Commercial Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health

by Sarah Fermented FoodsComments: 160

commercial yogurtAs I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day, I noticed an older lady in front of me had an entire cart loaded with commercial yogurt.

I immediately felt very empathetic for her situation as she obviously was placing high importance on commercial yogurt in her diet – perhaps to help some sort of chronic digestive issue.

What is really sad is that it is virtually certain that she was experiencing little to no benefit for her efforts.

This is because standard store yogurt including those squeezable yogurt tubes for kids are not the probiotic filled food that the television commercials and other advertising would lead you to believe.

The problem is that commercial yogurt is fermented for very short periods of time.   The length of time is so short (one person in the dairy industry told me that it is an hour or even less) that thickening agents are sometimes even added to commercial yogurt to give it the look and feel of yogurt that has been fermented for much longer such as would happen with yogurt made on a small dairy farm or in your kitchen.

This is why Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, recommends avoiding store yogurt and eating yogurt only that you’ve made yourself and fermented for a full 24 hours in order for the majority of the lactose (milk sugar) to be used up and sufficient strength of the probiotic cultures to become established.

The Specific Carbohydrate (SCD) Diet also recommends yogurt fermented for a full 24 hours.

Of course making yogurt yourself also permits selection of high quality milk and avoidance of all the additives and sugar added to most commercial store yogurt as well.

Yogurt made in the traditional fashion and fermented for 24 hours will most definitely assist your gut and help rebalance your digestive flora with the help of beneficial though transient cultures that good quality yogurt is loaded with.

It is also helpful to note that yogurt made with raw milk will be naturally more drinkable style like kefir than yogurt made with heated or pasteurized milk.

So if someone you know eats a lot of commercial yogurt and is doing this primarily to assist with their digestive health and to boost immune function, tip them off that they would be better off making it themselves or buying it from a small farm!

Commercial Yogurt Sweetened with GMO Sugar

Another problem with commercial yogurt is that it is usually sweetened with genetically modified (GMO) sweeteners.  Many consumers know that corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are GMO.  However, even health savvy shoppers typically don’t realize that even if the label on commercial yogurt says “sugar” instead of corn syrup, it is virtually certain that sugar is also  from a GMO source. Only if the label says “cane sugar” or “organic sugar” does this guarantee that the sugar is GMO free.

The best policy is to make yogurt yourself or buy it from a small farm that uses quality grassfed milk.

If you must buy commercial yogurt for whatever reason, this brand is a quality product that I seek out when traveling.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

More Information

Why Kefir is a Healthier Choice than Yogurt

Picture Credit

Comments (160)

  • Sonu

    Can’t believe stony field yotot adds unnecessary fish oil and rice flour to thicken it. I brought one pack home and ended up throwing it away. I rather make my own and add some honey to it and it’s heaven.

    May 4th, 2016 12:52 pm Reply
  • Matt Mahoney

    Siggis yogurt seems like the best choice when buying a commercial product. I reached out to them about their fermentation process. 6 hours.

    Matthew,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

    siggi’s skyr is fermented for about 6 hours.

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions!

    Best,

    Jessica Burtzos

    siggi’s dairy
    135 West 26th Street, FL 6
    New York, NY 10001
    T. 212.966.6950
    F. 646.536.8159

    March 28th, 2016 11:01 am Reply
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  • Sharon Lee Lockhart via Facebook

    Now adays most folks don’t want to know how to make their own anything. they are so used to just going to the store and buying what they want/need. We all need to learn a bit more about being self sustaining, and this is just one way we can learn it.

    February 13th, 2014 8:18 pm Reply
  • Susan Ribeiro via Facebook

    Anyone know about Siggi’s yogurts…they claim to be grassfed and it’s a very short ingredient list

    February 11th, 2014 5:34 pm Reply
  • Elene Murray via Facebook

    thanks! sharing!

    February 11th, 2014 11:53 am Reply
  • Cassandra Brecht via Facebook

    If you can find Maple Hill Creamery yogurt, it is organic and 100% grassfed. It’s delicious, too!

    February 11th, 2014 10:46 am Reply
  • Debbie Jacko via Facebook

    I have no idea how to make yogurt!

    February 11th, 2014 9:08 am Reply
  • Cassandra Vorisek-Creto via Facebook

    Stoneyfield is the only yogurt eaten in my household….not talented enough to make it on my own 😉 The other brands are just plain scary!!

    February 11th, 2014 8:59 am Reply
  • Joan Bishop via Facebook

    even stonyfield farm?? I thought they were good guys.

    February 11th, 2014 8:30 am Reply
  • The Healthy Home Economist via Facebook

    How awesome to see how many folks are making their own yogurt!

    February 11th, 2014 8:27 am Reply
  • Annie Jenney via Facebook

    What about seven stars brand? Can you post about how to make it? I’m getting raw milk tomorrow.

    February 11th, 2014 7:37 am Reply
  • Linda Kay via Facebook

    junk

    February 11th, 2014 7:35 am Reply
  • Catherine Purington via Facebook

    I’ve also read that commercial yogurt has so much sugar that the probiotics get eaten up while sitting on the shelf.

    February 11th, 2014 7:19 am Reply
  • Kristin Cusamano via Facebook

    I buy ours from a local organic farm. It’s made from their raw pastured milk. Unsweetened and it is pourable no thickener added.
    But for those who can’t do this are there any store brands you can recommend? How about trader joes whole milk unsweetened?

    February 11th, 2014 7:03 am Reply
  • Kristin Stuppy via Facebook

    Stephanie Reid

    February 11th, 2014 6:38 am Reply
  • josh

    I’m glad your pity made you feel superior about this “ignorant” woman. In your 1st 3 paragraphs, i mean sentences separated by an entire line, you asserted yourself as younger, happier and smarter. Possibly shes cooking for an organization, has a husband who can digest only liquids or, fuck, just likes the stuff.

    Now it’s my turn. Biotics naturally reside in our digestive track. When taking ANTI-biotics (xxxx-acillin), the Dr will recommend buttermilk or yogurt after to not replace, but to begin cultivating the bacteria that help us digest. That “fermenting” takes place naturally in our intestines.

    I rather would have seen you attack types of yogurt like “carb-master” or other spinoffs.

    February 11th, 2014 5:55 am Reply
  • Mary DeLong via Facebook

    can’t convince them all, I have tried, make my own as well

    February 11th, 2014 5:52 am Reply
  • Stephanie Armstrong via Facebook

    Disgusting junk food!

    February 11th, 2014 4:23 am Reply
  • Marinella Vitale Ghion via Facebook

    I enjoy reading your posts, but it drives you to craziness!!! If you constantly have to worry about everything we eat and drink, what’s the use!!

    February 11th, 2014 3:56 am Reply
  • Susie Dodson Heitmann via Facebook

    Gage has corn starch…gmo corn, probably Bt corn. At least Chobani doesn’t have corn!

    February 11th, 2014 3:14 am Reply
  • LadyAithena

    I personally look for the word probiotic on the label or i wont buy yogurt. Unles im eating it just for flavor and not to fight an infection. YOu can buy probiotic suplement vitamins also, instead of eating yogurt.

    Nothing in this article is prooven fact. It needs to site its resources. Where did the journalist get their information from? So far all we have is 1 doctors word about this. Some one’s opinion. Nothing more.

    Anyone can make up information and post an article on the web. (not accusing this of being correct or incorrect). People are so eager to believe everything they see in writing.
    (example: the word gullible isn’t in the dictionary.)

    This is also this is a ‘.com’ website which can be filled with made up information, not backed up by sources. I’m more opt to trust a ‘.org’ , ‘.net’ and ‘.gov’ site for information over a ‘.com’ link.

    February 11th, 2014 1:22 am Reply
  • Brooke Blight Amash via Facebook

    Please tell me the Fage Greek yogurt from Costco is real…that is the only stuff I buy.

    February 11th, 2014 12:53 am Reply
  • Sylvie Cormier-Arsenault via Facebook

    I get organic kefir and plain greek(not reduced fat) yogurt. Check the packaging for the amount of probiotics per serving. If it doesn’t say, leave it, it probably doesn’t have much. And get to know what ingredients to avoid. Or make your own.

    Chad, for Greek yogurt, just strain the whey out of your homemade yogurt. It’ll make it thicker and higher in fat, which is what real Greek is. Or add a bit of “grass fed” gelatine if you want less fat, but milk fat won’t make anyone fat.

    February 11th, 2014 12:23 am Reply
  • Chris Nagy via Facebook

    I make yogurt and kefir every week with raw milk for my family!

    February 11th, 2014 12:18 am Reply
  • Chad Highfield via Facebook

    Is there a good site about making Greek youqurt ? I eat alot of youqurt due to some past surgeries on my stomach .Its one of my main protien sources ?

    February 11th, 2014 12:13 am Reply
  • Jessica DuBois via Facebook

    Kathleen Jones Ponto – Chobani has said themselves that it would be too expensive to use non-GMO ingredients. “All natural” doesn’t mean diddly – there isn’t much regulation on that term. I personally do use Stoneyfield but they are still lowfat which I hate. We don’t have raw milk readily available in our area or I would make my own!

    February 11th, 2014 12:04 am Reply
  • Maurice Douglas via Facebook

    I remember my ex used to eat store bought yogurt trying to be “healthy” and she ended up gaining weight!
    I don’t eat yogurt much myself! I prefer my homemade kefir made from raw grassfed milk! It has many more strands of beneficial microbes and it’s way easier to make! :)

    February 11th, 2014 12:02 am Reply
  • Julie Angelo via Facebook

    I enjoy making homemade yogurt but I do buy brown cow cream top black cherry. I have yet to master that flavor. I don’t mind the sugar content since it’s not something we eat excessive or even daily.

    February 10th, 2014 11:59 pm Reply
  • Will Corriveau via Facebook

    I stopped buying Dannon’s Oikos when I figured out that their cows are fed GMO junk. Now I just buy kefir from Lifeway, because it’s at my local grocer.

    February 10th, 2014 11:57 pm Reply
  • Shannon Bubier-Evans via Facebook

    Kate’s of Maine makes a REAL cultured buttermilk (yogurt cultures) and its Delicious! If you live in New England, I highly recommend it.

    February 10th, 2014 11:55 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Myers via Facebook

    Organic and no sugar is the best if you’re going to eat yogurt. If it’s cultured even better for your health. But with all of the sugar and crap most yogurts contain, it’ll do more harm than good. Lose the sugar, go organic.

    February 10th, 2014 11:53 pm Reply
  • Susie Romano via Facebook

    Well that’s good because does not like those yogurts and I was feeling he was missing out

    February 10th, 2014 11:50 pm Reply
  • Kathleen Jones Ponto via Facebook

    Or Stonyfield Sqeeze pouches? http://www.stonyfield.com/products/yobaby/yobaby-pouches/mango

    February 10th, 2014 11:49 pm Reply
  • Shannon Bubier-Evans via Facebook

    I like stoneyfield whole milk plain. It is better than I can make at home (and I have tried!)

    February 10th, 2014 11:47 pm Reply
  • Kathy Dill via Facebook

    Following

    February 10th, 2014 11:46 pm Reply
  • Kathleen Jones Ponto via Facebook

    What’s wrong with Chobani tubes?! http://www.chobani.com/products/kids#/!Rockin'%20Blueberry

    February 10th, 2014 11:44 pm Reply
  • Ray Martinez via Facebook

    Please tell us what brands we should buy.

    February 10th, 2014 11:40 pm Reply
  • Ruth Weston via Facebook

    How can a thermally sealed packet that is stored on a shelf be REAL yogurt! How can shoppers be so ill informed! This rubbish will only sell if there is a market for it, simple don’t buy it! The sad thing is that children will never learn the truth either if adults buy these sugar filled sacks of ‘who knows what’ which is labelled as yogurt….PLEASE teach your children the REAL thing……yogurt is a LIVING food!

    February 10th, 2014 11:37 pm Reply
  • Amanda Evans

    I just started a (beginner) blog and just shared how I make my own yogurt in a crockpot, then wrapped up in a blanket overnight. I mentioned how I don’t know how most store yogurts are considered yogurts either! I’ve been so excited that many I my friends and new followers are trying some of the things I share, but I don’t want to spread incorrect information if course. I only ferment mine about 12 hours and don’t think my technique would work for 24 hours. How do you recommend making your own yogurt??

    February 10th, 2014 11:35 pm Reply
  • Rhianna Brown via Facebook

    A naturopath told me to buy saugeen brand yogurt. Is this also bad???

    February 10th, 2014 11:30 pm Reply
  • Sheri Smith via Facebook

    What about @Nancy’s Organic yogurt ? Made here in Oregon ?

    February 10th, 2014 11:30 pm Reply
  • Judi Copeland via Facebook

    Very true….Even though many claim to have live acidophiles the amounts are negligible and the junk in these far outweigh any benefits…. :/

    February 10th, 2014 11:29 pm Reply
  • Leafs Zn Fishes via Facebook

    I have a question. I buy Nancy’s yogurt. Plain, or Honey Yogurt. can I sit this in a warm place to up the probiotic rate ?

    February 10th, 2014 11:26 pm Reply
  • Nancy Gardner via Facebook

    I’ve stopped purchasing this long ago. I need to make some more raw yogurt.

    February 10th, 2014 11:26 pm Reply
  • Christine Nimitz via Facebook

    So ALL brands sold in stores are bad? There’s not one single acceptable brand?

    February 10th, 2014 11:25 pm Reply
  • Danny N Gretchen Jones via Facebook

    We make our own with raw grassfed milk. I make a honey syrup with serviceberries (they grow wild on our property, so they’re FREE) that I like to mix with it. We also use it to make soft yogurt cheeses. It’s so easy, I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t make their own, really. I can’t believe I waited so long to start making it!

    February 10th, 2014 11:23 pm Reply
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  • Amy

    Also, Mountain High has 5 active cultures. What if I just left it out to ferment? Would it revitalize the process?

    April 22nd, 2013 6:48 pm Reply
  • Amy

    I just called Zoi. They ferment for “about 6 hours”.

    April 22nd, 2013 6:30 pm Reply
  • www.youtube.com

    What’s up to all, as I am genuinely eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
    It consists of fastidious data.

    February 6th, 2013 6:17 am Reply
  • Secub

    I was working in a dairy plant (process enginner) and the process fermentation time for a plain yoghurt is always 6-7 hours. Its almost imposible to make yoghurt in one hour or less.

    Regards

    September 1st, 2012 12:17 pm Reply
  • vivian

    I have tried this and it’s WONDERFUL. Thank you so much for this innovative way to utilize my useless microwave. I have a question. Some of my raw milk accidentally froze (overstuffed fridge) and I’m wondering if I can still use it to make yogurt.

    July 20th, 2012 10:37 pm Reply
  • Teresa

    Sarah,
    Question about probiotics. I have been trying to find out on your site if you take a probiotic pill along with all the fermented foods/ beverages that you eat. I don’t want to give up my green pastures CLO so I was thinking of giving up my probiotics instead ( a financial thing) I actually want to increase my CLO daily. I eat yogurt, sauerkraut, water kefir (occasionally) are these enough?
    I drink raw milk also. So what your thoughts on probiotic pills? I love your site and can’t wait to see what you write everyday,,,,

    February 22nd, 2012 9:59 am Reply
    • Pete

      Why don’t you just make your own Kefir , it’s better it’s natural and it’s cheap.. I do and my digestive system works Great! Google it ! They should tell you how to make it. Just 3 ingredients . Water,Surgar,and whatever those little creatures I put put in the mix. Anyway the critters eat all the Surgar and produce Kefir water!!

      January 3rd, 2015 4:21 am Reply
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  • Lauren

    Hi Sarah- I have tried the 24 hour incubation twice now, and both times the yogurt has curdled. I use my oven light for warmth, and the second time I monitored the temperature with a thermometer which stayed at 103 pretty consistently. If anything, I’d think this was a little cool. Isn’t it supposed to be 110? What am I doing wrong?

    Also, the entire batch of yogurt isn’t setting. I always drain my yogurt to get the whey and the first cup is very milky in appearance. The latter part of the whey is yellow and crystal clear. Any tips? I very much appreciate any advice!

    October 25th, 2011 10:46 am Reply
    • Lauren

      I guess I’ll go back to the old 8 hour incubation. Or maybe try 12. 24 hour just isn’t working for us. Too bad!!

      October 26th, 2011 10:06 pm Reply
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  • Ruby

    Ever since I stopped drinking Lactose free milk and started drinking grass-fed, low-temp milk (Natural by Nature, Ronnybrook), my intolerance has all but disappeared. I love Traders Point Creamery and Fage Total yogurt. If I was going to make yogurt in the crockpot then Fage Total would be the best one for me. Sadly, New Jersey stalled a bill allowing raw milk to be sold in the state. I’ll have to make a trip to PA one Saturday for some raw, grass-fed milk!

    September 23rd, 2011 3:19 pm Reply
  • Elaine Nelson Smith via Facebook

    Tanisha, how do you make it in a crockpot?

    September 22nd, 2011 9:31 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Saleheen (@TheMerryStork) (@TheMerryStork)

    Store Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist http://t.co/qry5S9U2

    September 22nd, 2011 4:36 am Reply
  • Emily Bartlett (@holistickid)

    A really good reason to make your own!… http://t.co/yajEhaAG http://t.co/040GVunL http://t.co/MGd1caI9

    September 21st, 2011 6:29 pm Reply
  • Monica Ford (@RealFoodDevotee)

    Store #Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health http://t.co/c2638yFi Eat #RealFood with gratitude! xoxo #fb

    September 21st, 2011 12:15 pm Reply
  • Culture Club 101 (@CultureClub101)

    Store #Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health http://t.co/OtgjBUy0 Eat #RealFood with gratitude! xoxo #fb

    September 21st, 2011 12:14 pm Reply
  • James Barry (@ChefJamesBarry)

    Fortunately, there will be a "how to make you’re own yogurt" recipe in the upcoming Eat Naked Cookbook launching… http://t.co/DwmEN9sM

    September 21st, 2011 11:37 am Reply
  • Kristin Konvolinka

    I’m totally addicted to raw milk yogurt. I’ve been fermenting for 1–12 hours and I thought that was long. Now that I’ve read your post I’m going the full 24! Every time I read your blog I learn something new. Thanks!

    September 20th, 2011 7:18 pm Reply
  • Amanda-Beth

    I can not properly digust the vitaman D in cow’s milk and therefor cows milk and traditional yogurt is not safe for me. any suggestions for me? in my sistuation it is best to not partake of coconut.

    September 20th, 2011 10:49 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      What about goat milk?

      September 21st, 2011 7:56 pm Reply
  • Kelleigh Grace

    I suspect the short fermentation time is due to concern about giving other organisms a chance to ‘contaminate’ the yogurt during processing. This is an issue for many mass-produced food products – ie concern about contamination and public health etc. Best to make your own yogurt if you can – which is exactly what I’ll be doing from now on! Thanks for the great information.

    September 19th, 2011 7:11 pm Reply
  • Veldhuizen Cheese (@TexasCheese)

    Store Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist http://t.co/tq446eIH

    September 19th, 2011 5:27 pm Reply
  • Giselle Crouch via Facebook

    Ilana how do you make your own without raw milk?

    September 19th, 2011 5:20 pm Reply
  • Kelli

    Crap, I really loved that store-bought Vanilla yogurt, too. I wonder if the good bacteria are damaged by the pasteurization process?

    September 19th, 2011 4:50 pm Reply
  • Candace

    Sarah, from someone who met you in line at the grocery store due to your inquiry about the raw milk I was buying, THANK YOU! I have learned so much just from our chance encounter, and it has changed our lives forever for the better. Keep spreading your wealth of knowledge. You never know how it may improve someone’s life!

    September 19th, 2011 4:45 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Candace, I must have gotten a good vibe from you as I don’t usually speak up in grocery store lines! LOL :)

      September 19th, 2011 4:54 pm Reply
  • Tanisha Waggoner via Facebook

    Also, I made my first batch with a crock-pot. I don’t own a yogurt-maker.

    September 19th, 2011 2:49 pm Reply
  • Tanisha Waggoner via Facebook

    I recently made my first batch of homemade yogurt which came out very good. I used Brown Cow Yogurt. Recently however, my local co-op was able to get whole milk Stonyfield for me and my mom and I have been devouring it. While I agree that regular, store-bought, conventional-brand yogurts are not likely to do you much good, I do feel that the brands that Weston A. Price Foundation recommends are good. The WAPF recommends either whole milk Stonyfield or Brown Cow as good quality store-bought yogurts. Also, as readers above mentioned, Many local brands are probably also very good quality but, it’s good to do your research.

    September 19th, 2011 2:48 pm Reply
  • Nicole Tait via Facebook

    It is almost overwhelming how much crap is in the grocery store…So now I need to order yogurt making cultures? Eeek!

    September 19th, 2011 2:00 pm Reply
  • Dawn T (@CulturedMama) (@CulturedMama)

    Speaking of probiotics and yogurt, that low-fat store-bought sugar loaded junk ain’t worth the money– buy local… http://t.co/X9QYLFZZ

    September 19th, 2011 1:45 pm Reply
  • MijnKoeJouwKoe (@MijnKoeJouwKoe)

    Het verschil tussen fabrieksyoghurt en #yoghurt waar, in weerwil van wat #AH stelt, geen melkpoeder aan te pas komt. http://t.co/fHtE5Gc0

    September 19th, 2011 1:44 pm Reply
  • Linda Hafenbredl via Facebook

    Amazing how much credence otherwise-intelligent people are willing to give a stranger on tv, being paid to read a script about how great some mass-produced concoction is, without a critical thought on it.

    September 19th, 2011 1:37 pm Reply
  • Linda Hafenbredl via Facebook

    Amazing how much credence otherwise-intelligent people are willing to give a stranger on tv, being paid to read a script about how great some mass-produced concoction is, without a critical thought on it.

    September 19th, 2011 1:37 pm Reply
  • Laurie Neverman (@CommonSenseIdea) (@CommonSenseIdea)

    Store Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist http://t.co/GmPL049t

    September 19th, 2011 12:36 pm Reply
  • Tammy Lee Rodriguez via Facebook

    i suspected as much! i like to make homemade kefir… sooooooooo easy… sooooooooooo healthy… soooooooooooo long lasting

    September 19th, 2011 12:03 pm Reply
  • Raine

    I agree Sarah, home-made yogurt is utterly superior to store-bought yogurt. I can attest to this because when I started having severe health issues earlier this year, our family was under tremendous stress and had stopped eating the home-made yogurt because our raw milk source went away and I didn’t know where we’d get our milk from since what we had relied upon for so long was suddenly not available. The entire time I was consuming the store-bought yogurt – yes, organic, whole milk yogurt from Brown Cow or Stonyfield Farm – my health issues were getting worse and worse. As soon as I started on GAPS in early April, things started to improve immediately. And, things are continuing to get better and better all the time, still on GAPS over 4 months later.

    September 19th, 2011 11:58 am Reply
  • Lyndsey Stark Stang via Facebook

    Great advice and easy to follow video. Thanks!!

    September 19th, 2011 11:50 am Reply
  • Jeannine Engle Buntrock via Facebook

    So true – other problems are that most commercial yogurt is sweetened with HFCS (and way too much sugar when it is sugar) – also that most yogurt is low fat or non fat – these are broken foods, not whole foods.

    September 19th, 2011 11:11 am Reply
  • Jeannine Engle Buntrock via Facebook

    So true – other problems are that most commercial yogurt is sweetened with HFCS (and way too much sugar when it is sugar) – also that most yogurt is low fat or non fat – these are broken foods, not whole foods.

    September 19th, 2011 11:11 am Reply
  • Heather Bain Brandt via Facebook

    Coconut milk yogurt made at home is okay as dairy free sub, as long as the 24 hour fermentation is included? I hope so because we can’t tolerate dairy right now.

    September 19th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • Heather Bain Brandt via Facebook

    Coconut milk yogurt made at home is okay as dairy free sub, as long as the 24 hour fermentation is included? I hope so because we can’t tolerate dairy right now.

    September 19th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • Lindsey

    Can you list some recipes for making yogurt? I tried making it with a heating pad as the heat source numerous times, but it was always a failure. Would love to have a good method for raw milk yogurt.

    September 19th, 2011 11:04 am Reply
  • Sherri DuPriest Hooks via Facebook

    @Hollie Reames There’s a youtube video I love. Shows you how to make it without buying a maker. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOJYehRSL64

    September 19th, 2011 11:00 am Reply
  • Sherri DuPriest Hooks via Facebook

    @Hollie Reames There’s a youtube video I love. Shows you how to make it without buying a maker. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOJYehRSL64

    September 19th, 2011 11:00 am Reply
  • Tina Loving via Facebook

    ^^^ This is true.

    September 19th, 2011 10:59 am Reply
  • Tina Loving via Facebook

    ^^^ This is true.

    September 19th, 2011 10:59 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    If the store bought yogurt comes from small farms, it likely is quite good. The article is more about the commercial yogurts such as what Dannon, Breyers, or Yoplait put out.

    September 19th, 2011 10:58 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    If the store bought yogurt comes from small farms, it likely is quite good. The article is more about the commercial yogurts such as what Dannon, Breyers, or Yoplait put out.

    September 19th, 2011 10:58 am Reply
  • Sherri DuPriest Hooks via Facebook

    The way we eat yogurt in this house we couldn’t afford to buy it like that even if it WAS the same as the stuff I make at the house (which it’s not.)

    September 19th, 2011 10:56 am Reply
  • Sherri DuPriest Hooks via Facebook

    The way we eat yogurt in this house we couldn’t afford to buy it like that even if it WAS the same as the stuff I make at the house (which it’s not.)

    September 19th, 2011 10:56 am Reply
  • Tina Loving via Facebook

    I’ve used store bought sheep’s milk yogurt as one would use Monistat to stop a yeast infection dead in its tracks. So although I believe most store bought yogurt is crap, this product was good.

    September 19th, 2011 10:56 am Reply
  • Tina Loving via Facebook

    I’ve used store bought sheep’s milk yogurt as one would use Monistat to stop a yeast infection dead in its tracks. So although I believe most store bought yogurt is crap, this product was good.

    September 19th, 2011 10:56 am Reply
  • Hollie Reames via Facebook

    How do you go about making yogurt? We have 2 gallons of raw milk (there was a mix up when my husband and I went on vacation, so we got extra) and I need to do something with it before it goes bad. :)

    September 19th, 2011 10:55 am Reply
    • Jennifer

      Cultures for Health has many different yogurt cultures available to purchase as well as kefir grains and sourdough starters. They have some very good videos on making your own yogurt, including instructions on using non-dairy milks. I believe their website is culturesforhealthdotcom. It would definitely be worth checking out if you have never made any before. (It helped me!)

      September 19th, 2011 5:14 pm Reply
  • Hollie Reames via Facebook

    How do you go about making yogurt? We have 2 gallons of raw milk (there was a mix up when my husband and I went on vacation, so we got extra) and I need to do something with it before it goes bad. :)

    September 19th, 2011 10:55 am Reply
  • Heather Brandt

    I assume that coconut milk based yogurt made with the 24 hour fermentation is healthier than store bought equivalent, too? Due to our current dietary restrictions, we can’t do dairy & my son is missing yogurt.

    September 19th, 2011 10:51 am Reply
    • Mary the Mom

      We also have dairy allergies here. I too am interested in more info on non-dairy yogurts. Help! I have never made yogurt but I want to begin and I don’t know where to start.

      September 19th, 2011 2:54 pm Reply
      • Heather Brandt

        culturesforhealth.com is one source of info. but I’m still searching on line for recipes to figure out which one might be best to start with. Expensive to experiment.

        September 21st, 2011 12:09 pm Reply
  • Ilana Grostern via Facebook

    Perfect timing for this article as I just recommitted myself to making my own yogourt!

    September 19th, 2011 10:50 am Reply
  • Ilana Grostern via Facebook

    Perfect timing for this article as I just recommitted myself to making my own yogourt!

    September 19th, 2011 10:50 am Reply
  • Amber Spears (@HealthCoachPDX)

    Store Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist http://t.co/cMUL55Pk

    September 19th, 2011 10:48 am Reply
  • Andrea M

    We eat yoghurt more often over summer. I’ve had a couple of attempts at making my own, with varying degrees of success depending on expectations. I would like to let my yoghurt sit longer, but our climate is really warm. In summer, I would be lucky to find anywhere in the house that is less than 25C during the day, and more likely up around 30C. Night temperatures are similar. Any advice on how I should approach my yoghurt making? I have access to unpasteurised goat and cow milk, as well as good-quality pasteurised (non-homogenised) cow milk. I would be keen to try kefir, but also not sure how it goes with the heat. Oh, and summer is long – November to March.

    Andrea

    September 19th, 2011 9:13 am Reply
  • GoatMom

    I”ve made yogurt using raw goats milk for years. Usually just try to time starting it to milking time, it’s a good temp that way without any additional heating. I use a good quality yogurt like plain Fage, or Fage, Cabot plain whole milk Greek as starter if I need. I have an old fashioned gas stove with a pilot light and leave in for 12-16 plus hours. It’s initially thinner but after refrigerating thickens up. The freshly made makes great base for salad dressings with blue cheese or herbs added. We usually just add a little local honey or fruit to the yogurt. People who are use to sickly sweet commercial yogurt find it tangy but we love it.

    September 18th, 2011 10:08 pm Reply
    • Shara

      GoatMom,

      Can you elaborate on your process a little for me? I bought two dairy goats a few months ago and I would love to start making my own yogurt. Your post really intrigued me. Thanks!

      September 19th, 2011 11:55 am Reply
  • Lauren

    I make my own, but used commercial yogurt as a starter. Is that okay?

    September 18th, 2011 8:56 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I think that should be ok as long as you ferment it for awhile – 24 hours is great.

      September 18th, 2011 9:33 pm Reply
  • Margie

    Would you post your yogurt recipe? I’d love to see how you make it. What if you can’t afford to use raw milk for making yogurt?

    September 18th, 2011 8:00 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Margie, I buy my yogurt from a small farm. I do make my own kefir which I have a video for on this blog if you want to watch that to learn how to make.

      September 18th, 2011 9:32 pm Reply
  • Mona@HealthyHomesteading

    I have always wondered about storebought yogurt. I knew the sugar content in them were not good but I didn’t realize there was hardly an probiotics in them.
    I have also been wondering, how much cultured dairy and fermented foods should we be comsuming daily for optimum health? I know it could vary from person to person but how much do you consume?

    September 18th, 2011 6:45 pm Reply
  • jean finch

    I started my yogurt with Fage and Half n half from Trader Jo’s (organic) it makes a much thicker yogurt with no straining. After once, you use a little of your own starter. I make a quart at a time and use the cloth in the bottom of pan of water heating method, scald, then cool to 100 to 110 add starter with a little of the cooled heated cream, then stir in—-Put in oven with the light on only for several hours—-it’s the best!
    Jean

    September 18th, 2011 6:14 pm Reply
  • KLong

    How funny that I just got your email. I literally just watched a commerical for Go-gurts, and was making my usual irritated/sarcastic comments that come after watching pretty much any “food” commericals these days. Gross!

    September 18th, 2011 5:29 pm Reply
  • Bonny

    I was buying whole milk plain yogurt for a while from one of the big companies, and I called the company one day to ask how long they ferment their yogurt. Not only did the rep I spoke with have no idea what I was talking about, but she had no idea where to find the information.

    I make a batch of homemade yogurt at least once a week.

    September 18th, 2011 5:18 pm Reply
  • Michael Acanfora (@BayonneChiro) (@BayonneChiro) (@BayonneChiro)

    Store Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist
    http://ow.ly/6xGn3

    September 18th, 2011 3:30 pm Reply
  • Mikki

    Nourishing Traditions and Mother Linda’s website. It’s very thin though and does anyone know if fermenting it the full 24 hours helps it thicken more than 10-12? I strain mine, then end up with much less yogurt but thicker, and of course I get all that great whey. It is expensive, but very healthy!

    September 18th, 2011 2:36 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth

    What about Stonybrook Farm organic yogurt? Is it any better?

    Do you have a post on how to make yogurt on your blog?

    September 18th, 2011 2:34 pm Reply
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  • Jenn

    I’d love to make my own yogurt with the raw milk I find at my local farmer’s market. Where can I find a recipe?

    September 18th, 2011 1:04 pm Reply
  • T.

    I have only been drinking farm fresh raw milk from a local farmer for two weeks and it is fantastic. The thing is I am pretty in love with Fage greek yogurt. Is there any way for me to make my own yogurt from the raw milk and cream in a style that is similar to that? How do you get the culture? ANY advice would be so appreciated!

    September 18th, 2011 12:36 pm Reply
    • Becky

      My family loves Fage as well. I haven’t tried making my own yogurt yet…so I’ll be very interested to hear Sarah’s take on Fage. It agrees with our digestion as well as our raw milk does.

      September 18th, 2011 2:13 pm Reply
    • damaged justice

      Just strain your yogurt through a cheesecloth. Presto, thick Greek-style yogurt with less carbs :)

      September 18th, 2011 3:00 pm Reply
    • Terri

      Use the Fage Yogurt, if it has active bacteria, to culture your milk, then strain it to achieve the greek style. I culture milk straight from our cow (after straining), so it’s still warm, but you can heat it to be WARM, without letting it get hot, then add a few tbsp of the greek yogurt. You can either let it sit in a dark place for a few days to culture (I’ve heard, but not tried), or place your jar of warm milk with culture whisked in into a sports cooler with warm water (not hot!) for 24 hours, then strain. Makes some super yummy yogurt!!

      September 19th, 2011 1:55 pm Reply
  • Julie D.

    White Mountain yogurt is fermented 24 hours. It is the only one I have found.
    I buy their organic whole milk one.

    From their website:
    2. I have Celiac’s or Crohn’s disease. Is your yogurt OK to eat?

    Our yogurt is considered gluten free and incubated over a 24-hour period. We do not add any milk solids, or anything else to our yogurt except milk and culture. Cow’s milk contains 2 mg of free glutamates per 100 grams.

    http://www.whitemountainfoods.com/FAQ.html

    September 18th, 2011 12:06 pm Reply
    • Food Renegade

      Yes, White Mountain is one of the few national brands that has a LOT of living cultures in it from a long ferment. They also use milk that is hormone and antibiotic free (although not necessarily organic or grassfed).

      There are other brands out there that have good long ferments, but I’ve forgotten what they are since White Mountain is so readily available in all the stores near me.

      September 19th, 2011 11:04 am Reply
      • Julie D.

        Are you thinking of Mountain High? It is usually readily available and is not organic. White Mountain is a different brand and can be tricky to find; and they do have an organic line. I did some research and White Mountain was the only commercial yogurt available in the San Francisco area that does a 24 hour ferment.

        September 19th, 2011 2:08 pm Reply
        • Julie D.

          So funny, and sad.. I just called Mountain High’s info line. I had not originally researched them since I was only interested in organic. The person on the info line told me that they don’t ferment their yogurt. She obviously didn’t even know how yogurt is supposed to be made. A supervisor finally told me the yogurt was cultured from the time they put it in the cup until the pull date. :) After I explained how yogurt is made, they said they would have to get back to me.

          September 19th, 2011 2:26 pm Reply
          • Julie D.

            Just checked online. Mountain High is now owned by Dean Foods. yuck. figures. But do try White Mountain organic if you can get it. I buy it when I don’t make my own.

            September 19th, 2011 2:29 pm
          • Amy

            “White Mountain” is different from “Mountain High”

            April 22nd, 2013 6:19 pm
    • Jessica

      Julie, Just seconding your comment. I love White Mountain Yogurt too! It’s the only kind I buy.

      February 11th, 2014 11:07 am Reply
  • Barrie

    What about store bought Greek yogurt?

    September 18th, 2011 12:03 pm Reply
  • Kati

    My son is addicted to go-gurts and packs one in his lunch everyday. I know it’s not as good as homemade yogurt (which he loathes and refuses to eat), but I tell myself “it’s better than nothing.” :-/

    September 18th, 2011 11:29 am Reply
    • Tina

      Kati ~

      I don’t think it’s better than nothing. Nothing won’t kill you and he’ll eventually eat something else
      .

      September 19th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
    • KateP

      You could take some whole fat, plain yogurt like Cabot’s Greek Yogurt, or the Brown Cow’s Cream Top yogurt and put it into single serve tubs with some honey and dried fruit or fresh fruit, or jelly/jam sweetened with fruit juice if you can find that. Or maybe freezing it though I’m not sure if that kills any enzymes or other parts of the benefit of yogurt. Feeding your child a low fat, sugared, food dye ridden snack is definitely not better than nothing. I know your heart is in the right place, you’re surely concerned for your child’s health and love him. Do some extra research on nutrition through the Weston A. Price Foundation or other sites that offer tips on traditional, whole, real foods and nutrition. It’ll change your life, I promise!

      September 19th, 2011 11:13 am Reply
    • Jessica Klanderud

      This may be an option, you did say he doesn’t like homemade, but I am looking into a silicone reusable squeeze tube that you could fill with yogurt at least in bulk and maybe find a better kind that he would tolerate. Just a thought.

      Here is one of the options I’m looking into…
      http://www.thesilico.com/proddetail.php?prod=silisqueeze

      September 19th, 2011 11:26 am Reply
  • Erica

    Store food won’t do squat for your health :)

    September 18th, 2011 11:13 am Reply
  • Shari B

    I love to make my yogurt from my homemade kefir. I don’t need to subject the raw milk to any heat (which destroys all those great enzymes) and it’s loaded with great probiotics. It’s funny, because there are times that I let my kefir ferment for too long and it begins to separate the milk fat from the whey. So I just let it sit out longer to fully separate. I then strain it until the “curd” is a yogurt consistency and then I have the whey leftover to use for homemade beet kvass, sauerkraut or to use when I soak grains or legumes. It’s a win-win situation!

    Oh, and Sarah, I love to talk to people in the grocery line. I’ve told people about lots of good things they should try. Sometimes I’ll even ask someone about a unique item they have in their cart that I haven’t tried yet. I’ve even shared phone numbers with one lady so I could share with her my kefir grains.

    We all hate that sometimes long wait in the grocery line, so why not make it fun?

    Shari

    September 18th, 2011 11:11 am Reply
    • D.

      This is the same way I make my homemade yogurt, which I stumbled upon quite by accident several years ago. I wanted to make yogurt without heating my raw milk AT ALL, so I kept experimenting until I got what I was looking for in taste and texture. Heating the milk and killing off even a few of they beneficial enzymes just didn’t make sense to me. Glad to hear of someone else who managed to make it work, too!

      September 18th, 2011 2:24 pm Reply
      • Beth

        D or Shari, could you please elaborate on your process of making yogurt from homemade kefir? :)

        September 18th, 2011 8:51 pm Reply
    • Sarah Smith

      Oh, this sounds like a great option since we make tons of kefir and often need whey!

      September 19th, 2011 9:29 am Reply
  • Sarah Smith

    Do you have any problems with your yogurt getting too separated with long yogurt-making times? My yogurt maker recommends 8 hours; when I’ve gone much longer than that, the yogurt separates into curds and whey.

    September 18th, 2011 11:05 am Reply
    • Pattyla

      Your yogurt probably got too hot. Some yogurt makers build up heat and if you go too long they will kill the culture and curdle the milk.

      September 18th, 2011 2:52 pm Reply
  • Shari

    I have a yogourmet that I make my yogurt in. Does the 24 hours START once it goes in there??

    His,
    Shari

    September 18th, 2011 10:35 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      24 hours once you add the culture.

      September 18th, 2011 11:27 am Reply
  • Neeli

    What about goat milk yogurt? I think Redwood Hill Farm yogurt is made in small batches. Have you ever eaten goat’s milk yogurt?

    September 18th, 2011 8:49 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      If you are not sure … call the farm and ask directly. How long do they let the yogurt ferment?

      September 18th, 2011 10:35 am Reply
      • KristinaD

        I am not sure on that, but my friend did visit their farm and their vanilla flavor is made from pressing the vanilla beans until liquid is all pressed out. My corn-allergic son does very well on it. It is *very* expensive though!

        September 19th, 2011 1:16 pm Reply
        • Sarah

          Kristina, I realize I’m commenting a year later, but I have met very few people who share my corn allergy! I have never had trouble with Stoney Field Farms, Brown Cow, or Aussie yogurts. To be fair, however, I’ve had to avoid dairy for the last year and I haven’t paid attention to those brands since then.

          September 11th, 2012 5:54 pm Reply
  • Allison

    Perfect timing with this post! I am almost finised with my first batch of homemade yogurt right now….but I am wondering if it didn’t sit long enough either. 3 hrs cooking milk, 3 hours for it to stand, and then 12 hours with the yogurt culture in it.

    I too, was shocked, when I finally woke up and read the ingredient label on the store bought yogurt – YUK!

    September 18th, 2011 8:35 am Reply
  • Maverick Morgan (@maverickking) (@maverickking)

    Store Yogurt Won’t Do Squat for Your Health http://t.co/ow0eqdcs http://bc.vc/TpGmY

    September 18th, 2011 6:53 am Reply
  • Paula

    Great post! I’m going to share this with my clients. Did you enlighten the woman?

    September 18th, 2011 6:49 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      No I didn’t say anything. The grocery store checkout line is not a great place place to start a conversation about the dirty secrets of the food processing industry! LOL

      September 18th, 2011 10:36 am Reply

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