If you've ever had the pleasure of peeling back a yogurt lid, then you've probably also been nailed in the eye with that mysterious liquid that settles at the top of the container.
It's safe to assume that that liquid is not so good for you if it gets in your eye, but don't be so quick to pour it out. Apparently, it's just whey, and it's loaded with protein, probiotics, potassium and calcium.
So yes, that yucky stuff is actually kind of good for you.
The whey is left behind when milk has been strained and curdled. The cloudy liquid naturally separates and settles on top of the yogurt.
Instead of pouring it out, it's recommended that you stir that ish up and enjoy!
Unfortunately, several big yogurt producers, such as Chobani and Fage, are dumping the liquid before packaging their products, which can wreak havoc on the environment. According to Modern Farmer, extremely large quantities of whey contain high levels of acid, which can't simply be dumped without a second thought:
Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers.
According to FWx, some yogurt producers are actually packaging the whey and selling them to customers as shots. For example, Greecologies, a yogurt shop located in New York City, created flavored whey shots infused with ginger, jalapeño, peppermint and lemongrass. You can add them to smoothies or even mix them into some oatmeal for a little extra flavor and protein.
If you have trouble getting past the ick factor of all of this, don't worry, because you can basically pretend that it doesn't even exist.
Before you open up your yogurt, just give it a quick shake.
And voilà! When you open the container, only the creamy goodness of your yogurt awaits.
Citations: Revealed: The truth about that liquid floating at the top of your yoghurt (and why you SHOULDN'T tip it away) (Daily Mail), STOP THROWING AWAY THAT LIQUID ON TOP OF YOUR YOGURT AND START TAKING IT AS A SHOT (FWx), Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt's Dark Side (Modern Farmer)