I’ve written before about deceptive food marketing buzzwords such as “lite” and “sugar-free” that should strike fear into the heart of any healthy eater, but outright lies on the labels of products really grate on me as well. This time my beef is with Lea & Perrins “The Original Worcestershire Sauce.”
In my youthful memories of the 1970s it seemed like Worcestershire sauce was a ubiquitous flavoring for steaks and burgers, and used as an ingredient in various recipes. The label on the bottle reads: Since 1835, Lea & Perrins has been the one truly authentic brand of Worcestershire Sauce. Aged in wooden casks for 18 months, Lea & Perrins uses on the finest ingredients sourced from around the world to produce a flavor unmatched for over 170 years.
After reading that, you’d think it means they’ve been using the same recipe since 1835 to produce this sauce, wouldn’t you? But when I read the ingredients list, it says: vinegar, molasses, high fructose corn syrup…
Now, I know for a fact that high fructose corn syrup has not been in existence since 1835 as it was only developed in a chemist’s laboratory in the 1970s, so is Lea & Perrins lying or just not telling the truth when they talk about their 170 year-old recipe?
If it contains HFCS, we know that Lea & Perrins “Original” Worcestershire Sauce contains GMOs, too. So much for history and tradition when it comes to mass producing food products.
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Dear Dr. Yarnell, FYI
I had just used Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce in a soup when I went on the web to see how much turmeric to put in the soup and came upon your website. My bottle of sauce is fairly new, 2-3 months old, but there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup in it, only sugar. However, the label on the front states “All Natural”. Maybe they put out two different types? or very recently made the change to HFCS? I do not buy products with HFCS if I can help it, which means I rarely buy processed foods.
Thanks very much for your great website!!! A friend of mine who has children with a variety of food allergies will be receiving the info of your site. Yvonne
Yvonne – You piqued my curiosity. I double-checked my bottle, bought about a year ago at Costco, and it still said High Fructose Corn Syrup on the label. I called the Lea & Perrins customer service number to ask what the story was.
According to Lea & Perrins, they stopped using HFCS almost 2 years ago (I must have gotten older stock).
Very nicely, the company is sending me out a replacement bottle. Thanks for alerting me to this! It’s nice to see a company responding to public outcry over HFCS in our food.