Decent Sour Cream

December 3, 2009

Decent Sour Cream and Better Creme Fraiche

(Almost) Real Food: sour cream from Organic Valley, which happens to source their milk from grass-fed cows, contains five ingredients: skim milk, cream, non-fat milk, corn starch and cultures.

(Definitely) Real Food: Creme Fraiche from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery* contains two ingredients: cream & cultures.

We don't want the organic sour cream's skim milk and non-fat milk, and we don't need its corn starch. You can use creme fraiche in place of sour cream for any recipe, or eat it straight from the container with a spoon.

The standard process for industrial sour cream contains non-fat dry milk powder or condensed skim milk and a stabilizer, such as corn starch or guar gum. In other words, a national organic brand probably uses the typical industrial recipe for sour cream. All the more reason to look for, buy, eat and enjoy a small brand that uses more traditional methods - even if it's not organic.

*For those who know them as VB&C Company, they have recently redesigned their packaging and revised their company name.

Why It's Okay to eat Real Dairy (even if you're dieting)

A 2007 study in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism found that those subjects who consumed three servings of dairy per day (the recommended amount) also consumed more calories overall than those who only had one serving of dairy - but didn't gain more weight. Study author MIchael Zemel, Ph.D., credits the combination of calcium and leucine, an amino acid that promotes fat burning.

If You're Not Sure What to Buy

To rate national and regional organic dairy brands, the Cornucopia Institute researches and publishes a score card on organic dairy brands. See how your favorite is ranked here.

- Dorothy Williams-Neagle

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