For millennia, fresh olive oil has been one of the Mediterranean’s necessities — not just as food but also as medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious ritual. Today’s researchers are continuing to confirm the remarkable, life-giving properties of true extra-virgin olive oil, and “extra-virgin Italian” has become the highest standard of quality.
But what if this symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt? In Extra Virginity, Tom Mueller, an expert on olive oil and olive-oil fraud, tells a story of globalization, deception, and crime in the food industry, from ancient times to the present. His book is a powerful indictment of today’s lax protections against fake and even toxic food products in the United States.
A rich and deliciously readable narrative, Extra Virginity is also an inspiring account of the artisanal producers, chemical analysts, chefs, and food activists who are defending the extraordinary oils that truly deserve the name “extra virgin.”
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