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  • 1. Why should I buy White Mountain Foods yogurt?

    White Mountain Foods yogurt is a traditional, immune system supporting, staple food product. Its versatility in the kitchen is legendary and delighted in by many with ancient cultural ties to yogurt. Many of our customers become addicted to it simply because it makes them feel good. They eat it with granola, fruit, or their favorite sweetener; as a cold soup, on rice, lamb or beef dishes, made into low cal dips and spreads or in stuffed peppers or smoothies. It also has one of the highest probiotic counts in the industry. Suggested by many doctors for their patients with digestive or yeast problems, our yogurt is truly medicinal. Because of a 24-hour fermentation process, most people that are lactose intolerant can eat our yogurt.

  • 2. What makes your yogurt Bulgarian?

    The Bulgarians have been making and eating yogurt for millennia. Many eastern European peoples are descendants of nomads who lived on the fermented milk of their domesticated animals. The Bulgarians were renowned for their longevity and studies attributed their health to regular consumption of yogurt. Bulgarian yogurt became popular as one of the original health foods in the early 20th century due to these studies. The beneficial bacteria found in the Bulgarians' traditional yogurt carry their name, L. Bulgaricus. This same beneficial bacteria forms the foundation of our yogurt. The use of traditional methods of inoculation, fermentation and the use of glass containers produce a yogurt virtually identical to the Bulgarian yogurt of Eastern Europe and many traditional yogurts from around the world including Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Mediterranean region.

  • 3. Why is White Mountain Foods yogurt so tart?

    The high level of beneficial bacteria present and the lengthy incubation period causes the tart flavor of our yogurt. Specifically, the  bacteria consume lactose in the milk and produces lactic acid, hence the acidic tart flavor. Traditional yogurt is tart. The modern yogurt industry has altered yogurt to obtain a more marketable taste and consistency. Mild yogurt coupled with added sweeteners, stabilizers and thickeners have produced a much more widely acceptable tasting product. Modern yogurt has become more of a pudding or ice cream like dessert instead of a staple food product.

  • 4. How long does the yogurt keep once I open it?

    The shelf life is 63 days. For best results, consume before expiration date and within 7 days after opening.

  • 5. Why does yogurt keep longer than milk?

    Milk sours, "goes bad" or makes yogurt due to bacterial action. The key is what kind of bacteria get the upper hand during these processes and end up in the majority. When you make yogurt you are creating a milk product with a chosen bacteria population that is beneficial to human consumption. When plain milk sits in your fridge or on the shelf at the store any spoilage causing bacteria that is in it will begin to multiply. Pasteurization only kills a certain percentage of bacteria. Yogurt is milk that has been pasteurized to kill off most of the unwanted bacteria, then inoculated with beneficial bacteria and allowed to incubate at a bacteria-friendly temperature. The beneficial bacteria take over and fill all available living room and use up the food supply so even if alien bacteria (spoilage causing) were introduced they could not survive. Traditional yogurt also has a high acid content, which many spoilage-causing bacteria cannot survive in.

  • 6. I opened a jar of yogurt and it was runny, why is that?

    We do not add thickeners (such as dried milk solids) or stabilizers (such as gums or pectin) to our yogurts. These ingredients are used by other manufacturers as an aid to make a consistent yogurt, hiding yogurt that didn’t make or product that has a low probiotic count. Our nonfat yogurt is generally thinner, as there is less fat to help the yogurt congeal. If you are not satisfied, please return it to the store for exchange or refund. Thin or runny yogurt can happen at any time of year and can be a result of under-incubation, rough handling during shipping, or storage temperatures. 100% natural, no-additive yogurt is going to be runny when compared to artificially thickened yogurt. Temperature, fat content and amount and type of culture all contribute to the consistency of our yogurt. If the yogurt is thicker than liquid milk, then it is yogurt and you are getting the benefits of live culture.

  • 7. Can you freeze yogurt?

    Yogurt freezes fairly well and the cold temperatures will not kill the beneficial bacteria. The consistency will change somewhat upon thawing.

  • 8. How do I use your yogurt?

    My favorite way to eat our yogurt is right out of the jar with a little honey mixed in. You can add your favorite sweetener, fruit, or nuts, use it instead of milk on granola, with your favorite breakfast cereal, or in smoothies. You can use it as a salad dressing, cold soup with garlic and salt, on baked potatoes, or just about anywhere you would use other milk products. There are many ethnic yogurt dish recipes that include dips, spreads, vegetables, grains, fish, and meat; for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Our recipe page has many other ideas collected from around the world.

  • 9. Do you package your yogurt in anything larger than quarts?

    We package a one gallon container of yogurt. If your local store does not stock gallons, ask them to see if they can order some from their distributor for you.

  • 10. Why isn’t your yogurt sold here?

    Our yogurt is placed in stores mostly through customer request. If it is not carried by your local store, ask a store manager to stock it or bring some in special order from their distributor. Visit our Store Locations page for more info on outlets and distributors in your area.

  • 11. Is your yogurt probiotic? (Probiotic = provides live beneficial bacteria)

    Yes, our yogurt provides several different species of beneficial bacteria in large enough quantities to repopulate intestinal tracts with bacteria colonies to aid in the proper digestion of food.

  • 12. How much yogurt do I have to eat to get the health benefits of the live bacteria?

    The amount of yogurt necessary to obtain healthy intestinal flora is going to vary from person to person. The Dairy Council of California suggests 3.5 cups a day. They arrived at the 3.5 cups figure by calculating how many live cultures are commonly present in a given amount of yogurt and subtracting from that what would be lost during passage through the stomach. Our yogurt has many times the culture count of most yogurts so you would probably not have to eat as much.

  • 13. What does the beneficial bacteria in yogurt do when you eat it?

    Our digestive tract depends on several strains of live, beneficial bacteria to function properly. The bacteria help break down food, making nutrients more available for absorption through the intestinal walls and fight infestation by other possibly harmful bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Beneficial bacteria counts can be greatly reduced as we age, consume antibiotics, undergo chemotherapy, etc. Eating yogurt, or any cultured product, will re-populate the beneficial bacteria in our system, help protect us from invasion from other illness causing microorganisms and make nutrients in all the food we eat more available to our bodies.

  • 14. Can I eat your yogurt as is or is it to be used as a starter only?

    Our yogurt is meant to be eaten as is, right out of the jar. Due to its high level of live, beneficial bacteria it can also be used as a starter for home yogurt making.

  • 15. I have Celiac's or Crohn's disease. Is your yogurt OK to eat?

    Our yogurt is considered gluten free and incubated over a 24-hour period. We do not add any milk solids, or anything else to our yogurt except milk and culture. The culture is grown on a dairy product base. For those consumers who are sensitive even to the amino acid components of gluten, our cow’s milk contain an average of 2 mg of free glutamates per 100 grams.

  • 16. I tried making yogurt with your yogurt and it didn’t work. What happened?

    Making good yogurt is a balancing act between culture, temperature and incubation period. The closer your starter yogurt is to its “Purchase By” date the fewer active bacteria it has. While older yogurt still has plenty of bacteria to be beneficial to our digestion it may take larger amounts to properly inoculate milk to produce yogurt. We suggest one half to three quarters cup of our yogurt to one-gallon milk. For best results add the yogurt starter to milk that is 109 degrees F. Any hotter and the culture will die. If the milk is too cool, 105 degrees F and below, the culture will be sluggish and possibly not make yogurt. If you heat a gallon of milk up to 109 degrees, add the culture, wrap the gallon in a towel and sit it in a warm place over night the temperature should stay about right for proper incubation.

    For smaller batches you are going to need some kind of heat source. A good electric yogurt maker is the easiest way. If your end result is too runny with no separation (curds and whey) then you didn’t have enough culture or not enough heat during incubation. If separation occurs then you had too much culture and/or too high of an incubation temperature.

  • 17. What does the beneficial bacteria do to the milk to make yogurt?

    Beneficial bacteria basically pre-digest the milk for us making it much easier for our digestive tracts to absorb the milk's nutrients. When the bacteria are introduced to the warm milk they do what any other living thing does: feed, multiply and produce by-products. The bacteria feed on the milk sugar (lactose) converting it to lactic acid, thereby making the milk accessible to those that have a hard time digesting lactose. The lactic acid helps break down milk proteins and other nutrients, making them easier to digest - in addition to providing an astringent preservative effect on the body after consumption.

    The rapidly multiplying bacteria cause the milk to thicken due to their sheer numbers and through the formation of strands of living bacteria that do not fully separate from each other during the multiplication process. This stranding effect produces most of the thickness of the finished yogurt, much like adding conditioner to your hair produces a "fuller" look. Once the yogurt has begun to thicken, the temperature must be lowered to slow down the bacteria. If allowed to continue unchecked the bacteria would use up all the lactose and die leaving highly acidic curds and whey.

  • 18. How much lactose (a sugar naturally found in milk) is left in your yogurt?

    Typically, our yogurt has 5 grams of lactose per 1 cup serving. According to scientific studies, yogurt cultures expend 30% of the lactose naturally found in milk. This aspect, along with the helpful benefits of the live cultures in the digestive system, make yogurt more digestible by lactose-intolerant persons. However, the study did not take into consideration variable inoculation temperatures, fermentation temperatures, and fermentation duration. We ferment our yogurt over a 24-hour period. This is much longer than the industry standard. If there was no remaining lactose in the yogurt, however, the cultures would become inactive or die as that is their main source of energy.

  • 19. What is the difference between bacteria and culture?

    Culture is a word that somebody's marketing department decided to use instead of bacteria on labels and in advertising. There are good and bad bacteria so culture was a nicer, safer word to use in description of a food product. There is no difference ... culture is bacteria on a yogurt label.

  • 20. Do you pasteurize your yogurt?

    Our yogurt is never pasteurized. The milk we use to make our yogurt is pasteurized, by law, before the yogurt culture is added. The main consumers of milk and milk products are the very young and the very old, the two segments of the population that are the most susceptible to food born pathogens. The federal government requires pasteurization to ensure that these milk products do not transfer harmful bacteria to consumers.

  • 21. Why don't you use raw milk to make your yogurt?

    In the state of Texas, and in most other states, it is illegal to produce dairy products for retail sale using raw milk. All milk must be pasteurized before sale or manufacture into other milk products.

  • 22. Is your yogurt organic?

    We offer a certified organic Bulgarian yogurt in 32oz and 16oz sizes, both with whole and nonfat milk varieties.

  • 23. Are your source cows treated with growth hormones?

    As of October 1st, 2006 the milk we use for our all-natural yogurt is artificial growth hormone (rBST, rBGH) free. Our organic yogurt is also artificial hormone free.

  • 24. How are you sure there are no artificial hormones in the milk?

    We aren't 100% sure. There are no tests for artificial hormones content in milk because they so closely resemble the natural hormones. For the milk we use in our all-natural line of yogurts, we have signed affidavits from the co-op and farmers saying that they are not using the hormones. The organic milk producers are inspected by their organic certifiers who check the premises and processes for use of prohibited substances including artificial hormones.

    Lengthy conversations with the dairy inspectors who know what the local farmers are actually doing has convinced us that the practice of using the hormones has been dying off for years as it is just too expensive for most to use. The product itself is expensive, the increased appetite of the cow makes for higher feed costs and the fact that the cow's producing life is drastically reduced have caused producers in our area to quit using it.

  • 25. Does the milk you use contain antibiotics?

    Our all all-natural yogurt is made with milk from farmers who use antibiotics, however, all milk processed in the United States is required to be tested for, among other things, antibiotics, before being processed for consumption. If any antibiotics are found in the milk, the milk is destroyed. Our organic yogurt uses milk produced by cows raised under the NOP (National Organic Program) rules which severely restrict the use of antibiotics. Organic milk is also tested for antibiotics before processing.

  • 26. Is your yogurt gluten free?

    Our yogurt is considered gluten free. We are working towards gluten-free certification of our yogurt products for an added level of assurance for our gluten sensitive consumers.

  • 27. Is your yogurt certified Kosher?

    Our yogurts are not certified Kosher, however, all of our yogurt ingredients are produced in Kosher certified facilities.

  • 28. Do you use 100% grass fed milk?

    No, we do not have a sustainable certified 100% grass fed supplier of milk at the volume we need. As far as we know, there is no 100% grass fed certifying organization that would ensure the milk we buy is in fact 100% grass fed, so we don't try to make that claim. For our organic products, we use organic milk which is certified a minimum of 120 days of pasture grazing. Two out of three of the farms that supply our organic milk claim that they are 100% grass fed. The only time the cattle are fed anything other than grass is during inclement or cold weather when the cattle can't graze or the grass won't grow. Also, dairy cattle in general, organic and conventional, are fed as much hay and grass as possible as its usually the cheapest feed available. Two out of thirty of our conventional milk producers use a grain mix as the majority of their cattle feed. The rest use a mixture of grass, hay (dry grass), and silage (wet cut grass) as their main feed source, and use "range cubes" (grain mix that is like candy to cattle) as bait to get the cattle to come in for milking.

  • 29. The new label is pretty but I have a hard time getting it off the jar. Is it recyclable?

    The new label is completely recyclable, and in fact is made from 100% recycled plastic. There is a small perforation on the bottom edge of the label that you can use to remove it easily in one piece.