Remember the game “Telephone”?
You whisper something into someone’s ear and they whisper that same message to the person next to them, and on and on until you get to the end of the line. The last person to receive the message and finally announce it to the group is almost always going to get it wrong.
As with anything, the more people who get between the original source and the end of the line, the more room for error.
This is the notion behind single-sourcing, and why we work directly with our producers (and no middle man) to bring members a pure, high-quality, and unadulterated product like Thrive Market Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Each bottle travels straight from a family-owned olive grove to our warehouse, and then to your kitchen—with no missteps in between.
What “extra virgin” actually means
Qualifying an olive oil as extra virgin is no small feat. EVOOs are the creme de la creme of olive oils, the most premium quality that money can buy. So, if you’re seeing a bottle for less than $10 somewhere, let that be a red flag.
First, the olive oil has to be tested in a lab approved by the International Olive Council (IOC) to ensure it has no more than one percent oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that occurs naturally in various animal and vegetable oils and fats. It’s then put before a panel of judges for taste testing to verify that there are no sensory flaws in the aroma and flavor.
Additionally, to authenticate its Greek origins, our EVOO is PGI Certified by the European Union, and the groves we harvest from all adhere to the Greek State’s Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.).
Despite the lengthy process of becoming a bonafide extra virgin olive oil, many bottles are still misrepresented. A test performed on 19 brands bearing the EVOO label found 69 percent failed to meet the IOC/USDA standards. They had flavor defects, signs of oxidation, and even indications that some of the olives were rancid! Yet, it’s almost impossible to tell what’s real and what’s not based on packaging alone. That’s why knowing where your olive oil comes from is hugely important.
Where Thrive Market Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes from
Allow us to reveal our sources. Our EVOO is made from 100% Koroneiki olives, grown on certified organic trees on a family-owned estate in western Crete. Our producers ensure that every batch is made from a single olive varietal, which is cold-pressed within just a few hours of harvesting to maintain the low acidity and capture all the fragrance and freshness.
They carefully monitor the entire process—from picking to handling, filtering to storing—without any tampering from outside facilities. Everything is harvested, stored, and bottled on-site, then kept in air-tight, temperature-controlled storage facilities until you open up the bottle at home and enjoy the impeccable taste.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho