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Originally published July 29 2005

Interview: macadamia and avocado oil from Natural Organic Imports

by Steve Diaz

Steve: I'm speaking with Vicki Mathison, the Vice President of Natural Organic Imports. We're talking to her about macadamia and avocado nut oil. Can you talk about the oils in terms of nutrition?

Mathison: Yes, I'll start with the avocado oil. First off, it's made solely from the fruit of the avocado. The skin and pit are taken out. It's all cold pressed, and they only use the extra virgin avocado oil. What makes the avocado oil unique are two factors: Its smoke point is almost 600 degrees, which means it can heat and cook at extremely high temperatures, and the properties of the oil do not fall apart like with some oils like olive oil. It is very high in monounsaturated fat. That's one of the reasons we're also endorsed by the Heart Association. It's been proven to fight against heart disease. We're also in the Diabetic Health and Happiness book, because the monounsaturated fat has been proven to help diabetics because it takes better in the bloodstream. It also is helpful for cholesterol levels. It's proven to combat the bad cholesterol levels while promoting or improving the good cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

Steve: Where is the avocado grown?

Mathison: New Zealand. Our avocado is from New Zealand.

Steve: Where are the macadamia nuts from?

Mathison: The macadamia nut oils are from Australia.

Steve: What is your website address?

Mathison: It's . The oils are also endorsed, a little side note, by chef Jamie Oliver. As far as the macadamia nut oil, it has similar health benefits as the avocado oil -- compared to olive oil, it is still higher in monounsaturated fat, and it has a higher smoke point, as well.

Steve: It has a higher smoke point and it's higher in monounsaturated fat?

Mathison: Yes, than olive oil. It was named the ingredient in the Hampton's diet.

Steve: Which of the two is the better seller? Do you think macadamia is on the upswing?

Mathison: Yes, right now, the avocado oil is the better seller, but the macadamia nut oil, especially since the Hampton's diet came out, is on the upswing. I definitely noticed in the last six months, the macadamia nut oil really increased.

Steve: Are these certified organic?

Mathison: No. We did have a certified organic avocado oil but we sold out. They are all organically processed, but the macadamia nuts are not organic, so you can't claim that it's organic. The avocados themselves are not certified organic, though they're organically processed.

Steve: Are there any challenges to producing this?

Mathison: Yes, there are challenges. Actually the challenge with the organic avocado was actually there aren't enough. Farmers get more money selling it as an organic avocado to eat.

Steve: Oh, I see. So they're worth more as a shelf fruit?

Mathison: Yes. So a lot of the organic that they were getting was the stuff they couldn't sell as a whole avocado.

Steve: I see. If people wanted to buy your products, where could they find them?

Mathison: Whole Foods market. Wild Oats. Draegers, Molly Stone's,,, Lazy Acres, and Mother's Market and Kitchen.

Steve: So you are enjoying pretty good distribution.

Mathison: Yes.

Steve: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.

Mathison: Thank you.

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