While wandering through a Northfield bookshop not long ago, I noticed Michael Pollan's book "Food Rules". (No wonder; it's everywhere!) I flopped it open to a page about food trying to be something it's not (and how you shouldn't eat that which falls into this category). I think this makes pretty good sense. I'm all about genuine-ness and being true to yourself, so why shouldn't I hold the same standard to the food I eat?
I think yogurt is, in a lot of ways, a victim of the food marketing machine. Food marketers have done a good job of making the American public think they can get a tall order from yogurt: cancer-fighting stuff, digestive medicine, weight-loss magic, and even a good dessert. Those things might all be true, but I don't think you have to buy a pack of six individual containers of chocolate raspberry Yoplait Delights to get them. Much of all that could probably be attained from good old plain yogurt.
Plain yogurt often gets a bad rap: it's boring, sour, bad-tasting, etc. But when you think about it, actually all yogurt was "plain" once. So why not take out the middleman (chemical/food engineers?) and add your own flavors? I discovered a good trick for weekday yogurt breakfast on the go. First, buy a big container of plain yogurt. Before heading to work in the morning, put a serving of it in a tupperware container and add frozen banana slices (about half a banana). If you're really feeling indulgent, also add a spoonful of jam or drizzle of real maple syrup. Once you get to work, open, stir and pour granola on the top. Voila! In the time it takes me to get to work, the bananas have melted enough so they're soft and juicy, and they've kept the yogurt cold, too.
With a little more time on my hands, I may add other fruits, such as dried apricots or strawberries and enjoy my yogurt from a pretty bowl like the one pictured (thanks Grandma). Poor yogurt needn't be forced into something it's not. I think the calcium, vitamins, and live cultures on plain yogurt don't need food marketers' help.