I'm Tom Mueller. (More about me here.) Truth in Olive Oil was born out of my love of great olive oil, and my concern about low-grade oils being passed off as “extra virgin” in the industry today, worldwide. As a freelance writer who for the last two decades has spent much time in and around the Mediterranean, while contributing to publications including the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, and New York Times Magazine, I felt I knew olive oil well. But it took an assignment for the New Yorker in 2007, “Slippery Business,” to make me understand the remarkable complexity of the olive oil trade, and the immense value of olive oil itself. Since then I’ve gone steadily deeper into oil; in 2012 I published Extra Virginity, a book that explores this great foodstuff from many angles – cultural, culinary, chemical, criminal – and introduces the artisan producers and age-old landscapes of fine olive oil.
This site, Truth in Olive Oil, aims to pick up where my book left off, answering some of the questions raised by the book, advising consumers about buying and enjoying oil, connecting them with skilled oil-makers, celebrating the culture of this storied substance, and calling out fraudulent oils which cheat consumers and undercut honest producers. The goal of this site is to grow into a grass-roots movement of people fascinated by first-rate oil, one blog post, comment, conversation and oil tasting at a time. Our ultimate aim is nothing short of an olive oil revolution, of the kind that has already immeasurably improved quality and consumer awareness in fine wines & coffees, artisanal cheeses, microbrew beers and other premium foodstuffs.
Support for Truth in Olive Oil
To carry on the activities of Truth in Olive Oil, I rely in part on funding from concerned individuals and corporations, in the olive oil industry and outside, who want to raise the bar on olive oil quality in North America, and are worried about the current low level of oils there.
Supporters who have contributed $1000 or more to Truth in Olive Oil are listed below:
• Axiom Enterprises LLC (owner of Omaggio brand olive oil)
• Fred Cline, Cline Cellars
• Valco Enterprises LLC (owner of Ottavio brand olive oil)
These supporters have no control or influence over the content or activities of Truth in Olive Oil.
Assistance for Fresh Squeezed
I’m working with a group of creative and committed film-makers and camera people to shoot Fresh Squeezed, a documentary film about the olive oil revolution worldwide. The following companies have offered one-time assistance for aspects of the making of Fresh Squeezed:
• Boundary Bend Ltd
• Castillo de Canena Sa
• Frantoio Oleario De Carlo Snc
• Veronica Foods Co
These companies have no control or influence over the content of Fresh Squeezed, nor over the content or activities of Truth in Olive Oil.