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Why won't they leave yogurt alone?

  • a

So I stopped buying Stonyfield Farm yogurt because they put something called inulin, or something like that, in their yogurt. Something to do with fiber, blah blah blah.

So I try another organic brand (I'm in NYC): Horizon. Tastes good, but it has something called NutraFlora (tm) in it, which the carton says is supposed to increase calcium absorption.

I've previously bought Emmi brand yogurt and Sky Top Farms, which are both delicious, but they're kind of pricy. But I'm beginning to think that's what I'll have to pay for a yogurt whose sole ingredient is: yogurt.

Why do food manufacturers do this?

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  1. Well, Dannon's low-fat plain yogurt has 2 ingredients...low-fat milk and pectin (which I believe is a natural ingredient)...yes, Dannon plain low-fat yogurt is watery but at least it doesn't contain synthetic ingredients. I need to find a store that sells "Totally Greek" yogurt which folks on this board say is great but not sure I can afford it...I eat yogurt for breakfast at least 5 times a week.

    17 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Doesn't Dannon sell it's greek yogurt with honey in the US? It's available in Europe and it's delicious.

        1. re: ko

          Shame on them. I realize that taste preferences are different in different countries, but you would have to be severely culinarily challenged not to that stuff.

          I wonder if the problem is that Americans have collectively decided that yogurt should be low-fat.

          1. re: butterfly

            Yes, I think they have. Same thing in Canada, too, although Liberte and a few other brands make higher than 3% yogurt.

            I think most Canadians and Americans associate eating yogurt with eating something low-fat and sort of gloppy. There are tons of different 0% or 1% types of yogurt at any of my local stores, and only one brand with 4% to 8%.

            1. re: lissar

              Actually, no...there are a few at least with higher than 4%. I'm in Canada and two I can think of right off the bat are Astro Balkan Style and Elite Balkan Style (both around 5.9% I think). They're good. No funny stuff in either one of them. And the Elite says it's "probiotic" which means, well, I don't know what it means. But it must be good for you, right? It's PRObiotic!

              1. re: Nyleve

                I learn something new everyday. First biodynamic wines, now probionic yogurt

                Link: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsof...

              2. re: lissar

                Liberte makes a wonderful yogurt with honey. I love the stuff. I believe its 2.4% fat.

              3. re: butterfly

                Here in Montréal I can easily find thick, full-fat yoghourt. Krinos makes a ewe's milk yoghourt that is wonderful indeed, and all the Lebanese companies also make nice, thick yoghourt. We also get Astro from Toronto.

                And kaity, I care very much about fibre: vegetables (and fresh herbs), fruit (either of which can be added to plain yoghourt, depending on whether you want to make a savoury or sweet dish with it), wholemeal breads, whole grains, legumes... Not fakey stuff added to yoghourt or anything else.

          2. re: Val
            JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

            Total yogurt is available almost exclusively at Trader Joe's. If you don't have a TJ's in your area, the best thing to do is move so there's one close by.

            Link: http://thecosmicjester.blogspot.com

            1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

              Here in the San Francisco bay area, Fage Total Greek Yogurt has been popping up at just about every grocery store. If you can't find it where you live, I suggest asking the managers of your grocery stores to add it. While it is pricey, it's much more potent than American yogurts.

              Somebody asked about Dannon. The Dannon sold across Europe is different than the one sold here. In Europe it's actually good, here it's crap.

              Brown Cow is another brand you may want to try. Unfortunately, they were bought by Stonyfield a while ago and the parent company, in their infinite wisdom, decide to cancel the organic line of Brown Cow. The conventional stuff is still pretty good, though.

              If all else fails, you could always make your own.

              1. re: nja

                I see Total in lots of the fresh market/ethnic market types of places.

                1. re: nja

                  Have you ever had the Dannon flan they sell in every supermarket in Spain? Better than virtually any I've had here, restaurant or home-made.

                2. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
                  King of Northern Blvd.

                  Well it's all over Astoria, NYC if your local....

                  1. re: King of Northern Blvd.

                    Not just Astoria! I think even my local Pioneer has it these days...

                    1. re: MikeG

                      They sell Total in King's in NJ. For some reason, it disappeared for a while but they recently brought it back.

                3. re: Val

                  It's Total Yogurt and Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are our sources here in Baltimore. You will not believe how good it is unless you've been to Greece. It's drained of all extra water, giving it a custardy texture, and the flavor: Whoa! I actually prefer the regular cow's milk variety to their sheep and goat's milk product. It's pricy, though. I mainly use it to make tsatsiki, which people rave about.

                  1. re: Val

                    Dannon makes a reasonable fascimile of Greek yogurt if you strain it through a cheese cloth or dense-knit (not fuzzy) kitchen towel for between 4 and 8 hrs. Tastes great. Makes great tzatziki, too.

                  2. Why indeed!?

                    There are at least four different smaller makers of yogurt who sell in NYC, but only in the big size. I love Seven Stars Farm, it's a thinner organic yogurt from PA that's great for salad dressings as well as granola.
                    In the little cups, you might try the organic goat kind, Redwood Farms. It's expensive, but tasty if you like tangy. I'll never forgive them for discontinuing the coffee flavor . . .

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pitu

                      Where do you buy these in NYC?

                      1. re: rkn

                        In Brooklyn at the Park Slope Food Coop, but I imagine they're in health food stores and well stocked east village green grocers . . .

                    2. You are so lucky in NY you can buy Hawthorn Farms yogurt. I think it's the world greatest. They have a stand at Union Sq ...

                      1. a

                        Well I gotta say NutraFlora doesn't sound all that scary. See link.

                        Link: http://www.horizonorganic.com/product...

                        1. BTW, Inulin is just fiber from chickory root and it is a natural product. It's totally tasteless and doesn't leave any kind of "fibery" texture. I can understand that you really want "pure" yogurt, though...
                          I still remember how good the stuff was in Greece, drizzeled with honey...mmmm

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: BZpie

                            Hi Hounds,

                            Recently wento to the farmers' market and saw Greek yougurt with honey on the side.

                            Is it good? What is the taste like?

                            I really dislike American yogurt which is ruined by too much sugar, additives, etc.

                            1. re: tacoliz 2

                              Ooooh. Buy it. It's rich. It's thick. It's heaven on a spoon. Without the honey, it's a bit tart, but not unpleasantly so. With the honey drizzled over it, you'll think it's ambrosia. Also really good with some slices of nice, ripe pear.

                              1. re: Deenso
                                mark grossman

                                i would compare the Greek yogurt to american style sour cream.

                                1. re: mark grossman

                                  ewww! I wouldn't eat sour creme by the spoon, as I would greek yogurt. It's different!

                                  1. re: pitu

                                    Greek yogurt and sour cream are two completely different things. Think of Greek yogurt as the old-fashioned plain Dannon yogurt you might remember from the days when it came in a cardboard container, but strained and left to sit overnight so that it thickens up. Real Greek yogurt is something you wouldn't eat an entire container of, but you'd use it as more of a garnish or a side dish with honey, fruit, pomegranates, etc.

                                    As for Total, the brand name actually is Fage, and the name of the product is Total. Since it began to be made in the United States, instead of Greece, its distribution has expanded dramatically. I can buy it everywhere from Trader Joe's to Kroger's now. Try checking somewhere other than Whole Foods, because they charge the most.

                            2. re: BZpie

                              "...Inulin is just fiber from chickory root and it is a natural product. It's totally tasteless and doesn't leave any kind of "fibery" texture.........

                              Ah, that explains why my sister complained that the cat (who hadn't had problems in the past) had, um, the d-word after eating this brand of yogurt recently. By the way, my sister doesn't like Stoneyfield yogurt any more because she felt the texture has changed. She didn't know about Inulin when she made that comment.

                              It's sad about the Brown Cow Yogurt. I used to like the full-fat ones with creme on the top.

                              Now it's just Total. Maybe sometimes Ronnybrook.

                            3. I don't know what the Stonyfield farm Farm yogurt taste like before adding Inulin. But I do appreciate very much that they have add it. You may rethink about fiber if you know that it can improve your body's absorption to nutrients from food you eat, better regularity, reduce your risk of getting sick,... Diabetes, Obesity, Osteoporosis, ... are all related to lack of fiber. Do you know that 30% of the elderly dies within a year from hip fracture???

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: kaity


                                Money? Money, money, money.

                                1. re: dolores

                                  I do not get it either. Being German living in the US for quite a while now, it still seems odd to me to call a yogurt "low fat" then add thickeners like pectin and gelatin or starch for better mouth feel and high fructose corn syrup???
                                  A yogurt should contain milk, cultures, flavours and fruit if desired, nothing else....

                                  1. re: leonidas137

                                    Remember the dog food issue where the food was displaced by melamine? Same thing.

                                    Displace the yogurt with fake stuff and charge the same price or more, under the banner of 'new and improved'.

                                    1. re: dolores

                                      I believe a lot of confusion with inulin is because most people don't really know what it is.

                                      Inulin is actually an fiber that is found naturally in our fruit & vegetables. It's content is especially high in J. artichokes, chicory root & garlic.

                                      To have the proper amount of inulin for it's effect, you will need to eat 2/5 lbs of raw garlic; 1 1/4 lb of raw onions; or 10 lbs of banana a day. I would say that eating that yogurt with inulin added is a much better way.

                                      Inulin is also know as "Pre-biotic for it's active stimulating property to our digestive system. The natural form of inulin is most often from chicory root. There are many synthetic (polydextrose) or by products from whey on the market now that is also called prebiotic. Those are the ones to stay away from.

                                    2. re: leonidas137

                                      Leonidas, I had a Swiss university student boarding at my place some years back. He was discussing a meal at hosts in New England, though I'm sure you could find people who eat the same way here in Montréal (though perhaps fewer).

                                      Everything was low-fat, and the hosts did not want to eat the nice gruyère and Emmanthaler he had brought because they were so rich... but then a couple of hours later everyone was eating potato chips.

                                      Of course you make Quark in various fat contents with absolutely nothing added but milk and whatever makes it curdle.

                                      1. re: lagatta

                                        It's funny. I searched yogurt to see if I could learn why the yogurt I have had in Europe taste so much better than here. I found this thread.

                                        No matter where we go in Europe I eat and enjoy the yogurt. For the first time my husband tried it in France this past trip. He loved it! At home he will not touch it.
                                        One thing we did notice was they do not put calorie count on all the choices. We did find one that showed a reasonably low count and still was great.

                                    3. re: dolores

                                      With proper fiber intake it improves your digestive system (such as the active fiber of enriched inulin) which help you to absorb the essential nutrients such as calcium that your body needs!!! Elderly dies after hip fracture mostly from lack of mobility, which causes many other complications.

                                  2. I agree........I have a helluva hard time finding low fat yogurts without gelatin in them, a priority for me, as I don't eat meat. One of my favorites (source), to my knowledge, never used to...but the bunch I purchased recently, has gelatine in it. It was a favorite because it was also sugar free. Now I won't buy it any more, and i'm stuck with what i have because it was one of the few times I didn't check the labels. I hate when they change a product that way (happens with favorite brands of beans and soups as well, suddenly chicken fat or what not starts showing in the ingredients).

                                    As for greek yogurt, I agree, it's divine. A favorite for regular yogurt for me is Liberte....the lemon flavored is thick and blissful. I swear i'd rather eat it than ice cream.