• Stonyfield Plant Tour

    June 30, 2010

    The final stop of the Stonyfield Blogger Barnstorming Tour was at the Stonyfield plant for a tour of the facilities.

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    But, before we toured the plant, we ate breakfast! :-D

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    Not surprisingly, breakfast at Stonyfield included lots of yogurt! :-D

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    So much, in fact, that we did a taste-test of a bunch of flavors– many of which were new to me!

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    Mmm… Vanilla Over Chocolate Cream Top Yogurt!

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    So creamy, so delicious. Dessert for breakfast is totally fine, right? ;-)

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    I also loved the YoBaby 3-in-1 Meals, which are made with yogurt, fruit, and veggies. Ok, I know it sounds weird, but they’re quite delicious. I swear! Plus, I’m always trying to get more veggies in my diet so why not, right?

    These yogurts comes in three flavors: pear +  green beans, apple + sweet potato, and peach + squash. (You don’t taste the veggies at all!) I liked all of the flavors, but peach + squash was definitely my favorite. 

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    Along with our yogurt tasting, we also enjoyed an amazing spread of breakfast goodies.

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    My plate included fresh fruit, a blueberry scone, and a piece of black bean and veggie frittata.

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    After breakfast, we got suited up to tour the Stonyfield plant. We literally got covered head to toe in protective gear– shoe covers, lab coats, helmets, goggles, and hairnets. Man, we looked HOT! ;-)

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    The plant tour was really cool! I loved seeing all of the “behind the scenes” action.

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    Bloggers love to take photos! :-D

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    On the tour, we learned how Stonyfield yogurt is made. It starts with organic milk straight from the farms. (Stonyfield receives at least a dozen truck fulls each day!) When the milk arrives at the plant, it is tested to make sure it’s up to Stonyfield’s standards. If everything looks good, the milk is pasteurized, active cultures are added, and the yogurt is packaged in the “filling room.”

    Once the yogurt is packaged, it is “incubated” in a really warm room to activate the live cultures. The room was nice and toasty!

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    The holes in the cardboard packaging allow for proper air flow to all of the yogurt cups.

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    After a few hours of incubation, the yogurt is moved to a “cooling tunnel,” which gradually brings down the temperature of the yogurt. The yogurt is then stored in a refrigerated area and kept cold for the rest of the process, including transportation to your local grocery store.

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    Holy yogurt! 8-O

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    When it comes to the packaging used for Stonyfield yogurt, the company’s goal is to utilize the lightest cup possible to reduce the number of resources and energy required to produce it along the way. I loved seeing this commitment to the environment.

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    Another one of Stonyfield’s goals is to make their plant a zero-waste facility, which means using all renewable energy and recycling just about everything, so nothing ends up in a landfill or incinerator.

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    Stonyfield currently has 5,000 square feet of solar power paneling on their roof, which generates about 50 kw worth of energy. Apparently, this not a lot of energy compared to how much they use, but they’re planning to increase this amount.

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    Stonyfield’s ice cream and Oikos are made at a different facility because they require different processes. Oikos, for instance, is made with three times the amount of milk as regular Stonyfield yogurt (the reason it has so much protein), so, as you can imagine, this yogurt making process is quite different.

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    One more post to come: a visit to an organic CSA!

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    { 45 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jen June 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    This is awesome, Tina!! Just reconfirms my love of stonyfield!! And, the people seem so nice. It may be wierd, but I am totally trying out that Yo Baby next time I see it. :)

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    Freya @ Brit Chick Runs June 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    That msut have been so intersting! I had a tour of a chocolate factory once…that was pretty cool :P
    LOVE the outfits :P

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    Jessica @ How Sweet June 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Stoneyfield truly seems awesome. I love the outfits that you guys got to wear. :)

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    Alyssa June 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Tina!

    I LOVE Stonyfield products! Have you ever heard of the Kokua Fest? It is Jack Johnson’s Hawaii Music Festival and is held in April every year on the island of Oahu. Anyways, it is an entirely “green” concert and sponsored by really cool companies, one being Stonyfield! They gave out tons of free products…loved every minute of it!

    ~Alyssa

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    Evelyn @ cheers2healthy June 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Haha I love the HUUUGE yogurt cup above the door. It looks like an amusement park : P

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    Teri [a foodie stays fit] June 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Their cream top yogurts are the best! I can’t wait to try the new flavors. I love that they are making their plant eco friendly too!

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    VeggieGirl June 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    LOOOOVE Stonyfield!!! So cool to see their headquarters!!! I eat their Oikos Greek yogurt daily :)

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    Heather (Heather's Dish) June 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    oh i am so jealous you got to try all of that amazing yogurt! i know who i’m buying all of my yogurt from from now on ;)

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    Cynthia (It All Changes) June 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I love the behind the scenes. I may have to see if I can find one that doesn’t have a lot of sugar I can try.

    So funny that you tried yo baby. I’ve actually thought about it before :)

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    lauren June 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    By “insinuator” do you mean “incinerator”?

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    Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! June 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    So THAT’S how Greek yogurt has so much protein. Fascinating!

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    Kaz June 30, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for this post! It makes me really wish I could eat yogurt. xD

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    Grace June 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I have a question for you…in a previous post you talked about the organic milk truck picking up milk at 13 different farms and how the milk man tests the milk before adding it to the truck at each farm. Well, you mentioned in this post that “When the milk arrives at the plant, it is tested to make sure it’s up to Stonyfield’s standards”. My curiosity is this: Who takes the fall if a milk truck isn’t up to standards? Do ALL the farms that contribued to that one truck suffer from this? Just trying to piece together all this information. It’s fascinating stuff- thanks for sharing all your newfound knowledge, Tina!

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    betsy June 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Is all of the yogurt that they produce done locally (New England) or do they produce any overseas? If you happen to know..

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    kathleen June 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I have to find myself some Vanilla Over Chocolate Cream Top Yogurt-YUM!

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    Heather June 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I just had the vanilla over chocolate over the weekend, actually used it in a baking recipe, it was yummy! I found mine at Whole Foods.

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    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I love the use of fruits and veggies in the baby yogurt! I think food factories are fascinating! This was a great tour!

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    Renee June 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Tina –
    Love your blog, I’ve been reading for a while but haven’t commented. I go back and forth about dairy and how much to include in my diet, and your recent posts have been very informational! I’ve been buying mostly organic milk and yogurt for a while now… and I’m going to make the switch from mostly to only. Great posts!

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    Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy June 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I LOVE the vanilla over chocolate! So good!

    And I’m intrigued by the baby yogurt — if I see these in the store tonight, I’ll have to buy them!

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    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    You guys totally rocked the helmets and hair nets. :)

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    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries June 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Stonyfield ice cream?!?!? Where does such a thing EXIST?

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    Dorry June 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    This is awesome! I’m glad they were cool about letting y’all take photos inside the plant! Thanks for sharing. :)

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    Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ June 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Love yogurt, that makes since why Greek yogurt has so much more protein.

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    laura June 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    that would be such a great experience! i went to the coca cola factory once and that was brilliant! and i must say that breakfast looks AMAZING!!!!!! i love baby food! only the fruit puree though! yummm xx

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    Tina June 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I love those Yobaby Yogurts to sneak some extra veggies into my daughter. She loves them and I agree that they are tasty! That looks like such a cool tour to take.

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    Cate June 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for all of this new info, Tina. As a fan of Stonyfield products, I loved reading about/seeing your experience in the plant. I am a big Oikos lover!

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    Lynn (The Actors Diet) June 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    i love plant tours! have you ever gone to the cape cod potato chip factory tour? you should!!!

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    Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Oh wow, that’s so awesome- everything about it!! I especially love the zero waste policy. :)

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    Rebecca June 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    That’s so awesome that you got to tour the Stonyfield Plant! I’m also really jealous that you got to sample so many types of yogurt for breakfast! I’m def. buying more stonyfield yogurt now!

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    Callie June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I love the picture of you all in your gear. Haha.
    That breakfast looks so good. Stonyfield yogurt is awesome. :)

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    Kellie June 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I can’t find any of the good flavors were I live. I really want chocolate yogurt!

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    Kerri June 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    So fun to go behind the scenes. That yogurt looked yummy!

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    Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    oooh a yoghurt taste testing for breakfast??? YES PLEASE!!!

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    Exercise and Eat June 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    YUM! You ate like a queen this weekend!

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    Wendy (Give Love Create Happiness) June 30, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    you guys look adorable!

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    Ally @ Sweet & Savory June 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I knew there was a reason I loved Stonyfield! And I am proud to say I faithfully write down all the codes off our yogurt cups and I plug them away into their website for free goodies!

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    Julie @ Pickley Pear June 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Huge plant with lots of yogurt. Call me naive, but I didn’t know it was made warm first then cooled. I thought yogurt was cold from start to finish.

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    Wei-Wei June 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    O_O Yogurt taste test for breakfast?! That’s awesome (and yes, dessert for breakfast IS allowed! :D) I think it’s quite interesting that Oikos uses 3 times the amount of milk… I never really thought about that!

    Did you publish a post earlier today called “Hip Hip Hooray”? Because it showed up on my Google Reader but when I clicked it it came out with the error page… any idea what happened??

    Wei-Wei

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    Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    YUM!!! And that blueberry scone.. I love love blueberry scones!

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    The Wife of a Dairyman June 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    To answer Grace #13: What happens in CA is that a sample of milk is also taken from each dairy the milk truck picks up at and if there is a problem with the milk in the truck, they can trace it back to the specific dairy and that specific dairy must pay for the entire truck of milk…..something NO dairy farmer ever wants to happen!
    Also, regarding all the comments on your previous post- it really showed me the need to blog about the differences between organic and conventional dairy….hopefully my post will answer many questions and show what common conventional dairies are like.

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    Emilyeatsclean June 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Dang they crammed a lot of info into you in a very short weekend! :) Again…thanks for more great info. I’m gonna have to check out that Yobaby yogurt. And cute pic of you girls all geared up to go into the SF plant.

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    Hannah July 1, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Wow… they really are a large-scale company aren’t they? I wish we got amazing flavours like that in Australia! Mmm, chocolate yogurt…

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    Taylor July 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Dang they crammed a lot of info into you in a very short weekend! :) Again…thanks for more great info. I’m gonna have to check out that Yobaby yogurt. And cute pic of you girls all geared up to go into the SF plant.

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    Katie July 1, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I happened to watch Food, Inc. this past weekend (if you haven’t seen it yet, you should! So. good.) and as a result have been excitedly absorbing all of your Stonyfield Barnstorming posts. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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    Sarah Elizabeth June 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    You had mentioned that the Greek yogurt requires more milk in order to make it. What does the regular yogurt have in it if not so much milk? Just curious :)

    Reply

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