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Fage (pronounced Fa-yeh!) – What you need to know about your greek yogurt

by Lisa on September 20, 2011

My friend forwarded me an email she sent to Fage regarding their yogurt. I thought it was interesting enough to share….

—–Original Message—–
From: Jena
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 7:01 PM
To: Inbox

Subject: hormone free? organic?

Is Fage greek yogurt growth hormone and antibiotic free?  Where do you buy your milk?  Thanks.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Michelle Haney
Date: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 8:09 AM
Subject: RE: Contact Us Email
To: Jena

Dear Jena,

Thank you for contacting us regarding our FAGE Total product.

We appreciate your interest and support. FAGE Dairy Industry is one of the largest food producers in Greece; it operates 3 production facilities in Greece for dairy product production (milk, yogurt, cheese and dairy desserts). Our wholly owned subsidiary FAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc. has opened and operates a new state-of-the-art yogurt production facility in upstate New York in April 2008.

We make FAGE Total All Natural Greek Strained yogurt using a proprietary process.

First, the milk is pasteurized to destroy any harmful bacteria. Next, the FAGE Total live active yogurt culture is added to the milk. This culture is produced at the FAGE plant and helps to create the characteristic FAGE Total flavor.

The milk and culture are set in tanks, using a slow fermentation process. The yogurt then undergoes a unique straining process which removes the watery-whey and gives FAGE Total its thick, creamy texture. Approximately 4 pounds of raw milk are needed to make one pound of FAGE Total yogurt.

FAGE Total is 100% Natural, though not organic. No added sugars, sweeteners, thickeners or preservatives. No powder milk, cream or protein, no nonsense. Just raw milk, cream and live active cultures for a naturally blissful taste experience. In line with our All Natural approach to yogurt making, our milk and cream supply comes from farmers who have pledged not to treat their cows with rBGH*.

Furthermore, all milk delivered to our plants is checked for the presence of antibiotics prior to reception and the milk is received in the plant tanks only if the test is negative.

Best regards,

Michelle Haney
Consumer Relations
FAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc.
1 Opportunity Drive | Johnstown NY 12095
P: (866)962-5912 <tel:%28866%29962-5912>  <tel:%28866%29962-5912>  | F: (518)762-5918 <tel:%28518%29762-5918>  <tel:%28518%29762-5918>

www.fageusa.com <http://www.fageusa.com>  <http://www.fageusa.com>  | www.fage.gr <http://www.fage.gr>  <http://www.fage.gr>  | www.totalgreekyoghurt.com <http://www.totalgreekyoghurt.com>  <http://www.totalgreekyoghurt.com>

FAGE (Pronounced Fa-yeh!)

* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown, and no test can now distinguish, between milk derived from rBGH-treated and non-rBGH-treated cows.

—————————————


What do you think? Are you a yogurt eater?


I think the * information is my favorite part—do they have to put that disclaimer in? Either way, it doesn’t matter to me—I prefer my cows to be rBGH free in any format, even if it’s just for their own quality of life and the karma of the farmers!

I also want to visit their production facility. Just for fun.

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  • http://superduperfantastic.com/ suki

    I’ve been pronouncing it wrong forever. :P

  • http://nevernotbeautiful.blogspot.com Laura @ nevernotbeautiful

    Agreed! The disclaimer is an interesting thing to add… also interesting that they say they’d refuse milk that tested positive for antibiotics. I want to believe that… but you just never know, do you? It’s unsettling to wonder if you can trust food companies, isn’t it? Not just Fage, but all of ‘em!

  • http://www.pure2raw.com Pure2raw Twins

    great information. we do have enjoy much yogurt anymore unless we make it ourselves from cashew or coconut.

  • http://thenondairyqueen.blogspot.com/ Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    I’ve never had greek yogurt since it wasn’t a fad until after I realized I can’t have dairy. I don’t believe anything any company says anymore. There are loop holes in EVERYTHING!

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    this is why i am excited to move to NZ. MOre raw milk, unpasturized and organic! YUM! although, i still like fage, full fat!

  • Lauren George

    That sure was interesting! Thanks for sharing. I LOVE yogurt. I eat at least a cup or two every day. :)

  • Anonymous

    i love yogurt! currently i am wayyyy overstashed and am throwing yogurt onto anything and everything at every meal.
    seriously, i love your friend’s bluntness in just firing away with her questions. at least she got a reply, and a detailed one, at that!
    i had no idea that was how to pronounce fage (it’s not in canada, so i’m unfamiliar with it). i would love to try it, though!

  • http://www.thefitnessdish.com Laury@thefitnessdish

    I love the taste of Greek yogurt…not gonna lie. This post, and the whole process of dairy production made me cut down on it. Now that I’m nursing and really can’t have it I don’t miss it. Glad I actually have an excuse with family to not eat things I really didn’t want to eat but they made me [with cheese] because I don’t eat meat

  • http://www.thefitnessdish.com Laury@thefitnessdish

    PS…never knew that was how it was pronounced! I always said it like “fayge” haha

  • http://www.pickyeatingrd.com Allison @ PickyEatingRD

    Weird.  Why do they need the disclaimer if their products are from cows who are rBGH free?  I am with you I prefer my milk FREE of the crazyness.

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    It really is hard to tell—lots of ways to meet standards, but not really uphold the sentiment behind them!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I think coconut is my fave :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Totally—life is full of loopholes!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    The more fat the better :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I always said it that way too!

  • Anonymous

    I try to stick to the trueeee greek yogurts (vs the fake ones made via chemical add ins), but beyond that-i dont pay much attention. Im sure they have to give that odd disclaimer. I think its great that they responded with as much info as they did

  • http://fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com/ Sam

    i could eat fage yogurt for every meal of the day – SO creamy and yum :)

  • http://blissfulbritt.wordpress.com/ Brittany

    I looovee Fage yogurt. I just bought a ton of them today to restock my fridge! This was fun information, I’m glad you shared. 

  • Anonymous

    Fage is one of my faves!

  • http://merigoesround.blogspot.com/ meri

    Hmm, I’m ashamed to say I don’t even think of things like this a lot of times when buying yogurt. Its so hard to remember everything!

  • http://twitter.com/FabFit50s Kathleen Engel

    I’ve seen that disclaimer on quite a few dairy products, even ones with “organic” on the label.

    Sigh. I do enjoy Fage yogurt. But it’s a crapshoot, isn’t it? I’d prefer milk from organically-fed, humanely raised cows. I don’t get the sense that’s what I’m getting or they’d be advertising it to the hilt. It would be all over the label, which would be more meaningful to me than their “All Natural” approach.

    I wonder what they do with the whey.

  • http://www.DiningAndDishing.com DiningAndDishing@gmail.com

    Very interesting! Fage is absolutely my favorite brand of Greek yogurt. Something about it is just better than the rest! I guess now we know why :)

  • Wendy K

    I’ve been confused in the yogurt aisle for the past few months…I don’t know what to buy & I still don’t know :(   Help me, Lisa!  I was looking for the full fat greek, but most of the labels boast about how they’re 0% fat!  ugh!  Just tell me exactly what to buy and I will buy it! :)

  • Lisa

    How interesting Lisa! I don’t eat greek yogurt too often anymore. Maybe 1-2 times month and when I do I usually eat Chobani Greek Yogurt. I live for the day where it’s easier to find hormone free products!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Wendy—I haven’t forgotten about you!  I’m going to do a whole info thing on yogurt, and I’ll post it in our facebook group page…

  • Wendy K

    Ok – perfect!!  Thank you!! :)

  • Rozmurray

    Fage is my favourite, but I want to be assured that it is rBGH-free. Why don’t they print that fact on their containers the way Chobani does?

  • Guest

    I asked Fage similar questions and they really did not answer them at all. The company is very secretive and appears to give the same standard answer to everyone. This is what they sent me.  

    “Thank you for contacting us regarding our FAGE Total product.We appreciate your interest and support. FAGE Dairy Industry is one of the largest food producers in Greece; it operates 3 production facilities in Greece for dairy product production (milk, yogurt, cheese and dairy desserts). Our wholly owned subsidiary, FAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc., operates a new state-of-the-art yogurt production facility in upstate New York which opened April 2008.We make FAGE Total All Natural Greek Strained yogurt using a proprietary process.First, the milk is pasteurized to destroy any harmful bacteria. Next, the FAGE Total live active yogurt culture is added to the milk. This culture is produced at the FAGE plant and helps to create the characteristic FAGE Total flavor.The milk and culture are set in tanks, using a slow fermentation process. The yogurt then undergoes a unique straining process which removes the watery-whey and gives FAGE Total its thick, creamy texture. Approximately 4 pounds of raw milk are needed to make one pound of FAGE Total yogurt.FAGE Total is 100% Natural, though not organic. No added sugars, sweeteners, thickeners or preservatives. No powder milk, cream or protein, no nonsense. Just raw milk, cream and live active cultures for a naturally blissful taste experience. In line with our All Natural approach to yogurt making, our milk and cream supply comes from farmers who have pledged not to treat their cows with rBGH*.Furthermore, all milk delivered to our plants is checked for the presence of antibiotics prior to reception and the milk is received in the plant tanks only if the test is negative.Best regards,Gail MannilaConsumer RelationsFAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc.1 Opportunity Drive | Johnstown NY 12095P: (866)962-5912 | F: (518)762-5918″

    They also post at the very bottom of the e-mail, this is to be shared with no one, well screw that people have a right to know what is being said or in this case not said. 

    To be even more clear I decided to e-mail them again and ask this time a 1 sentence question…. “Does FAGE dairy come from factory farms (COFAs)? Yes or No.” 

    I doubt they will answer the question directly, thank but no thanks, I will continue to purchase my yogurt from Stonyfield Organic Farms where I know the cows are treated very well and free to roam on open pasture. 

  • Vlech

    Stonyfield Organic

  • guest
  • Logan

    For those curious about the disclaimer, I believe that it is a requirement that is basically the result of Monsanto, who uses rBGH, from suing those who want to advertise that they do not include rBGH. Since Monsanto unabashedly DOES include it (because it’s cheaper to produce MIlk this way) and wants to continue to sell it to those who are uninformed about what they eat/drink, they have to fight against those who include info that they DONT contain it. To make a long story short, if Fage says they don’t use it, but then has a disclaimer, it’s probably because this is a probably a regulation/standard thing to do in the industry that has been part of some settlement. They add the disclaimer probably because they want to avoid high priced Monsanto lawyers coming after them, not because there is some sort of “bait-and-switch” at Fage. So to recap “Fage GOOD, Monsanto BAD.”

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