My sad break-up with Nancy’s Yogurt

From Caroline — Blog by
February 10, 2009

i’ve eaten nancy's yogurt for years. it’s local. it’s organic. it actually has live bacterial cultures in it, unlike many commercial yogurts.

but yesterday i took a look at the ingredients list on a tub of nancy’s yogurt (my husband had bought a different type of nancy’s than our usual plain whole-milk variety) and was startled to see that the yogurt contains milk powder. i grabbed our usual variety for comparison purposes and yep, it has the powdered stuff, too.

if i wanted dried milk powder — which is manufactured in a process that oxidizes the milk's cholesterol, making it not exactly healthy for your heart — i’d buy, you know, dried milk powder and mix it with water, telling myself that i’m saving money in my milk budget (short-term savings!) while presumably wreaking havoc on my arteries (long-term expense!).

i feel betrayed. kind of like i felt all those years ago, when the news on trans fats began to come out, saying, “sorry, we told you to eat margarine because it was good for you, but actually it’s way worse for you than butter.”

i also feel stupid, for not reading the nancy’s label more carefully. silly me, for assuming that yogurt was just yogurt!

any suggestions on other yogurts to buy? or should i just make my own at home now?

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1. by Laura Parisi on Feb 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM PST

Oh no! I didn’t realize there was anything wrong with powdered milk. I use it when I make my own yogurt because it makes the batch creamier.

2. by Laura Parisi on Feb 10, 2009 at 10:37 PM PST

I should clarify—I mostly use whole milk. But adding a half cup of powdered milk makes the yogurt creamier.

3. by Caroline Cummins on Feb 10, 2009 at 11:06 PM PST

Laura -- The link I added to my post about oxidized cholesterol goes to a Slashfood article about yogurt. Mostly it’s interesting for the lengthy debate in the comments section about whether or not dried milk powder really is oxidized and whether or not it’s bad for you.

The comments thread has many links on both sides of the issue, between conventional wisdom (i.e., mainline nutrition-establishment organizations) and the CW challengers (the evangelical Weston A. Price Foundation, mostly).

I gather that the evils of milk powder (if there are any) come from the manufacturing process. I’ve never bought it in pure form and don’t know much about it, frankly. Apparently, the stuff comes in a certified-organic version, because that’s what Nancy’s Yogurt uses.

I just thought all this time that I was buying pure yogurt -- you know, curdled milk -- and I wasn’t. Big disappointment.

4. by giovannaz on Feb 10, 2009 at 11:28 PM PST

I buy Straus, which I love, or Trader Joe’s European Style Organic (I’ve heard rumors that it’s made by Straus; based on the taste/consistency I wouldn’t be surprised). Neither has extra stuff added, both are extremely creamy. Actually, even the non-fat is pretty creamy. But who am I kidding--I buy the whole milk.

But it sure is a lot of plastic containers. I go back and forth thinking I should make it, but have never been able to make it the way I like.

5. by Laura Parisi on Feb 11, 2009 at 8:02 AM PST

I totally understand the disappointment—it is particularly frustrating that a product that needs to be made only with milk and bacteria gets all sorts of additives. You know, you could write Nancy’s and express your concern. I wrote them when they changed their kefir recipe from having honey to agave and it was too sweet. They wrote back and said they’re experimenting with the recipe and they were happy to hear the input and then they sent me a bunch of coupons for kefir. These days I think it might actually be less sweet.

(Speaking of which—back when I was a vegetarian, I emailed Tillamook complaining about the gelatin in their yogurt. They responded: “Yogurt is made with a stabilizer, which improves the body, gives it a smooth texture, and prevents the yogurt from separating and becoming runny. The gelatin used in Tillamook Yogurt is derived from cattle. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a non-gelatin stabilizer that gives the same texture and body that our consumers have come to expect from Tillamook Yogurt.” I took that to mean: “We don’t cater to freak shows like you—only our loyal customer base. Go eat hippie yogurt.”

I buy the organic dry milk powder. It costs an arm and a leg. If it’s bad for me, I think I’ll just omit it from my next batch of yogurt and see what happens (to be honest, I’ve never made yogurt without it). I’ll let you know if I notice a significant change.

I agree with giovannaz, it sure is a lot of plastic containers, especially when you get the little 8 OZers.

6. by Kathryn H on Feb 11, 2009 at 9:29 AM PST

I too make yogurt every week, it takes about 30 minutes of hands-on time. I use milk from a local organic creamery and a bit of the previous yogurt batch as a starter--some batches are not quite as smooth as others, but a good stir usually solves that. I tried adding powdered milk a few times early on, but didn’t see much difference. Organic Valley promotes their dry milk powder production as being a very low temperature process--I wonder if that would affect the oxidation process?

7. by Laura Parisi on Feb 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM PST

That’s so good to hear, Kathryn. I will definitely try it without the powder.

Caroline--I am pretty sure that Nancy’s uses Organic Valley dairy for their yogurt -- maybe the powdered milk they use doesn’t have the same health issues?

But, making yogurt is easy and it’s true--not much hands-on time. So maybe the answer is to make it at home anyway.

8. by Caroline Cummins on Feb 11, 2009 at 11:29 AM PST

OK, so what recipes do y’all use to make homemade yogurt?

I have a friend whose mom makes yogurt with the aid of a microwave. But I don’t have a microwave, so that’s out.

And I’m willing to believe that milk powder made in a basic way — say, good old evaporation — is perfectly safe. It’d be nice to know more about it.

Finally, speaking of Tillamook, I was pretty much raised on those big orange blocks of cheddar cheese they make. I know, they’re only orange from the addition of annatto — not a big deal. But once I discovered the coloring was purely cosmetic, I decided that orange was, well, weird.

9. by Laura Parisi on Feb 11, 2009 at 6:35 PM PST

Totally agree about the orange! Although I still buy those big honking Tillamook loafs. But it is strange. Why on earth did orange ever become associated with cheese?

I don’t have a microwave. You don’t need one. Stovetop works just fine. My aunt gave me a yogurt maker a few years ago, which I use, but really that’s not necessary either (plus the whole hot plastic factor is kind of icky/questionable). A good insulated metal thermos should do the trick. The key is keeping the milk at the right temperature for 4 to 10 hours.

recipe for yogurt:
1 quart milk (I use whole milk)
1/4 cup dry milk powder (omit per our discussion)
1/2 cup plain yogurt

I think you might be able to buy “yogurt starter” but that just seems silly to me. I’d start with one of the brands that giovannaz recommended if you want to avoid the milk powder entirely. The most important thing is to use yogurt that has live cultures, but I’m sure you wouldn’t buy anything else anyway.

1. Heat milk to just below boiling. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm--about 100 to 110 degrees. This takes a while. I don’t have a thermometer but I use the “pinky test”: if you can stick the tip of your (incredibly clean) pinky in the milk for 10 seconds without pain, you’re good to go.

2. Add yogurt starter and stir gently. Don’t beat or whip it.

3. Put it in the thermos or pre-heated yogurt maker. (Run the thermos under hot water first so that it won’t cool the milk mixture down too much.) Note: I’ve never tried the thermos method myself but I’ve heard it works just fine. Considering that people have been making yogurt without an electric appliance for thousands of years I am sure that that is true.

4. Let the thermos sit for 4 to 10 hours. The longer you let it sit, the more tart it will be. If you don’t think your thermos will retain heat for that long, I’d cut it off sooner. I usually do 6 or 7 hours and just turn it off when I wake up.

5. The yogurt should be partially set when you open it. If not, let it sit for another hour. But the yogurt will thicken in the fridge. Chill for 2 hours. Also, save a 1/2 cup to use for the next batch. (note: you have to use this starter within 5 days).

101 Cookbooks has some more detail: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

10. by Caroline Cummins on Feb 12, 2009 at 9:38 AM PST

Thanks, Laura. I’ll let you know how it goes ...

11. by Kathryn H on Feb 13, 2009 at 8:09 AM PST

I use the stove-top method as well, but I usually use 1/2-cup plain yogurt to 2-quarts of milk. Maybe the larger quantity makes thicker yogurt? I may have to experiment later. I do use a preheated thermos. I have been using a wide-mouth, 1/2-gallon plastic drink thermos--very easy to fill, empty and clean, but the plastic issues are making me a little squeamish so stainless may be on the horizon! Anyway, I put my yogurt-filled thermos into a picnic cooler and tuck an old blanket around it for about six hours and then transfer to sterile, wide-mouth quart jars. The cooler/blanket combo keeps the temperature stable and six hours gives me the flavor I like. I usually chill the yogurt overnight. I use plain yogurt for a variety of things, so I don’t add any fruit or other flavoring to the finished batch, but you can if you want!

A couple of things I’ve discovered over the years:

Using bleach to sterilize your yogurt-making tools can wreck the whole batch, apparently it only needs a molecule or so of bleach to kill the culture

You can freeze yogurt to use for starter--use an ice cube tray and then store the cubes in a ziplock; they will last for several weeks, just use them promptly after defrosting.This trick is handy if you don’t want to make yogurt as often as every 5 days or so.

You can incubate the batch in a sterile jar or tightly sealed bowl instead of a thermos. The key is to insulate it so it maintains a temperature around 100 degrees for several hours. I will admit that it is very frustrating to dump a 1-2-gallon batch of organic yogurt that flopped because it got too cool; luckily I have only had to do that once!

Good luck!

12. by Ellen on Feb 13, 2009 at 12:05 PM PST

I just made my first decent batch of yogurt last night using Nancy’s as my starter, and using the recipe Ed Bruske (The Slow Cook) posted a while back.

I think part of the success of his method is that by heating the milk over a long period, you’re evaporating some of the water out. He also adds heavy cream which makes the texture very smooth. I used pint canning jars in a small, 6-pack sized cooler, and kept one pint jar filled with boiling water in there to keep the temp up. Also, mixed my starter yogurt with the cooled milk in my blender before pouring it into the jars, to make sure the yogurt was evenly distributed. I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

13. by cafemama on Feb 14, 2009 at 11:48 AM PST

I too make my own yogurt and used to use the Trader Joe’s Straus knockoff as a starter, although when I killed my starter by getting it too hot, I used some buttermilk (long ago cultured with a yogourmet cheese culture bought at people’s co-op) and it made a more creamy, less-separated version that was delicious. amazing!

I use raw milk so I like to keep the enzymes moving, so I only heat the milk to just over 110 degrees, then pour into quart canning jars and mix in the culture (about 1/4 cup for a quart jar; I’ve been told you only need a tablespoon per pint of starter). I cover the jars tightly with some cotton cloth & rubber bands and put in a slow cooker with some water in it. I turn the cooker on “low” until the temperature reaches 110-120, then turn it down to “warm” and monitor the temp of the water. (not monitoring it was what led to the great yogurt killing a few weeks ago)

an Indian friend told me that her family used to make yogurt every day b/c there are so many uses for yogurt in Indian cuisine. I make two quarts every few weeks or so. I keep my crockpot right next to my computer so it’s easy to monitor (and it keeps me warm in these cold winter months ;)

14. by Caroline Cummins on Mar 2, 2009 at 12:58 PM PST

I’m now just as confused by Nancy’s kefir products as by their yogurt. I bought a container of Nancy's organic plain low-fat kefir the other day; the ingredients included “organic milk” and “organic nonfat dry milk.” (I guess those two items together make it a “low-fat” product?)

But if I had bought a flavored version of the kefir, it would’ve contained pasteurized milk. (I don’t care what the labels on Nancy’s website say; the labels on the kefir packages at the store were different.)

So did Nancy’s simply get its labeling confused? Or is their kefir really made with unpasteurized milk? (I’m assuming that the dry milk -- i.e., powder -- is there for thickening purposes. Nancy’s kefir is certainly thicker than Helios kefir.)

As for that milk powder, I happened to be at the Bob's Red Mill store in Milwaukie, Oregon, over the weekend, and yes, you can buy milk powder in bulk there. The label doesn’t say how it’s produced, just that it’s natural.

But since the powder is being sold in the same bulk section with textured vegetable protein made from GMO soybeans grown by Archer Daniels Midland (yes, the label does admit to all this), I’m still skeptical.

15. by Laura Parisi on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:32 PM PST

It sounds like a labeling mix-up to me. I wonder if they’ve changed the way they’re listing their ingredients (to specify that the milk is pasteurized) but the change hasn’t been implemented across all products. I wonder this because I know they’ve introduced a new flavor (blueberry) and that’s not listed on the website (leading me to think that the pasteurized milk label is the new one). I imagine they’ll use up old packaging before they start in with the new. If that is the case, then the question is: is the adjective “pasteurized” replacing “organic”? And, if so, why are they not using organic milk anymore?

16. by cynthia ryan on Dec 18, 2010 at 8:50 PM PST

I also used to love Nancy’s yogurt, and I also used to make my own - using a bit of the dried milk, too. But I’ve since discovered White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt at Whole Foods. It’s probably carried elsewhere. Don’t confuse this with Mountain High.
White Mountain Bulgarian has spoiled us for anything else. We use the whole milk version.

17. by Caroline Cummins on Dec 19, 2010 at 9:47 PM PST

Cynthia -- I have a good friend who married a Bulgarian, and she swears that the best yogurt in the world comes from Bulgaria. Will check out the White Mountain stuff next time I happen to be near a Whole Foods.

18. by anonymous on Feb 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM PST

It depends of what kinnd of powder milk they use. There is a natural, organic powder milk product. In the mean-time make your own, like I will start doing.
thanks for the info. I am sorry. BBJ

19. by Leona Osman on Sep 20, 2011 at 7:53 PM PDT

by Leona Osman
I use organic greek yogurt for my starter and organic milk. After 24 hours, I strain the yogurt by using cheesecloth. After collecting the thick sour yogurt and place into a glass container in the refrigerator, I use the strained liquid which is milky and has the flavor of buttermilk, for pancakes and other baked items. If I use regular dairy milk, the strained liquid is clear and I dispose of it. I only use the organic yogurt for my starter and have kept it going for months. It continues its great sour flavor.

20. by anonymous on Jun 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM PDT

I’m adding to a thread which has been long inactive (no pun intended), but I wanted ask a question about store-bought yogurt in general. Yesterday I attended a class on making kefir with kefir grains. The instructor used raw milk. So, the first part of my question is about pasteurized milk; is pasteurized milk, with its own bacterial content destroyed, still a good base for making a probiotic-rich food? Secondly, the instructor said that if store-bought yurts like Nancy’s were really alive with cultures, the containers would be bulging due to the growth of the bacteria. With her kefir, the instructor used a cheesecloth cover over her glass jars because the pressure given off by the live cultures. Now I wonder whether ANY commercial yogurt or kefir actually has enough live culture to be beneficial. have any of you grappled with this and reached the conclusion that it’s still worth eating store-bought yogurt for health reasons?

21. by anonymous on Jul 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM PDT

hey anonymous (recent post) I don’t know why anyone would expect yogurt containers in a fridge to be bulging--the bacteria can’t grow beneath around 85 degrees F. They’re still alive, they’re just not reproducing and growing. If yogurt didn’t contain viable bacteria, there’s no way I could take 2 tablespoons from a container of Nancy’s (that’s been in my fridge for almost a week) and use it to turn a quart of liquid milk into a product almost identical to the Nancy’s in the fridge.
I’ve never heard about the powdered milk controversy, but the amount used in most yogurts is small and used for thickening. You could certainly omit it if you were making the yogurt yourself. Personally I’m not terribly worried about it.

22. by anonymous on Jul 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM PDT

A friend of mine works at Nancy’s yogurt and told me that Dry milk is used for two reasons. 1. To help give the product body and 2. the main reason is that dry milk is higher in lactose so its great food for the probiotics to eat. Its only a little bit they use for in their products. So you could buy a product with billions less in probiotics or buy a great tasting Nancys with a bit of dry milk (organic is from Organic Valley) and get billions of helpful bacteria. I eat it almost everyday to help support a great family ran company and most importantly myself.

23. by anonymous on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:08 AM PDT

It’s impossible to eat foods that don’t have some knock against them for being bad for you. If we listened to every complaint or comment about every ingredient we would never eat anything. I’d give the dry milk powder thing a low score on the scale for things to avoid. In fact I’d sooner avoid dairy entirely for the issues exposed than give up on Nancy’s which IMO is the best of the Kefir products.

I don’t work for Nancy’s !

24. by anonymous on Nov 4, 2012 at 3:16 AM PST

And if you didn’t already know, the cholestrol/heart disease thing is untrue, it was fabricated to sell drugs, mainly Lipitor. Your brain is made of cholesterol, and your body doesn’t make enough to keep the brain functining. Thats the reason all of those people on cholesterol-lowering drugs get Alzheimer’s.

You liberal hippies are going to die if you keep banning food items like this, severely restricting your diets. CAN’T EAT THIS, CAN’T EAT THAT!

25. by Christine on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM PST

I think you should call Nancy’s yogurt. I talked to someone there who warned me that if I make my own homemade yogurt and use powdered milk I will get oxidized cholesterol, whereas Nancy’s was better. It was the first I heard of bad cholesterol in powdered milk, and it was from Nancy’s representative as a warning. I didn’t know enough to ask, but I should have asked why their’s is not bad. Maybe they use a different process that’s less damaging to the milk cholesterol? I’m not giving up my Nancy’s yogurt, I love the purity, no additives (except the powdered milk) and great probiotics.

26. by anonymous on Dec 17, 2012 at 3:40 AM PST

Well of course they don’t want you to make your OWN yogurt, they want you to buy it from THEM. Duhhhh. You’ve got to keep these things in mind, who’s got interest in what, and is the information they’re giving biased?

27. by anonymous on Dec 17, 2012 at 7:14 AM PST

If you are looking for an organic, pure, home-made, traditional style yogurt there is really no comparison to White Mountain’s Bulgarian Yogurt. Use it as a cooking base or add honey to sweeten it up. I have been using it for years in my kitchen.

28. by Ferry on Feb 17, 2013 at 8:49 PM PST

Anything made with cows milk should only be consumed by calves. Human beings cannot digest any form of milk properly, no even human breast milk after about the age of 7 or 8. It turns to slimy curds in your stomach. Besides that, the dairy industry is insanely cruel. You only have go google the cruelty in the dairy industry to find out. That alone is enough to put you off consuming dairy products.

29. by Alan on Apr 23, 2013 at 1:08 AM PDT

Wallaby Wallaby Wallaby Wallaby...

Seriously though, Wallaby yogurt is the best you’ll find in a store. The plain “lowfat” version is the closest you can find to fresh made plain yogurt.(they don’t unfortunately sell a whole fat version). This is coming from someone who lives on a quart -or more- a day and used to make my own from raw milk - until I found Wallaby (and found I couldn’t make yogurt fast enough). Wallaby has all 3 bacteria you want and (in the plain version) no pectin and no dry milk fillers. I don’t work for Wallaby but if they stop making yogurt I will buy a cow farm, cow share, or pasture land ...

@ Ferry:

yes, calves naturally do well on mother’s milk, but humans have been consuming dairy for over 6000 years and thriving on it, that’s where lactose tolerance adaptation came from. I do not eat bread, wheat, corn, rice, oats, any grains, potatoes, or beans. if you eat wheat or grains or even broccoli you must know those things are far more “unnatural” for you than milk since unless you’re from the “cradle of civilization” -between the Tigris and Euphrates- you’ve had much less time genetically to adapt to wheat and grains than than dairy. And not until very recently -just a few 1000 years at best were wild plants -that didn’t kill the taster- cultivated into the “table” vegetables you browse through in the produce section today. If you’re of European ancestry, your genes never “experienced” potatoes, tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers and any “New World” foods until Columbus made his voyage to the Americas. That’s only a few hundred years... and it took even longer for such New World fruits and plants to find their way into the interior of Europe and become accepted by the common folk.

As for treatment of cows, sheep, etc, I always insist on grass-fed, organic dairy and meat from producers who treat their animals VERIFIABLY humanely, giving them utmost care. That care produces the finest dairy and meat. I eat nothing from feedlot, corn-fed animals.

30. by anonymous on May 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM PDT

My understanding is that adding nonfat milk powder to a yogurt or cheese increases the protein without adding fat.

31. by anonymous on May 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM PDT

Thanks anonymous, but the writer doesn’t care about why its added. You should read the article if you want to make a comment, you’re just taking up space on the internet.

32. by Christine on May 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM PDT

Hi. I heard that Nancy’s milk powder is made with a process that does not oxidize the milk, or only a smaller amount is oxidized, and not at all as bad as powdered milk in the store. Something to do with a lower temperature. If anyone is concerned, I suggest they call Nancy’s yogurt directly and ask about it. I eat Nancy’s every day and don’t plan to stop and I’m not concerned enough to call them myself, but I did hear it from someone who knew.

33. by anonymous on Jun 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM PDT

I can’t eat any amount of processed food without getting sick. I bought Nancy’s nonfat plain organic yogurt thinking it was like most nonfat plain yogurts in that it was mostly straight unprocessed dairy product. Low and behold I got sick after eating a cup of this crap. Sure it’s a steal at 5 dollars a tub but if I can’t eat it without my stomach reeling in pain for 5 hours and my esophagus feeling like its being melted down from the acidification of the reflux whats the purpose of this. I’m going to find a local raw milk producer and begin making my own greek strained yogurt because it’s literally impossible to find yogurt that is both organic and without some processed, chemically altered, or non-natural additive (carrageen, pectin, etc etc). Whoever is running, even the smaller sized, natural/organics lines is a nincompoop as far as I am concerned; I won’t try another one of their products, I feel that I’ve been deceived by PLAIN label. I’ve NEVER had plain yogurt with powdered milk added to it, and to get it from a purportedly organic label is just dumbfounding.

34. by Alan on Jun 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM PDT

I did not mention it in my first comment, but yes I had an experience with Nancy’s (about a month ago...): GAS and cramps. I’d never had a problem with any (plain) yogurt product before.

I attribute the gas to the indigestibility of the dry milk proteins - be they “oxidized” or not- no more of those for me.

Nancy makes “whole milk” yogurt? Great. If Nancy takes out the offending added dry milk powder stuff she’ll get my 4 to 8 dollar-a-day, now-in-its’-5th-year business instead of Wallaby. If not, then goodbye!...

35. by anonymous on Jun 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM PDT

Seven Stars Farm makes a delicious, low temp, whole milk yogurt with no stabilizers. It’s a little thinner than traditional yogurt, but I suppose you could strain it with cheese cloth if you wanted it thicker. Very reasonably priced too. Only located in a few places and through a food coop I belong to (Azure Standard). If you can’t find it, you might contact their farm for more info.

36. by anonymous on Jun 15, 2013 at 8:14 AM PDT

Seven Stars Farm has a website with great info and pictures of their farm. You guys that are looking for truly, as natural as you can get without going completely raw, will love it.

37. by kristengeri on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:30 PM PDT

You might check around and see if there are any dairy CSA’s (CSA = community supported agriculture) in your area. That way you can purchase yogurt, milk, cheese, etc., from a local farm and support the farmer directly. Good luck!

38. by anonymous on Jul 30, 2013 at 7:41 AM PDT

blah blah blah.....what a bunch of whinny people. Grow the label and stop blaming others for your insignificant problems. Grow up.

39. by Alan on Aug 3, 2013 at 9:38 PM PDT

@ anonymous #38

Right on. Nothing you put in your mouth is bad for you or could do you any long term harm. And if something was indeed not the best for you, the government surely wouldn’t allow it to get onto the store shelves. It’s not like people in Congress are corrupt or anything and take money from Big Agribusiness... If you are not already a smoker, I suggest you start. Or, smoke much more if you already do. Buy lots of food -especially seafood- from China. Eat lots of Twinkies because, seriously, they are delicious. Don’t pay any attention to the evolutionist, “must-be-grass-fed” sticklers who praise saturated animal fat(and whole organic dairy) over the long-recommended high carb/low fat/"cholesterol-is-bad/grain-based diet endorsed by the mainstream media ... Ignore the obesity “epidemic” also being reported...Sugar does absolutely nothing to the endothelium.
Why, Paleolithic Man actually evolved on Lucky Charms, Marlboros, Tofu and Pizza. Go to it. Mother Nature will reward you -personally- for your wisdom.

40. by anonymous on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM PDT

May I put this into perspective? First, Nancy’s is actually putting on the label that it contains dry milk - they don’t have to do that. In other words, in the interest of the FDA, milk is milk (with the exception of adding the ‘organic’ label). There might actually be may many more dairy products out there that simply don’t tell you that it is in there. 2nd - the dry milk that they add is NONFAT. Oxidized cholesterol is hardly a concern, if at all. Heating your olive oil on the pan, or letting it sit at room temp for a few weeks in near a window would likely be poisoning your body much more than the level of oxidized cholesterol in that yogurt. Nancy’s (to me) seem to be pretty darn honest for as big as they are. You can’t say that about Trader Joes. Trader Joes doesn’t even tell you who, where, or how your yogurt is made. You might think it is Straus but you have no idea. With Nancy’s, you could go to the factory if you wanted and see how your yogurt is made. Can you do that with Trader Joes? I think people put way too much trust in companies like Trader Joes that give you ZERO info on where, who, and how, and for some reason they are trusted more than a company who tells you outright what is in it. For all you know Trader Joes has dry milk too because as I pointed out, they don’t even need to tell you by law. Food for thought please?

41. by Alan on Sep 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM PDT

Anonymous #40,

I couldn’t care less about the FDA’s “thinking” that “milk is milk”. These are the same people that allow poisonous crap from China into American stores and into American people. These are the same people that allowed -and allow- drugs that kill -like Celebrex, Lipitor, Vioxx etc- to thrive on the market. All milk is not “milk”. Is RAT milk what you had in mind? Why not? It’s milk from a mammal? No, the REAL MILK we’re talking about comes from a ruminant...(cow, sheep, goat or camel -if you swing that way) that was raised on its’ UNcontaminated evolutionary diet. Not ground-up chicken carcasses and corncobs thrown in a trough. And not stuffed with antibiotics and rBGH.

“Cholesterol”: I have zero concern for cholesterol levels in either the meat I eat, the high-fat dairy I consume or my own bloodstream for that matter. The whole cholesterol “crisis” is fabricated to make billions for the drug industry to erase a precious and valuable function of your body that Mother Nature took hundreds and thousands, really millions of years to perfect. If you seriously think your body’s secretions of cholesterol whether “good” or “bad”, LDL or HDL, are “bad” for you and you’d be better off without either or both, find a place that will SUCK the stuff out of your body in one fell swoop - I’ll pay for it. Hey, you might even live a few weeks or so after your “treatment”. Read Malcolm Kendrick.

As for Nancy’s: A lot of yogurt makers on the shelves are guilty of things like this not just Nancy’s. You won’t find me defending Trader Joe’s. Many put pectin (thickener) in their yogurt because foolish (and sugar-addicted) Americans won’t tolerate real (thin, unpretty) yogurt. I have no concern for your health. That’s up to you. It only affects me when I go the store and because of “democracy”, or idiocracy, that is, the “market”, I can only find ONE DAMN BRAND of real yogurt on the shelf - Wallaby- because of the weight of uninformed people out there who DON’T care what they stuff their faces with or what their standard of life will be when they hit their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s. I’m 50, running marathons, hurtling down mountain trails on a bike (passing 20 year-olds), my elders are closing in on 100 AND I eat HIGH FAT, HIGH cholesterol and have a blood cholesterol in the 240’s. Perhaps you could trust more in Mother Nature than someone who’s trying to sell you something? Perhaps I work for Wallaby and am trying sabotage Nancy? My biggest complaint against Wallby is that only sell NON-fat and “low-fat” yogurt and I want ALL the fat I can get.

I need to send them another e-mail.

42. by anonymous on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM PDT

Anon #41

Holy cow - that’s a freak out. I guess you didn’t comprehend my comment before you went off. If you didn’t get the message - the point is that the FDA rules our labeling requirements, Wallaby, Nancy, or otherwise included. My point is that the people advocating for Trader Joes are going off of even LESS information. Point is that the blog post indicated that oxidized cholesterol was an issue in dry milk. I was saying it is really not a concern. I eat organic, but even then, big organic (the affordable kind) has been controlled completely by the same corps that feed you crap. So, rather than go off - either make you own yogurt, start your own company or DEAL. My goodness, people are starving TO DEATH in other countries. Be grateful you have relatively healthy choices without having to stay home, farm and cook all day! Nancy’s IS NOT going to kill you - chances are pollution will get to you first. Perspective people!

43. by anonymous on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM PDT

" All milk is not “milk”. Is RAT milk what you had in mind? Why not? It’s milk from a mammal? No, the REAL MILK we’re talking about comes from a ruminant...(cow, sheep, goat or camel -if you swing that way) that was raised on its’ UNcontaminated evolutionary diet. " - LOL! What I had in mind?? According to the FDA dry milk is milk. That means you have no idea if it is being used since they don’t have to label it - but Nancy’s actually does (thank them for their honesty). For the love of nature, Read before you speak/type!

44. by anonymous on Sep 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM PDT

My not-so-sad breakup with the thread.

45. by Alan on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:44 AM PDT

@Anon #42,43,44(?)

“Holy cow”, indeed: Why yes, I do consider cows pretty special, maybe it’s just an expression born of symbiotic evolution...

Hmmm. I think I need to use a modified expression here just for you: “Speaking the Truth is ‘freaking out’ only to those who are freaked out by the Truth”.

You do realize that people VERY interested in their health come to places like this to read and ask questions and post their own experiences in free exchange, right? And you have done so as have I. Why squelch people’s pursuit of optimal health with a “just live with it - other people are starving” comment? They’re starving in Haiti, Africa, North Korea and... None of those situations is MY fault. It’s often because they themselves have left the natural diet of their ancestors (and thrown their economies out of balance by unsustainable population growth in unsuitable areas). Ah, and we’re back to the basis of this disagreement! You are the one defending Nancy’s minimal commitment to a good product by saying “well, they meet the FDA standard”. If you can digest Nancy’s sh*t, er, stuff...go ahead.

Re-read my post #39. Consume all the things you think are fine, listen to your FDA, bought/sold TV news Docs, congressional reps & whoever makes it into the White House - You can bet your life on them. I have - but no more. Beyond that all, if your concern is truly for human suffering “in other countries” -far above the mere dietary discussion here- then roll that out if you want. I’m bothered with 100,000 dead civilians and (as a vet) a couple thousand of my fellow US servicemen in places like Iraq, Afghanistan on my tax dollar. Possibly Syria next. You?

46. by anonymous on Sep 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM PDT

I don’t read/listen to the FDA, but I am aware that they control the information. You clearly do not understand that what you don’t know is that all yogurt may contain dried milk. Nancy simply labeled it for you. You guys are so freaking militant that you are focused on the trees and miss the forest. Buh bye.

47. by anonymous on Sep 23, 2013 at 4:48 PM PDT

I’m awfully glad you are such an expert. The point is that it would be nice if there was a company that added nothing that sounded weird or that had been processed in some way. Even if it means that it expires quicker, some want a product that is like homemade with the convenience of getting it at the store. I dare say, though, that even if all companies do put some dried milk in there product, I don’t know that it is as much as Nancy’s does. Nancy’s sour cream is THE thickest I have ever seen....almost like cream cheese. Not only that, the taste is a lot different than the companies that don’t list dried milk in their ingredients. I asked the company and they use the dried milk as a stabilizer. Other companies are using other things as a stabilizer. Again, the whole point is the desire to have something really fresh that is not going to have something added to it to make it unnaturally thick or have an unnatural shelf life. Last but not least, you don’t have to be such a smarty pants. CLEARLY, you need to be taught some manners.

48. by Alan on Sep 25, 2013 at 1:09 AM PDT

Is 46 or 47 addressed to me? It’s hard to tell... Whoever was talking to me had already trotted off into the sunset noting their “break up with the thread”... So it can’t be THAT person... and whoever’s posting now didn’t clarify who their words were meant (in the words of ‘Men At Work’): “Who can it be now?”

I guess we won’t hear from “46” any more given the “buh bye”. Buh bye, then!

To answer “47”, had YOU bothered to read my posts here you’d know that there actually DOES EXIST a natural organic store-sold yogurt made without pectin, fillers, paint chips, kitty litter, etc. It is WALLABY. In fact, my first four words here were “WALLABY WALLABY WALLABY WALLABY”. And counting the number of times that I wrote the word “WALLABY” in my comments on this page seems to be about TEN TIMES. Wonder how that was missed... Perhaps Nancy’s does something to the brain...while Wallaby’s makes one “smarty”?

Regarding the smartness of my pants and manners: Right. THIS from the person calling my comments a “freak out”. I could say “CLEARLY, you need to be taught some manners”, but that just sounds so bitchy. I love freedom of speech. You say what you want - It don’t bother me none, ma’am.

49. by anonymous on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM PDT

I suppose I should have clarified. #47 was talking to #46 for being so rude. The “CLEARLY” was there because he had so rudely said “clearly” I felt he was missing the point of the entire Nancy debate anyway and wanted to let him know he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. I still think he was a smarty pants by acting like he was all knowing and that everyone else were “freaking militants” just because they wanted a product to be simple and real. So, you don’t have to chastise me for not reading....I was chasising him, not you. Wow, what a heated conversation over a “dairy” product. I still say he could use some lessons on good manners. Next time I’ll be SURE it’s obvious who I’m telling to grow up, because CLEARLY it was not obvious this time....darn it :)

50. by anonymous on Sep 26, 2013 at 5:05 PM PDT

Oops, there I go again....#49 is speaking to #48....gotta be clear, lol....and #50, here, is referring to #49 :)

51. by Alan on Sep 27, 2013 at 3:58 PM PDT

Thank you, #49/50. Your clarification is understood and appreciated.

Yes, all this drama over the contents of a milk bucket. Imagine the cows...casually, blissfully chewing grass while we “smart, evolved” humans squabble over the essence of what they provide us...

52. by JULES Elias on Sep 28, 2013 at 12:08 PM PDT

I am a vegetarian who consumes soy products in my daily diet of which Nancy’s yogurt, plain, is a big part of. However, when I took a careful look at the label, it turns out that a cup of this product contains 220% of Vitamin E, a possible risk factor for prostate cancer. As an elderly male, this is important enough for me to reconsider consuming this otherwise (except for the 20gm of sugar) product. Jules

53. by anonymous on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:29 AM PDT

Hey, I work for Nancy’s as a demo person, a lot of people are concerned about that ingredient. It has to be included because it technically does go into the food. However, it’s purpose is not to cheaply add protein or anything like that. It’s simply food for the probiotics at the start of the culturing process. I hope you give it another try!

54. by anonymous on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:20 PM PDT

I grew up in Asia and we only drink powdered milk and have done so for generations. My grandmother is 92 years and still going strong, my parents have never been to the doctor for any medical issues either. Also, bear in mind that cardiovascular diseases are very low in Asian countries. Maybe you should reconsider your statements that powdered milk is bad for your heart. I’m sure if you have other contributing factors such as eating a diet in high saturated fat etc and also have a high levels of inflmmation in your body, drinking powdered milk may contribute to increased cholesterol levels!

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