Yogurt Taste Test and Dilemma

August 21, 2006 at 7:52 pm (Product Reviews)

3I decided to stop buying low-fat yogurt even though I like it much better than nonfat, because of Dr. Greger’s talk at the vegetarian summerfest about the high levels of dioxins, pcb’s, pesticides, and other toxins in animal fat (even the fat of organic animals). But trying to choose a non-fat yogurt is always a bit of a dilemma here in Pittsburgh.

My favorite nonfat yogurt is made by Brown Cow. Unfortunately, though, it’s 1) not organic, and 2) from the west coast. It is free of growth hormones, and according to the Brown Cow website the milk supposedly comes from family farms, where the cows are fed grains like corn but no animal meal. (BTW, Brown Cow was recently bought by Stonyfield Farms.)

The organic brands that I can get in Pittsburgh are:

Seven Stars Rating: 5/5 Phoenixville, PA (281 miles)
Stonyfield (yogurt) Rating: 4/5 Londonderry, NH (617 miles)
Butterworks Farm Rating: 5/5 Westfield, VT (717 miles)
Wallaby Yogurt Rating: 4/5 Napa, CA (2550 miles)
Nancy’s Rating: 4/5 Eugene, OR ( 2676 miles)

The rating is based on how resonsible their organic practices are, based on their responses to a survey conducted by the Cornucopia institute. The miles is the distance to Pittsburgh.

Seven Stars is by far the closest, and got a top organic rating from the Cornucopia Institute. (5/5). However, their yogurt is terrible. I’ve tried it multiple times and it’s always lumpy and runny and off-tasting. I cannot imagine who actually buys it?

Butterworks is also an East-coast brand, but like Seven Stars it’s pretty bad. It’s also lumpy and runny, but the flavor is perhaps a bit better than the Seven Stars yogurt.

Stonyfield yogurt isn’t bad. Right now it’s my top choice out of the East Coast organic brands.

Wallaby is a very thin yogurt, but very smooth with good flavor. Unfortunately it’s a west coast yogurt.

Nancy’s is another west coast brand, and I think I’ve tried it and it was somewhere in the middle of the pack, but I’m not positive.

Then there’s Horizon, of course, but the Organic Consumer’s Association is boycotting that brand, so I’ve actually never even tried it.

So for right now, when I buy nonfat yogurt in Pittsburgh I stick with Stonyfield Farm, but I really wish there was a better tasting Organic yogurt from the East Coast available. Can anyone recommend another brand? Maybe I can get the co-op to carry it instead of all those west coast brands.

Or maybe buying from the west coast isn’t so bad? Does anyone know? And how different is the Brown Cow yogurt from truly organic yogurt? Are their cows actually treated pretty similarly to organic cows since they’re (supposedly) from small family farms? Anyone have any hard facts about this?


  1. Chris Novashinski said,

    We make yogurt on our farm in Lancaster PA, (grass fed, certified organic with or with out some exotic flavors)we are looking for a market for our product and would be willing to send you some samples.

  2. Indigo said,

    I bought some Nancy’s, and I can’t eat it, it’s gross. I’m looking for some kind of recipe to make with it so I don’t have to just throw it away. I’m curious if the flavor will transfer through the rest of the food. Any advice?

  3. captious said,

    I think that the differences between different yogurt brands are much less noticeable when cooking with yogurt. If you use it to make cornbread, or pancakes, or even put it in a smoothie or a well-seasoned raita I bet you won’t notice whatever flavor is bothering you.

  4. Vanessa said,

    I love Seven Stars! The taste is so clean and pure… I guess I like the tangy flavor. And it seems to me that any natural yogurt (other than the super-thick greek style) tends to be a little on the runny side — I’m used to this now, and the thicker stuff actually now reminds me of the Yoplait and Dannon type yogurts (not good). Maybe give Seven Stars another shot?

  5. Vanessa said,

    Oh, guess I should say I’m referring to the whole milk version of Seven Stars — I’ve never tried the non-fat. Guess that would make a difference in most yogurts! I’m eating some lowfat plain Stonyfield right now, and missing my whole-fat Seven Stars!

  6. captious said,

    Well, now that I’m living in Germany, I can’t give Seven Stars another try.

  7. Ryan said,

    Nancy’s is by far one of the BEST brands on the market. I personally love the taste, because it tastes like REAL YOGURT.

    The best test? Look at the ingredients.

    Milk. Dry milk. *INSERT FRUIT NAME*. Honey (which is better than maple). And six live cultures.

  8. Peggy said,

    I also love Seven Stars, I like a runny yogurt, works best to mix with grains…I buy the low fat plain – when I can find it. None of my local grocery stores stock it, I have to hunt down a health food store and buy one of the six tubs they ordered that month.

  9. C said,

    Seven Stars is the best yogurt ever!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: