Peeling open a container of yogurt can be a traumatic experience: Once in a while, that mysterious liquid will be sitting there under the lid.
Recently, the internet has been aflutter with this age-old question: What the heck is that watery stuff on top of your yogurt anyway, and what do we do with it?
"There is actually a cool scientific answer to this mystery," Sheryl Kesey Thompson, a manager at Nancy’s, a family-owned and -operated yogurt creamery in Eugene, Ore., tells TODAY.
Whey — that liquid stuff — is the nutrient-dense water naturally present in milk, she says.
Ready for a science lesson? Basically, when the milk is cultured to make your yogurt nice and thick, the whey is held in suspension, within the cell walls of the milk. But when the yogurt is jostled in transport, or when you dip your spoon in that container, you break those cell walls and the whey (a.k.a. liquid stuff) is released, she explains: That’s why you see the whey on the top of your yogurt.
But wait! Don’t ditch it.
"Our whey is rich in calcium, probiotics and protein, so we recommend you stir it back into your yogurt or pour it off and save it for a smoothie, soup, or even add it to your lucky dog’s dish," Kesey Thompson says.
Or do as this intrepid tea drinker does: