Since his 2007 article “Slippery Business” in The New Yorker, freelance writer Tom Mueller has become the world’s de facto expert on olive oil. He is the author of Extra Virginity – The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil (2012) and the blog Truth in Olive Oil, which picks up where the book left off. In his work, Tom Mueller strives to understand the remarkable complexity of the olive oil trade – and to express his concerns about low-grade oils being passed off as “extra virgin” all over the world.
For thousands of years, olive oil has been recognized in the Mediterranean and beyond as an extraordinary medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious practice. In Extra Virginity, Tom Mueller highlights the immense value of olive oil, the skill and heritage of its artisan producers, and the incredible craftsmanship involved in creating high-quality products. He also brings to light the reality of olive oil fraud: an indictment of the food industry’s lax protections against fake and sometimes toxic food products in the United States. Extra Virginity pays homage to the producers, chemical analysts, chefs, and food activists defending the extraordinary oils that truly deserve the name “extra-virgin.”
On Truth in Olive Oil, Tom Mueller strives to answer questions raised by the book, advise consumers about buying and using olive oil, and call attention to producers of fraudulent oils. His aim is to create a grass-roots movement of olive oil fanatics, inspiring a revolution in consumer awareness similar to the movements that have developed around microbrew beers, artisanal cheeses and chocolates, fine wines, tea, and coffee.
Join us with Tom Mueller as we take a deeper look at the culture, industries, and controversy surrounding olive oil. We’ll also be discussing Fresh Squeezed – Tom’s upcoming documentary film about the worldwide olive oil revolution.
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The best olive oil in the world is Arbequina but made in Catalonia.
I can know because we have our own trees.
Cooperativa Agricola D´alcover
Avinguda REUS, 2
43460 ALCOVER, TARRAGONA
Tom is right If you don’t know how it should taste don’t buy it. The good stuff is not cheap. Even if you buy it directly from the producer it should be about 5 Euro/liter.
It’s great for frying and in salad. I even use it to make bread. If you have dry skin, you should definitely use it.
How to recognize
I’m not one for vegetable oils but I do use a little olive oil on my salads. I appreciate being aware, now, and will be on my guard.
As a Paleo diner I render my own lard in my crockpot and get ‘free’ beef fat from my local grocery store. The beef fat I grind up like coarse hamburger and add to my pan before cooking my meal if I am not using lard. I will never use commercial seed oils again as I am trying to eliminate all commercial processed foods from my plate. Even olive oil is too processed to use, other than in a salad. Interestingly, lard has very little saturated fat, if you are concerned about that-I am not, and lard has very similar healthy properties of olive oil in the chains of oil considered best (mono-and polyunsaturates).
What this interview does for me is affirm my disgust with the corporate food industry, big pharma, the medical professions, corrupt standard science and governments which are more concerned with profits with little to no regard for the health of our children. But the world is on a course for change and Rainmakingtime is at the forefront of that challenge. Mr Mueller sounds like a man of integrity; it was an honour to meet him at this site and in podcast.
Great show Kim. Thanks for doing this, Tom.