I was in for quite a rude awakening as it dawned on me that there wasn't a single brand in that 24 foot long, 6' tall dairy case that was plain and full-fat. There were thousands of containers of Yoplait , Dannon, Brown Cow, Great Value and a few others I didn't even recognize. There was yogurt for digestive health, yogurt with cereal added, yogurt with extra calcium, and even a line of yogurt just for babies. There was plenty of plain low-fat, reduced-fat or fat-free varieties, as well as a rainbow of flavored versions loaded with fruit juice, sugar and high fructose corn syrup. But I did not see a single carton of unadulterated, plain, fat intact, delicious creamy yogurt. Just to make sure I wasn't imagining things, I read several dozen labels quite carefully and all I got was a headache and eye strain for my trouble.
The fat is the most nourishing part of the yogurt. It provides essential fatty acids your body and brain need to function properly. It helps with vitamin absorption and makes you feel full. If you are eating a healthy diet, fat should be your primary source of energy. Sure, yogurt also contains beneficial bacteria, but I use yogurt as a way to make sure I am getting plenty of healthy fat and to stave off hunger. I want my fat dammit! Seriously, when is the last time you said "I'm so full! I just ate several million bacteria cultures."?
So of course I was a bit miffed that I was not be able to find any QUALITY yogurt and couldn't help but wonder where the hell all the fat went. Are they throwing it out? Shipping it overseas? Are food company executives keeping it for themselves as they take the least nutritious part of the product, load it with sugar, corn syrup and chemicals and then put it in brightly-colored packages with a premium price tag? If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would have to give that last thought some serious consideration.
Fortunately I live in an area with quite a few stores and Safeway is only 5 minutes from Walmart. I knew THEY had real yogurt. They carry Mountain High brand, which, aside from the typical sugar-poisoned flavors, includes a very thick and tasty plain, full-fat version. The store was crowded and it took a bit to work my way back to the dairy section, but there was the Mountain High ON SALE! I grabbed two large containers and headed toward the check out. It wasn't until I scanned the cartons in the self-checkout lane that I noticed that I had NOT grabbed plain, full-fat yogurt, but vanilla flavored sugar-filled yogurt! The containers were almost identical to the plain variety with the exception of a small flower on the front. The lids were the same for both, and since they were on the bottom of the case, it was the lid I used to pick the cartons. I handed them to the clerk, explaining I grabbed the wrong kind, and then just left. I was too weak to fight my way back to the dairy case and I didn't feel up to reading any more microscopically small type trying to make sure I actually got what I wanted.
As I sit here typing this blog entry, yogurtless and annoyed, I am taking back what I said earlier. Apparently there is a conspiracy and those rat bastards at the Mountain High Yogurt marketing and design department are also in on it. But I am not ready to give up yet. I will try to find yogurt again next time I go to the store, but not before I grab a magnifying glass and my tinfoil helmet.