to retain more of a peanut taste). But if something's being used as a filler in olive oil, it's probably pretty refined, since they want it to pass for olive oil, not hazelnut oil.

So while I wouldn't make a practice of eating oils that are listed at fraudulent, if you're at a friend's house or a restaurant and they're serving something with olive oil, you're probably safe to eat it. I've used quite a few of the sketchy-oil brands without issue, and while it's not a lot of data, I figured it might be reassuring.
posted by MeghanC at 1:37 PM on June 19 [5 favorites]


For some reason my response was deleted. So I'll try in a shorter way that expands on why I'm asking this question to begin with:

Friday night I had a serious reaction to something I ate. The only variable (I had eaten all the other ingredients earlier in the day) was olive oil. So yeah, I'm a bit gunshy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:24 PM on June 19


I'm pretty bullish on California Olive Ranch

I use this oil as well. I buy it at Safeway, so you can probably find it at a regular grocery store by you. The Sweethome says it's tested to be real olive oil.
posted by bluefly at 2:37 PM on June 19


So while I wouldn't make a practice of eating oils that are listed at fraudulent, if you're at a friend's house or a restaurant and they're serving something with olive oil, you're probably safe to eat it. I've used quite a few of the sketchy-oil brands without issue, and while it's not a lot of data, I figured it might be reassuring.

Also, as I recall, most of the sketchy oils in that list were either old (rancid) or had too high an acidity level to pass as extra virgin, not necessarily adulterated with other oils.
posted by mr vino at 3:53 PM on June 19


Thirding California Olive Ranch. It's real olive oil and it is mighty tasty.
posted by Ruki at 6:34 PM on June 19


One way to tell for sure is to look for a DOP or IGP label with a serial number, as on the neck of the Costco extra virgin olive oil.

Without it, prefer to buy from brands grown and produced entirely within the USA and/or Canada, as they have stricter controls when a product is sold domestically, than when importing a product from elsewhere, but be sure to look up a brand before you buy it to see if anyone else has had trouble with allergies.
posted by WasabiFlux at 7:59 PM on June 19


Thank you for the reassurance, MeghanC, and it is very much appreciated, but last week I ended up in the ER (on the advice of a doctor) based on something I'd eaten. Every single other thing on that plate I had eaten earlier in the day without any adverse reaction--except the olive oil that I'd borrowed from my upstairs neighbour. So while yeah I get that just because you have an allergy doesn't mean you'll always react--your 500th exposure can be fine, while your 501st can be the one that sends you into anaphylaxis--simple process of elimination leaves that particular olive oil as the culprit.

And I am deeply sad that I no longer get to eat nutella, make hazelnut or pistachio oil vinaigrettes, etc. I'm trying not to be too crazy about it but olive oil is the main fat I use for cooking, so I want to be sure I'm not going to break out in hives/go into anaphylaxis every time I make myself dinner, you know?

Oh god haha my response wasn't deleted, some idiot didn't hit 'post' instead of 'preview.' Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:19 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Walrus, the story cited uses "fake" to mean not extra virgin, not oils other than olive.

"This study reported that the following brands failed to meet extra virgin olive oil standards...."
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:27 AM on June 20


« Older I borrowed a classmate's folde...   |  Hello, everyone, I'm looking f... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments