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The Health Food That Isn’t

September 15, 2009
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I’ve got to get this off my chest.  I thank you in advance for your kind indulgence.

This all started out innocently enough.  Young Miss Daniel B. is eating her first foods.  It is an especially exciting time in the Fussy household.  You may not have noticed, but food is given an unhealthy level of importance here.  Turns out she loves yogurt.  And while she would prefer the good Greek stuff, I buy her the full fat organic one.

While it may be scientifically unproven, I want to avoid anything that may cause her to hit puberty before she is nine.

Well, Mrs. Fussy turns out to want some yogurt too.  But she neither cares for full fat, nor does she particularly care about it being organic.  Her job provides great medical coverage, and we carry a significant life policy, so she can eat what she wants.

I went to the market to look for little cups of normal yogurt for her to bring to work for a snack.  Since this was a new thing for me to shop for, I felt compelled to read the ingredient label for all the brands in the category.

Have you done this lately?

What the hell happened to yogurt!

Isn’t this stuff supposed to be a health food?
Isn’t this what people eat when they are trying to do good things to their body?

What I found were little tubs that were filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Sucralose, artificial colors and artificial flavors, and a litany of other mystery ingredients.

One of the mystery ingredients was “carmine (for color).”  And that doesn’t sound so bad.  And our protectors in the federal government agencies that oversee such things have no problem with it.  But just so you know, carmine is made from a dried insect that primarily is found on cactus in Mexico.

If only I had found this handy-dandy chart before going shopping I would have been in much better shape.  Or, at the very least, I would not have been so shocked to find so many unhealthy things in something that is supposed to be a health food.

Reading labels is a mixed blessing.  It is really important to know what kind of things people are putting into the food you are putting into your body.  But once you become aware of it, and read a bit more about the mysterious but benign sounding ingredients, you may find a lot of food at the market to be wholly unappealing.

After becoming completely exasperated in the yogurt isle, I caved and bought the ridiculously expensive small cartons of organic yogurt for Mrs. Fussy.  There was no way I was bringing that other stuff into the house.

Maybe we need to start making our own.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    September 15, 2009 10:22 am

    You can buy a case of Chobani Greek yogurt in BJ’s for 11.99. The case contains 12 yogurts in 3 varieties. If you don’t go to BJ’s, they sell in most supermarkets for 1.39 and .99 when on sale. Chobani is good but not as good as Fage but Fage is more expensive, usually 2.09 a container.

    I know too much about yogurt with 3 yogurt eaters in the house going through a container a day each. For myself, I buy the large tubs of fat free Fage or Chobani and top my portions with a drizzle of honey or a spoonful of homemade jam.

  2. Vanessa Gabor permalink
    September 15, 2009 10:45 am

    I love the 0% Fage with any fruit preserve or my new discovery is sold at Honest Weight and it is called Siggs Skeer (sp) it is yogurt like, but even thicker that Fage and fat free. I LOVE it..

  3. September 15, 2009 10:51 am

    I have had good luck making my own, the only drawback is that the crock-pot method that I use makes an ass-ton of yogurt, you need to be commited to eating it. But if you have a wee one in the house it may be worth it.

    http://ofmonkeysandcupcakes.blogspot.com/2008/11/home-made-yogurt-and-granola.html

    Our household generally buys the big container of fat free fage at the Co-op. It is pricy but delicious.

  4. September 15, 2009 11:57 am

    I recently bought whole milk (not normal for me) because I was trying a recipe for pastry cream. There’s a lot of milk left over, luckily, there’s the episode of Alton Brown I left on my Tivo in the event I get the opportunity to try to make my own yogurt. I guess here it is!

    • September 15, 2009 12:04 pm

      Dammit. I just looked. Alton uses 2% because he thinks it has the right ratio of fat solids. I guess I’ll have to make more pastry cream.

  5. Greg permalink
    September 15, 2009 12:14 pm

    Yeah, somewhere along the way yogurt became just another delivery device for sugar.

    If you want to really freak yourself out, take a look at the “Go-gurt” stuff they market to kids.

  6. JoJo permalink
    September 15, 2009 3:06 pm

    Finally someone is calling out the insanity that is “yogurt”. Check out the Yoplait Whips some time….scary stuff. We eat Fage in the Pierce household.

  7. phairhead permalink
    September 15, 2009 7:31 pm

    according to my not a diet diet book, they reccomend fage

  8. Ellen Whitby permalink
    September 15, 2009 8:28 pm

    Have a look at Stoneyfield Farms. They have Yo-Baby,which is just right for Young Miss Fussy, for young Master Fussy they have Yo-Kids and YoKids Squeezers. And don’t forget the smoothies. For grownups like yourself, there is fat free, low fat and full fat yogurt. There is also a non-dairy version (I think) called O-Soy and for mothers-to-be, there’s a different line of organic and healthy yogurt. Have a look at the ingredients, Mr. Fussy. See what you think.

    And if you’d like to borrow a yogurt machine to make your own, I’m sure I might agree to share with you.

  9. Tonia permalink
    September 17, 2009 10:31 am

    Personally, I don’t like pre-made anything…. just how I grew up I guess. But if I eat yogurt I’m gonna go with Ellen on the Stonyfield farm. I prefer the organic stuff, moreover I like what they do for the community. Check out their website. I guess Fage is all the Rage right now. :-)

Trackbacks

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