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The Truth About Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a popular choice in the kitchen, but few know that it is highly processed -- or that the term "vegetable oil" actually refers to a blend of seed oils like corn, soybean, or grapeseed. We chronicled the dirty details behind some of the most common cooking oils to illustrate why extra virgin olive oil is always the best (and best-tasting) choice for a variety of kitchen projects.

Is Olive Oil Really Better?

SHOP BRIGHTLAND OLIVE OIL

Olive oil outperforms vegetable oil in every category. We put together a list of the differences between extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil so you can feel informed when stocking up.

Oil Source

“Vegetable oil” is a catchall term for any oil that comes from plant sources, so you don’t know exactly what’s in the bottle. It could be a blend of canola, corn, soybean, safflower, palm, grapeseed, or sunflower oils.

Extra virgin olive oil is made only from ripe, fruity olives, and nothing else. Brightland’s olives are grown without pesticides or chemicals, and lovingly harvested from small family farms in California’s Central Coast.

Process

Vegetable oils are heavily refined, made from seeds that are crushed, processed with phosphoric acid and solvents like hexane (found in gasoline) and heated multiple times in order to remove any flavors or odors.

To make extra virgin olive oil, olives are cold-pressed quickly after harvest for the highest quality oil. Brightland’s olives are cold-pressed by a master miller within 90 minutes of harvest, then stored in a climate controlled room to reduce heat exposure.

Health Benefits

When vegetable oil is produced, most of the seed’s original nutrients are destroyed due to the amount of heating, refining, and processing necessary to squeeze oil from seeds. Seed oils also contain omega-6 fatty acids which have been linked to chronic illnesses.

Cold-pressed extra virgin olive retains its many nutritional benefits. At the time of the 2021 harvest, our olive oils have a sky-high polyphenol count between 555 and 774 mg/kg (most oils test at 80-150 mg/kg). A high polyphenol count means our olive oil is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Flavor

Contrary to popular belief, seed oils don’t naturally taste neutral. Vegetable oil is “neutrally flavored” because it is highly processed in order to remove any flavors or odors that are present in the oil. Some also report an acidic flavor when heating seed oils to high temperatures.

Extra virgin olive oil is known for its naturally-distinct fruity flavor and aroma. Brightland olive oil is deliciously peppery and grassy, made to enhance the flavor of a dish -- rather than alter it.

Taste the Difference

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The Duo

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The Duo

Our two bestselling extra virgin olive oils, paired together to balance and round out your kitchen.

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