When walking through the grocery aisle I often find myself wondering about what “else”  is Gluten Free. Not everything is labeled in the most helpful way.

Obviously fresh, organic, whole foods are the best choice for fruits and vegetables. Frozen would be my second choice, but there are times when what I want is not available in either of those forms… and there are those occasional favorite foods from my past that simply keep “calling my name”.

One such food is the Del Monte “Fresh Cut Specialties- Zucchini with Italian-Style Tomato Sauce”. At first glance, I would have dismissed this product because the ingredient list includes tomato paste and spices. Both of those ingredients could contain Gluten unless otherwise indicated.

A call to Del Monte’s 1-800 number (1-800-543-3090) went unanswered… apparently, I called after hours. Thank goodness for the internet! Del Monte’s website was very helpful. One page addressed concerns about Celiac Disease ( Del Monte – Ask the Nutritionist – Celiac Disease) and another listed which of their products are Gluten Free. Here is their list:

WHICH DEL MONTE FOODS CONSUMER PRODUCTS ARE GLUTEN-FREE?

The list below includes current Del Monte consumer products that, to the best of our knowledge, do not contain wheat, oats, rye or barley/malt ingredients.

The list may change or may not be complete due to formula changes or new product introductions. It’s always best to read the ingredient statement on the label for the most current information.

Del Monte Gluten-Free Products

  • All Del Monte® and S&W® Canned/Jarred Fruits
  • All Del Monte® Fruit Cup® Snacks (Metal and Plastic), including Fruit Chillers®
  • All Del Monte® and S&W® Canned Vegetables
  • All Del Monte®Contadina®, and S&W® Tomatoes & Tomato Products (except
    Del Monte
    ® Spaghetti Sauce Flavored with Meat, and Contadina® Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs)
  • Harvest Selections® Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans, Homestyle Chili with Beans.
  • College Inn® Garden Vegetable Broth and Organic Beef Broth, Beef Sirloin Bold Stock, White Wine & Herb Culinary Broth.

Wahooo… it is safe to eat my canned Zucchini.  :)  Wouldn’t it be so much easier if only the companies would put a symbol for Gluten Free right on the label? A “K” inside a small triangle on the label indicates this food item as Kosher.

I’m hoping companies get the message. I’ve avoided this ‘favorite food’ item since first discovering my need to eat Gluten Free. Del Monte had lost my business all this time due to inadequate labeling.

Those with nut allergies have gotten attention and better labeling… I think the time has come for Gluten/Gluten Free to be required on all processed and manufactured foods. It would make life a little easier for us all!