It’s just amazing how the healthiest food can be turned into processed junk food. We are talking about most yogurts available on the market.
Conventional yogurt usually comes from milk produced by cows that are fed GMO grains, not grass. As the yogurt ferments, some chemicals defoamers are often added. Then high doses of artificial sweeteners, sugar (most likely – high fructose corn syrup), colorants, preservatives, and gut-harmful carrageenan are added too. On top of it, pieces of fruit found in yogurts and yogurt itself have been irradiated and have nothing in common with the real fruit and simple original yogurt.
Okay, let’s start from the beginning
How they feed a cow
Industrial meat and milk production has nothing to do with the “natural” feeding on the meadows guarded with a cowboy.
Almost all corn and soy grown commercially are genetically modified (GMO)
Yogurt’s ingredient list
Antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, growth hormones, and feed additives are commonly used to improve livestock production effectiveness.Many countries have regulations on veterinary drug use in food animals and drug-residue testing programs to ensure that the product in the grocery store is free of residue from antibiotics or synthetic hormones used in livestock.
If you don’t believe us, just take a closer look at the ingredient list of any reasonably priced “high quality” yogurt of any famous brand. We did. See what we have discovered:
Over 20 ingredients! It’s stated on the “Nutritional facts” label that a 100g-serving has 11 grams of sugar – over 2 teaspoons (!) Lots of controversial thickeners, stabilizers, and sweeteners have completely ruined yogurt.
But what is most disturbing is the fact that yogurt contains harmful ingredients that are not included in the ingredient list or hidden on the label under many different names.
In November 2014, the Cornucopia Institute issued a report criticizing the yogurt industry and accusing major brands of turning health food into junk food and uncovering what is in yogurt (http://www.cornucopia.org/yogurt/). Cornucopia was shocked by their findings and filed a formal complaint with US food authorities, asking them to investigate some yogurts.
Take a look at some of them
HFCS-90: This variation of high fructose corn syrup contains 90% of fructose, way more fructose than regular high fructose corn syrup (55% of fructose). The ingredient list won’t indicate that HFCS is an ingredient, rather it can be deceptively listed as “fructose”, or “fructose syrup”, or “sugar syrup” without any reference to corn syrup. An overload of fructose in the diet is linked to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and even cancer.
Carrageenan is extracted from red edible seaweeds and widely used in the food industry (especially in dairy and meat products) for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Carrageenan is a vegetarian and vegan alternative to gelatin in some applications or may be used to replace gelatin in confectionery. It has been the subject of many studies and results are very controversial. It is possible that food irradiation and radiation in the environment degrades carrageenan and degraded carrageenan may be associated with adverse health outcomes.
Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Like pasteurizing milk, fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, irradiation can make food safer for the consumer. Irradiation cannot make food radioactive, but it does reduce the nutritional content and change the flavor, produce radiolytic products, and increase the number of free radicals in the food, which can cause variety of health problems. There is a lack of long-term studies, and therefore the safety of irradiated food is not scientifically proven. Food irradiation has not passed the test of time.
“Active Probiotic Cultures” on a label does not guarantee that any probiotics are actually in the yogurt by the time you eat it. It only means that they were there when the yogurt was manufactured. Irradiation and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose have antimicrobial qualities and kill beneficial bacteria.
PDMS is an antifoaming agent that added to many cooking oils to prevent oil splatter during the cooking process. As a result of this, PDMS can be found in trace quantities in many fast food items such as nuggets, French fries and soda fountains. Turns out, it can also be used during the processing of yogurt, although every yogurt company would deny that they use any anti-foaming chemicals. As Cornucopia highlights in their report, most of the safety studies that have been done on PDMS were conducted or paid for by the chemical companies, and not enough independent research has been done.
Always choose plain organic yogurt (Greek or regular), which you can sweeten yourself with fresh fruit, honey or maple syrup.