Tag Archives: Chobani Yoghurt

Chobani Yoghurt's Anti-Science Stance is Annoying UPDATED

I have nothing against Chobani Yoghurt. In fact, I like it. Even more importantly, Huxley likes it.

But the image above annoys me. It says “Nature got us to 100 calories, not scientists. #howmatters”

This is in accord with their latest ad, here:

OK, I have three challenges for Chobani Yoghurt.

First, demonstrate how science is not related to your yoghurt production AT ALL. Chances are you use methods of ensuring that your product does not contain harmful bacteria, or that the bacteria is killed off or removed during the processing cycle. Almost all food manufacturers use various methods to do this. These methods are the product of food safety science. Yes, that is a science. I’ve even been to an international conference of those scientists (it was very interesting). Chobani Yoghurt, do you use NONE of the methods developed by food safety science in producing your product? I doubt if very much. It is essential that you produce a safe product, and #howmatters.

Second, I would like to see verification that all of your product does not fall into the category of products that includes artificial sweeteners, monoculture big-ag produced corn sugars, or use bee-colony-killing pesticides during the production of any of the ingredients, etc. etc. That all may well be true, but I doubt it. I’m looking at a container of Chobani Pineapple Yoghurt. The milk from which the yoghurt is made is pasteurized. That is science. Germ theory. #howmatters. You use pineapple and evaporated cane juice. Was the pineapple from Hawaii? Did you know that Hawaii produces less food than they need to eat because the agriculture there is industrialized, even though the population today is similar to pre-colonial times when they used less land to produce an abundance of food? Chobani Yoghurt clearly does not support locivory! #howmatters You use pectin. Here is what Wikipedia says about how pectin is produced:

The main raw materials for pectin production are dried citrus peel or apple pomace, both by-products of juice production. Pomace from sugar beet is also used to a small extent.

From these materials, pectin is extracted by adding hot dilute acid at pH-values from 1.5 – 3.5. During several hours of extraction, the protopectin loses some of its branching and chain length and goes into solution. After filtering, the extract is concentrated in vacuum and the pectin then precipitated by adding ethanol or isopropanol. An old technique of precipitating pectin with aluminium salts is no longer used (apart from alcohols and polyvalent cations, pectin also precipitates with proteins and detergents).
Alcohol-precipitated pectin is then separated, washed and dried. Treating the initial pectin with dilute acid leads to low-esterified pectins. When this process includes ammonium hydroxide, amidated pectins are obtained. After drying and milling, pectin is usually standardised with sugar and sometimes calcium salts or organic acids to have optimum performance in a particular application.

Pectin is great, but it is not produced without science. #howmatters.

Third, your label on the yoghurt is simply anti-science. Hey, I love the fact that you guys are anti-big ag, even though you ARE big ag, and I think we need to totally redo how we produce our food. But your claim to be all natural and stuff smells a lot like Greenwashing to me. That itself is bad, but not terrible. But throwing science under the bus is appalling. We are having enough trouble in our society with people throwing science under the bus … climate change science denialism, anti-evolution activism, anti-vaxxers, etc. … that we don’t need a major yoghurt company adding to the mix. So, my third challenge to you is to do something constructive with your presumably massive profits to support science in some way. STEM programs, climate science legal defense fund, NCSE support, something along those lines.

I’m sure you can figure out a way to do this, and use the results positively in your marketing. But remember, #howmatters.

I’ve received the following note from Chobani’s Customer Loyalty Team:

We apologize about the confusion! No offense meant to the scientific community. This lid is simply an ode to no preservatives or additives.

We thank you very much for your feedback and will pass along your comments.

So, that’s good. We look forward to Chobani kissing and making up to science in some appropriate way!