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Commence whey puns... NOW!
May 22, 2013 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers.... And as the nation’s hunger grows for strained yogurt, which produces more byproduct than traditional varieties, the issue of its acid runoff becomes more pressing. Greek yogurt companies, food scientists, and state government officials are scrambling not just to figure out uses for whey, but how to make a profit off of it.
posted by Cash4Lead (228 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Are these uses for whey not good enough?
posted by kenko at 10:34 AM on May 22, 2013


WHEY! That gross farty poison is in fucking everything; deli meats, bread, crackers, vitamins, a zillion random things in which it never appeared before, making my life a living hell. I just want to eat a chicken sandwich without crapping myself, but apparently this is too much to ask.

fuck whey
posted by elizardbits at 10:34 AM on May 22, 2013 [37 favorites]


Whey to go, Yogurt eaters!
posted by gkhan at 10:35 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, whey not cool, Greek poseurs . . .
posted by jeremias at 10:36 AM on May 22, 2013


Make it into giant buckets of brotein powder, duh
posted by saturday_morning at 10:37 AM on May 22, 2013 [16 favorites]


Kenko, no, it's too watery and too low in protein for the traditional whey uses.

(I swear this is a double, someone posted the NPR coverage from ~dec 2012 on this issue)
posted by k5.user at 10:38 AM on May 22, 2013


Make it into beer or vodka!
posted by vacapinta at 10:38 AM on May 22, 2013


Is it too much to ask that something I love not have some sort of awful aspect to it? IS IT????
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:38 AM on May 22, 2013 [49 favorites]


I just want to eat a chicken sandwich without crapping myself, but apparently this is too much to ask.

Has a greater sentence ever been written?
posted by Hoopo at 10:39 AM on May 22, 2013 [27 favorites]


whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers.

I've never heard of this downside of compost before.
posted by DU at 10:39 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn it. I really like Greek yogurt.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:39 AM on May 22, 2013


WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIEEE!
posted by The Power Nap at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2013


Is it too much to ask that something I love not have some sort of awful aspect to it?

If it's a processed food, probably so.
posted by DU at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I make cheese and drink the whey, which I love.
posted by No Robots at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2013


The aforementioned NPR link (21-Nov 2012, I was close).
posted by k5.user at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never heard of this downside of compost before.
you compost in streams and rivers ?
posted by k5.user at 10:41 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I live in an extremely Greek neighborhood, so I remember being mildly amused at all the commercials touting it as the latest miracle food. Now apparently it's about to become the latest Demon Food. Sick of hearing about it either way.
posted by jonmc at 10:43 AM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sounds like the sustainable solution is to make imitation Greek yogurt.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:43 AM on May 22, 2013


Okay, so here's where I almost made a joke about this being the plot for my sequel to The Stuff before realizing that this comment would be the second 'sequel to The Stuff' joke I've made on Metafilter this month.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:45 AM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


Feed it to a spider, of course. They love that shit.
posted by gohabsgo at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2013 [58 favorites]


...you compost in streams and rivers ?

Everyone does, unless you have a septic tank.
posted by DU at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


They can't just break it down in treatment tanks before dumping it? I'm pretty sure sewage plants deal with worse stuff than whey.
posted by GuyZero at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2013


Yeah, the magical lactose-free yogurt I like is very slightly greekish in texture, which is apparently achieved by using pectin. It's pretty neat. I am starting to worry about the LD50 of lactase enzyme though.
posted by elizardbits at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2013


Person 1: I like Greek yogurt!
Person 2: No whey!

</obvious_pun>
posted by tempestuoso at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Have you heard that I'm on a new, no-dairy diet?

No way!

No curds, either.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:47 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


If there's one thing I like more than obvious pun humor, it's jinxy double comments.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:48 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


They can't just break it down in treatment tanks before dumping it? I'm pretty sure sewage plants deal with worse stuff than whey.

Yeah, but that would cost them money, and the point is that the yogurt companies want to profit off of their fartjuice.
posted by elizardbits at 10:49 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And, RTFA'ing, they do indeed break it down in tanks and generate methane. Apparently they just need more tanks.
posted by GuyZero at 10:50 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]



But there is another possible consumer—babies.


So let me get this straight, to feed our insatiable hunger for yogurt which tastes like it has fat in it but doesn't, you create a waste product so harmful that farmers are scrambling to find ways to dispose of it, and the first two examples of solutions involve feeding it to organisms that can't talk.

Maybe we can sell it to Dominatrices.
posted by Teakettle at 10:51 AM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wonder if they have tried and failed to sell it to big pharma companies for the lactose content? Article did not mention that as far as I can tell.
posted by elizardbits at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2013


And, RTFA'ing, they do indeed break it down in tanks and generate methane. Apparently they just need more tanks.

They can take the profits from their methane-generated electricity and build some?
posted by DU at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


If the reason you love Greek yogurt v. regular yogurt is texture, I encourage you to try full-fat yogurt. When they take out the fat they have to either strain everything out to pretend it's still thick (Greek) or add a lot of weird thickeners (standard). Full-fat yogurt forever!
posted by asperity at 10:54 AM on May 22, 2013 [24 favorites]


I knew there would be an awful lot of whey from greek yogurt production, but I really had no idea that it was different from regular old whey. What does it taste like? Sell it as the next "coconut water" or "pomegranate juice" and Bob's yer uncle.

yogurt which tastes like it has fat in it but doesn't

That's ... not the point.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:54 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Famous arachnophobe) Little Miss Muffett wept.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:55 AM on May 22, 2013


When they take out the fat they have to either strain everything out to pretend it's still thick (Greek) or add a lot of weird thickeners (standard).

My hand to God I cannot find full-fat yogurt, Greek or otherwise, in any grocery store in my area. I weep for what I have lost.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:55 AM on May 22, 2013 [28 favorites]


What confuses me about all the Greek Yogurt nonsense is that it's all branding.

Greek yogurt tastes mostly just like regular yogurt. It's thicker, but considering the rest of the yogurt landscape in most supermarkets, I doubt the thicker texture is a game changer.

This all started because Fage wanted a bigger market share in the US, and now it's become this huge insane marketing juggernaut.

Jeez, people, just eat regular yogurt. It tastes exactly the same. And it's cheaper. And it doesn't produce nasty industrial runoff that would be perfectly well digested by your body, nutritious, even.
posted by Sara C. at 10:56 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ferment it and make booze or ethanol fuel.
posted by islander at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find the concept of "Greek yogurt" very amusing: there is no such thing, there's just yogurt and that runny stuff all you foreign people eat.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [17 favorites]


To answer the inevitable "why not turn this into whey protein for bodybuilders, etc." questions:


The concept is roughly modeled on the success that cheese-makers have had selling products derived from their own byproduct — sweet whey. Sweet whey is more valuable and easier to handle than acid whey, as it has a lot more protein, and is easier to dry because it isn’t as acidic as Greek yogurt whey. Cheese-makers have developed a lucrative business selling whey protein for use in body-building supplements and as a food ingredient. And Greek yogurt makers are eager to follow suit.


It would appear that, until recently, acid whey was much less suited to conversion in such a manner.
posted by baconaut at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, for fuck's sake. Apart from the illusion that commercially produced "Greek" yogurt is somehow Extraordinarily Special (drain your own damn yogurt!), 10 fl. oz. of whey drained from yogurt makes an excellent substitute for the beer and water combo in the variation of no-knead bread promoted by Cook's Illustrated. It's also good in all sorts of other baked things where you want a mildly tangy liquid.

Maybe it's too much to expect the food industry to figure this out, but if you just buy your own damn yogurt and strain it, you're ahead in two delicious ways.
posted by maudlin at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


Is there actually a story here? From what I can tell it's the same as regular whey, which is also produced by making regular yogurt. Also cheese. So people are eating more and there is more to deal with? And then?
posted by Big_B at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2013


Jeez, people, just eat regular yogurt. It tastes exactly the same. And it's cheaper.

Watered down != cheaper
posted by Sys Rq at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I usually go with Mountain High brand, as it's cheap and available by the half-gallon. Strangely, the only place that stocked it in my last city was the co-op grocery, and it was the one thing there that was cheaper than any of the regular grocery stores.

The other reason one might want Greek is higher protein content per ounce, but seriously, read the labels on that stuff, as there are plenty of popular Greek yogurt brands with less protein than any regular whole-milk yogurt.

In summary, no-fat and low-fat yogurts are the devil.
posted by asperity at 10:58 AM on May 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I wish I could find a good equivalent in New York for the full fat Greek yogurt I enjoyed back in Toronto.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:59 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I cannot find full-fat yogurt, Greek or otherwise, in any grocery store in my area

Our supermarket sells it, but only in quart-sized containers. Dannon Greek, Mountain High, and Stonyfield Farm, I think. Impossible to find anything but fat-free in small cups, save for the odd Fage or one flavor of Stonyfield.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:00 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It tastes exactly the same.

The flavour of plain yogurts from the same kind of milk is usually quite similar, yes, but to propose that there is no fundamental difference in mouthfeel between strained yogurt and regular yogurt is ludicrous.
posted by elizardbits at 11:00 AM on May 22, 2013 [20 favorites]


If we somehow find that Babybell cheese murders kittens I'm going to have to give up and become a breathatarian
posted by The Whelk at 11:00 AM on May 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


Simple solution: just mix it with Kurdish yogurt. Problem solved.

what?
posted by 1adam12 at 11:00 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Full-fat yogurt forever!

Seriously. It makes me sad that I can basically never find full-fat yogurt in the (normal, suburban style) supermarkets here in LA. Anytime I see it, I stock up. And if I have an excuse to go to the amazing Armenian/Middle Eastern/? supermarket in Highland Park, I buy a 4lb industrial sized tub.

Now that it's warming up I should just start making it at home. That's easier than actually finding it in a Ralph's or a Von's.
posted by Sara C. at 11:01 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is just bullshit propaganda from the Dannon people. They're terrified of FAGE.
posted by humanfont at 11:02 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


ceribus peribus, they sell Liberte in my local grocery store! But ONLY the low and no fat versions. SO CLOSE and yet so far.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:02 AM on May 22, 2013


which is also produced by making regular yogurt

Unless there's an industrial process that makes commercial yogurt fundamentally different from the yogurt I make myself at home, whey is not produced by making regular yogurt. Or really, it is, but it stays part of the yogurt and you end up consuming it along with the rest of the yogurt.
posted by Sara C. at 11:03 AM on May 22, 2013


Yeah, the old-school 8% fat Liberte yogurt is the best. Like, the best of all things known, abstract and concrete. It's better than freedom.
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. Buy a good commercial yogurt with no added sugar or gelatin. Astro Balkan-Style is awesome, but if 6% fat isn't for you, you can also get it with 0% to 2% fat if you prefer.
2. Strain in a yogurt strainer or with coffee filters or a couple of layers of cheese cloth.
3. Enjoy.

Making yogurt is easy and cheap (Note: Try 7-8 hours instead of 4-5 hours in step 5). It makes lovely "Greek" yogurt after draining.
posted by maudlin at 11:06 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


ceribus peribus, they sell Liberte in my local grocery store!

This is a really weird idiosyncratic American thing. There are numerous 1%, 2%, 4% and the mythical Liberte at 8% at pretty much every grocery store in Canada. My limited yogurt shopping overseas indicates they too have all sorts of yogurt. American yogurt mostly tops out at 1% milkfat. I really don't know what the deal is.
posted by GuyZero at 11:06 AM on May 22, 2013


Whey is part of regular yogurt. It's the clearish liquid that floats at the top after you have had a little out of the tub and put it back in the fridge. Greek yogurt is strained, so that's all squeezed out. As the process of fermentation turns lactose into lactic acid, the lactic acid denatures the whey proteins somewhat, which might explain why it is fundamentally different from whey formed as part of the cheesemaking process (rennet might work differently than lactic acid).
posted by baconaut at 11:06 AM on May 22, 2013


I just want those little french ones that come in the ceramic pots.
posted by elizardbits at 11:07 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


to propose that there is no fundamental difference in mouthfeel between strained yogurt and regular yogurt is ludicrous.

I'm a pretty serious yogurt consumer (and sometimes maker). A yogurt connoisseur, if you will. I've eaten yogurt all over the world. I can taste the flavor differences between Swiss yogurt, Greek yogurt, Lebanese yogurt, Indian yogurt, Icelandic skyr, and the standard American Stoneyfield/Ronnybrook/Mountain High type product.

Trust me when I say that, to the average consumer, it really doesn't taste that different. Especially once you start slathering it with fruit, honey, and other flavorings, as the vast majority of all yogurt sold in mainstream supermarkets is.

People are buying Greek yogurt because it's trendy, not because there is a substantial difference in the products. Greek yogurt is thicker. But I seriously doubt that there are people in focus groups saying, "I would definitely consider buying more yogurt IF ONLY IT WERE SLIGHTLY THICKER."
posted by Sara C. at 11:08 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is an easy one. Just convince people that whey is good for their teeth and then get local governments to add it to the water. It worked for fluoride. (sarcasm)
posted by diogenes at 11:09 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I eat yogurt with my lunch pretty much daily, but when I tried the "Greek" version I got what appeared to be a plastic tub full of paste with a bit of fruit on top. Is there a trick to storing/mixing it, or should I just avoid Dannon's stuff?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:09 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


whey is not produced by making regular yogurt. Or really, it is, but it stays part of the yogurt and you end up consuming it along with the rest of the yogurt.

Yes, which is why it tastes distinctly different -- more acidic, which cuts through the "creamy" taste Greek yogurt has.

Trust me when I say that, to the average consumer, it really doesn't taste that different.

It seriously does, yes.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:10 AM on May 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


It's the clearish liquid that floats at the top after you have had a little out of the tub and put it back in the fridge. Greek yogurt is strained, so that's all squeezed out.

Yeah, I know that.

Normal people just stir it up and eat it.

It's not really a "byproduct", any more than the oil at the top of the peanut butter jar is a "byproduct".

It only becomes a problem when every yogurt company decides that consumers want their yogurt strained, so you have industrial-level yogurt straining operations going on.

When, really, consumers probably aren't clamoring for strained yogurt. They don't even know that whey is in their yogurt. Nor do they care. They just see "Greek" and remember how they read that article in Self Magazine about how "Greek" yogurt is higher in protein.

I also notice that a lot of recipes call for Greek yogurt specifically, which is fucking absurd since seriously it's a sauce to eat on top of salmon, you really don't need to spend $5 on special exotic yogurt for that.
posted by Sara C. at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Greek yogurt is thicker.

Right, that's exactly what "mouthfeel" means. The texture of it inside your mouth when you are eating it. That's the thing that is different.
posted by elizardbits at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


plastic tub full of paste

"Greek" yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt.

Just buy regular yogurt.
posted by Sara C. at 11:13 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


If my wife is any indication, people are, in fact clamoring for thicker yogurt. I will eat dairy of just about any texture, but now that she's had a taste of the full-fat Greek stuff, she won't eat anything else. Which is fine by me, because it is the best kind of yogurt, and a quart goes further--because it's not all bulked up with liquid.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:14 AM on May 22, 2013


Low-fat Greek yogurt tastes more like sour cream to me. If it were socially acceptable to eat bowlfuls of sour cream with berries for breakfast, I would probably do that to. (Or maybe I already do.) However, low-fat sour cream is the devil's work, so the Greek yogurt substitute helps.

I enjoy full fat cream on the top yogurt too, but it isn't a replacement for plain Fage for me.
posted by bizzyb at 11:14 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's the thing that is different.

It's not really that different.

It's not "buy this product instead of that product" different, or "I like this but not that" different, or "destroy all the environments" different.

Seriously, guys, it's mostly a marketing thing.
posted by Sara C. at 11:15 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the full strength Liberte yogurt is one of the few treats compatible with a low carb diet. Unfortunately commercial low fat yogurts wind up with carb counts that are too high; you might as well eat ice cream.
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:16 AM on May 22, 2013


now that she's had a taste of the full-fat Greek stuff, she won't eat anything else.

Sure, but that's mostly due to marketing.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously, guys, it's mostly a marketing thing.

If you have links to taste tests where people are saying they cannot tell the difference between the two kinds of yogurt, or have no preference, you should link to that. Because it seems like you're making up absurdities on the level of "margarine and butter taste basically alike".
posted by Greg Nog at 11:17 AM on May 22, 2013 [59 favorites]


Also, the full strength Liberte yogurt is one of the few treats compatible with a low carb diet.

Oh god yes. I would happily eat that all day, every day, until my liver bloated up like human foie gras.
posted by Sara C. at 11:17 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I used to have one of the major yogurt companies as a client. I can't speak to the back end, but I know the production side was considerably more finicky for Greek yogurt than regular. It was a serious hassle for them to make Greek.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:17 AM on May 22, 2013


If it were socially acceptable to eat bowlfuls of sour cream with berries for breakfast

I too want to live in this society. How can we make this happen?
posted by elizardbits at 11:18 AM on May 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


It was a serious hassle for them to make Greek.

Because there's a whole other step of the process -- straining it.
posted by Sara C. at 11:18 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sara, I've seen full-fat Liberte at Ralph's, of all places. I also want to say that Trader Joe's has plain, full-fat Greek yogurt, but I could be wrong.
posted by mogget at 11:18 AM on May 22, 2013


I know the production side was considerably more finicky for Greek yogurt than regular. It was a serious hassle for them to make Greek.

Yet another parallel between the yogurt industry and the porn indusorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry it was RIGHT THERE THOUGH sorry sorry sorry
posted by Greg Nog at 11:19 AM on May 22, 2013 [19 favorites]


And that's the step that makes it taste different. Not the marketing. The marketing doesn't remove the liquidy whey.
posted by elizardbits at 11:19 AM on May 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


I can't speak to the back end

/chortle

This thread rules.
posted by Hoopo at 11:20 AM on May 22, 2013


Sure, but that's mostly due to marketing.

I would like to charitably assume that this is some kind of joke I'm not getting. Because I mean, obviously I can tell the difference, and I do prefer the thicker stuff, because it's objectively better at being yogurt, I just don't have a strong preference because I like all kinds of dairy. She doesn't.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:20 AM on May 22, 2013 [12 favorites]



When, really, consumers probably aren't clamoring for strained yogurt. They don't even know that whey is in their yogurt. Nor do they care. They just see "Greek" and remember how they read that article in Self Magazine about how "Greek" yogurt is higher in protein.


I am a bad judge of what a "consumer" of yogurt is. I'm of middle eastern descent, so I grew up on (and making my own!) thick/strained and extremely tart yogurt (Lebneh, or as they call it in Persian, mâst-e-kisehi). I do however know that there are a few applications of Greek yogurt that lead to its consumption en masse:

1. Strained yogurt makes a serviceable substitute for sour cream in dips and such. Unstrained yogurt, especially Swiss style, doesn't cut it.

2. From a fitness perspective, those looking to build muscle will need the maximum amount of protein and calories in minimum space. Greek yogurt fulfills this in ways that regular yogurt doesn't. Ironically enough, they'd be better off having whey protein isolate, which is sweet whey from cheesemaking.

3. Also from a fitness perspective, those looking to lose weight might desire the increased and lasting satiety that a protein-and-fat laden Greek yogurt would give vice regular yogurt.
posted by baconaut at 11:20 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


But the thing is that most people buying Greek yogurt, judging from the variety of products on the store shelves, are buying no-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt. That is total bullshit, to put it politely.
posted by asperity at 11:22 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


That is total bullshit, to put it politely.

ESPECIALLY when they're getting the kind with added honey or sugary fruit compotes. Oh americans, is there nothing you can't do utterly wrong?
posted by elizardbits at 11:24 AM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Greek yogurt fulfills this in ways that regular yogurt doesn't. Ironically enough, they'd be better off having whey protein isolate, which is sweet whey from cheesemaking.

What's that? Yogurt-related recipe thread time?

Pre-gym snacky thing:

Tbsp. of good cocoa powder
Serving of chocolate protein powder
1/4 c. thick fatty yogurt or as close as you can get
Two tablespoons of peanut spread (preferably the kind made with coconut oil)

Stir up. Dip fruit in. Eat and be happy and then go lift some weights.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:24 AM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


My grocery store has an entire aisle of yogurt varieties, but they only carry full-fat quarts in one brand: Fage. Everything else — Mountain High, Dannon, Chobani, Greek Gods, and a rotating cast of extras — only comes in low-fat varieties. If I wanted low fat, I wouldn't be in the yogurt aisle!

Another store near me carried Chobani in half-gallons, but again, only in low-fat varieties. When the Greek stuff seems too expensive, I can go for Mountain High. It's runny, but at least it's actually cultured, which is more than can be said of most of the products in the yogurt aisle. Greek yogurt availability is by far the most disappointing aspect of grocery shopping for me.
posted by stopgap at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


My dog only eats Greek yogurt.

A Kong filled with frozen plain Chobani is his favorite thing in the world. Fill it with store brand and he won't touch it.

I wish I were joking.
posted by miyabo at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Greek" yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt.

Yes, I know. I expected thick. I got solid. It was like trying to scoop really cold, really dense ice cream.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:31 AM on May 22, 2013


What I like most about Greek yogurt is it doesn't add sugar. Why is there added sugar in other kinds of plain yogurt?!
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:31 AM on May 22, 2013


But there is another possible consumer—babies.

So let me get this straight, to feed our insatiable hunger for yogurt which tastes like it has fat in it but doesn't, you create a waste product so harmful that farmers are scrambling to find ways to dispose of it, and the first two examples of solutions involve feeding it to organisms that can't talk.


Meh, what have babies every done for me? Nothin'!
posted by kmz at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2013


Why is there added sugar in other kinds of plain yogurt?!

Plain yogurt is one of those things like sour cream where it really benefits you to read the ingredients when comparing brands. It should be just milk and bacteria.
posted by stopgap at 11:35 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


kmz: "Meh, what have babies every done for me? Nothin'!"

"I say, let 'em crash!"

posted by Chrysostom at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2013


Yes, I know. I expected thick. I got solid. It was like trying to scoop really cold, really dense ice cream.

...what? I don't know what you bought but it wasn't Greek yogurt. Are you talking about frozen yogurt?
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


As someone who really really doesn't devote a lot of headspace to what I'm going to eat, Greek yogurt is probably the easiest way to get an extra 20g of protein in me daily. Meat freezerburns, milk spoils, and lord knows I'm not doing some powder thing. Also the Fage 2% version has epsilon more protein/$ than either no fat or full fat.

I like putting Hershey's syrup on.
posted by PMdixon at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Commence whey puns... NOW!

Back in the Paleozoic period (very early 90s), there was a glorious, synchronous moment of my peergroup and I learning to play Go, and our seemingly unrelated rabid quoting of the "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" movie.

This produced (from me) the most excellent pun "No Wei Chi!" combining Keanu's signature "No Way" phrase with the Chinese name for the board game. It was deadly hilarious at that moment in space and time.

Much like a return to an old position on a Go board, I would like to take up the title's gauntlet and extend that pun by playing off the "Whey/Wei/Way" combo and simply stating: Go-Gurt[1].

This is not so much funny as a nostalgic sigh. Please carry on.

---

[1] "The first-ever yogurt in a tube, Go-GURT® Portable Lowfat Yogurt makes on-the-go snacking slurpably fun. Kids go crazy for the delicious, creamy texture and wacky flavors, and moms love the Yoplait goodness. GoGurt gives everyone a reason to be happy!"
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


...what? I don't know what you bought but it wasn't Greek yogurt. Are you talking about frozen yogurt?

No, I'm talking about the kind that comes in single-serving containers and is advertised by John Stamos. Which, I agree, should not require you to put your back into the eating motion. That's why I wondered whether I or the manufacturer was Doing It Wrong.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2013


Let's not bring Yoplait or GoGurt into this discussion. We're talking about yogurt and that stuff is barely even food.
posted by stopgap at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


I cannot find full-fat yogurt, Greek or otherwise, in any grocery store in my area

You guys, NOOSA! They sell it at Target, Whole Foods and other fancier grocery stores.

Everything else tastes like chemical slime once you've had Noosa.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish - I probably would not opt to buy Greek yogurt from Danon or Yoplait or one of the gross not-really-yogurt processed pap companies.

(On the other hand I think some of the other Greek yogurts out there are owned by Danon, Yoplait, etc. so honestly I throw my hands up and say JUST GIVE ME LIBERTE.)
posted by Sara C. at 11:45 AM on May 22, 2013


Greek yogurt is probably the easiest way to get an extra 20g of protein in me daily.

Yeah, but you know, other kinds of yogurt also exist.

(This is kind of what I mean about the marketing angle. It's like in most people's minds, other kinds of yogurt don't exist.)
posted by Sara C. at 11:46 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Noosa tastes okay, but it doesn't come in plain and it has too many ingredients. I don't want the milk broken down into components and then reassembled like a science experiment with added thickeners. The ingredients from the honey variety:
Grade A Pasteurized Milk, Grade A Cream, Grade A Skim Milk, Cane Sugar, Honey, Grade A Milk Protein, Organic Agar, Pectin, Live Active Cultures

posted by stopgap at 11:47 AM on May 22, 2013


Oxygen depletion in water systems is a big deal for disposal of any farm waste. It's the biggest cause of fish kills annually in most states in the summer months. Most anything that reduces the level of dissolved oxygen available for fish and other beasties is a pollutant in most countries. Acid shocks cause problems too, but these tend to be more localized and transitory. Hypoxia is a bigger problem, usually.

The typical measure of how bad these pollutants are is called biological oxygen demand, how much oxygen the micro-organisms in the water need to breakdown the organic matter present over a certain time period, 5 days is typical. Most clean water systems are about 1 mg O2/L water. A municipal (treated) sewage outfall is from 20 to 60 mg/L. Manure is in the 100s to 1000s ranges typically. Untreated Wheys are 30,000 to 50,000, though whole milk is often over 100,000 mg O2/L water. Whey is a pretty powerful pollutant, almost as bad as milk.
posted by bonehead at 11:47 AM on May 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


jonmc: "Now apparently it's about to become the latest Demon Food. Sick of hearing about it either way."

Aren't summer sweeps coming up?

Greek Yogurt...is this silent killer threatening you and your family? Details on Live News at Five.
posted by jquinby at 11:47 AM on May 22, 2013


I just like a sidecar of fruit!
posted by travertina at 11:51 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh and for anyone looking for full-fat regular nonstrained plain yogurt, if you live east of the mississippi you should try Erivan cause it's super tasty.
posted by elizardbits at 11:58 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


(Okay, I will just jump in here with some greek yogurt observations, based on briefly falling off the vegan wagon [bump! ouch!] and buying some greek yogurt at an inner city grocery store after reading up on it in Cook's Illustrated.

First: CI did a comparison test and recommended the brand distributed as Greek Gods, which is available in both the inner city chain groceries I shop at. It tastes different IME from Danon and the other "greek" versions by major yogurt makers.

Second: Most of the GG brand ones are full fat. They are thicker than I remember full fat yogurt being, and the taste is less weird and acidic. The plain full fat GG one in particular seems almost cheese-like. That is, I don't feel that greek yogurt is "just like" full-fat US yogurt.

Third: All of them, fat and non-, yield a liquidy whey-like substance if they sit around in the fridge.

Fourth: a lunch of home-cooked white beans with salt, pepper and garlic, a lemon wedge, some chopped black olives and capers, and a generous spoonful of full fat GG plain yogurt...that is probably the healthiest and most delicious lunch I have ever made for myself.)
posted by Frowner at 12:01 PM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I just want it to be vegetarian.

Though, holy shit, Yoplait finally appears to have made yogurt without gelatin in. It does have corn starch, though. Maybe that's a bonus of these endless yogurt fads (though Yoplait Greek yogurt has gelatin).
posted by hoyland at 12:02 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'll leave this question here instead of wasting an AskMe:

I've been making my own greek yogurt lately which is all well and good, but the problem is that it's not sour tasting enough. Any idea on how I can get it to taste a bit more tart? Is it the liveculture that I used (from a regular ol' greek yogurt tub), or is it that I am using whole milk or what? I've been letting the culture/milk rest for at least 6 hours before I put it in the fridge.
posted by Think_Long at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2013


MetaFilter: speak to the back end
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am not sure "Evil on the Bottom" is going to be a good slogan for Big Yogurt
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:10 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yet another parallel between the yogurt industry and the porn indusorry sorry

'Oh, it's not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody.'
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:11 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Think_Long, yogurt gets tangier if:

1) You leave it longer than 7-8 hours when you're making it. Try 10-12 if necessary,
2) You are patient. It gets tangier the longer you leave it in the fridge, too.

However, if you strain it, a lot of tang goes with the whey, so you may need end up needing a different culture if what I've advised above isn't enough to deliver what you want.
posted by maudlin at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2013


it's not sour tasting enough. Any idea on how I can get it to taste a bit more tart?

Let it rest longer. Six hours is nowhere near long.

I like my yogurt especially sour and usually rest mine for 12+ hours.
posted by Sara C. at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2013


CI did a comparison test and recommended the brand distributed as Greek Gods

Wait, what issue was that? Because I'm not seeing the Greek Gods yogurt winning in any category on their website. While that brand tastes perfectly fine and is available full-fat, it's got a remarkably low protein content. I'd take it over no/low-fat yogurt, but not over pretty much any other full-fat yogurt.
posted by asperity at 12:14 PM on May 22, 2013


I would also reevaluate the brand you're using -- you may want to use Fage, Greek Goddess, or one of the other more traditional brands as opposed to the ones that are more commercial. If you can get a Greek yogurt at an ethnic grocery that is not AT ALL any of the heavily promoted Whole Foods-ish yogurt brands, that would probably be ideal.

Definitely check the cultures used in the ingredients list. I think authentic Greek yogurt (as opposed to just strained yogurt) is supposed to use Candida Bulgaricus.
posted by Sara C. at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2013


I'm sure a lot of it is marketing, but I am sitting here next to a tub of full fat Fage and it has 20 grams of protein per serving. I have a tub of 2 percent Fage in the fridge and it has 23 grams of protein per serving. And there is also a container of non Greek yogurt which has 8 grams of protein per serving.

If you are trying to get a larger serving of protein for breakfast, Fage beats most of its competitors handily. It also has a different taste and texture than full fat plain Nancy's or Brown Cow or whatever. I'm not trying to justify the acid whey situation, but am saying that Greek yogurt has objective qualities that make people want it. It is not all just consumer hypnosis.
posted by feets at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah thirding that Greek yogurt isn't just marketing. The texture and the flavor are significantly different. The texture and flavor of regular yogurt has always been unpalatable to me in an uncanny-valley kind of way, ever since I was little and learned the phrase "live active cultures" - "So this nasty textureless slime is produced by invisible alien creatures that I'm also consuming??" never left me even after my mom pronounced that my revulsion to that phrase wasn't cute anymore. Greek yogurt with honey is less sweet and less disturbing. It has nothing to do with marketing, I've barely even seen any marketing for it.
But I'm sad to find out it's a big problem.
posted by bleep at 12:30 PM on May 22, 2013


You know, I can't help but notice that the About page of Modern Farmer lists "Equity Partner - Fiore Capital Corporation - Frank Giustra." You know, Frank Giustra, the mining tycoon? Somehow I have a feeling that extracting gold and uranium from the ground is more of an environmental concern than yogurt, but, hey.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


"So this nasty textureless slime is produced by invisible alien creatures that I'm also consuming??"

That's my favorite thing about making it! As it sits in the corner of the room, it's like having a little colony of pets! Friendly helpful creatures, working hard! It's like you got a buncha Doozers in your kitchen!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


Greek yogurt with honey is less sweet and less disturbing.

Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts or almonds veers into the decidedly non-disturbing category. Highly recommended.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


(We use Grade B maple syrup instead of honey. Whoa.)
posted by uncleozzy at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, what issue was that? Because I'm not seeing the Greek Gods yogurt winning in any category on their website. While that brand tastes perfectly fine and is available full-fat, it's got a remarkably low protein content. I'd take it over no/low-fat yogurt, but not over pretty much any other full-fat yogurt.

Did I totally hallucinate this? It was a paper issue, but I will pre-emptively admit that I did not have it in hand at the grocery store, have not consulted it subsequently and if they recommended something that sounded like "Greek Gods" I could certainly have just gotten confused.

I will look when I get home.

I still think it's pretty good, though, but that could easily be based on the fact that I was eating it on a brief, delirious fling with non-veganism.
posted by Frowner at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013


I agree that Greek yogurt is not just marketing. The stuff I buy (a delicious 10% milkfat from a brand called Cabot) is much more tangy and lacks that chalky aftertaste that regular (even full-fat) yogurt has. Also, it's so creamy, it resembles mascarpone in texture. It is DELICIOUS.

I am lucky that my neighborhood grocery store usually has the full (or, I should say, extra) fat Cabot, because the Wegmans I sometimes go to instead NEVER HAS ANY FULL-FAT YOGURT OF ANY KIND. None. Zero. Not plain yogurt, not Greek yogurt, none of it. I find it astonishing that a store that has tens of thousands of square feet of space, including a 20' wall of refrigerated shelves solely devoted JUST to yogurt, carries no full-fat yogurt. It's even hard to find low-fat yogurt (2% milkfat). It's all non-fat. All of it. From the individual-size cups to the quart containers. I always have full-fat yogurt on hand for my kid, because she doesn't always eat enough and I know that she'll eat yogurt and she doesn't need any low-fat dairy in her life, she's only 18 months old, and it is SUPER frustrating to have to make trips to two stores on grocery day because the Wegmans -- the store that has EVERYTHING else, literally EVERYTHING else -- never has full-fat yogurt.
posted by devinemissk at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


What is weird to me about this: I feel like I pretty much stopped eating yogurt back when there was nonfat yogurt but it was still a specialized diet food, not universal, and when I had my brief retour de dairy products it was bizarre to see that all yogurt was fat-free. I mean, fat-free yogurt isn't even good. I remember it well from my teen borderline-eating-disordered years.
posted by Frowner at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2013


Greg Nog: "Friendly helpful creatures, working hard! It's like you got a buncha Doozers in your kitchen!"

Whom you then murder by swallowing them whole!
posted by Chrysostom at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


stopgap: "Let's not bring Yoplait or GoGurt into this discussion. We're talking about yogurt and that stuff is barely even food."

SHUT UP, YOU HEATHEN BASTARD!

GoGurt Fizzix was made of unicorn farts, star sprinkles and hope for a better world.

And then they stopped making it, being unaware of the hours upon hours I would switch between uncontrollable weeping, soiling myself, and writhing around on the floor screaming in withdrawal....
posted by Samizdata at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this skyr's chance to grab the market? does it have the same problematic by-products?
posted by dogwalker at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2013


Fage was the first yoghurt I tried that had a flavor and texture I found pleasing rather than gag inducing.
posted by wotsac at 1:04 PM on May 22, 2013


GoGurt Fizzix was made of unicorn farts, star sprinkles and hope for a better world.

I think I missed a book. Was he the professor who came between Alastor Moody and Dolores Umbridge?
posted by The Bellman at 1:07 PM on May 22, 2013 [19 favorites]


Greek Gods yogurt is not actually Greek yogurt. It's regular yogurt with pectin to thicken it. Pertinent Chow thread here.

Sadly, there's a ton of "Greek yogurt" out there that is not strained Greek-style yogurt. It's thickened with pectin or (ugh!) gelatin (a problem for vegetarians!) or cornstarch. Lots of regular yogurt, of course, is also thickened with cornstarch. (I'm allergic to corn, so I take note of these things.) More information on fake Greek yogurt and the additives put in it from Bon Appetit.

Based on this, I can understand why someone would say "it's all just marketing, it tastes the same." A lot of those fake "Greek" yogurts do actually taste the same as regular yogurt. That's because they're not Greek yogurt. They're just regular yogurt with some additives. The difference between Fage Greek yogurt and, say, Greek Gods is like the difference between White Zinfandel and actual Zinfandel.
posted by rednikki at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Trust me when I say that, to the average consumer, it really doesn't taste that different.

Greek yogurt has less tang, at least to my palate. It's a smoother taste. So, I mean, you may not agree that there's a discernible difference, but I don't agree that I like what I like because I'm only eating what's trendy. Although I do agree that the brand matters. There are brands that achieve the typical Greek yogurt consistency by draining the whey (good) and others do so by adding thickeners (bad).

--Is it too much to ask that something I love not have some sort of awful aspect to it?

-If it's a processed food, probably so.


Well, yeah, but this isn't really just about processed foods. It's becoming pretty evident that our entire food supply has some serious issues, and it's not just a problem with processed foods. I'm at a point where I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed about all the things I need to be looking out for just in my produce and meats.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2013


Make it into giant buckets of brotein powder, duh

I've often wondered why there isn't yet a brand of protein powder called "brotein (tm)". Bros are pretty self-aware as a subculture and I bet they'd go for it.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:15 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


honestly I throw my hands up and say JUST GIVE ME LIBERTE OR GIVE ME DEATH.
posted by asterix at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it were socially acceptable to eat bowlfuls of sour cream with berries for breakfast

My mother taught me that at the first sign of summer I must cut up some nectarines and put them in a bowl with blueberries and cover them in abundant sour cream and then sprinkle brown sugar on it and eat it and I see no reason to let her down now
posted by little cow make small moo at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2013 [15 favorites]


So let me get this straight, to feed our insatiable hunger for yogurt which tastes like it has fat in it but doesn't, you create a waste product so harmful that farmers are scrambling to find ways to dispose of it, and the first two examples of solutions involve feeding it to organisms that can't talk.

Whey protein is in breastmilk and is supposed to be great for babies. The article discusses that scientists are looking for ways to extract it in a cost efficient way to add to formula,.

I had always thought whey in general was healthy. Which is why I find this all rather surprising. Maybe this is an issue not with the whey itself, but the volume?
posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:17 PM on May 22, 2013


I am anaphylaxis-level allergic to whey and it is, indeed, in fucking everything a huge variety of products it really has no business being in, so I'm sort of disheartened to learn that the industry is looking for more places to cram it.
posted by kate blank at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2013


It's the volume and it's that this is different from traditional cheese whey and it can't be used for the same things as that. The greek yogurt trend is relatively new and we haven't yet caught up in how to use the by-products. In a year or two this will be a solved problem, in the meantime people are stuck with a few million gallons of the tuff.
posted by GuyZero at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have read this entire thread and I am very confused, but I am stopping to buy some yogurt on my way home you bastards.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I just did a little market research. One of my coworkers had greek yogurt for lunch; I just asked him why Greek vs regular. Response: "Greek yogurt doesn't have that gross liquid in it."

So yeah, there are definitely people out there buying Greek yogurt specifically because it doesn't have the whey in it, and the whey in regular yogurt is perceived by some people to be negative / gross / off-putting.

It strikes me that Greek yogurt is sort of like homogenized milk in that the product is more processed, but is more aesthetically pleasing because it doesn't separate out into any constituent parts that you have to mix back together.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've often wondered why there isn't yet a brand of protein powder called "brotein (tm)". Bros are pretty self-aware as a subculture and I bet they'd go for it.

Slight derail but I have often thought I could make millions if I just bought the cheapest protein powder available and rebranded it as "BICEP BROTEIN!!!! SPECIALLY FORMULATED TO HIT YOUR BICEPS FROM EVERY ANGLE!!!! SEE MORE BICEP GROWTH IN JUST ONE MONTH!!!!!*

At least, that's what the guy doing curls in the squat rack told me.

*Statement not evaluated by the FDA.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2013


The Swiss have entirely solved this problem with Rivella. As a bonus, it tastes like rancid pixie stix!
posted by ohio at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2013


I agree that Greek yogurt tastes different. Also the protein. Don't think it's just marketing.

Also I like yogurt so much that I crave it on Paleo, which I am doing now. I consider it a "cheat."
posted by sweetkid at 1:30 PM on May 22, 2013


Also, the opposite of greek yogurt seems to be siggi's icelandic-style yogurt which is relatively low in sugar and tastes like... oh man, so sour. So not creamy. Gah.
posted by GuyZero at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh, to each his own, I love siggi's. But the best grocery store yogurt is Dreaming Cow. It's one of the few flavored yogurts I will eat (the other being siggi's).
posted by needled at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been regularly eating Nancy's nonfat plain yogurt for breakfast (typically with fruit + granola) so I had to take a look at its ingredients. Pasteurized organic skim milk, organic nonfat dry milk, cultures. It does have whey, which I incorporate in any baking recipe which calls for a tangy dairy product like buttermilk, yogurt, or the like (up to a 1:3 ratio or so).

A local cheese dairy has started listing yogurt on their board at the farmer's market, but they've been consistently sold out by the time I reach their booth. We also recently got a local goat milk yogurt but my preference runs to regular old cow yogurt (probably more because it's what I'm accustomed to than any inherent superiority).
posted by jepler at 1:47 PM on May 22, 2013


Skyr isn't really yogurt though, rennet is added too. It's closer to a fresh cheese, and thicker than just an acid-broken strained yogurt.
posted by bonehead at 1:47 PM on May 22, 2013


yeah, so it's much better than yogurt.
posted by dogwalker at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2013



Greek Gods yogurt is not actually Greek yogurt. It's regular yogurt with pectin to thicken it. Pertinent Chow thread here.


And all along I was fooled!

Well, perhaps it is time to admit that as a vegan I should not be commenting on dairy....Tsk, boo me.
posted by Frowner at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2013


The stuff I buy (a delicious 10% milkfat from a brand called Cabot) is much more tangy and lacks that chalky aftertaste that regular (even full-fat) yogurt has

See I find that non and low fat Greek yogurt both have a chalky taste that leaves my mouth feeling oddly dry and cottony. It's less noticeable with full fat Greek yogurt. It doesn't happen with regular yogurt at all.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:52 PM on May 22, 2013


More importantly, according to the siggi's homepage they now have filmjölk! How I missed that stuff - I was wondering when filmjölk would finally make its way to U.S. grocery stores.
posted by needled at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2013


Where there's a will...
posted by lotusstp at 2:18 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why don't they just make delicious Norwegian Brown Cheese or Parma-style ham?
posted by iviken at 2:19 PM on May 22, 2013


chalky taste . . . doesn't happen with regular yogurt at all

While there are a few unadulterated American-style yogurts, odds are good that any given "regular" yogurt has been carefully engineered to have a more palatable mouthfeel. And nothing says "appetizing" like an engineered mouthfeel. Mmmm, mouthfeel.     (See also.)
posted by stopgap at 2:22 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why don't they just make delicious Norwegian Brown Cheese

Whey cheese can't really be called "delicious." It tastes like nothing.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:23 PM on May 22, 2013


I've always thought yogurt was a bullshit, generally worthless dairy product. Which for low- and non-fat varieties, is basically true. I'm curious to try Liberte yogurt though. Their website claims they don't sell plain, not-Greek, not-fruit yogurt in the US. Is this true? Is it their Greek plain yogurt everyone says is awesome? Or some other variety?
posted by ryanrs at 2:27 PM on May 22, 2013


It looks like what Liberté calls Greek yogurt is nonfat, and their Méditerranée is only sold in sugared-up fruit-styles in the US. I think this Canadian exclusive must be the good stuff:
Probiotic like most of our yogurts, this one is exceptionally creamy and has 7 to 10% fat. It contains neither gelatine, nor sugar substitutes.
10% milkfat! My mouth is already watering.
posted by stopgap at 2:36 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am anaphylaxis-level allergic to whey

What a whey to go.

I'll show myself out
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:36 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, their Méditerranée line is the good stuff.
posted by ceribus peribus at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Bellman: "GoGurt Fizzix was made of unicorn farts, star sprinkles and hope for a better world.

I think I missed a book. Was he the professor who came between Alastor Moody and Dolores Umbridge?
"

Nope. It was lightly carbonated GoGurt and it was wonderfully refreshing.

And I found it, loved it, and they cancelled it. The Curse of Samizdata once again.
posted by Samizdata at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


So Fizzix was basically just kefir?
posted by sparklemotion at 2:42 PM on May 22, 2013


I just learned there is coconut siggi's -- I am now on a quest. Please let me know if you see it; will drive anywhere in the continental U.S.
posted by theredpen at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2013


They have it at Westside Market on w14th street and 8th avenue in NYC.
posted by elizardbits at 2:51 PM on May 22, 2013


I go for either the blackberry or lemon Mediteranee yogurt. I usually dislike fruit flavored yogurts and would happily buy a plain full fat version. But for Liberte Mediteranee, I will have a little added sugar, that's fine.

(FWIW since I happen upon my preferred Mediteranee flavors so rarely, I don't fault myself the like 10 extra calories from the fruit flavoring. It's already chock full of fat, and it's not like I'm eating it daily.)
posted by Sara C. at 2:51 PM on May 22, 2013


That was fast. Thanks, elizardbits!
posted by theredpen at 2:52 PM on May 22, 2013


sparklemotion: "So Fizzix was basically just kefir?"

Never had kefir to compare it to. But it was yummy and it was always in my fridge.
posted by Samizdata at 3:00 PM on May 22, 2013


Why don't they just make delicious Norwegian Brown Cheese

Whey cheese can't really be called "delicious." It tastes like nothing.


Wikipedia: "Brunost is made by boiling a mixture of milk, cream, and whey carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel, which gives the cheese its characteristic brown colour and sweet taste. It is ready for consumption as soon as it is packed in suitable sized blocks. A low-fat variant is made by increasing the proportion of whey to milk and cream."

"To the uninitiated, the taste of brunost can come as quite a shock. It has a slightly salty and surprisingly sweet flavour with a hint of goat about it. A sort of salty goat fudge (mmm, sounds good doesn’t it). I must admit, it took me a while to get used to it but I’ve been eating it for years now and I love the stuff, and I have come to miss it when I am not in Norway.

Brunost has been made in Norway for centuries and like most traditional Norwegian food it harks back to a time when Norway was a relatively poor country. Usually the whey is thought of as a by-product of cheesemaking proper, and not for human consumption on its own (ricotta being the notable exception), but the wily Norwegians found good use for it, and it must have provided another welcome source of protein."


posted by iviken at 3:01 PM on May 22, 2013


Toxic Norwegian goat cheese fire burns for five days
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2013


I like that 01) everyone in that article and perhaps in all of Norway is named Viggo and 02) geologists are called in for cheese emergencies.
posted by elizardbits at 3:15 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


"The penchant for brunost has made it by far the country’s most consumed cheese. It accounts for about 30% of all cheese consumed, some 3 kg per year per person."

(Btw, according to Statistics Norway, 1444 Norwegian men are named Viggo.)
posted by iviken at 3:23 PM on May 22, 2013


(Btw, according to Statistics Norway, 1444 Norwegian men are named Viggo.)

Seems like there's norway that could be accurate!

/annndddd it allllll comes fulllllll circle
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Accurate? Norway?
posted by iviken at 3:45 PM on May 22, 2013


Nthing "not just marketing." I have found most yogurts to be joyless and grim. Most are indeed not suitable for vegetarians. Fage with a generous admixture of high-quality honey, though, is absolutely delightful served as a dipping sauce with fresh fruit. It's an easy and eye-pleasing thing to bring to summer get-togethers and the adults really dig it until the kids discover and commandeer it.
posted by Morrigan at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2013


I am still not clear on the science-y aspect of why yogurt making vs. cheese making produces a different kind of whey. When I've made homemade paneer (aka farmer's cheese), I am boiling milk and adding an acid, like lemon juice, to separate the whey from the curds. All of the yogurt recipes I see are adding a culture to the milk, letting it sit at 110 F for several hours, then putting it into the fridge. And possibly straining it afterward (but do people who make it at home, particularly in cultures where it's done on a regular basis, strain it?). Why is it so acid?

That said, I generally buy a big tub of Swiss style plain yogurt, and I have no idea why. Because Swiss people make great watches? Heidi? Neutral? The Alps? It sounds good!

There is a really nice dairy farm nearby that sells fresh milk and also yogurt, which is so heavenly. It is about 1000x better than Fage or anything I could buy at the regular grocery store. They are all certified, but yet, it is one of those places where you stop and pick what you want out of a fridge, leave your money in a basket, and write out your own receipt. The yogurt is very thick, almost like cream cheese, and I think about $2.00 for a little cup. But oh my goodness, it is the best yogurt I have ever had in my life.

They also advertise that they feed whey to their pigs (as they have organic meats and such). I really wish I could afford to buy their products more often. I have never tasted yogurt like theirs before (Guernsey cows, maybe that is it?). I lick the cup every time I buy it.

I hope they figure out what to do with the acid whey, and I hope my Swiss yogurt buying habit isn't contributing to the issue.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:59 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend has gotten into eating Fage, which I absolutely cannot fathom. (Looks gross, tastes gross... Ugh!) Anyway, as it sits in the refrigerator, it produces this really vile, watery slop that she dumps down the sink. It sounds like that's whey. Am I correct in thinking that dumping the Fage runoff down the sink is the worst thing she could do with it? Should we be dumping it into the trash, or what? What's the least awful way to get rid of the stuff?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:05 PM on May 22, 2013


How many million gallons is she dumping?
posted by GuyZero at 4:16 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


The sink is perfectly fine. The problem is pumping industrial amounts directly into rivers.
posted by ryanrs at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2013


And does your house connect to a "sewer" or does your waste water go directly into a nearby stream?
posted by GuyZero at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2013


And another weird thing I just remembered is my dad telling me that sour milk is good for the septic tank.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2013


Pancakes, bread, muffins, biscuits: if you make any of these at least once a week, that whey can substitute for some or all of the milk, water or buttermilk in your recipe. Save the whey!
posted by maudlin at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2013


I find it hilarious that I live about two hours from Noosa and I've never seen that brand before. I don't think it's even available in Australia (which doesn't appear to have the same atrocities of fake yoghourt America suffers. Also you need more letters in your yogurt).
posted by chiquitita at 4:23 PM on May 22, 2013


I am lucky that my neighborhood grocery store usually has the full (or, I should say, extra) fat Cabot, because the Wegmans I sometimes go to instead NEVER HAS ANY FULL-FAT YOGURT OF ANY KIND. None. Zero. Not plain yogurt, not Greek yogurt, none of it. I find it astonishing that a store that has tens of thousands of square feet of space, including a 20' wall of refrigerated shelves solely devoted JUST to yogurt, carries no full-fat yogurt. It's even hard to find low-fat yogurt (2% milkfat). It's all non-fat. All of it.

I'm wondering if yoghurt fat/non-fat stocking at supermarkets has to do with hyperlocal socieconomics... in other words, poorer neighborhoods, and neighborhoods with a large proportion of lactose-intolerant ethnicities, get more of the highly-processed/low-fat stuff, while wealthier and/or dairy-eating ethnicities get the full-fat stuff. Why do I wonder? I live in between two Safeway markets, plus a Saar's market that is determinably downscale, and a Puget Sound Consumer's Co-op (PCC) that while granola-crunchy, has upscale prices.
The Safeway on the edges of a wealthy Orthodox Jewish neighborhood and upper-middle-class white and Hispanic areas, carries at least two full-fat yoghurts at a time - typically Greek Gods (licensed locally by Dairygold, I think) and Stonyfield Farms.
Saar's, back-to-back from that Safeway, with a large Hispanic and East African clientele, carries no whole-milk yoghurt at all (or anchovies, dammit), unless they get a case or two of near-expiration Greek Gods semi-quarts.
Safeway to the west carries no full-fat yoghurt - most of their customers are recently-immigrated south Asians, local black folks, and some East Africans.
PCC, in the wealthy lakeside white and Jewish (but both Ashkenaz and Sephardic) area carries multiple full-fat yoghurts - Nancy's, Nancy's organic, Brown Cow (cheaper than Safeway!), Greek Gods, a roster of locally produced yoghurts from Jersey and Gurernsey cattle, also both goat and sheep yoghurts.
I prefer to make my own from local milk (Smith Brothers, holstein, mostly), when I can't get my fix from a friend with an urban goat farm in Berkeley.
posted by Dreidl at 4:41 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's just a recent thing to get full-fat yogurts. Safeways in nice neighbourhoods often have nothing but the boring stuff.
posted by GuyZero at 4:46 PM on May 22, 2013


FFS another food to be guilty about? Eat what you want; the environment will sort itself out.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:56 PM on May 22, 2013


Eat what you want; the environment will sort itself out.

Yay! Slash-and-burn hamburgers for everyone!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2013


No I mean every week we're encouraged to boycott something new - quinoa, palm oil, yogurt, exported beef, etc. It's like a form of medevial self-denial or monkish devotion to some abstract ideal.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:11 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


in other words, poorer neighborhoods, and neighborhoods with a large proportion of lactose-intolerant ethnicities, get more of the highly-processed/low-fat stuff, while wealthier and/or dairy-eating ethnicities get the full-fat stuff.

Not the case here. My local grocery (a Giant Foods) is located between a working-class immigrant neighborhood and a downtown area with some nicer (but not particularly wealthy) neighborhoods (and the downtown area itself has a Whole Foods and a nicer Safeway). The Giant has a lot of features that cater to the immigrant population around here (mostly Latin American, some Ethiopian) -- pigs feet, chicken feet in the meat case, that kind of thing. It is not a downscale store, but it's by no means upscale. And there are always two or three kinds of full-fat Greek yogurt -- usually Stoneyfields, Dannon Oikos, and Cabot. I don't buy regular yogurt, but I recall that there's usually at least one or two full-fat regular yogurts as well.

The Wegmans, on the other hand...well, it's Wegmans, a store chain that is known for having a more upscale feel. (Not Whole Foods upscale, but more upscale than Safeway.) It happens to be a Wegmans in a predominantly African American suburb, but it's a solid, middle-class suburb. It is definitely NOT an area with a high population of Asian immigrants or even Asian Americans. And yet. No full fat yogurt. Oodles of Chobani 0% and Fage 0%, and Stoneyfields non-fat, and all the varieties of Dannon non-fat. Alas.
posted by devinemissk at 5:13 PM on May 22, 2013


I feel that's a weird statement to make, given that Rachel Carson was from Maine. I understand the feeling. Maybe it's just that when we were kids, we didn't have access to this type of information.

I can't claim to be a perfect earth mother organic eating person. But I do like to know about these things nonetheless. It's far better than what Rachel Carson was up against.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2013


No I mean every week we're encouraged to boycott something new - quinoa, palm oil, yogurt, exported beef, etc. It's like a form of medevial self-denial or monkish devotion to some abstract ideal.

You mean personal responsibility?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:17 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


But we are talking more about corporate responsibility here, and now, being informed of it, do I want to buy this "Greek" yogurt, knowing that it produces some kind of crappy waste? Probably not.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:21 PM on May 22, 2013


I don't think the waste is an actual environmental disaster; so far it's just the corporations complaining that boo hoo, they have to dispose of it responsibly instead of just dumping it in the nearest river, and poor them haven't figured out how to make a profit from that yet. Didn't bother them when they ramped up production in the first place.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:26 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Greek yogurt has less tang, at least to my palate. It's a smoother taste.

Seconded.

I've recently switched over to 2% plain Fage, and it's a freaking revelation. I always hated plain yogurt - way too tart and sour - but I decided to try this stuff because I wanted to move away from the sugary fruit-added flavors. And it's like...I want to cry because it's so good, and because I can't believe I wasted my entire life not experiencing how good plain yogurt can actually be. I don't know if it's the thickness, or the (small) amount of fat (I'd like to taste full-fat one of these days), but it's fantastic. Dump in a handful of fresh blueberries, and I'm in heaven. Not to get all brand-loyalist, but I'm baffled by the assertion that it's all marketing. The taste and mouth-feel are so different from the "regular" yogurt I ate growing up.

(I've lost a significant amount of weight in the past year and a half, and one of my goals has been to make sure I've been getting enough protein in my diet. Greek yogurt is a godsend, and it's filling. Cold dead hands, etc. etc. etc.)
posted by Salieri at 5:28 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


No one has suggested boycotting greek yogurt. That is a silly statement.
posted by elizardbits at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2013


I highly doubt anyone would listen to me, and I have not suggested a boycott. But I do like being informed, whether or not I can do anything about it. I am still wondering why yogurt makes acid whey and cheese makes sweet whey that make all of the great whey products (?). Is it commerically made yogurt or ???
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:54 PM on May 22, 2013


"How many million gallons is she dumping?"

Obviously I'm not saying that our single household dumping this stuff down the sink is as bad as what the manufacturers are doing. But I didn't know if this was one of those deals where it becomes a big problem when lots of households are doing it, and if we should be disposing of it some other way.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:17 PM on May 22, 2013


My mother is Lebanese. I've been making yogurt since I was old enough to put a thermometer in a bowl of milk. Making full fat yogurt is beyond simple, and it has a yummy custardy mouth feel. Strained more and a bit more tart and you get Labneh. Which is the food of the gods.
posted by dejah420 at 6:23 PM on May 22, 2013


No I mean every week we're encouraged to boycott something new - quinoa, palm oil, yogurt, exported beef, etc. It's like a form of medevial self-denial or monkish devotion to some abstract ideal.

You appear to have a complaint about culture in general. This thread is about yogurt which no one has suggested boycotting.
posted by jessamyn at 6:27 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I highly doubt anyone would listen to me, and I have not suggested a boycott

Okay, good, but my comment was not directed at you.
posted by elizardbits at 6:27 PM on May 22, 2013


jessamyn owes me a coke-flavoured yogurt
posted by elizardbits at 6:28 PM on May 22, 2013


Which is fine because I only eat the plain Fage 0% stuff with extra wheat germ and flax seeds. Sometimes I'll add maple syrup.
posted by jessamyn at 6:31 PM on May 22, 2013


I am still wondering why yogurt makes acid whey and cheese makes sweet whey that make all of the great whey products (?). Is it commerically made yogurt or ???

Any yogurt bacteria make the milk sour-but-not-spoiled. Some bacterial cultures will produce more tang than others. Letting the nascent yogurt develop over a longer time will make it tangier, as will storing it longer. (It will eventually develop mold, trust me, so don't think you can store it forever).

So watery whey from yogurt will be sour to some degree and cheese whey won't, because cheese isn't typically made with bacteria that produce a sour taste. Cheese that is made by adding acid, like ricotta, may have more acid whey. Some people love this whey, too.

(I just found out that apparently Americans can't get Astro yogurt. This is excellent, non-adulterated yogurt that can be eaten as is or drained to produce "Greek" yogurt at half the price of Liberté. It's as cheap as any other typical supermarket yogurt. What would be the American supermarket equivalent?)
posted by maudlin at 6:31 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks, maudlin! And elizardbits, it's hard to know who I'm responding to in a thread, yet I hope you won't think I'm inclined to be moldy up here in Maine :-) Always welcome!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:45 PM on May 22, 2013


Toxic Norwegian goat cheese fire burns for five days

Ah yes, my people.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


200 comments about fucking yogurt? Damn hippies.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


200 comments about fucking yogurt? Damn hippies.

Danone (Dannon) is a $20billion+ multinational corporation. Watch who you're punching.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:14 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


The two best yogurts in the universe are:

1. Green apple flavor Dannon (only available in Hungary, it seems. I've never seen it elsewhere).

2. Pear Weihanstephan yogurt from Bavaria.

Nothing else compares, but making my own using Fage as a starter is ok, I guess. I've never made anyone hand-carry Fage across an ocean for me, though. Oh, Weihanstephan. I love you so!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2013


No, it's okay, go ahead and mention brunost and filmjolk and Cabot full-fat yogurt and labneh and, oh somebody hold me, homemade goats' milk yogurt and everything else that I can't get without driving at least an hour and even then it will be the lower-fat arm-and-a-leg Whole Foods version. I'll just be over here, weeping and clutching my hot chocolate, made with almond milk fer Chrissake because you can't even get good milk in this accursed town.

I'm so hungry. And annoyed about where I live. I'm hangry.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:13 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


When, really, consumers probably aren't clamoring for strained yogurt. They don't even know that whey is in their yogurt. Nor do they care. They just see "Greek" and remember how they read that article in Self Magazine about how "Greek" yogurt is higher in protein.

I don't even know why we buy it, it’s just here. What I’ve had is blander than regular yogurt and too thick. So I usually add milk to it too thin it out. And add whey powder for more protein and flavor. I’m doing it wrong.
posted by bongo_x at 8:32 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone in this thread irritated they can't find yogurt x: General Mills bought Liberte and Mountain High about a year and a half ago to supplement the existing Yoplait line in the US. If you can't find what you want at your retailer of choice, call the number on the package and complain. GMI *does* actually factor consumer requests into product R&D and market distribution. (Yet stubbornly refuses to return French Toast Crunch to the US market *shakes fist*.) At the very least they can tell you where to find what you're looking for.

Disclaimer: General Mills is a major client of ours. I'm not speaking for GMI or my employer. I, in fact, loathe yogurt on a deeply personal level.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:33 PM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


What's the least awful way to get rid of the stuff?

You learn the most interesting things on Metafilter. Why wouldn't she just stir up the yogurt before eating it, or have I been doing it wrong for the last 45 years?
posted by plastic_animals at 8:44 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fage USED to be good. It used to be imported from Greece, and it was delicious. Then Fage built a giant manufacturing facility in upstate New York, and changed the recipe, and now it tastes weirdly grainy. The same thing recently happened with Nancy's Organic Probiotic Greek Yogurt, which used to be as good as the old Fage. Now it's all weirdly grainy. Are they adding milk powder to thicken it so they don't have to drain it as much? Wouldn't they have to list that as a separate ingredient?
posted by HotToddy at 9:02 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aha, I RTFA and sort of answered my own question. Except the part about Fage not using thickeners, that has to be a damn lie. Or maybe they changed back. Further investigation is warranted!
posted by HotToddy at 9:06 PM on May 22, 2013


So I just did a little market research. One of my coworkers had greek yogurt for lunch; I just asked him why Greek vs regular. Response: "Greek yogurt doesn't have that gross liquid in it."

This is why I’m OK with the fact that our civilization is going under. We deserve it. This guy is evidence.
posted by bongo_x at 9:18 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


"You learn the most interesting things on Metafilter. Why wouldn't she just stir up the yogurt before eating it, or have I been doing it wrong for the last 45 years?"

She think it gets too runny and gross that way. She prefers it to have the spackle-like consistency it has when it's new.

I know it's pronounced Fah-yeh, but as a longtime Trekkie it amuses me to call it the Phage.

"200 comments about fucking yogurt? Damn hippies."

He said, as he posted the 201st comment.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:56 PM on May 22, 2013


The phage would presumably be bad for yogurt.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 PM on May 22, 2013


I used my "triggerfinger" to invoke a Dolphin Browser gesture to find "NOOSA" and favorited triggerfinger's comment with ninja-like quickness, zooming to ensure I didn't bring up the list of favoriter-rs and instead hitting that [+] sign like it was a phatty bo-babbatty J if you dig me. I didn't pay attention to the fact that it's pretty local to me, according to this mommy blog. I'm too lazy to compare, but 8oz of the blueberry has 260 calories, 100 from fat. Has full fat milk and cream, baby. Not sure why it must contain skim milk powder but I think it may have something to do with the starter culture process.

I never had occasion to try it, but my wife wants to know what happened to Simplait because it was full-fat and reminded me of everyday-Czech-yogurt, and I'm seeing coupons for it, but where the fuck is it? HUH!? Let us change.org that shit back to my King Soopers.

I don't eat NOOSA daily since it's over $2 a container, but it makes a good dessert (good enough to substitute for an ice cream craving) or pseudo-dinner-desert on nights where I have a super late lunch and get hungry after 9:00AM.

My mom used to make and strain yogurt and I didn't appreciate it then. If this follows the same trend as 80's music, I will soon start making yogurt, growing vegetables, canning them, and wearing bandanas when it's hot (I usually just keep them in my pocket, but they creep up here and there).

Now my wife is getting into making cultured foods like yogurt and sauerkraut and so on and her initial reaction to this post was "make pickles!" I don't know yet if that's a correct application for this whey but...

I like Yoplait with blueberries (as well as anything "custard style"), but cringe every time I see the "99% fat free" text on the container and cognitively dismiss that shit and treat it as nothing more than a snack maybe on par with a piece of string cheese but with sugar 'n berries in the mix; to me my visceral reaction is "it's junk food if it's 99% fat free, you ain't fooling me, WTF" but I nom on junk food a bit much, so nom, and it's a good step-down from hitting a Snickers bar.

I realized the Greek Yogurt craze was booming when one of my co-workers started raving about it. He's not a super-trendy dude and any time he's suddenly into something unrelated of his job functions, something is up that I've been missing. This would be incredibly useful if he was into the sort of music I like :(

I clipped a bunch of coupons, enjoyed it all well enough especially thinking "moar protein! marketing!" as I ate it, but NOOSA killed any desire for me to fuck with anything but NOOSA, for it is the best around, and nothing's gonna ever keep it down.
posted by lordaych at 10:19 PM on May 22, 2013


The supermarket in my neighborhood sells out of Liberté Mediteranée with Strawberries on the same day the order arrives. Peach and Vanilla languish alone on the shelves for days, until the next order comes in and someone buys all the Strawberry before I get there.

When my yogurt withdrawl goes for too long, I get a giant tub of Cabot "greek style" full fat yogurt and put some strawberry preserves in it. The Cabot yogurt is made using whey and milk protein concentrates to thicken it, and I'm not sure if it's also strained, but it's very thick. It is the fattiest of yogurts.

ceribus peribus, you should be able to get Cabot stuff easily in New York, maybe see if your market can put in a special order if you can't find it.
posted by helicomatic at 6:16 AM on May 23, 2013


nathan_teske, thanks for pointing out that General Mills bought Liberte. I was wondering why they changed the formulation and added cornstarch to it. Now I know. Bastards. I'm allergic to corn and Liberte was my favorite yogurt until they changed the formula.
posted by rednikki at 7:35 AM on May 23, 2013


OH HOORAY it's La Fermiere. The french yogurt in the little ceramic jars. Now I just have to find it.
posted by elizardbits at 7:47 AM on May 23, 2013


sorry, yogurt epiphanies are exciting and i had to share.
posted by elizardbits at 7:47 AM on May 23, 2013


My hand to God I cannot find full-fat yogurt, Greek or otherwise, in any grocery store in my area. I weep for what I have lost.

I can't either and it's maddening. My toddler is lactose intolerant and one of the key substitutions in his diet is yogurt instead of milk - mostly for the calcium, but he also needs fat. However, while whole milk is easy to find, full fat yogurt is impossible. Save for a few flavors of YoBaby, everything is "low fat" or "no fat." (What is this Liberte? I have never seen it in a grocery store in MA and I spend a lot of time in the yogurt aisle.) (Also, Cabot is from VT but somehow my Shaw's in Boston doesn't carry full fat because they're jerks I guess.)

People are buying Greek yogurt because it's trendy, not because there is a substantial difference in the products.

Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. I have no idea why this is, but hype and spending a lot of time scrutinizing labels has told me this is the case. I have seriously spent a lot of time staring at yogurt labels trying to decide if 16g of protein or 4g of fat per serving is better for my kiddo because BOTH is evidently impossible.

Currently the best I can do is full fat Stonyfield Farms, but I'd buy full fat Greek yogurt instead in a heartbeat. Marketing didn't tell me to do this, the nutrition information did.
posted by sonika at 7:54 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's too much to expect the food industry to figure this out,

Yogurt making has existed in one form or another from the nordic filmjolk to the mongolian qurut for the past 10,000 years.

So, yes.

Yeah thirding that Greek yogurt isn't just marketing.
Marketing has messed it up though. Like "karate" or "aikido." Means different things to different people.

People are buying Greek yogurt because it's trendy, not because there is a substantial difference in the products.

Really? I see about 20 shelves full of yogurt you can squirt out of a tube, yogurt pre-mixed with "blue" "berries", chocolate yogurt, high-carb, high-sodium glop squeezed from a metal factory teat.
About 1/10 of a shelf, typically set low, of the non-sugar injected, plain (not "plain") yogurt. About 1/2 of that contains actually plain Greek yogurt.

The name "greek yogurt" though, yeah that's as trendy as storefront MMA.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:04 AM on May 23, 2013


not because there is a substantial difference in the products.

Well yes and no. Used to be that Greek yogurt was basically strained yogurt. That is, yogurt with a lot of the liquid removed. You could make your own at home, get a big container of regular yogurt and run it through a cheesecloth and get something approximately the same (and the rest is that icky liquid we're all talking about). So you get less volume of stuff with higher protein and lower calories (because of the lack of sugary additives usually, not because there's some magic thing happening) and for people who are nutrition conscious it's one of those perfect food sort of things. And it cost more because of this.

However, what always happens happened. People were like "Oh people will buy this "greek" stuff and pay more so if we can make our low quality stuff approximate the high quality stuff, we can charge twice as much. Let's get crackin!" And for different people, what it meant to be like Greek yogurt may have been the texture, or the high protein or something else. And so various brands appeared doing this to better or worse ends. And people like me who just wanted basically yogurt paste to get a lot of food value out of not-much food volume needed to be a lot more selective with a wider range of products. There's no reason to assume that people talking about Greek yogurt are consumerist sheep about it.
posted by jessamyn at 8:11 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thanks for the recommendation, helicomatic. I've been inspired to make an early run to the farmer's market this weekend to see what the dairy outfits have to offer.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:30 AM on May 23, 2013


You could make your own at home, get a big container of regular yogurt and run it through a cheesecloth and get something approximately the same (and the rest is that icky liquid we're all talking about).

Or even make your own from milk and a culture!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:37 AM on May 23, 2013


Having read the article, this seems to be much ado over nothing.

Acid Whey is nasty stuff when disposed of improperly, which is why we're taking steps to dispose of it properly, and are developing a few ways to actually do this profitably.

The article doesn't actually mention any documented negative environmental effects of yogurt production. Just a lot of potential ones, most of which are apparently being mitigated.

Really, this seems to be a good example of environmental regulations encouraging the free market to develop innovative means to turn a harmful byproduct into something useful/valuable.
posted by schmod at 9:02 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Peach and Vanilla languish alone on the shelves for days, until the next order comes in and someone buys all the Strawberry before I get there.

It's not just Peach, it's Peach and Passion Fruit and it is absurdly delicious. And I don't usually like peach flavored anything.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:27 PM on May 23, 2013


Although reading the articles, and this thread have now led me to understand that yoghurt whey is different than cheese whey, my initial answer to the question "What do you with the whey?" was "Water the pot-plants with it, they love it!". I guess that's not really going to be useful on an industrial scale, however.

Is the "Greek Yoghurt" people are talking about here (in America) the same as what we consider "Greek Yoghurt" here in Australia? It's thicker than "ordinary" yoghurt, I guess. But I always bought it because it was more savoury, not packed with sugar. Something to use to make tzatziki or raita - not trendy at all.
posted by Jimbob at 3:02 AM on May 25, 2013


Is the "Greek Yoghurt" people are talking about here (in America) the same as what we consider "Greek Yoghurt" here in Australia? It's thicker than "ordinary" yoghurt, I guess. But I always bought it because it was more savoury, not packed with sugar. Something to use to make tzatziki or raita - not trendy at all.

I'm pretty sure it's the same, though we've had a proliferation of 'greek-style' yogurt, which is actually different (it's made with extra thickening agents* (I think) rather than strained). I would guess you've had it longer than it's been readily available in the US. I'm sure you could find it if you looked in the right sort of supermarket, but it's only the last few years that it's been absolutely everywhere. You don't see it in American cookbooks (or at least not any I have), for example.

*Our yogurt usually has gelatin or, if you're lucky, pectin in and isn't runny (you can't pour it). I have no idea what Australian yogurt is like. I think to make greek-style yogurt they just use more of it or something.
posted by hoyland at 5:04 PM on May 25, 2013


sonika: I *think* Market Basket has a store brand of yogurt that's just milk and culture, if there are any near you. Yogurt will keep for months in the fridge unopened, so you could stock up if need be.
posted by Adamsmasher at 4:04 PM on May 26, 2013


Milk whey can be made into vodka. See http://www.quecheegorge.com/vermont-spirits-distilling.php
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:39 PM on May 26, 2013


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