In the checkout line at Whole Foods I was purchasing a bottle of Fuji water and a container of Wallaby Whole Milk Greek Yogurt. I made the switch from Fage to Wallaby when a food blogger friend of mine recommended it. For anyone into plain strained yogurt, this is a great choice. The flavor is very mild and smooth, not bitter or tangy. This yogurt also blends well with fresh fruit and super chunky peanut butter. Low fat is not my thing, however, I did purchase a container of Wallaby’s low fat version to do a side-by-side taste test against their whole milk brand. As I expected, I wasn’t a fan of the low fat version and thought it was too thin and tangy so I regifted it to a friend to consume. A woman who stood in line behind me made a comment about the water and yogurt I was purchasing and that it wasn’t sustainable. She went on about the yogurt but because of all the market noise around me, I couldn’t really make out what she was saying. As I paid the cashier for my items, I said to her that I was interested and would read up on Greek yogurt sustainability.
Strained yogurt has gained popularity in the US and is to be said around 33% of the total yogurt industry. It takes 3-4 pounds of milk to produce 1 pound of strained yogurt. The left over material, acid whey is apparently too toxic (and not permitted) to dump into water systems that could deplete our ecosystems of oxygen. Most of the articles I read are from a few years back and targeting high volume manufacturers so I’m assuming that with the higher consumption demand, the industrialized manufacturers have been forced to find solutions for the waste. I don’t know if the concerns are still out there today and my lack of googling skills didn’t find me much luck as far as current news. I checked Wallaby’s website and they acknowledged the concern consumers have and wrote that they pay to have the acid whey repurposed into methane energy. To me, this sounds better than feeding it to livestock, putting it into fertilizers, or neutralizing it so it can made into powder form and used as an additive in our food.
Reconsider what you are buying, stick to smaller producers who have farms with pastured cows and always read the ingredients for additives such as sweeteners, artificial flavors and thickening agents before you ingest into your precious body.