There’s no question olive oil is great for body and mind…
but are you using the real thing?
I always laugh about how even though the different diet camps love to argue about which foods are good and which foods are bad, it seems like there’s one food they can all agree on: Extra virgin olive oil.
For someone like me, who looks at food through the lens of whether it benefits the body-mind and promotes good mental health, I have to agree: Olive oil is a superfood.
According to the New York Times best-selling book Genius Foods, extra virgin olive oil has been shown in large, long-term trials to “protect the brain against decline and even improve cognitive function.”
As reported in USA Today, “Temple University research shows extra virgin olive oil protects against memory loss, preserves the ability to learn, and reduces conditions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
For these and a host of other reasons, there’s always a large bottle of olive oil flowing in my kitchen.
My love-hate relationship with olive oil
But it wasn’t always like that. I wasn’t always so nuts for olive oil. I used to just have it occasionally. I was kind of “meh” about it.
As it turns out, there was a reason for that: I had never tried good olive oil!
I was making some common mistakes when buying olive oil – and I suspect you might be making them too!
But before I get into that, I want to give you a bit of the science behind why so many health experts are gaga for olive oil.
One of the main things it has going for it is that it packs a really powerful anti-inflammatory punch.
Why should we care about inflammation? “Anti-inflammatory” has become this kind of buzz word… but what does it even mean? Why does it matter?
It matters because the more inflammation there is within our bodies, the more cell damage and oxidation there is. And oxidation and cell damage are causal factors in all kinds of diseases, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Inflammation and Depression
Evidence has even emerged showing a very likely causal link between inflammation and depression. So if you’re interested in increasing your energy and boosting your mood naturally, you’ll want to reduce your consumption of foods that cause inflammation (hello, sugar and vegetable oil) and increase consumption of foods that reduce it.
Olive oil — which is a fruit oil, by the way — is one of the best foods around for reducing inflammation in the body due to a few key active components.
First off, it’s loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, those little free-radical scavengers that counter routine oxidation and cell damage in the body.
Key among olive oil’s antioxidants is something called oleocanthal, which has been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.
As well, the predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, making up 73% of olive oil’s content. Oleic acid has been linked in multiple studies like this one in Japan to fewer inflammatory biomarkers in the body.
But if I’m being totally honest, I used to hate olive oil.
I used to buy what seemed like a good “name brand” extra-virgin olive oil from the supermarket. I didn’t really know much about it, so I’d usually just choose something from Italy or Greece – it seemed “authentic” enough!
But whenever I had the opportunity to taste this olive oil “straight,” I almost gagged. It tasted genuinely awful to me – dense and bitter. Since I knew about all the health benefits though, I’d mask it with Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar, and dutifully dress my salads with it.
A Different Kind of Olive Oil
Then I tasted a different kind of olive oil – one that is bottled and distributed in a totally different way. They call it fresh-pressed olive oil, and trust me when I say it tastes amazing – totally different than conventional supermarket olive oil.
I want to share with you where I found this “fresh-pressed” oil online (it’s actually pretty hard to find in stores!), but before I do that, let’s talk about some of the common mistakes people make when buying olive oil.
Mistake #1: Buying stale olive oil off the shelf.
If you want to enjoy olive oil at its peak flavor and nutritional potency, remember these four words: The fresher, the better.
Olive oil, unlike wine, does not get better with age. Just the opposite. Olives, after all, are a fruit. Just like orange juice, olive oil tastes so much better fresh-squeezed.
The problem is, harvest-fresh olive oil is almost impossible to find in supermarkets.
Most olive oil is shipped to the U.S. on slow-moving cargo ships. Then it languishes in warehouses and on store shelves for many months. As a result, olive oils in stores are often technically within their “best by” date, but months beyond their window of peak freshness, flavor, and nutritional potency.
Because of these and other factors that cause staleness, a study from the University of California, Davis, found that 69% of imported olive oil labeled “extra virgin” sold in stores was substandard and did not even qualify to be labeled “extra virgin,” the highest grade.
I avoid buying olive oil in stores, where the oils sit on the shelf for months or even years, growing stale, musty, and rancid. When you buy well-sourced olive oil online, it’s possible to find olive oils fresh from the latest harvest. That’s when olive oil is bursting with just-plucked-from-the-tree flavor and goodness.
(Check the end of this article for a link to my favorite source of fresh-pressed olive oil.)
Mistake #2: Unwittingly buying olive oil made by the Mafia.
As you’ve probably heard, fake, Mafia-made olive oils have been flooding U.S. supermarkets. If you’ve missed this frightening story, here are just a few of the articles you can check out online.
NBC News has reported that “fake olive oil is rampant.” The Wall Street Journal adds, “American grocery stores are awash in cheap, fake ‘extra virgins.’” In an explosive exposé, 60 Minutes has cautioned that you face a “sea of fakes” when you shop for olive oil in stores.
Why Is This Happening?
Thanks to the many health benefits of authentic olive oil, demand is soaring worldwide. And people are willing to pay more for good olive oil.
So… just as notorious crime families pocket fortunes by creating cheap knockoffs of designer clothing and handbags, they palm off fake olive oil as extra virgin. The New Yorker magazine has reported that the profits in counterfeiting olive oil are “comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks.”
Because America is the world’s largest consumer market, the crooks have successfully targeted U.S. supermarkets as a favorite dumping ground.
Cancer-Causing Agents in Fake Olive Oils?
In his New York Times best-selling book, Extra Virginity, olive oil expert Tom Mueller warns of contaminants and even cancer-causing agents in fake olive oils, saying:
“Italian investigators have found hydrocarbon residues, pesticides, and other contaminants in fake oils, and pomace oil, a common adulterant, sometimes contains mineral oil as well as PAHs, proven carcinogens that can also damage DNA and the immune system. Then there’s the 1981 case of toxic oil syndrome in Spain, when rapeseed oil [aka canola oil] adulterated with an industrial additive, sold as olive oil, killed eight hundred people and seriously injured thousands more.”
When I learned of these olive oil scandals, I started to get a lot more careful about buying EVOO. I started to see those “nice” Italian brands in the supermarket a little differently. The problem was, before I discovered fresh-pressed oil, I found it almost impossible to tell legit brands from those that might have been compromised.
Ideally, try to buy olive oil from a supplier whose oils are independently lab-certified to be 100% pure extra virgin. This gives you protection against all the fakes.
(Fear not, the company I recommend routinely lab-tests every one of the olive oils they sell. Don’t you wish we didn’t live in such a crazy world where you have to wonder what’s in your olive oil?!)
OK. The last mistake folks commonly make…
Mistake #3: Thinking that all olive oils taste alike.
If you’ve always bought your olive oil in a supermarket, odds are you’ve never experienced the extraordinary diversity of flavors that await you among the finest artisanal olive oils.
Ordinary mass-market olive oils sell in such huge volume that they must combine inferior olives from many large “factory farms” and different growing regions, with little regard for flavor compatibility. This typically results in a dull, lifeless flavor profile.
In contrast, award-winning artisans create their oils from olives grown on small boutique farms. These proud and dedicated family farmers are free to strive for flavor perfection from each different type of olive. This makes their award-winning creations as rich, complex, and distinctive as the finest wines, especially when you use them with your favorite foods.
When I first started consuming fresh-pressed olive oil, I was frankly dumbfounded at the different flavors in different bottles. Some oils are audaciously bold… others yield softer, more delicate nuances.
I had never previously considered myself a “foodie,” but once I started sipping fresh-pressed olive oil out of shot glasses (yes, I drink this stuff straight!) I was definitely able to notice notes like arugula and tropical fruit. I had to face the fact that a foodie I had indeed become!
Try a genuine fresh-pressed olive oil, and do a taste-test with your old supermarket oil. The moment you twist the cap off a genuine just-pressed olive oil and inhale its harvest-fresh bouquet, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
And yes, I bet you will be able to taste the arugula too!
So, Who Is My Favorite Source of the World’s Best Olive Oils?
Meet My Personal “Olive Oil Hunter,” T.J. Robinson
T.J. Robinson is probably the world’s greatest olive oil aficionado.
A one-time chef and gourmet food writer, T.J. Robinson came up with the idea of seeking out the world’s best olive growers and getting their oils directly to consumers as quickly as possible.
T.J. personally meets with these olive growers and inspects the harvest. He supervises the pressing.
Then he flies this insanely fresh olive oil directly to your front door – straight from the new harvest at the olives’ peak of flavor.
My First Taste Blew Me Away
I first met T.J. at a nutrition conference I attend every year, and we got to talking. He appreciated what I was doing in this community… helping people understand the importance of eating real whole food to promote healthy bodies and healthy brains.
I’ll never forget when T.J. gave me my first taste of fresh-pressed olive oil at that conference. I sipped it (trying to be polite, but expecting the worst) and was totally blown away.
I loved the rich complexity, the vibrant colors that ranged from deep green to golden, and the bright, sunny flavors. They were grassy, herbal, fruity, and intense—all at the same time, just like a complex wine. This was the “real McCoy” EVOO you get only in the best European restaurants and the back-road bistros around the Mediterranean.
And then came the oil’s remarkable finish: a distinct pepperiness at the back of the throat upon swallowing, the hallmark of the very freshest oil. This peppery tang is due to the oleocanthal, the inflammation-fighting component I mentioned above that can begin to disappear six months after pressing.
This is yet another reason to buy your olive oil when it’s fresh. That peppery finish is an excellent indicator of how fresh and therefore how effective the olive oil will be in reducing your inflammation and strengthening your immune system.
Because T.J. knows fresh olive oil is totally aligned with what I recommend about using anti-inflammatory foods to promote good mental health, he asked me if he could give our community a special offer.
You’ll get a bottle of this incredibly fresh, health-promoting, anti-inflammatory extra-virgin olive oil for just a buck.
And if you like it, you can keep on receiving a box of high-quality fresh olive oil once a quarter (every three months) through his Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club.
Why a Club?
Joining the club gives you direct access to the purest, freshest, and most flavorful olive oils from a wide array of gold medal-winning olive oil producers. These olive oils are personally hand-selected by T.J. Robinson exclusively for his club members and are available nowhere else on earth. They are out-of-this-world delicious!
If you’re thinking, “Eh, I don’t really like membership clubs,” I feel you. I rarely join clubs of any kind because I strive for simplicity and I generally don’t want a “membership” complicating my life. I just want to buy something when I need it.
But for the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club, I made an exception, specifically because it’s so hard to find oil like this in stores.
Honestly, for olive oil this fresh, it’s pretty much impossible.
And when the box arrives every quarter, it’s like Christmas for me. I cannot wait to try the new oils and see what they taste like!
When you join, there’s no commitment to buy anything else and you can easily cancel any time. They’re a small company and very committed to customer service. You will be well taken care of.
With T.J. as your personal Olive Oil Hunter, you’ll never again have to worry about unwittingly buying olive oil counterfeited by criminals who use fake and potentially harmful chemical additives. That’s because every olive oil T.J. imports is independently certified to be 100% pure extra virgin.
As I said, once I tried T.J.’s olive oils, I fell madly in love with them. And I was so excited to be able to share a great deal like this with you – for something I really believe in, that’s backed by scientific research.
$39-Bottle-for-a-Buck Promotion Ends Sunday, January 26
Once you’re in the club, there’s never a minimum commitment or obligation to buy anything. Every olive oil comes with a no-questions-asked, 100% money-back guarantee. And if you ever decide to ask for your money back on a given shipment, you don’t even have to return the oil. And his outstanding customer service team graciously takes care of your refund request immediately.
If you’d like to try this unique club and receive one of T.J.’s $39 bottles for just $1 to help cover shipping, I suggest that you act now, for two reasons:
First, T.J. and his Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club have reserved a strictly limited number—240 bottles (20 cases)—to share with my readers. Problem is, I’ve got thousands of readers, so these 240 bottles could go very fast, and it’s first come, first served.
Second, his $39-Bottle-for-a-Buck offer expires soon – Sunday, January 26. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait until the next harvest season and hope he’s got enough stock on hand to repeat the offer.
Great For the ‘Lazy’ Cook
The other great thing I love about fresh-pressed olive oil is that it makes my cooking easier. This oil is so delicious I use it as a kind of “instant sauce” – I drizzle it over fish, meats and vegetables, because it tastes that good.
(Fun fact: Veggies contain micronutrients a.k.a. vitamins, but did you know many of those are fat-soluble vitamins? When you add a fat like olive oil to them, those nutrients become more bio-available to you.)
The publicity this oil is getting is remarkable. Foodies, celebrity chefs, and food writers are raving about it. For example, Larry Olmsted, the award-winning food and travel journalist, recently wrote in his New York Times best-selling book, Real Food/Fake Food:
“I now get most of my oil from T.J. Robinson’s Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club, and every time I open a bottle, my kitchen literally fills up with the smell of fresh crushed olives—the scent explodes out of the bottle. Just breaking the seal transports me to Italy or Spain or Chile.”
When you click the link below, you’ll see similar comments from many other olive oil lovers as well. If you’re interested, try a bottle for just $1, taste for yourself, and discover how EVOO is really meant to taste.
Guys, I hope you treat yourself to this very special superfood. I consider it a critical part of my brain-healthy, anti-inflammatory diet.