Food processors show that anything can be ruined

I had to laugh about this exchange at foodnavigator-usa, titled with the industry-friendly headline, “Whether yogurt is a health food or junk food depends on who is talking.” (No, it’s not just he-said-she-said.)

The kerfuffle’s correspondents are the Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin organization that supports family-scale farming, and the National Yogurt Association. Cornucopia accuses the makers of Dannon, Yoplait and other manufacturers of misleading parents to believe their yogurts are healthy, even though some products include added sugar and “myriad questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors, and emulsifiers.”

The trade group responded, “Consumers can continue to buy their favorite yogurts with confidence that they are getting healthful, nutritious and safe products for themselves and their families. In fact, consumers should be eating more yogurt because of its nutritional value.”

Of course, very few issues are black and white: Is say, a yogurt-based snack better than, say, a Ho-Ho? One could make the case. But even if one starts with a healthy base, it doesn’t necessarily stay healthy as it is continually adulterated, which is what Go-gurt and other even less offensive products are.

“Organic chocolate” is one of my favorites. Yes, organic is generally going to be more healthful than non-organic, but “organic,” alone, doesn’t mean “healthy.” Not only can one overeat organic foods, but processing and refinement of organic foods will be degrade their healthfulness, just as will happen to goods not grown organically.

I laugh most at the trade association’s assertion that “consumers should be eating more yogurt because of its nutritional value.” Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, or what he’s doing to the yogurt before it reaches you.


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