The latest battle of the plant milk wars
The world is a confusing enough place as it is, and it's about to get a whole lot more confusing thanks to the FDA and their sudden obsession with figuring out the core attributes of yogurt. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration classifies yogurt as “the food produced by culturing one or more of the optional dairy ingredients…” and goes on to list a number of sexy parameters to follow.
However, they're looking to crack down on low-fat yogurts, imitation yogurts, and imposter yogurts by tightening the definition of what makes yogurt… yogurt. Directly in the crosshairs of this modernization? Soy, almond, rice, and coconut “yogurts” that incorrectly label themselves as milk and come—not from a cow—but from plants.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is “reviving the matter with plans to ‘modernize’ the standards,” reports AP News, and has his sights set on the bastards from Big Almond who’ve spent far too long taking cred for something almonds clearly can’t do: lactate.
“You can’t make something completely out of the line and call it yogurt,” says John Allan of the International Dairy Foods Association. The IDFA is also pushing to rid the the requirement that yogurt has to contain at least 3.25 percent milkfat, as it can apparently cause confusion when high-fat ingredients like coconut are added to purposely up the fat content of low-fat yogurts.
What does this mean for hard-working Americans who just want to relax in their favorite chair, switch on their 3D TV, and dig into a sweet cup of ‘gurt? Probably nothing. Just try to buy the good stuff. And beware the tube.