As a social construct, virginity doesn’t quite carry the same cultural significance that it used to, unless you’re an olive oil. According to The Telegraph, Italian officials are investigating seven well-known companies for selling bottles of supposed extra-virgin olive oil that actually wasn’t quite as virginal as advertised. (Quickly: Extra-virgin olive oil is made fresh, with no chemicals or heavy processing, and commands a higher price than the common just-plain-virgin stuff.)
The investigation began in May after a report by an Italian consumer magazine, Il Test. Since then, 20 varieties that claim to be extra-virgin olive oil have been tested in laboratories, with scientists finding nine that were not as pure as they claimed. Bertolli, Santa Sabina and Primadonna are some of the big-name brands accused of fraud.
The Telegraph reports that one of the companies under investigation has not only disputed the claims but is also taking legal action against the magazine.
An organization representing Italian farmers has advised consumers to be suspicious of any oil purporting to be extra-virgin that sells for just a few euros a bottle.
Guess you get what you pay for.