The fear of what might happen if you don't have faith.
I got an interesting comment from a Chobani rep on my earlier post about yogurt, #3325. She explained that Chobani doesn't contain preservatives, and that the company doesn't have control over conditions once the product leaves their hands. Yeah, ok, I understand that, about not having control, BUT my old favorite yogurts didn't have preservatives either (ingredients list: milk, cultures, nothing else) and I've NEVER found mold or alcohol in my yogurt before, even when I had taken containers on three-day unrefrigerated hotel stays. Because I was unhappy, she has offered me coupons.
Thank you, Chobani folks, but I won't be collecting my coupons. Actually, I'd rather just get my money back. Or coupons for Dannon, who has earned my trust. (Or used to have my trust, before they started adding junk to their yogurt. Sigh.)
This morning I looked into making my own yogurt. It's easy, just takes time and attention, and some equipment. First you get a double boiler and thermometer and heat milk over water to 185 F to break down the proteins, then chill it quickly to 110 F. Mix in your starter (a few tablespoons of a purchased live culture yogurt), and keep it warm (a heating pad will do) for seven hours or so while the cultures grow, then stir to smooth it out, and decant into whatever you want to store it in. There are excellent "hold-your-hand" directions at http://www.makeyourownyogurt.com/print/how-to-make-your-own-yogurt.pdf.
Well, I don't have a decent thermometer, or any large pots (not here - they're at the old house), and my attention span is famously absent, so I thought I'd look at yogurt maker appliances.
They're certainly not expensive, BUT! All they do is that last step - keep warm - the easiest and least precise step. You still have to heat the milk and cool it to the specified temperatures before putting it in the "maker". Sheesh. The last step is the only one I'm sure I can do. If I screw that one up, the yogurt just gets thicker and more tart, and I like it thick and tart. Far as I'm concerned, yogurt makers are useless. Why can't they make one that heats the milk, cools it down (maybe a separate cooling unit?), goes "bing" when you have to add the culture, and then sits there warm for a few hours. Is that so difficult?
So. I'm going to make my own yogurt. Without a "maker". As soon as I get a thermometer I trust. And two pots that will fit one inside the other. And a bag of ice. And some purchased yogurt that doesn't have anything in it but milk and culture. Good luck with that last item, getting very hard to find anything that hasn't been competitively fancied up.
Oh, almost forgot. The Chobani rep found my post through a search for "Chobani mold". Hmmm. Can't help wondering if they're aware they have a problem. One doesn't pick search arguments out of the air.