Decoding Labels: French’s Worcestershire Sauce


Worcestershire sauce is a staple in our home. What would my homemade Caesar Salad Dressing be without it?

We also use Worcestershire sauce to season hamburger patties, make a homemade barbecue sauce, marinate steaks, and so much more!

And because an authentic Worcestershire sauce is made with a long, slow fermentation process, it’s not the sort of condiment that most of us would make at home. Instead, we buy it at the store.

So when a reader asked me to decode the label of her FRENCH’s Classic Worcestershire Sauce, I thought it made excellent sense to do so.

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Decoding Labels: Glutino Toaster Pastries


Navigating store-bought gluten-free baked goods can be like walking through a minefield. On the one hand, the cracker or cookie or pastry is wheat-free. SCORE. On the other hand, it’s almost always full of genetically-modified sugar and isolated starches that aren’t part of a traditional diet. FAIL.

Recently a reader emailed me asking me to decode the label on her Glutino Gluten-Free Toaster Pastries Strawberry Flavor.

This is what I found.

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DECODING LABELS: Pacific Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup


Ages ago, when I was a very young cook, cream of mushroom soup was a wonder. I could open a can and easily transform it into beef stroganoff, broccoli rice casserole, green bean casserole, you name it. My Taste of Home magazine came crammed with recipe after recipe featuring these condensed soups.

When I started transitioning to real food, the canned soups were among the first to go. I learned that it was almost as easy to make my own mushroom roux, and I never looked back.

I also didn’t think that any kind of an alternative existed out there. Last week, though, a reader emailed me asking me to decode the ingredients label on her go-to cream of mushroom soup: Pacific Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup.

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Decoding Labels: Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli


Have any of you noticed that our definition of “junk food” has narrowed over the course of the last few decades? The average young parent these days will tell you that they don’t feed junk food to their child, but they’ll still drive them through a fast-food joint once a week.

They’ll tell you that they don’t feed their children junk food, but they’ll still give their kiddos macaroni and cheese and corn dogs for dinner.

They assume that junk food is only stuff like candy or sugar-sweetened snacks. Fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, mac & cheese — none of these are considered junk food anymore. Because of that, they’ll happily open a can of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli for their kiddos and be proud of the fact that it’s well-balanced. It’s a serving of vegetables, meats, and grains all wrapped up in an easy package.

And, it’s the world’s #1 selling pre-cooked pasta.

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