The Clean Community / Get To Know Aishwarya Iyer From Brightland

Our founder, Jess, recently discovered this olive oil company called Brightland, founded by Aishwarya Iyer, and has quickly become obsessed. From the sleek packaging to the vibrate tasting olive oil, Brightland is definitely the full package. Aishwarya has worn a lot of different hats throughout her career, so we chatted with her all about starting her own olive oil brand, the benefits of high-quality olive oil and she (of course) snuck in a recipe or two using her amazing olive oil.

 

From Tech Companies To Starting Brightland

“I’m from Texas and I lived in New York for about ten years. I was primarily working at startups and tech companies, so I worked at a finance tech company, early-stage venture capital firm and then before that, I was at L’oreal in the luxury product division. Then around year 8 of living in New York, I finally started cooking more and that’s when I noticed I was getting these stomach aches but wasn’t sure if it was the cheese or the bread I was eating. One day I was dipping some bread into some olive oil and that’s kind of when it hit me and I realized it might be the olive oil. I started doing more research and found out that the majority of the olive oil that American’s consume is rancid or rotten, so I was obviously really blown away. I wasn’t really sure what the next steps were going to be, but that was definitely the start of Brightland.”


From Olive To Olive Oil

“We work with a single-estate family farm in the central coast of California. They have an organic mill on site, which is really special because a lot of olive farms don’t have mills on site, especially in California. So we created two olive oils to start, one called Awake made from handpicked heirloom Arbequina Olives and the other called Alive made of a custom blend of Arbosana and Arbequina olives. Awake is really great with soups, pasta and pizza and more of the hearty meals that are more cozy and Alive is really beautiful for more of the vibrant dishes like marinades and salads and stuff like that.”


Benefits Of Olive Oil

“Olive oil has a powerful antioxidant called polyphenol so it’s considered a cardiovascular protector, it’s also beneficial in lowering high blood pressure because it keeps arteries dilated and clear. The brain also requires fatty acids to function properly and extra virgin olive oil is full of fatty acids, and then a study done in 2017 showed that extra virgin olive oil has been associated in diminishing the occurrence of Alzheimer disease, so it’s really powerful.”


Why Make The Switch

“From a health benefits standpoints, if you’re consuming a rancid olive oil you’re not able to absorb all the benefits it has to offer. Also, our olive oil has a really high smoke point so it’s really great for cooking. From a freshness standpoint, you can really taste the difference with the Brightland olive oil. For us, if you’re going to go out of your way to go to the farmers market and buy really good quality, healthy food then you don’t want to douse it in a rotten product. You want to drizzle really authentic and fresh olive oil on it.”

 

How To Find Great Olive Oil

“To find great olive oil, it’s important to look for opaque packaging or even something that’s powder coated or stainless steel because light is a big enemy for olive oil so it should never be in a clear package. There should also be a harvest date, a best by date doesn’t really tell you when that oil was made and you don’t really want to buy olive oil that was made more than 12-15 months ago. Also if there’s any information about the smoke point or the polyphenol count, those are good indicators of a high-quality olive oil.”

 

Aishwarya’s Favorite Recipes With Brightland

“I have such a sweet tooth so I love drizzling it over vanilla bean ice cream and drizzling some sea salt on top. I’ve also been really into making Brightland rice crispy treats, so it’s just rice crispies, chunky sea salt, mini marshmallows, and Brightland. It’s really really good.”


Check out Jess’ favorite way to use Brightland olive oil (P.S. it’s in a pretty unexpected way)

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