Articles & Features

October 2018

Three part series on Olive Oil Making in California, produced by Good Day Sacramento at the beautiful  Seka Hills.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

September 2018
Olive Oil – Enjoy it now.
An article highlighting several producers from the booming olive oil producing area of California’s Central Coast.
https://pasowine.com/olive-oil/

May 2018

Roberta Klugman Receives the 2017 California Olive Oil Council Pioneer award

Industry veteran joins roster of distinguished olive oil pioneers

Monterey, Calif.—In receiving the California Olive Oil Council’s (COOC) 2017 Pioneer Award, Roberta Klugman, who began advocating as an educator and tastemaker for extra virgin olive oil in the 1980s, and who has supported the COOC for over 20 years, joins a distinguished list.

“I have been championing extra virgin olive oil since my early career when I was working at Narsai’s Market in Kensington, California when quality oil was found only at few specialty food shops.” Klugman says. She has been advocating for extra virgin olive oil ever since and has been an active participant in the resurgence of what now is the California olive oil industry

“Educating American food professionals, chefs, and consumers about extra virgin olive oil has been a passion of mine,” she says. Even before there was a COOC, she showcased California olive oils to chefs and consumers alike. While at the American Institute of Wine & Food, Klugman made a point of including California EVOO at international conferences on gastronomy, chapter programs, Smithsonian Associates travel programs, industry seminars, and consumer classes.

Klugman has served on the Board of the COOC, heading up strategic planning and marketing initiatives. Over the years, she created olive oil seminars with Les Dames d’Escoffier, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the San Francisco Professional Food Society and at businesses such as Google. She promotes olive oil whenever she can to everyone. Linda Sikorski, senior buyer at Market Hall Foods, noted when presenting the award to Klugman, “Just go out to dinner with Roberta and see. If the chef is not already into California olive oil, she’ll make a convert!”

“I have had the good fortune of working with and learning from many visionaries in the industry over the years,” Klugman says. She adds that the growers and millers are doing the heavy lifting that has catapulted California olive oil into national and international attention and most importantly, made it available across the country.With their commitment to meeting and exceeding standards, “Our oils now hold their own with the most respected extra virgin olive oils in the world.”

Klugman says her ongoing mission has three components: Everyone should have three EVOOs in their kitchens and use it abundantly, in all manner of cooking, destroying the myth of not cooking with EVOO; recipes should call for extra virgin olive oil, not simply olive oil; and everyone should know to look for that harvest date and the COOC Seal.

The Pioneer Award was established in 1999 to recognize those who have made a major contribution to the California olive oil industry and the COOC. Klugman says she is honored to find herself among previous pioneers who represent innovative growers, producers, culinary educators, and tastemakers. “To do what you believe in and love is in itself rewarding,” she says. “To be recognized in this manner by others with a deep understanding of the industry is a highlight of my career.”

 

April 2018

Olive Oil Prices Slip in EU

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-business/europe/olive-oil-prices-slip-in-european-markets/62564?utm_source=Olive+Oil+Times&utm_campaign=3456aeb5f2-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfd25322ac-3456aeb5f2-213159145

E.U. Requests Feedback on Labeling
https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-business/europe/european-commission-requests-feedback-on-labeling-rules/62582

Europe Launches Knowledge Centre to Tackle Food Fraud
https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-business/europe-launches-knowledge-centre-to-tackle-food-fraud/62614?utm_source=Olive+Oil+Times&utm_campaign=2ece682541-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfd25322ac-2ece682541-213159145

Bertolli to Pay 7 Million in Federal Court Settlement

The maker of Bertolli olive oil agreed in April in California federal court to pay $7 million and alter its packaging and testing procedures to end a class action alleging misrepresentations about the product’s origin and “extra virgin” quality.

Under the terms of the settlement, Deoleo USA Inc. will not use the allegedly misleading phrase “imported from Italy” from its olive oil bottles unless the products are made only with olives grown and pressed in the country. Deoleo also agreed to implement stricter testing standards for the olive oil.

March 2018

Generation Z Consumes Most Organics

https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/members-generation-z-consume-most-organics/

 

Judge Approves Settlement in Safeway Case

A California judge confirmed that she approved Safeway’s settlement that provides a class of store-brand olive oil buyers with a $1.50 voucher or 50 cents cash and awards their attorneys $1.42 million in fees and expenses, resolving allegations the grocery store chain falsely labeled olive oil as “imported from Italy.”

 

LA Times Article on Potential Agricultural; Trade War

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-trade-war-agriculture-20180302-story.html

 

American Market for Bulk Oil Grows

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-business/winners-losers-growing-american-market-bulk-imports/62346

 

ABC Explores Effect of Climate Change on Italian Olive Oil Production

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-making-and-milling/abc-news-explores-effect-climate-italian-olive-oil-production/62014

November 2017

Demand for California Olive Oil Continues to Rise
From Daily Democrat, the Golden State is on track to produce a record amount of olive oil this year and growers in the business say they should have no problem clearing their inventory, as Americans’ appetite for California olive oil continues to outstrip supply.

The 4 Best Spots to Taste Olive Oil in Napa
The San Francisco Chronicle shares its selections for experiencing California olive oil in the Napa Valley.

The USDA Forecasts That the World Production of Olive Oil Will Increase up to 2.7 Million Tons This Campaign
From Mercacei, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that world production of olive oil in the 2017/18 season will increase to 2.7 million tons, recovering slightly from the previous season.

October 2017

California Wildfires Not Expected to Impact Record Olive Oil Production Year
The 2017 harvest is on track for a record production of 4.3 million gallons, according to the California Olive Oil Council.

August 2017

COOC’s Patricia Darragh: 20 Years With California Olive Oil
COOC’s own Patricia Darragh discusses advances in standards and education, and her own fiery passion for the olive oil industry with Olive Oil Times.

May 2017

Antioxidants of EVOO Retain their Beneficial Properties When Used in Fried Foods
Summary of a study by researchers at University of Jaén published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society which found extra virgin olive oil to be the best choice for frying as it retained its nutritional value and exhibited the least amount of degradation as compared to peanut and canola oil.

March 2017

3 Small-Batch, American-Made Olive Oils to Rival Italy’s Finest
A round-up of California olive oils with food pairing suggestions from Bon Appetit.

February 2017

Butter or Olive Oil? Eggs or No? New Nutritional Review Cuts Through the Myths.
From the Washington Post, a review of findings from a panel of physicians and researchers recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

When Does Olive Oil Lose Its Virginity?
From the Olive Oil Times, a review of different factors affecting the determination of olive oil quality over time.

Olive Oil Prices Are Surging in Europe — Will Your Next Bottle Come From California?
MarketWatch looks at how the limited supply of oil from Europe is increasing demand for California oil.

You May Be Buying “Fake” Extra-Virgin Olive Oil — Here’s How to Stop
Popsugar gives tips to ensure the oil you are buying is the real deal.

California Olive Oil Council Marks 25th Anniversary
International Supermarket News recognizes the COOC and its celebration of 25 years of work within the California olive oil industry.

December 2016
Understanding Olive Oil
Sunset Magazine breaks down what to look for and how to interpret information when shopping for olive oil.

October 2016
Tasting California Olive Oil
From Visit California, a guide to visiting olive oil tasting rooms across the state.

September 2016
The True Test of Olive Oil Quality
A COOC-sponsored post on ModernFarmer.com which looks at how sensory science is used to assess the quality of olive oil.

A Well-Oiled Vineyard 
Wine Enthusiast Magazine provides a look at several California wineries that also produce olive oil.

Is Your Olive Oil Counterfeit?
Life Extension Magazine offers an in-depth look into the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, particularly the polyphenol content, and explains why seeking fresh, quality oil is so important.

August 2016
Your Olive Oil is Almost Certainly Fake
Larry Olmsted, author of the new book Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It is the guest on this episode of the Mother Jones podcast Bite. During the program, he points out tips to ensure the olive oil you purchase is in fact extra virgin, including shopping for oil with the COOC Seal.

July 2016
Most of Us Are Blissfully Ignorant About How Much Rancid Olive Oil We Use
Shining light on many of the quality concerns affecting American consumers with sensory tips to discover the difference between real and fake extra virgin olive oil.

You’re Eating a Lot of Fake, Rotten Olive Oil — Here’s How to Find the Real Stuff
Larry Olmsted, author of the new book Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It explains to Tech Insider how to ensure the quality of the olive oil you’re purchasing.

April 2016
Meet the Food Makers That Think You Don’t Trust Them
From MarketWatch, a look into ensuring the foods you purchased are, in fact, what they claim to be.

U.S. Congress Directs FDA to Test Imported Olive Oils
Olive Oil Times: The U.S. House Agricultural Committee directed the FDA to look into creating a sampling and testing system for imported oils and to report back to Congress on its findings.

U.S. Wins 50 Awards at International Olive Oil Competition
Olive Oil Times: American olive oil producers had their best showing yet at the 2016 New York International Olive Oil Competition.

January 2016
Agromafia
CBS News 60 Minutes investigates: 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.

How to Buy Olive Oil
60 Minutes Overtime: Watch the follow up to the CBS News 60 Minutes coverage above.  Remember that when you shop for California extra virgin olive oil with the COOC Seal, the oil has been assessed according to the COOC’s strict standards to ensure that it meets the criteria to be considered extra virgin.

Where to Find Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Colorado
A buying guide with helpful tips from The Denver Post

Is American Olive Oil About to Have Its Moment?
An overview of the growth of the industry in California, including the role of California Olive Ranch, from Bloomberg Businessweek

September 2015
In California, Olive Oil Tourism is on the Rise
From The New York Times, suggestions for fitting a visit to a California olive oil producer into your travel itinerary.

Diet Heavy on Olive Oil Cuts Breast Cancer Risk by 62%, Study Says
A new study recounted in this article by the L.A. Times suggests that women can dramatically reduce their risk of the disease by following a version of the Mediterranean diet that goes heavy on extra virgin olive oil.

August 2015
Does Olive Oil Kill Cancer?
Harper’s Bazaar explores recent news that a key substance in olive oil destroys cancer.

July 2015
Which oils are the best to cook with?
According to this study from the BBC, when comparing the effect of heat on an oil’s health properties, the researching team “generally recommends olive oil for frying or cooking” over other fats.

May 2015
5 New Ways to Use Olive Oil in Your Cooking
From Epicurious.com, unexpected ways to use olive oil in your kitchen.

Are you being tricked into eating certain foods?
CBS News on things to pay attention to when shopping for olive oil

April 2015
How California Olive Oil is Changing the Industry
An interview with cookbook author Nancy Harmon Jenkins on the KCRW radio program Good Food.

11 Scents That Can Do Wonders For Your Well-being
The Huffington Post recounts how The German Research Center for Food Chemistry found that olive oil was more likely to make a person feel satisfied after a meal and that just the scent of olive oil may reduce the total amount of calories consumed.

March 2015
How to Select a Better Olive Oil
A recap of what to look for when shopping for olive oil from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Olive Oil Improves Blood Lipid Profile, Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
A new report from UC Davis looks at the effect of polyphenols in olive oil and their effect in preventing chronic diseases.

February 2015
Blind Tasting 6 Above-average California Olive Oils
Listen as Lynne Rossetto Kasper tastes 6 of California’s extra virgin olive oils for comparison on American Public Media’s The Splendid Table.

California Extra Virgin Olive Oil Feature in Rose & Ivy Online Quarterly
The Winter 2015 issue features several features about California extra virgin olive oil including Hills of Plenty on pg. 37 as well as Secret Ingredient: A Guide to Tasting on pg. 108.  Also included in the issue are several recipes using extra virgin olive oil (and an olive oil body scrub!).

Olive Oil May Prevent Cancer, Study Finds
Exciting news from a recently published study in the scientific journal Molecular & Cellular Oncology.

January 2015
Lemon Bars with a Touch of the Tart and the Tangy
Enjoy this recipe prepared with California extra virgin olive oil from The New York Times.

Filippo Berio and Bertolli Distributors Face Class Action over Olive Oil Quality

Where to Get Olio Nuovo, Fresh from California


We Recommend

Read Tom Mueller’s new book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. Mueller takes the reader on an extraordinary journey through the history and future of olive oil. He illuminates the economic, symbolic, medicinal, and culinary importance of olive oil in a book that is a must read by anyone interested in cooking and foodways. This page turner elegantly combines investigative reporting with inspiring stories of artisan producers, chefs, retailers and scientists all on the forefront of defending the true meaning of “extra virgin.” Buy the book now and find out more at Tom’s website, ExtraVirginity.com.


Past Headlines

December 2014
Your Olive Oil Isn’t Virgin
A very informative overview of what to look for when shopping for olive oil and why buying extra virgin is important to reap the most health benefits from your oil. From Outside Magazine.

California Edition by Charter Communications
Host Brad Pomerance interviews Jerry & Carolyn Shaffer from Fandango Olive Oil about the California olive oil industry and their olive crop.

March 2014
In California Wine Country, an Olive Oil Trail
Suggestions for visiting a number of olive oil producers located in and around Napa, California.

February 2014
Arise News: Arise Xchange (segment begins about 25:00)
Arise News, a global media network, covers the struggle American olive oil producers face with their European competitors, including an interview with California Olive Oil Council Executive Director Patricia Darragh.

US Olive Oil Producers Push for Stricter Labeling Standards for Imports
From CBS This Morning national news, feature coverage on the progress of setting stricter labeling standards for imported oils.  Watch the segment here.

US Olive Oil Pushing Gov’t to Test Imported Oils
From Fox News/Associated Press, an inside look at the struggle domestic olive oil producers are facing to compete with imported oils, with an interview with COOC Executive Director Patricia Darragh.

Farm Bill Notes Call on Agencies to ‘Remove Obstacles’ to Olive Oil Trade
The Olive Oil Times breaks down the implications of the recently-signed Farm Bill on the olive oil industry, including an excerpt from the accompanying Joint Explanatory Statement concerning olive oil.

U.S. Olive Oil Producer Takes Aggressive Stance Toward Importers
An article from TheRecord.com giving an overview of the movement COOC-member California Olive Ranch is leading to compete with imported oil.

January 2014
Extra Virgin Suicide: The Adulteration of Italian Olive Oil 
Featured in The New York Times’ Opinion Pages, illustrator Nicholas Blechman exposes some of the fraud that goes on with imported Italian olive oil.

Importers and California Producers Begin a Dialogue in Davis
Representatives from California olive oil producers met with major olive oil importers for three and a half hours on the University of California at Davis campus last week to discuss the common challenges facing the industry and find ways to cooperate. Recap from The Olive Oil Times.

Are Olives Next in the GMO Fight?
Olive Oil Times reports on California’s battled against genetically modified foods (GMOs) and the implications on olive crops.

December 2013
Everything You Wanted to Know About California Olive Oil
A review from Joonbug.com of the California Olive Oil Council’s recent promotional event in Brooklyn, New York.  The event showcased four prominent California extra-virgin olive oils in a specially-created menu by Chef Sean Reubold of the Wythe Hotel’s Reynard restaurant.

October 2013
The Science of Cooking with Olive Oil
Mary Flynn, PhD, explains why olive oil is an essential part of her diet as well as shares some recipes.

September 2013
To Get The Benefits of Olive Oil, Fresh May Be Best
National Public Radio explains why fresh, certified olive oil is important and highlights the growing California olive oil industry.

August 2013
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Buying Guide
An article from the San Francisco Chronicle on how to make an educated purchase and buy true extra virgin olive oil as well as a guide to some highlighted COOC certified extra virgin olive oils. This article is written by Fran Gage, a cookbook author, writer, and COOC taste panel member.

July 2013
Check the Bottle for a Harvest Date Before Buying that Expensive “Extra Virgin” Olive Oil
Lifehacker recaps a Consumer Report study – which highlights domestic oils for their freshness as well as the importance of checking the label for harvest date.

June 2013
Swirl, Sniff, Slurp, Swallow: Learning to Taste Olive Oil
Kate Williams, of the Berkeleyside NOSH, spends time with the COOC taste panel learning about sensory evaluation.

UC Davis Study “Packaging Influences on Olive Oil Quality”

February 2013
Mediterranean Diet Shown to Ward Off Heart Attack and Stroke
From The New York Times, a new study further supports claims of the health benefits to following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables.

September 2013
When You Think of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Do You Think of California?
From the Examiner, a look at an evening hosted by the California Olive Oil Council at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.

August 2013
Consumers Still in the Dark – 6 Tips to Buying Better Olive Oil
Zester Daily

May 2013
Mediterranean Diet Appears to Boost Aging Brain Power
Huffington Post

March 2013
Refrigeration is Not Reliable in Detecting Olive Oil Adulteration
UC Davis Olive Center Report

Is the Secret to Olive Oil in Its Scent?
New York Times Well Blog

How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Protect from Alzheimer’s Disease
Olive Oil Times

Olive Industry Puts Down Roots Along Central Coast
The Tribune

February 2013
Diet Study Cracks Open Walnut, Olive Markets
San Francisco Chronicle

Mediteranean Diet Shown to ward off Heart Attack and Stroke
The New York Times

January 2013
Group Finds More Fake Ingredients in Popular Foods
ABC News

Group warns of fake food in your basket
CNN

December 2012
U.S. olive oil makers seek ‘level playing field’
Seattle Times

U.S. Olive Oil Makers Say Imports Aren’t Always So ‘Extra Virgin’
NPR: All Things Considered

USITC Holds Hearing on Olive Oil Market Conditions
The Olive Oil Times

September 2012
Evaluation of Olive Oil Sold to Restaurants and Food Service
UC Davis Olive Center Report

July 2012
How to Find the Best Olive Oil
Consumer Reports

July 2011
Australia Adopts New Voluntary Standards for Olive Oil
Olive Oil Times

April 2011
Evaluation of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California
UC Davis Olive Center Report
Among the findings were that 73 percent of the 134 samples of the five top-selling imported “extra virgin” olive oil brands failed the International Olive Council (IOC) sensory standards based on the results of two IOC-accredited sensory panels. Sensory defects are indicators that these oil samples were oxidized, of poor quality or adulterated with cheaper refined olive oil. 

July 2010
Tests Indicate that Imported “Extra Virgin” Olive Oil Often Fails International and USDA Standards
UC Davis Olive Center Report

August 2007
Slippery Business: The trade in adulterated olive oil.
Tom Mueller for The New Yorker