The Yogurt Cold War: Russia Denies Team USA’s Chobani Shipment

Chobani banned from olympics rotator

As if rampant accusations of human rights violations, the never-ending threat of a terrorist attack, unusual plumbing, injury-prone snowboarding runs, and the mass slaughter of innocent animals weren’t enough to taint the run up to the Sochi Olympics, the Russians had to go and do the unthinkable: deny Team USA their daily rationing of yogurt.

Wednesday, reports surfaced that the Russian government has blocked a large shipment of Chobani yogurt destined for competing American athletes, forcing the protein rich snacks to wallow in Customs purgatory at Newark Liberty International Airport. The Russians say the 5,000 yogurt containers are being denied because of unfulfilled paperwork, according to The New York Times, while American officials say the demands of the customs certificate are outrageous and completely unrealistic.

Whatever the case, the dispute could be another move in an ongoing dairy trade war between the two countries. American dairy producers have been banned from exporting their goods to Russia and negotiations on the matter have continued to stymie. New York state senator James L. Seward (R) suggested that the scandal has its roots in good old-fashioned competition when he told The New York Times that the yogurt might give the U.S. team a nutritional edge.

Truth be told, yogurt is low in calories and filled with protein. As Men’s Fitness reported in 2011, in addition to protein power, yogurt is chalk full of amino acids, slow-acting casein (great for muscle recovery), electrolyte pumped potassium, healthy carbs for energy, and bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D. See the article here.


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