Almost every recipe I make cakes ra pizza, requires at least a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. In fact, I never thought twice about the ingredient until I knew the olive oil scam was real. Did you know that 70% of olive oil is fake? More than two-thirds of olive oils are on your supermarket shelves. Because it is expensive to legally produce olive oil, there are diluted and fake products that claim to be extra virgin olive oil, but they can be harmful to our body.
The best brand of olive oil has many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and anti-disease agents that you won’t get from non-authentic olive oils. But how can you tell from fake olive oil to fake?
That’s why we asked Aishwarya Iyer Brightland—The modern olive oil industry that defends the authenticity of the olive oil industry—eventually setting the record straight. Read on to find out how damaged the olive oil industry can be, why buy it “Real” olive oil it is important and how to identify false things.
I was surprised to learn that 70% of olive oil is fake. Can you give us some background when you discovered this and how?
I lived in New York for about 20 years and had an spreadsheet for 600+ restaurants that I obsessively followed. Needless to say, I didn’t cook much. I started dating and then I started cooking and we both started having stomach aches. We eliminated most of the suspects from our diet (cheese, bread, etc.), and olive oil was to blame. I did some research and was surprised to learn that most of the olive oil that Americans consume is rotten, greasy, or adulterated. UC Davis has an Olive Center. That’s why I took courses to understand how to think and evaluate olive oil from a molecular and sensory level.
Take us to the beginning. What was the moment of your business / career light bulb and what prompted you to continue creating Brightland?
When I found out that olive oil was to blame for causing my stomach pain, I realized that a lot of the olive oil that Americans consume is adulterated and there is fraud in the industry. This led me to think about the whole category and how we don’t know what we are consuming. Also, people feel very excited that they don’t have a brand of olive oil. That’s how I got there, Maybe there’s something here … one.
I found it in 2015 but took a step back. I didn’t want to do anything that caused the interruption, for example, I found this adult category to attack and then I will go. It meant something and I wanted it to be personal to me. I didn’t know if I was the right person to make and build this trip, so I went on with my life.
A year later I learned that my ancestors in southern India owned land and were salt farmers in the 1800s. Knowing that I had such a deep connection to the land and food was all I needed to hear was where I came from and where I could go to bridge. That and what coaching meant to being an internal critic put me on the journey. I started working for the company in 2017 and launched it in 2018.
Can you tell us the history of fraud in the olive oil industry? What are some of the obscure practices that are being done today?
Adulterated olive oils can be mixed with low quality vegetable oils such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, palm oil or cola oil. Olive oil can be bad in many commercial productions. Olive oil is softened when the olives are crushed with dirt and mud. Old or greased olive oils (which tend to have similar flavors to wax) are the result of unnecessary storage and exposure to damage from light, heat, or air. It is likely that the larvae are contaminated with dirty olive oil or a dirty taste. When the olive flies lay their eggs on the developing olives, the larvae feed on the pulp and eventually turn into oil.
How can you spot oily or smaller oils?
People think that olive oil tastes or doesn’t taste like butter, because it’s incredibly rich in depth, nuances, and flavors, just like wine! Taste the olive oil directly: pour in a tablespoon and take a minute to think about the flavors and flavors. If you don’t like anything or plastic, it’s probably fat. If it’s fresh, green, and has a peppery flavor to the back of the throat, it’s likely a real treat (extra virgin olive oil). Also, look for the harvest date on the bottle (compared to the best date). With the date of harvest, you can refer to when the olive oil was made and now you can anticipate how many years you can count. Brightland oils have been in use since the November 2020 harvest.
Can you tell us about your process for making clean olive oil?
A member of our farm is a family-owned olive farm on the Central California Coast, where it has a certified organic mill. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Although most commercial olive oil producers do not constantly change their oil to their final harvest, we do it to ensure the best possible quality, freshness, health benefits and flavor in Brightland olive oils. Our olives are carefully hand-picked, processed in the mill within an hour of hand-picking, and ninety minutes later are ready to be strained and stored in temperature-controlled rooms. The olive harvest occurs only once a year, and we switch the harvest to the freshest oil as soon as it is always available. Our oils are packaged in UV-protected opaque glass bottles to maintain integrity.
Can you get any health benefits from olive oil? Why olive oil vs other oils?
Olive oil is the basis of well-being; the basis of nutrition for thousands of years and a historical source of well-being and ceremony. Athena’s gift of the olive — light, heat, food, medicine, or perfume — was one of the most useful and beloved gifts of the gods. With a high amount of polyphenols at harvest, our extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidant disease-fighting properties and powerful anti-inflammatory properties like oleocanthal.
How are you changing and boosting the olive oil industry?
Brightland was born out of a desire for better and more honest food production and a deep belief in the land and what it provides. Brightland has come out to rebuild America’s olive oil industry by cultivating extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality and blended, which is boldly nourished for your body, heart and soul. I used to hear people in the industry say “no one likes any flavor or packaging,” and I knew that wasn’t true, so I was really committed to coming up with a brand that celebrated tasty peppers, bold flavors, and thoughtful design. centered containers.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about working in the olive oil industry?
People think that entrepreneurship is a lot of fun and fascinating, and I think that’s 5% of that. Most of them are running and trying to solve one or the other problem, and people don’t see it as a big mess that you’re trying to try out for gemstones and try to pull out gems. People only see gems, mostly because of Instagram.
What has been the biggest learning curve in your career that has launched Brightland?
All! I am constantly humbled by what little I know on a daily basis and I am constantly learning from my team, other creators, consultants, and so on.
Learn more about Brightland and buy products here.