usingtherightwords

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If the “Extra Virgin” Loses its Virginity, is it Still Virgin?


During my last shopping trip, I bought olive oil. The bottle said “Extra Virgin Olive Oil.”

That got me thinking. How can something be extra virgin? Does that mean that if the extra virgin loses its virginity, it’s still virgin?

Imagine the repercussions.

The term makes no sense. Virgin as an adjective is defined as “free of impurity or stain.” How can something be “extra free of impurity or stain?” If it’s free, it’s free.

I researched and found that any olive oil deemed virgin means the oil was produced by mechanical means only, with no chemical treatment. Extra virgin means different things in different countries.  In countries bound by the standards set by the International Olive Council (IOC), extra virgin oil is of higher quality: Among other things, it contains no more than 0.8% free acidity. Whatever that means.

In the United States, where the IOC has no legal standing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines extra virgin oil has having excellent flavor and odor and free fatty acid content of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams (0.8%). Again, whatever that means.

I’m inclined to believe the term extra virgin is some sort of marketing gimmick, but it worked. I bought the stuff, didn’t I?

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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May 29, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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