By Catherine Kenwell

Our customers love our products. But they’ll sometimes come in and tell us they won’t use our extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) for cooking. Why not?

They tell us:

“EVOO has a low smoke point.”

“EVOO isn’t healthy when it’s heated.”

“It’s not safe to cook with EVOO.”

“I’ve cooked with olive oil before and I don’t like the taste of it.”

True, EVOO does have a lower smoke point than other oils, such as canola. But the health benefits of EVOO eclipse the alternatives. Now, we wouldn’t recommend deep-frying in EVOO, but our premium-quality oils can be heated and used up to 500 degrees (which is considered high heat). However, most stovetops only run about 350 degrees at medium setting. That means if you’re sautéing, roasting, or basting with EVOO, you’re just fine.

EVOOs are a far better and healthier alternative than most other oils when you’re pan- or shallow-frying. They’re full of healthy, monounsaturated fats that help keep cholesterol in check and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Olive oil is perfectly safe to cook with—it’s a myth that it releases harmful toxins and free radicals when heated to high temperature. In fact, it’s one of the more stable oils when used for moderate-heat cooking. Prevention Magazine quotes Rebecca Black, RD, director of clinical nutrition at Mt Sinai Beth Israel in New York City as clarifying, “I have found no evidence that high-heat cooking with olive oil is unhealthy.”

Sometimes people tell us they’ve cooked with olive oil and experienced a bitter, rancid-tasting result. That’s likely because they started with a commercial, non-premium product. Here’s the thing: premium ingredients yield premium results. Our EVOOs and infused olive oils impart fresh flavour, whether you’re using a robust Spanish Arbequina or a leek-infused olive oil.

You can use our olive oils in baking, too. Muffin recipes often call for vegetable oil or butter, but a delicious and nutritious alternative is our EVOO or Blood Orange or Lemon olive oil. Just imagine how moist and flavourful your baking will be with a hint of fragrant orange or zesty lemon!

There is a lot of competing information and misinformation about the health effects of cooking with EVOO, but there isn’t a lot of science behind claims that it is unhealthy. It’s a ‘hot’ topic online, and you’ll find lots of so-called ‘scientific information’ that really has no credible scientific evidence. At Barrie Olive Oil, we’re not scientists, but we love and know food and cooking. We’re all comfortable cooking with our EVOOs, and olive oil is our kitchen ‘go-to’.

To your health!

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