So how did the headlines come about?
The stories were the result of a report by Consensus Action on Salt and Health who found that the amount of salt in shop-bought pesto is rising. The average serving now containing 1.5g of salt, overtaking McDonalds hamburgers (1.2g).
Whilst too much salt isn't good for our health, I don't believe in demonising foods based on their salt content alone. There are obviously other factors to consider when comparing pesto to a McDonalds burger!!
When it comes to pesto, big brands such as Sacla not only provide plenty of salt, their biggest ingredient is sunflower oil which is not great for our health. Sacla's classic basil pesto also contains glucose and 'favourings'. Why? Why not use classic ingredients that Italians have been making delicious pesto with for years?! Cost, that's why. It's cheap to fill jars with refined oils and boost the flavour of substandard ingredients with unnecessary sugar and additives.
But don't despair, fellow pesto lovers! I have good news. If you want good quality, healthy pesto, made with extra virgin olive oil, the freshest basil and only natural ingredients, you can get your flavoursome fix from Seggiano . Not only is their pesto made with the best ingredients, they're dairy free too. Yes, they're more expensive, but when it comes to food we usually get what we pay for...