Yesterday, we went to the grocery store to pick up a few items for the week, and I decided to get some yogurt. I figured that my standard yogurt would work just fine, because it's all-natural and organic and made of magical milk and all; however, I quickly discovered that even the high-quality, organic yogurts have ingredients that count as processed.
It was a little disturbing to pick up carton after carton of yogurts and find all manner of additives: inulin, pectin, dry milk powder: basically ingredients that are added to make it thicker. Inulin is a starch that is naturally occurring, but extracting it requires heavy processing. I'm certain I could not make that at home. Pectin I probably could, but not the pectin that they put into yogurt. Basically, I discovered that most brands of yogurt are more processed than I realized (and that this challenge might be more difficult than I realized).
Happily, I found a yogurt with only one ingredient (cultured milk)--Chobani Greek yogurt. It's a little expensive, but I like having a little yogurt every now and then, especially since I don't really drink milk much. It's pretty tasty too, thick and creamy without lots of saturated fat or additives to make it thicker.
Reading the labels really hit home to me that I apparently look only for the obviously problematic ingredients, but I don't think about the nature of some of the foods I buy without really examining the labels. Sometimes I'm just content to know that it's organic or all-natural, even though I know that being organic (and certainly being all-natural) doesn't mean something isn't junk food or is good for me.