In Italy, Bill Whitaker finds out that the long arms of the Mafia extend to agricultural products, especially olive oil, on which the mob makes huge profits by exporting imitations. Read More
Olive oil producers in the nation are troubled by draft legislation that would tinker with penalties for passing off counterfeit olive oil and its origin. Read More
By all reports, 2015 looks like a banner year for US (California specifically, since it produces 95% of all U.S. olive oil) olive oil production. 2014's harvest yielded 2.4M gallons but it appears 2015 will top 4M gallons, the largest ever. Total acreage planted to olives in California is approximately 57,000 acres, 35,000 of which is dedicated to oil production. The remaining 22,000 acres are used for table olives. Additionally, reports from the California Olive Oil Council show that 3,500 acres/year of new olive trees will be planted through 2020. From a national perspective, U.S. households consume 90M gallons per year, 2nd only to the EU, according to the American Olive Oil Producers Association. Read More
Statistics aside, the quality of American olive oils, extra virgin specifically, is gaining international attention. Besides having the lowest FFA (free fatty acid levels) at 0.5%, US oils are garnering more awards at International Competitions, such as the New York International Olive Oil Competition. This year the judges selected 251 World's Best Olive Oils from over 700 entries from 25 countries. 38 of those were from California. (NOTE: only extra virgin olive oils were judged).
There is still a great deal of controversy surrounding adulterated extra virgin oils coming into the US. As one might predict, with a consumption rate approaching 100M gallons per year, foreign imports make up the majority of suppliers to retail stores and restaurants. In his highly acclaimed book, "Extravirginity: the sublime and scandalous world of Olive Oil", Tom Mueller details how olive oil has been modified, adulterated, and blended with non-extra virgin oils but still labeled "extra virgin" for years, even centuries. If fact, UC Davis conducted a ground breaking study in 2011 where the top 15 selling EVOO s in California (from grocery stores throughout the state) were organileptically tested and tasted. Surprisingly, 70% were found to be defective, that is, not possessing the 0.5% FFA levels, the 20ppm peroxide level or less (oxidation) standard, and had tasting defects such as rancidity, mustiness, fustiness, muddy sediment, etc. Unfortunately for the US consumer, the USDA cannot enforce truth in labeling laws in this country due to the shear volume of olive oils imported.
So, to guarantee the highest quality extra virgin olive oil for your customer, always recommend a product where you know it's derivation (ie the grower, the varietals, the production methods, and handling procedures) and that it has been certified extra virgin. Of course crushed citrus oils and herb-infused oils cannot be considered extra virgin but those oils should stand up to crucial tasting standards (ie freshness, fruitiness, pleasant aftertaste). Left Coast Oils takes pride in the relationships it has with it's growers, producers, and bottlers to assure that only the highest quality product is offered to it's customers.
People in countries along the Mediterranean Sea not only have a lower incidence of heart disease, but are also less likely to get cancer than those living in North European and North American countries. This prompted researchers to review recent literature and determine if the wide array of components present in the Mediterranean diet influences the risk of cancer.
An article, published in the journal BMC Surgery, investigates the relationship between cancer risk and different components present in foods that are typical of the Mediterranean diet: olive oil, fruits, vegetables, seafood, whole grains, and wine. Read More
Check out a feel good story on a new concept in combining the opening of a new wine and olive oil store in Livonia, Mi. The owner of 50 Sips Wines", Nicole Grenon, describes her journey to this entrepreneurial venture and how Left Coast Oils caught her eye and changed her business model. Read More
VML Winery, a beautiful Russian River Winery 3 miles from Healdsburg, decided to augment it's world-class Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays with Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Vinegars from Left Coast Oils. Check out Christine Thomson's first olive oil blog to see how excited they are about the new additions to their tasting room. Certainly worth a stop at this gorgeous facility for tastings or a BYO picnic. They also feature music and food most weekends through the fall. Read Full Article
Christine Thomson | VML Winery | Sales & Wine Club Coordinator
4035 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448
direct 707-431-4443| tasting room 707-431-4404
Founder and owner, Tom Hunter, announced today that Left Coast Oils is focusing it's energy on providing value-added solutions for tasting rooms, not just in California, Oregon, and Washington but nationwide. Instead of offering other company's branded products (i.e. Olive oils and vinegars from XYZ company), Left Coast Oils is focusing on Brand extension to the winery. Read Full Article