We have posted some of the more frequently asked questions concerning our products. While these are informative and at times entertaining please feel free to contact us with any questions that are not addressed here.
1. How long does the yogurt keep once I open it?
5. Is your yogurt probiotic?
(Probiotic = provides live bacteria) Yes, our yogurt provides several different species of bacteria in large enough quantities to repopulate intestinal tracts with beneficial bacteria colonies to aid in the proper digestion of food.
9. How do I get a stubborn label off your jar so I can reuse or recycle it?
12. Does the milk you use contain antibiotics?
Our 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 restricts the use of antibiotics. Organic milk is also tested for antibiotics before processing.
17. 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.
18. What does the bacteria in yogurt do when you eat it?
Our digestive tract depends on several strains of live 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. Bacteria counts can be greatly reduced as we age, consume antibiotics, under go 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.
19. 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 renown 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 bacteria found in the Bulgarians' traditional yogurt carry their name, L. Bulgaricus. This same 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.
20. Can I buy products from you directly?
If we do not have a retail outlet in your area we will sell to you directly until we do. In order to maintain good business relations with our distributors and retailers we do not normally sell directly to the public.
21. 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 bacteria it can also be used as a starter for home yogurt making.
22. 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, nuts, use it instead of milk on granola, your favorite breakfast cereal or in smoothies. You can use it as a salad dressing, cold soup with garlic and salt, on baked potatoes...just about anywhere you would use other milk products. There are many ethnic recipes from around the world that include uses with dips, spreads, lamb, rice, and cold soups. Our recipe page has many other ideas collected from around the world.
23. 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, if not the highest, live bacteria 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.
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. We have signed affidavits from the co-op and farmers saying that they are not using the 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. 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 sale using raw milk. All milk must be pasteurized before sale or manufacture into other milk products. See #4 above.
26. Is your yogurt gluten free?
Our yogurt is considered gluten free. Cow's milk contains 2 mg of free glutamates per 100 grams.
27. 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. 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 un-wanted 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 bacteria cannot survive in.
28. What does the bacteria do to the milk to make yogurt?
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.
29. Can you freeze yogurt?
Yogurt freezes fairly well and the cold temperatures will not kill the bacteria. The consistency will change somewhat upon thawing.