Laveviewer asked: I have two questions: Are homemade yogurt and ice-cream better for you than the commercial varieties? I'm thinking that if you make these products and use them within a week or two, you don't need to worry about preservatives.
Neither yoghurt nor icecream have preservative generally. If they do, it is usually from the flavourings. Sauces and fruit purees often have preservatives, notably sulphites and sorbic acid. The preservative are there to keep the flavourings from going off before being used.
Once a frozen product, like ice cream, is produced it has a considerable lifetime as freezing is a natural form of preservation.
Part of the benefit of yoghurt is its bacteria content, so in this type of product preservatives can be a problem in a different way. Yoghurt usually relies on it's acidity to inhibit stray bugs.
Both can be made at home, time and enthusiasm permitting. You also have a better input into possible flavours. I made a delicious grapefruit and honey sorbet last summer. You wont find that in the shops.
But are they better for you? Hard to say. Commercial icecream had a pile of stabilizers and emulsifiers, and often a bare minimum of fat, possibly not even dairy fat if they call it iced confection. But home made icecream can be made with eggs and cream, it is really a frozen custard - infinitely superior in flavour but moderation required!
Home made yoghurt is fine as long as you use proper care and sanitation for making it.