Saturday, September 4, 2010

"All Natural" Yogurt?

Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

Chartwells at its website calls this yogurt from Upstate Farms "all natural." I wonder why, since I didn't see any such claim on the packaging.

In addition to milk, water and fruit, this yogurt lists as ingredients modified corn starch, tricalcium phosphate, gellan gum, potassium sorbate, citric acid and carob bean gum.

So what is "all natural" supposed to mean, exactly?


  1. Don't ya think that somewhere in the K-12 curriculum there should be a science or social studies unit that covers where modified corn starch, tricalcium phosphate, gellan gum, carob bean gum and potassium sorbate come from and what they do in our processed food?

    I'm sure there is a great story on the history of carob beans and of corn starch. Whats the science behind it?

    For that matter, how about have students learn just how the heck those words "all natural" came to be.

    After all, schools are for learning. Why not teach students about these points? That way, they can make educated choices.

  2. Neither the USDA nor the FDA have a standard for "all natural" as applied to yogurt, so it can mean pretty much whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean.

    The USDA legal definition for "natural" applies only to meat and poultry, and it says "those products carrying the “natural” claim must not contain any artificial flavoring, color ingredients, chemical preservatives, or artificial or synthetic ingredients, and are only “minimally processed” defined by USDA as a process that does not fundamentally alter the raw product."