The topic was olive oil which many of us use (I know I do). We might use it for cooking, we might use it to dip bread in, we might use it for any number of reasons.
But what are we actually using? From the broadcast:
GROSS: So what is extra light, if it's not low in fat?
MUELLER: It's highly, highly refined. It has almost no flavor and no color. And it is, in fact, extra-light in the technical sense of being clear. But that's not necessarily a good thing.
GROSS: Hmm. Okay.
MUELLER: Pure, the same sort of thing. The term pure, in my mind, denotes purity, almost a virginal purity. And, in fact, it means highly refined, as well. These terms have been outlawed in Europe. I mean, they require that the producer really spells it out and says a blend of refined olive oil, blend - mixed with extra virgin to give it flavor.
But they're pushing to keep the labels in America opaque, in my view. That's not illegal, but it's, in my view, unethical.
GROSS: So if you buy olive oil that says it's from Italy, that might mean that the olives are from Italy. It might mean that the olives are from someplace else, but they were exported to Italy, where they were - where the oil was bottled, or where the olives were pressed and the oil was bottled. So as long as, like, part of the process is in Italy, it can have an Italian label. Do I have that right?
MUELLER: Right. Olives are almost never exported, because that's just going to compound your - the deterioration of your food. It's almost always made into oil at the point - near the point that it was harvested. But, yes. There's a great deal of - Italy is the number one importer, exporter and consumer of olive oil, and yet it actually doesn't produce all that much oil. It produces something like a third of what Spain produces. So there's, just on the face of it, something wrong with this picture.
There's a great deal more/
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