There was a time, not so long ago, when I would tell people that I could be a spokesperson for Chobani Greek Yogurt–that’s how much I could kvell about it. I would eat two to three of them a day at home. I’m fairly certain that making the yogurt a part of my diet helped me lose and maintain my weight. I love Chobani because it
- is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt
- is way more protein than regular yogurt
- has less added sugar than regular yogurt
- is a good source of calcium
- is a good source of probiotics
- is low to non (saturated) fat
- offered a variety of delicious flavors
- made for a very filling breakfast component or snack
- has a relatively short and unthreatening ingredients list
- could replace a much less healthy treat as dessert
These things are all still true, and I still enjoy a Chobani yogurt about once a day. The thing is, this year I’ve learned a few key things that make me uneasy about eating it, especially so often. This “con” list is shorter than the “pro” list, but these are some heavy cons. One is that I don’t know if I should be eating so much dairy in the first place. That’s not really a Chobani issue, but a yogurt issue at large. Greek yogurt has a lot of animal protein, which I believe we should try to replace with mostly plant protein in our diets. The health consequences of animal protein are questionable at best. The other issue, and this one is Chobani-specific, is that Chobani products are not organic and provide no information about the treatment of their cows. They say their products are not genetically modified, but all they say is that their cows have not been treated with the growth hormone rBST. They don’t say that their cows haven’t been fed GMO grain, and if they have, the company may be contributing to some icky environmental problems. The feed is also most certainly laced with antibiotics, which contributes to antibiotic resistance in the individuals who consume the product and among the public at large if the antibiotics show up in the milk. This all seems to conflict with Chobani’s “all natural” claims. They also make no claims, authorized or unauthorized, that their cows are raised humanely. Chobani is claiming that “how matters.” Well yes, how does matter, but Chobani has not been walking the walk.
I feel a bit silly, because I am just now noticing on their website that they will soon be offering a line of certified grass-fed organic yogurt. This cheers me up quite a bit, but it still doesn’t solve my dairy issue and doesn’t completely solve the cow treatment issue, certainly not for the products that will remain non-organic. I would be extremely disappointed to give up eating Chobani for all the reasons on my “pro” list, but do I want to be consuming this product and supporting this brand who certainly cares way more about making money than my health or the environment? I think this is a dilemma a lot of health conscious people may have about many products as they come to discover the abuses of the food industry. It makes you want to give up packaged food all together, but for most of us that would be inconceivable at this point.
I’m still quite unsure whether I should indulge or refrain–what do y’all think?