Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oils
What’s In the Label?
At a time when olive oil fraud stories regularly make the news, consumers look for the security of the USDA Seal .
Do you wonder what the USDA Organic label really means? The answer is both a lot more…and a lot less…than you might realize.
What’s Does the USDA Organic label Tell You?
1. Interestingly, the USDA Organic label verifies that the food is not genetically modified (GMO ingredients are not used, plants are not grown from GMO seeds, animals do not eat GMO foods)
2. No artificial pesticides
3. No growth hormones or antibiotics (if an organically raised animal becomes sick and is treated with antibiotics, its products can no longer be designated organic)
4. Restricted use of chemicals in contact with crops and livestock
5. No ionizing radiation involved in processing
6. No sewage sludge used (conventional plant-based foods can be, and sometimes are, fertilized with sewage sludge). Good to know!
What the USDA Organic Label Doesn’t Mean
1. Organic does not mean more nutritious. USDA organic foods are not necessarily more nutrient dense than conventional products
2. Healthy. The absence of undesirable chemicals or questionable processing does not ensure a healthy product. Many junk foods, including cookies and sodas, are USDA Organic. They’re still loaded with sugar-and still poor choices.
We are organic farmers; this is our commitment to you, to your customers and to the planet. We believe in good health, quality products and friendly agricultural practices.
Our organic certifications give you insurance that our olive oils are harvested and produced according to strict procedures, without any form of chemical input.
An authentic early harvest olive oil needs very highly skilled people and carries the passion of those people and the characteristics of the region
Many farmers keep the first oil of the season for their own family and friends leaving little available for the marketplace.
Early harvest extra virgin olive oils are more expensive and hard to find than other extra virgin oils since unripe olives produce less oil and need to be picked right from the trees. Even so, more are finding their bitter taste, extra low acidity, and higher antioxidant content well worth the money.
Mana Gea’s Organic Early Harvest EVOO originates in Monemvasia, where the unripe olives are handpicked starting in the second or third week of October and crushed within hours of harvesting. Limited quantities of olive oil were produced from unripe fruit this year. However, its high polyphenol content appeals to “demanding foreign markets for the gourmet stores and restaurants.
Nevertheless, the excellent nutritional value of early harvest olive oil is acknowledged worldwide, which makes it a “super-weapon” for olive oil farmers and producers. The higher chlorophyll content in unripe olives makes the early harvest oil, called “agourelio” in Greek, greener and richer in healthy polyphenols. There is a positive correlation of a high level of oleocanthal and oleacein in olive oils with the early time of harvest. The polyphenols identified in Mana Gea’s early harvest oils have been credited with significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective and neuroprotective properties.
Half of 26 Olive Oils Tested ‘Defective’ in Germany
Thirteen of the 26 samples failed the extra virgin criteria.
The German consumer protection organization, Stiftung Warentest, had a panel of expert tasters scrutinize 26 varieties of 'extra virgin' and found half of them wanting.
According to The Guardian in the UK, organized crime, the mafia and cartels are no longer dealing drugs for profit but dealing adulterated olive oil
This is a really interesting article from The Guardian that talks about the newest for-profit commodity for the gangs, cartels and organized crime families in the United Kingdom and EU ... food. Specifically, it details how the "business" of fake food and food fraud like adulterated olive oil and counterfeit alcohol has taken the place of illegal drugs as the product of choice for gangs these days.
"A lot of people buy virgin olive oil because they like the fact that it is high quality and they are prepared to pay a premium," said Morris. "If you are a criminal and you get hold of some oil, not necessarily olive oil, you can color it green with a bit of chlorophyll and make a lot of money out of it. Because of its distribution, it is sometimes hard to track."
According to The Guardian in the UK, organized crime, the mafia and cartels are no longer dealing drugs for profit but dealing adulterated olive oil and counterfeit vodka.
SAFETY & SECURITY
'60 Minutes' Exposes Italy’s Olive Oil Fraud
The Associated Press: Italy’s 2014 olive harvest was declared by both producers and experts as the worst in history, due to adverse climatic conditions which helped the olive fly proliferate thus destroying the olives before they could be harvested.
Italy's olive oil business has been corrupted by the Mafia, which is making big bucks tampering with Italian food products in ways that could affect American consumers, according to this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” TV show.
The Italians call it "Agromafia" and it's estimated to be a $16-billion per year enterprise. One result: Much of the olive oil we import isn't as pure as it seems.
Journalist Tom Mueller, who has researched the industry, estimates that half the oil sold as extra-virgin in Italy and 75-80 percent of the oil sold in the U.S. does not meet the legal grades for extra-virgin oil.
The story claims 75 percent to 80 percent of oil sold in the U.S. does not meet the legal grades for extra-virgin olive oil.
Simple Chocolate Cake with Mana Gea’s 300 Year Old Extra Virgin Olive oil : Moist and delicious
For this recipe we chose the smoothest Extra Virgin Olive Oil of our Mana Gea line! We call the 300 year Old “ Smooth as silk” for a reason!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Brush Mana Gea’s lightly into , two - 9 inch (23 cm) cake pans. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water (or coffee), milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. (The batter will be quite thin.) Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 27 -32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake just comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from their pans and cool completely on a greased wire rack before frosting.
This cake is light, soft and gooey, and very quick to make, with minimum fuss. My kind of recipe. Perfect with an espresso, or still warm with ice cream.
Serves about 12 people.
Simple Chocolate Cake:
2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) warm water or coffee
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) , Mana Gea Extra Virgin
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Personally I like almonds so I add 150g ground almonds !
“It is important now to clarify this case, to protect consumers and thousands of honest companies engaged today in olive oil production”
Seven major olive oil brands sold in Italian supermarkets are involved in the investigation: Carapelli, Santa Sabina, Bertolli, Coricelli, Sasso, Primadonna (a private label for the retail chain Lidl) and Antica Badia (a private label for the retail chain Eurospin), some of which, despite their Italian names, were
recently acquired by forein groups.
The Prosecutor of Turin, Raffaele Guariniello, has launched an investigation into alleged commercial fraud by seven major Italian olive oil brands.
The Secret Ingredient for Tender Cakes: Olive oil in the batter is the secret to a moist, tender cake with lots of character
Try your usual cakes recipes using Mana Gea’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil instead of butter. The results will surprise you. The olive oil versions are moister and have a more tender, refined crumb ( olive oil contains natural emulsifiers, which improve moisture and texture), but even more striking is their richer, deeper character. The olive oil seems to act like an invisible helper, somehow coaxing superior savor and clarity from the ingredients, weaving them together to create a richer, more alive whole.
My favorite Chocolate cake:
This delicious cake has a hint of orange and a slightly crunchy texture from cornmeal, is moist without being greasy, and is strongly flavored with olive oil.
1 Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with Mana Gea’s Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil and flour; tap out the excess.
2 In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until well blended and light in color. Add the milk, measured olive oil, amaretto, and orange zest and mix well.
3 In another bowl, stir together the measured flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended (the batter will be slightly lumpy; do not overmix).
4 Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
5 When the cake has cooled, run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into 12 pieces, and serve.
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