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Old 07-16-2012, 12:35 PM   #21
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For baking, canola, also stirfry. Coconut oil sometimes for stirfry. Coconut oil for popcorn, it just has such a great "lightness" to it, makes the popcorn taste a bit more "corny" sprinkle with a little fine salt and it is exactly the way I like it. I buy virgin coconut oil and it smells and tastes lightly of coconut, but once used in a recipe, the flavor really isn't detectable.

Olive oil if I'm going to sweat garlic or onions over a lower heat.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:50 PM   #22
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I heard just because of this one little study,CA & other american EVOOs should be bought.

I think it was a pointless study to try & convince americans to get rid of imported EVOOs & only buy american.
It wasn't pointless. In fact, the first thing you report in publishing a study is "the point" of it. The authors were very up front about the motivation for the work. The first line of the Introduction was:

While there are many excellent imported and domestic extra virgin olive oils available in California, our findings indicate that the quality level of the largest imported brand names is inconsistent at best, and that most of the topselling olive oils we examined regularly failed to meet international standards for extra virgin olive oil.

And it is indeed within the mission of the UC Davis Olive Center to promote California olive oils. The fact that the study suggests that popular European EVOO's are more likely to fail to meet international standards is really no surprise. The best-selling brands deal in large quantities. Something that cuts cost by a tiny fraction generates a large increase in profit if the quantities are large enough. (If you work out a way to save 1/100-cent on each gallon of Coke syrup, you save the company just a little less than $20-million a year.) And working with large quantities both makes it more likely that substandard oil will make it into the production chain, and those issues represent cheaper costs, wither intentional or as simply a fact when the bottler's bulk buyers are shopping price, too.

It is difficult to say from the results of testing if failures are more due to adulteration with refined oil or more due to spoiled oil. The indicators are much the same. I am more inclined to suspect it's spoiled oil. EVOO is a commodity, and the price fluctuates by as much as 4% a month, so the is likely some holding and speculation. But for this situation to exist, there must be a very large olive oil industry, as there is in Europe. These problems are far less likely to exist in California or other U.S. OO producing regions. They can quickly sell all they can produce. With any sort of reasonable handling, it doesn't have time to spoil. And the growing operations are so small, relative to the vast combined growing operations in Europe, so there are no questionable crops being fed into co-ops.

I have no doubt that had the more artisanal European grower brands, generally too small to be exported much, be tested, they would be similar to the California brands in the terms of the study. What we take from the study is something that should be of no surprise at all. Whenever a food commodity is of high value, and there is an opportunity to use poorer quality product or to deliberately adulterate the product, it will happen. Orange juice concentrate is another classic case, a far more sinister one.

And plain sense should tell us that there is a limit to the cost saving that can be realized by large scale, especially when import costs are added. If I buy Pompeian EVOO, I assume the much lower cost carries with it some compromises, and indeed I can taste that compromise. The problem is, as you ask, that it's not really possible for evaluate an oil in a sealed bottle. But if I want pure, fresh EVOO, and don't have specific inside information about a company's practices, my best chance is with domestic grower brands. But we can, most of us, tell the difference between cheap EVOO's and the more reliable and more expensive brands. Luncini came out well in the tests. Colavita did not, but I do like their Frutata EVOO, their expensive oil, and therefore probably less adulterated and more carefully produced.

And I don't doubt that if we had U.S. production anything like Europe's, we would see similar quality issues. The Davis Center could have argued exactly these points strictly from business logic and a knowledge of the olive oil industry, and it would make sense, but an analytical basis was far more credible.

And I don't discount the fact that the very large exporters likely shoot for a rather bland flavor, trying to please, or at least not displease, everyone, which is definitely not the road to best flavor. That might well have some effect on professional tasters. It does on me, and I'm far from their level.

And I should here link to the report, if someone's wondering what we're talking about.

http://static.oliveoiltimes.com/libr...vis-report.pdf
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #23
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I quit using canola oil when I discovered that it is GMO (genetically modified).
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GLC View Post
...

And I don't discount the fact that the very large exporters likely shoot for a rather bland flavor, trying to please, or at least not displease, everyone, which is definitely not the road to best flavor. That might well have some effect on professional tasters. It does on me, and I'm far from their level.
I agree! Even in Italy the major brands tend to propose bland (well, delicate...) tasting olive-oils for the same reason.
I'm too lazy to read the report, but I strongly support every attempt to defend the quality of food. Even if I believe that the main defense is the wisdom of the consumer: a mix of education, good taste and experience in having tasted many different varieties of the same food.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #25
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That's what's so nice about today's appearance of small production brands in mainstream grocery stores. For so long, all we got were the major labels. In tomatoes, we used to get only the two U.S. giants and, of you were lucky, Contadina. Now, the major grocer in my state always has at least three more much higher quality lines. And the olive oils and vinegars occupy maybe sixteen feet of seven-foot high shelves. They even now have their own store brand (branded under their upscale store name) EVOO in varietals like Frantoio and Arbequina from Chile and Arbosana from the United States and Italian regional oils.

The top end of consumer sophistication is much higher. One U.S. grocer that has been aggressive in private label reported what they've done.

“Because of this, we’ve required written assurances that our Wegmans Brand olive oils labeled Product of Italy are in fact from Italy and are Extra Virgin… Now, we’re taking this assurance one step further for our Wegmans Brand regional Extra Virgin oils, with certification seals designating the Italian region where the olives were grown, pressed and packed. There is now a round certifying seal on the front label. For instance, Sicilian and Campagnan oils are certified by the D.O.P, Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin), while Tuscan oils are certified through I.G.P. (Protected Geographical Indication.) … Lest you think certifications are only in Italy, there is also a Greek EVOO from the Sitia region that’s also D.O.P. certified.”
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:43 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
I quit using canola oil when I discovered that it is GMO (genetically modified).
Sorry, Greg. Not any more GMO than apples, tomatoes, watermelons, grapes, or any other fruit/vegetable you're likely to find in the produce section. I've read this a few times, and found that most sources that make this claim have no clue what they are talking about.

Canola was created in the 1970s through selective breeding of the rapeseed plant to produce a variety low in erucic acid. Selective breeding has been going on for thousands of years (often without any human intervention) and involves cross-pollination, plant propagation, and other benign techniques to produce a plant that has desirable traits.

There's a big difference between selective breeding and what we now call "genetic engineering" - that is, altering DNA by splicing in foreign genes to bring out this or that trait in plants and animals.

Now that isn't to say that all canola oils are non-GMO. There are certainly some varieties that have been created in a lab. Most notably, Monsanto has a "Roundup Ready" variety of canola that was engineered at the gene level to resist the herbicide.

Here are a few sources that dispel some of the myths:
Is Canola Oil Hazardous to Your Health? [p. 3]
Nutrition Diva : Is Canola Oil Healthy? :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC View Post
“...
For instance, Sicilian and Campagnan oils are certified by the D.O.P, Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin), while Tuscan oils are certified through I.G.P. (Protected Geographical Indication.) … Lest you think certifications are only in Italy, there is also a Greek EVOO from the Sitia region that’s also D.O.P. certified.”
These labels are ruled by European Union, so you can find "labeled" food from all over Europe, even if the great part of DOP/PDO and IGP/PGI food comes from Italy (about 270, more then 40 different olive oils).
Producers today can take advantage of their good practices, because consumers now can more easily identify a quality product than in the past, looking for the EU label. Even if not all of the quality-labeled products are always excellent, they are all surely made complying with the "disciplinare", which sets all the guidelines which must be followed to show the mark on their products.
And this kind of policy encouraged pools of producers and organization across Italy to defend specific traditional food of every kind, from Abbacchio romano to Parmigiano reggiano, from Garda EVOO to traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #28
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Buonasera,

Firstly, similar to Luca, I live in an Olive & Olive Oil Producing E.U. nation, and this is an enormous business, with a huge success in exporting.

Olive Oil and Evoo are produced in numerous Designation of Origins throughout the Iberian Peninsula:

1. Sevilla
2. Cordóba
3. Girona
4. Tarragona
5. La Rioja
6. Navarra
7. Barcelona
8. Jaén ( Baeza, Jaén, Ubeda, La Cazorla )
9. Málaga
10. Extremadura
11. Castilla La Mancha
12. Andalusia
13. Murcia
14. Almería
15. Huelva

* to name a few ...

I believe it depends on:
a. which type of dish
b. color and aromas
c. type of olive for example: 100% hojiblanca, 100% arbequina, 100% Picual and / or a blend
d. personalised preferences

I use Spanish Olive Oil when in Spain, and Italian when in Puglia, however, the olive oils I purchase are all high quality and pair well with what I require. I also am very fond of Sicilian olive oils. Emilia Romagna, Molise and Marche olive oils are quite extraordinaire too.

I also have some stunning Greek Olive Oil for my Greek classics ...

My suggestion: Contact olive growers who produce oils for a tasting of their oils ... A truly fun activity too ...

Kind regards, and thanks for interesting post.
Margaux Cintrano.
I have about 6 various olive oils at all times ...
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Sorry, Greg. Not any more GMO than apples, tomatoes, watermelons, grapes, or any other fruit/vegetable you're likely to find in the produce section. I've read this a few times, and found that most sources that make this claim have no clue what they are talking about.

Canola was created in the 1970s through selective breeding of the rapeseed plant to produce a variety low in erucic acid. Selective breeding has been going on for thousands of years (often without any human intervention) and involves cross-pollination, plant propagation, and other benign techniques to produce a plant that has desirable traits.

There's a big difference between selective breeding and what we now call "genetic engineering" - that is, altering DNA by splicing in foreign genes to bring out this or that trait in plants and animals.

Now that isn't to say that all canola oils are non-GMO. There are certainly some varieties that have been created in a lab. Most notably, Monsanto has a "Roundup Ready" variety of canola that was engineered at the gene level to resist the herbicide.

Here are a few sources that dispel some of the myths:
Is Canola Oil Hazardous to Your Health? [p. 3]
Nutrition Diva : Is Canola Oil Healthy? :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™
Nope. Canola oil was originally developed using traditional cross breeding techniques, and then was subsequently genetically modified in 1995 for herbicide resistance.

Quote:
Canola Quick Facts
Canola Facts: Why Growers Choose GM Canola

Here are some key facts on growing genetically modified (GM) canola in Canada.

GM or transgenic canola varieties have been modified to be resistant to specific herbicides. They are called herbicide-resistant varieties. The plants are modified, but the oil is not modified. It is identical to canola oil from non-modified or conventional canola.

Herbicide-resistant GM canola is grown on about 80% of the acres in western Canada. GM canola was first introduced in 1995.

In conventional canola, there are some weeds that are difficult to control. Growers choose herbicide-resistant canola varieties primarily because weed control is easier and better. Other reasons growers choose herbicide-resistant canola are better yields, better returns and more profit...

article from Canola Council of Canada
I have no problem with cross breeding but I have no desire to eat GMO cooking oil when there are plenty of non-GMO alternatives that are as good or better. Furthermore I believe GMO products are a serious risk to the environment, and present unknown dangers to humans who consume them.

Here's some interesting articles I Googled up about GMO canola escaping into the environment:

Genetically Modified Crop on the Loose and Evolving in U.S. Midwest: Scientific American
GMO Canola Growing Wild in Switzerland | Care2 Healthy Living
Genetically Modified Canola 'Escapes' Farm Fields : NPR

We have thousands or tens of thousands of years of experience in the effects of humans consuming conventional (non-GMO) vegetable and animal oils. We have many decades or centuries of scientific research investigating the effects of natural oils on humans.

We have mere years investigating the effects of consuming GMO canola or the effects of releasing such an organism in nature. At the present time nobody knows what the long term effects will be.

I'd like to say I'll eat no "Frankenfood" but sadly GMO is finding it into all our food products, particularly package food and convenience food. So I guess everybody including me is going to be forced to eat GMO food, but at least I can avoid GMO cooking oil by not using canola.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Nope. Canola oil was originally developed using traditional cross breeding techniques, and then was subsequently genetically modified in 1995 for herbicide resistance.
Greg. Not ALL canola is GMO. Some is, but you seem to imply that all of it is, and that simply is not true. It's this sort of misinformation that only perpetuates urban legends.

Whole Foods sells non-GMO canola oil. The brand I buy is even USDA certified organic.

Believe me, I'm probably the last person to eat GMO anything.
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