Is Barilla’s Veggie Pasta a Good Choice?

Barilla Veggie Penne Pasta

Several Fooducate community members recently asked us about veggie pasta and wanted to know if it is a better choice compared to plain. Great question!

Let’s take a look at Barilla Veggie Penne Pasta, for example. It comes with added tomatoes and carrots. A standard 2-ounce serving has 200 calories, 8 grams of protein (10-15% of the daily value), and is a naturally good source of vitamin A. There are only 2 grams of fiber (8% of the daily value).

Here is the ingredient list:

Semolina (wheat), Durum Flour, tomato puree, carrot puree (carrot, lemon juice concentrate, water), Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic acid.

Compare to the standard Barilla Penne product, which has these ingredients:

Semolina, Durum Flour, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid.

The only difference between these two products is the tomato and carrot purees. Although the purees may add vitamin C and vitamin A compared to the plain pasta, the fiber content of both pastas is identical – just 2 grams.

Since most people enjoy their pasta with a tomato based sauce, adding tomato and carrot purees to the pasta ingredients for their vitamin A and C content does not make sense.

On the other hand, a grain product should provide a higher level of fiber, and the veggie pasta does not. So how about a third and even better choice – whole grain pasta? Here is the ingredient list for Barilla’s Whole Grain Penne:

Whole grain durum wheat flour, semolina (wheat), durum wheat flour, oat fiber.

This pasta boasts 6 grams of fiber per serving, 3 times as much as the other 2. A much better choice.

Get Fooducated

  • Lori Albright-Vertetis

    I like the barilla plus (yellow box) any info on that?

  • Tessa

    An even better choice? Boycott Barilla pasta altogether: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/26/pasta-firm-barilla-boycott-gay

    • Patrick

      Why? Because someone expressed their views. I read what he said, it seemed very proffesional and didnt sound like his intent was to offend anybody. How does that change the taste of the product? People like you annoy me ugh

    • Nicole Johnson

      In response to the individual who was annoyed by “people like you”, Tessa: It’s not simply about the taste of the food mindful consumers choose to purchase. It’s about exercising your power as a consumer when a company chooses to render a segment of the world population invisible. Not everyone chooses to be this mindful, and I often wonder how effective boycotting of this sort is in the long run, but it means a lot to many people. Barilla attempted to seem professional and “innocent”, but even his own defense was problematic in citing the crucial role of a women in a family unit. This plainly implies that only men engage in same-sex relationships, who’s business, according to Barilla himself, is not valued.

    • Wvfaninaustin

      Thanks for sharing the article. That just encouraged me to go buy some of their product. Thanks!

      • TriedandTrue

        Just what I said!!! :)

    • joe

      I’m sorry but that is exactly what a “classic” family is…………that’s what he believes. When he was a kid it was 50 years ago. Think about all that has changed. It’s not his fault, he simply said what HE believes. Everyone has a right to their own opinion just like like you do. Two wrong’s don’t make a right.

  • http://ehkitchen.net/ Alyssa B

    I love their whole wheat pasta. Putting veggies in pasta that people are probably smother in tomato sauce has always puzzled me, too.

  • CindyM

    I like the plus pasta also. Cannot even tell the difference. Any comparison on that one?

  • Alison

    There are other flavors of the veggie pasta like spinach. I feed to my toddler without sauce. I like the added veggies plus it tastes good, sauceless.

  • Nicole Johnson

    Is response to Tessa providing an article citing an intolerant Barilla to homosexuality, and Patrick expressing his annoyance of “people like you”:
    It’s not simply about the taste of the food mindful consumers choose to purchase. It’s about exercising your power as a consumer when a company chooses to render a segment of the world population invisible. Not everyone chooses to be this mindful, and I often wonder how effective boycotting of this sort is in the long run, but it means a lot to many people. Barilla attempted to seem professional and “innocent”, but even his own defense was problematic in citing the crucial role of a women in a family unit. This plainly implies that only men engage in same-sex relationships, who’s business, according to Barilla himself, is not valued.

    • TriedandTrue

      He didn’t need a defense. His company. His rules. I support him.

  • TriedandTrue

    Thanks Tessa… you just made me buy MORE Barilla pasta in support of the chairman’s decision to support classic families. That’s a VALUE I hold near and dear. Seeing gay families in the commercial would honestly turn me off as a consumer to the product. Appeal to the majority and stop getting your panties in a rainbow wad.

  • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

    How did an article about nutrition become a pro/con discussion abut homosexuality?
    Come on folks, there are plenty of other places for you to have this discussion. Not here!