Your pesto could contain bamboo

Supermarkets are cutting costs and packing pesto with weird extra ingredients

According to a super-important very-serious investigation, our fave Italian delicacy / student staple has a bit more to it than the basil, parmesan, pine nut combo we bargained for...

What it means: Which? (a magazine that does consumer research) looked into pesto sold by Asda, Co-op, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. It found that supermarket own labels used cashew nuts instead of pine nuts, sunflower oil instead of olive oil and cheaper grana padano cheese instead of parmesan to cut costs. Not grana padano!

Most also bulked the sauce up with thickeners (including bamboo fibre), and Tesco listed water as an ingredient.

As fun as it is to laugh at people getting their knickers in a twist about a slightly cheaper version of cheese, there is an economics point to this. So many processes and considerations go into mass-producing foods for supermarkets: finding ways to make it last on the shelf as long as possible, keeping production costs down without losing customers, etc.

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  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?