At Fresh Thymes, we are OBSESSED with high quality ingredients. When Christine started this business, she was committed to always offering customers the highest-quality food, from start to finish. This includes the oils that we use as the foundation for all of our food.

In 2010, UC Davis found that 69% of the olive oil in the United States, although claiming to be extra virgin, did not meet the U.S. or international standards.

So what does “extra virgin” mean? It is the top grade of olive oil according to standards established by the International Olive Council and the USDA. It is olive oil which has excellent flavor and odor (median of defects equal to zero and median of fruitiness greater than zero) and a free fatty acid content, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than .8 grams per 100 grams. When olive oils fail this chemical testing process, it indicates that they reach oxidation by exposure to elevated temperatures, light and/or aging, they are adulterated with cheaper refined olive oil or they are poor quality oils made from damaged and overripe olives, processing flaws, and/or improper oil storage.

This concerns us, because the lower quality olive oils can cause oxidative stress in the body, leading to a number of health issues.

So how do you find an olive oil that meets the standards of truly extra virgin? It’s best to purchase oils from Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Italy and Australia. It makes a difference to look for olive oils at specialty shops rather than mass produced labels available at your grocery store.

We want to make it easy for you to choose an olive oil, so we are now selling Healthy Harvest olive oil at our Marketplace. Healthy Harvest is a local company that imports olive oil and olives from Greece, and their oils are chemically tested at an independent lab to make sure that it meets the strict international standards and has not been adulterated. The wonderful people at Healthy Harvest travel to Greece and have a relationship with their producers - a single family of fourth generation organic farmers.

We love this company so much, we are now using their high-quality oil to cook with at the Marketplace, and we are working on sourcing their oil for our Eatery location as well.

At the Marketplace we are selling their Extra Virgin olive oil as well as their flavored olive oils in garlic, lemon and chili. Come try a sample and you can taste the difference!