Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Thoughts on Fage Yogurt

A reader recently left a comment on my post about Maple Hill Creamery’s yogurt, which is made using organic milk from grass-fed cows:
Rob: I'm a yogurt lover and learned a long time ago to stay away from the average yogurt for exactly the reasons you mention - they are full of artificial stuff! Since a trip to Greece, I am hooked on Fage yogurt. It's thick and creamy unflavored yogurt. It's great for use in cooking too. The 0% ingredients are just "Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures."

I would be interested to hear what you think about it.
My thoughts on Fage yogurt, starting with two positives:
  • Fage, a Greek company, makes a great-tasting, thick yogurt that does not contain the additives found in the majority of commercial yogurts available in the United States.
  • All Fage yogurt sold in the U.S. is made at the Fage plant in Johnstown, NY, using milk from dairy farms in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The milk comes from cows not administered added hormones.
And the two negatives (if you are looking for organic, grass-fed yogurt):
  • Since the milk is pooled from a cooperative of farmers, any organic milk (if there is any) gets mixed with conventional milk.
  • Similarly, there is no way of knowing if the yogurt comes from milk from grass-fed cows, which is nutritionally superior to milk from grain-fed cows. According to an e-mail response from Fage Consumer Relations, “Our farmers' cows are fed, among other vegetation, with [m]aize, soybean, cottonseed, [c]otton cake, barley, oat, wheat, sunflower, sorghum, rice, alfalfa, maize silage and/or alfalfa silage.”
We all must make our own decisions as to what we eat (in regard to hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, synthetic additives, etc.), but knowing our foods’ genesis is essential in making educated choices.


Anonymous said...

Great commentary on yogurt rob. I love the compare and contrast and thequestions associated with a seemingly healthy yogurt. EA

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,
I live in a suburb outside of chicago and have been having a hard time finding grass fed yogurt in my whole foods. I found a farm that sells 100% grass fed cows yogurt, sheeps yogurt, and goat yogurt. All of them are raw as is the grass fed milk. What are your thought on raw milk and yogurt? I know it is supposed to be more nutritous but I am concerned about the safety. Also, do you think the sheeps or goat yogurt are better for you than the cows yogurt. is the farm that I am speaking of.

Chef Rob said...

Anonymous (Chicago suburbs),

Raw milk is a very, very contentious (and personal) issue. I have read many strong arguments both pro and con, which probably helps explain why I am still on the fence.

The raw milk issue, I believe, isn't as cut and dry as non-stick pans, pesticides or artificial colors. Whereas I would never hesitate to tell someone to avoid FD&C Blue No. 2 at all costs, I could never confidently tell someone to drink or to not drink raw milk. Again, it is a very personal issue.

Sorry for not giving a concrete answer, but it's not such a simple issue.


Lucy said...

I need to know about cow welfare in the production of my favourite yoghurt before I stop eating it for good...thank you.

Alejandra Linares said...

I would be interested to find out about the animal welfare as well in the production of this product. Given the location of the dairy farms I would say it's safe to say they are not certified humane farms. Would that be a correct assumption?

Elien said...

Hi there, I would ALSO like to know about animal welfare in Faje production, re. the two posts above.

Many thanks!

~JO~ Cullenitis said...

Hello Rob,

I know you wrote this article ages ago, but I've recently been turned KETO... and as such, the further I delve into Ketogenic Awareness, the further down the rabbit hole I go with organic, grass-fed, raw meat and dairy products (an important source of the diet).

I recently discovered Fage 5% Plain Yogurt and fell in love. It is like eating the best custard in the world. But I worry about getting what I need. I have HUGE levels of inflammation that I am battling, and changing my diet is how I wish to do that battle (not through medications). I tried Maple Hill Creamery's Whole Milk Organic Plain and was disgusted. Too runny with a funky aftertaste (IMO).

I'm just a little daunted.