The Cornucopia Institute has released a report criticizing some of the biggest producers of yogurt—Dannon, Yoplait, and Chobani among them—for turning a healthy food into a sugar- and additive-laden product. The report, titled “Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food,” accuses the companies of misrepresenting their products and misleading consumers about their yogurt products to “gain competitive advantage and popular appeal.”
Cornucopia, a Wisconsin-based food and farm policy research group, found that flavored varieties of certain brands contain no actual fruit and include total sugars that rival those in candy bars. Some yogurts, in place of sugar, use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame as well as artificial colors, the report claims.
Along with the report, the group created a buyer’s guide of its approved producers based on a variety of criteria, complete with ratings and quick-reference scores of one to five “spoons,” with five-spoon companies bearing the highest approval ratings. The guide compiles 114 organic and non-organic brands; five-spoon companies include Maple Hill Creamery, Straus Family Creamery, and Green Valley Organics, among others.