The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at www.stevecarper.com/li I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on Smashwords.com or Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lactaid Scoopfuls

Where's the lactose-free ice cream, everybody asks. It doesn't sell, I reply.

But it's out there if you look for it. Breyer's makes 100% lactose free vanilla ice cream.

And Lactaid is back in the game. Lactaid had reduced-lactose ice cream before anyone else. Then it seemingly disappeared. I think the problem was that people with enough lactose intolerance not to want to take a chance on eating regular ice cream also don't want to take a chance on eating even reduced-lactose ice cream. They want it all. Er, nothing. Nothing at all, that is: 100% lactose free ice cream.

And now they have it. Lactaid Spoonfuls comes in two flavors, Classic Vanilla and Double Chocolate Chip. [When originally introduced, five flavors were in the press release but I can't find the other three today. But my Sunday post that led me to searching for more on Lactaid Scoopfuls, does mention all five flavors. They seem to be available in the Washington, DC. Area, apparently. Let me know where and if they are still out there anyplace else.]

Both links go to Amazon.com. In a quick Google search, all the online sites seemed to eventually wind up with a link to Amazon, but somebody else must sell it. A Yahoo answers said that Walgreens sold Lactaid Scoopfuls, but it didn't come up on the Walgreens web site.

It gets worse. Lactaid Scoopfuls are made by the big milk producer HP Hood. Hood was the east coast Lactaid dairy licensee for a decade before entering into a national agreement to make and market Lactaid milk products. But if you go to the HP Hood website, Lactaid is nowhere listed as a product. There is a link to the Lactaid website – but that doesn't mention ice cream.

I give up. Order Lactaid Scoopfuls from Amazon. Real milk ice cream in vanilla and chocolate with no lactose. Keep the flavors alive.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

More Frozen Nondairy Choices

The article on Frozen Treats from the Washington Post drew some feedback in the Post’s letter column.

Today’s paper has a letter from Matt Dombrowski listing some nondairy desserts that he’s found to be good.

As a lactose-intolerant ice cream and cold dessert fan, I enjoyed your column on Aug. 13 ( Sunday Shopper ). I, too, have tried many alternatives and concur with many of your reviews. However, there were four omissions that are my top choices for non-dairy alternatives. They are:

• Lactaid Scoopfuls, which comes in Double Chocolate Chip (my favorite), Classic Vanilla, Cappuccino Swirl, Creamy Butter Pecan and Mint Chocolate Chip.

Whole Fruit Sorbet, with flavors including Boysenberry, Lemon, Mango, Peach (my favorite), Raspberry, Strawberry and Tropical.

• Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Kiwi Swirl, Jamaican Me Crazy and Berried Treasure sorbets.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dairy Free Alpro

Alpro Soya is a major UK maker of dairy-free soy - or soya in non-American-speak - products. It produces both Alpro drinks and the organic line called Provamel.

They've revamped their website and rebranded their line of drinks. BrandRepublic.com is reporting that:

Alpro recently announced that it is rebranding its chocolate milk range as Alpro Soya Dairy Free Chocolate Shake, which it is supporting with a nationwide campaign. The company also recently revamped its Oy! Dairy Free Shakes for kids and its core range of dairy-free alternatives to milk.

The chocolate milk overhaul is part of Alpro's strategy to encourage consumers to try soya alternatives and take the niche product into the mainstream.


The U.S. market has responded well to soy milk in mainstream supermarkets, so let's hope this strategy works just as well in the U.K., which has been several years behind the states in awareness of lactose intolerance and dairy allergies. And that meant that products for the lactose intolerant and dairy allergic have been harder to find.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Allergies Are Everywhere, But So Is the Good Advice

Food allergies are truly a worldwide concern these days. And they affect children in every country and culture in a similar way.
A good summary of basic info on food allergies is available from this article from the Malaysia Star, from which I excerpted the following:

The earliest manifestation of allergy in childhood is food allergy, with cow’s milk protein allergy being one of the most common. Food allergy affects all age groups, but infants are more susceptible due to their immature digestive and immune systems. This problem should be taken seriously because it not only brings misery to the affected child, but also impacts the whole family emotionally, socially and financially.

The precise causes of food allergy are unknown but the major contributing factors have been identified as:

• Genetic background of the child

• Inherent ability of certain food components to trigger allergic reactions

• Maturity of the digestive tract

• Age of the child when the offending food is first introduced

• Infants with allergic parents are more prone to food allergy but even normal infants are not spared due to the immaturity of their digestive tracts and immune system. Therefore, the first step in the battle against food allergy is to determine your child’s risk level.

Risk of developing allergies based on family history:

• Both parents without allergies: 5-15%

• One parent with allergies: 20-40%

• Both parents with allergies: 40-60%

Exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first six months of life. During this period, abstain from highly allergenic foods yourself to prevent them from making their way into the breast milk.
Start weaning your baby only after he has reached six months of age. Even then, introduce only one new food a week to enable any allergy to be detected easily. Start with rice or rice cereal as it is least allergenic. Leave out allergenic foods until your baby is at least a year old. These include egg white, peanuts and seafood like prawns, crabs and scallops.

If you are giving your baby commercially prepared foods, read the food labels to screen for unsuitable ingredients. When in doubt, clarify with the manufacturer. A committed and responsible company will always be ready to assist you.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Working with Schools on Food Allergies

Katie Smith, the Food Editor of the Toledo Blade, wote an article with some good advice for children and parents about working with schools when it comes to food problem for kids with allergies, including dairy allergy, and even lactose intolerance.

• For children: Don’t hesitate if you think you are not allowed to have a food. Do ask cafeteria staff about the food.

• For parents and caregivers: Communication with the school is important. “Talk with the school principal, school nurse, and teacher,” says Joe Taylor, principal of Fairfield Elementary School in Maumee. This way they can address any food brought in for treats and during school assemblies as well as school lunch.

• For food service personnel: Call a school nurse if a child questions a food. Often, the label on a food product will list the ingredients and answer the child’s questions, too, notes [Mary Bottoni, food service manager for Maumee City Schools].

• For other classroom parents: Let any parents bringing food into the classroom know about food allergies of the student(s) while respecting confidentiality.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Even Healthier Yogurt - And the Package May Be Just as Good

Most people know that Dannon yogurt is from France. Or is originally from France. Or Spain. And started making yogurt in the 1940s. Or earlier.

I guess most people don't know. I didn't, and I research this stuff.

Anyway, we start with Isaac Carasso, a Greek who saw the popularity of yogurt in the Balkans before World War I. He opened a little yogurt shop in Barcelona, Spain, in 1919. Its name of Danone – little Daniel – came from his young son. Taking advantage of the industrial processes for fermenting yogurt developed at France's Pasteur Institute, he became the first and leading industrial manufacturer of yogurt.

He wisely emigrated to the U.S. to avoid another World War, setting up shop as Dannon Milk Products, Inc., in New York in 1942, the first American yogurt manufacturer. Not an instant success. The company managed to make a whopping 648 half-pints a day. But in 1947 he catered to the American sweet tooth by introducing fruit on the bottom. The rest is history.

Tangled history. Son Daniel had founded Danone in France (aha!) in 1929. Carraso pere sold his American interests shortly after its first flush of success to return to Europe. His Danone brand remained a hit. Eventually he merged Danone with Gervais, the leading fresh cheese business in France (aha!) in 1967, and then in 1973 with BSN (Boussois Souchon Neuvesel), a French company (aha!) who had bought Dannon from the Beatrice conglomerate. In 1994, the whole shebang changed its name to the classic Groupe Danone.

Dannon USA runs the yogurt business in the states. Probably only people who read the company's annual reports know that in 2003 it bought up all the non-employee owned stock of Stonybrook Farms, the largest organic yogurt manufacturer in the world. That's right, megacorp Dannon owns the tony organic label. Stop putting on airs, organicofascists of the world.

(And it owns more than that. Danone agreed earlier this year to up to 20% its stake of Shanghai Bright Dairy & Food Co. Ltd., which merged on August 9 with three other Chinese firms to form Bright Foods (Group) Co. Ltd., China's largest maker of dairy products. Food for you corporate conspiracy theorists. Omnicorp is coming.)

(Groupe Danone is also number two in the world in bottled water – it owns Evian – and owns the venerable British brands of HP and Lea & Perrins sauces.)

Back to dairy products. And France.

On UPI.com, Julia Watson reports from Le Bugue, France, about the future of yogurt, a future already present in much of Europe and one that will arrive in the U.S. soon. A good thing for those with lactose intolerance who want to keep having dairy in their diets.

Across Europe, yogurt has been taken to health-giving heights that would astonish the nomads of the barren steppes. It's not just fruit flavored, or boasting a fuller or lesser fat content. It has been turned into one of the mainstays of the fortified food system, becoming almost a medicine.

If someone says "probiotics" (the new food buzzword indicating the presence of healthy living microorganisms that can help protect the digestive system, in particular from yeast infection or IBS caused by courses of antibiotics), those in the know think yogurt.

The French have been chugging down Danone's Activa -- introduced into the United States in February this year -- since 1987. The makers say that eaten daily for two weeks, the probiotic yogurt can regulate the digestive system by helping to reduce the transit time of food passing through the intestines by up to 40 percent.

One brand popular in Spain contains breast milk bacteria.

Along with spoonable yogurts of varying thicknesses in every country, there are drinkable yogurts, soft-cheese-like yogurts, fermented kefir-type yogurts of the sort solid Russian babushkas have sworn by as a general cure-all for centuries. Some contain ingredients not normally associated with what is plugged in the United States as a dessert, like carrots, cucumber and oats.

Now, some yogurts include agents that have jobs other than tickling the taste buds or persuading consumers they can enjoy something sweet without swallowing too many calories. One contains Tonalin, a fat-reducing agent. Some contain Omega-3 to target cholesterol reduction. Yet more offer energy-boosting and relaxing properties. And others boast an antioxidant quality or offer the beneficial Bifidus active that helps develop flora in the gut.

You don't have to buy a functional probiotic or nutraceutical yogurt to get health benefits. Plain simple yogurt is made by culturing cream and milk or milk alone with live and active cultures, generally Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. By metabolizing with some of the lactose in the milk to make lactic acid, the milk is thickened into yogurt.

But the prime yogurt makers of Europe are looking across the Atlantic to see how the U.S. responds to Danone's Activa. Who know, if enough is eaten, maybe next we'll see the breast milk bacteria variety on the supermarket shelves.

Breast milk bacteria yogurt. I wonder. Is the packaging itself going to be the treat? Suck here for the healthiest and tastiest of snacks? What will marketers in the breast-obsessed U.S. do with this?

Photoshoppers welcome.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Summer Frozen Treats

There are more non-dairy and lactose-reduced summer frozen treats out there than I can get to. Fortunately, the Washington Post has a nice article comparing and taste-testing a whole range of them.

Breyer's Lactose-Free Natural Vanilla ice cream comes out on top, averaging 4.5 stars, mainly because it's, well, ice cream. Real ice cream with lactase added. This is great for those with lactose intolerance: not-so-good for vegans or those with dairy allergies.

So check out Soy Delicious Purely Decadent soy-based non-dairy frozen dessert, average rating: 3.5 stars; Rice Dream brown rice-based frozen dessert, average rating: 2.5 stars; and Tofutti Milk Free Premium Frozen Dessert, also soy-based, average rating 2.5 stars.

And then there is also LaLoo's Goat's Milk Ice Cream. This again is real ice cream, nothing reduced. It claims to be low-lactose, but I don't know what they base that on. Goat's milk has the same amount of lactose as cow's milk. Those with cow's milk protein allergies may be able to have this safely, because goat's milk has a different set of proteins than cow's milk, but test it first to see if it affects you.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

One Year Stroke Free

If you check the archives of Planet Lactose you can't help but be struck, pardon the pun, by the fact that the posts abruptly stop on August 14, 2005 and don't start up again until December.

The reason is simple. On August 15, 2005, one year ago today, I had a stroke.

It was, to my very good fortune, about as mild as real strokes go. In fact, I walked, limping only slightly, into the emergency ward and announced to nurse on duty, "My right side isn't working." Anybody who's ever complained about long waits before seeing a doctor should try that trick. I was in the ICU before my wife got back from parking the car.

My doctor's jaw hit the floor when he found out that they sent me home that night. A CT scan didn't find the stroke. That took an MRI the next day. I walked into that room as well. I never stopped walking at all. Even so, my symptoms kept getting worse for at least 24 hours. By the end of that time, my right hand wasn't good for much. Typing? Well, I could hit a space bar. Keeping up the blog left-handed didn't seem like it was very important at the time.

Once you've had a stroke, you see, you have a nine times higher risk of another stroke.

So a lot changed. I started physical therapy and exercise one week after the stroke. The sooner you get started, the better your outcome is likely to be.

I've been on a bunch of medication and my blood pressure and bloodwork looks a lot better today than a year ago.

And I eat differently. Lot fat, whole grains, lean protein, small portions, lots of fruits and vegetables. It's not a diet. It's the way I'll eat for the rest of my life.

A long life. With lots of blog entries.

Check me out on August 15, 2007.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Goodbye Gas

The website of the magazine Better Homes and Gardens has an article on Treating and Preventing Gas that is excerpted from the Harvard Health Publications Special Health Report, Digestive Health. (Their sister site from Ladies Home Journal magazine has a different excerpt, Causes of Reflux.)

One quick excerpt:


Treating Flatulence

This one is easy. Stop eating the foods that cause gas: beans, fruits, and other complex carbohydrates, as well as the artificial sweetener sorbitol. But don't eliminate all fruits and vegetables, because these foods are the basis of a healthy diet. A product called Beano, which contains an enzyme, alpha-galactosidase, can help metabolize difficult-to-digest complex carbohydrates when taken before meals.

For some people, a drastic reduction in dietary sugars and some cutback in refined starches and wheat flour may help. Activated charcoal, a tasteless black powder, absorbs gas and for some people cuts down on gassiness, particularly after a high-carbohydrate meal. Occasional use is not harmful and there are no side effects. Pepto Bismol may reduce the odor of flatus.

Other topics are Diagnosing Gas, Treating Belching, and Treating Pain and Bloating.

Beware the numberous pop-ups trying to get you to subscribe.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

All Hail Baron Clemens Peter Freiherr von Pirquet

Somebody had to be the first one to identify and name the reactions that are the result of allergies, rather than the million and one other causes of bodily reactions.

That someone was Baron Clemens von Pirquet, an Austrian scientist and pediatrician.

Wikipedia says of him:

In 1906 he noticed that patients who had previously received injections of horse serum or smallpox vaccine had quicker, more severe reactions to a second injection. He, along with Bela Schick, coined the word allergy (from the Greek allos meaning "other" and ergon meaning "reaction") to describe this hypersensitivity reaction.

Soon after, the observation with smallpox led Pirquet to realize that tuberculin, which Robert Koch isolated from the bacteria that cause tuberculosis in 1890, might lead to a similar type of reaction. Mantoux expanded upon Pirquet's ideas and the Mantoux test, in which tuberculin is injected under the skin, became a diagnostic test for tuberculosis in 1907.


You'll find a reference to the Baron, along with lots of other detailed information on allergy and intolerance, in a .pdf, Allergies and Other Sensitivities, from the AmsterdamKliniak. Don't worry, it's all in English.

The procedures they talk about may be slightly different from those normally pursued in the United States, but the general information is good and useful.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Blackwell's Organic Gelato and Sorbetto

OK, one more non-dairy frozen dessert item.

Marcia and Tom Blackwell run Blackwell's Organic LLC, maker of "soy gelato and fruit sorbetto, which are organic, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free desserts. The products are sold at organic and specialty food stores," according to an article in the Asbury Post Press, by David P. Willis.

Tom has been making dairy-free gelato for his own recipe since 2003, using trial and error.

"When we decided to start the business, we had a lot of people sitting around this dining room table, saying, "Taste this chocolate, taste that chocolate, taste that strawberry, taste this strawberry, tell me which one you like better,' " [Marcia] said.

Their products are now in about 50 organic and specialty food stores throughout the Northeast., and are just beginning to appear in supermarkets.
We decided to create a product that would be as clean as possible," Blackwell said. "Everything on our label, you recognize, you know what it is. Chances are you have it in your refrigerator or your freezer. If you don't, you can certainly get it."

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, which is traditionally made with milk. Blackwell uses organic soy instead of milk. Sorbetto, which is frozen fruit, water and sugar, is the Italian word for sorbet.

Next month, Blackwell's Organic will be presented with the Emerging Business Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners' Central New Jersey chapter.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Camel Milk Ice Cream – Who Knows Cool Better Than Camels?

I'd walk a mile for a camel… milk ice cream cone. Maybe farther, since it's only being introduced in the United Arab Emirates. Al Ain Dairy, a noted trendsetter in the desert dairy business, "has introduced the country's first natural low fat ice cream made from camel milk," according to an article by Mohammad Shamseddine on GulfNews.com.

The company is using the expert services of Enzo La Blunda, an Italian chef and ice cream specialist, to supervise the manufacturing process.

A statement from the dairy said:

"Children who are allergic to products made from cow's milk can now enjoy the taste of ice cream. Camel milk ice cream is also safe for people who are suffering from lactose intolerance," it added.

Vitamin C found in camel milk is about three times more than in fresh cow's milk.

Weight watchers will enjoy the ice cream since the fat content of camel milk ice cream is a maximum of 2.5 per cent.

Normal cow milk ice cream contains between 6 and 9 per cent fat.

The new product is produced in three flavours: strawberry, caramel and chocolate.

Now it's very possible that few people with cow's milk protein allergy would have reactions to camel's milk proteins, since camel's milk has a different set of proteins. Few is not none, of course, and those who are anaphylactic to dairy should be very cautious.

But low in lactose? I wonder what the basis for this statement is. My Lactose Zoo page shows that camel milk has 3.3% to 5% lactose, about the same range as cow's milk. People seem to make this low-lactose claim for milk from any animal that isn't a cow and it's never true.

But just to be able to say that you licked a chocolate camel: that would be worth a lactase pill.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tasti D-Lite Frozen Dessert

That killer heat wave may have broken, but summer's a long way from over.

Want something cold? How about Tasti D-Lite frozen dessert. It's not frozen yogurt and it's not ice cream. It is dairy-based, though, using non-fat milk. All of their more than 100 flavors are therefore low-fat.

Although they use sugar instead of artificial sweeteners, Tasti D-Lite is fairly low calorie, between 11 and 17 calories per fluid ounce, depending on the flavor. All the flavors are Kosher-certified. And anything with peanut butter is a favorite among the flavors.

That's all good news. Now here's something even better: because it adds lactase to its non-fat milk it claims to have "at least 25% less lactose than the leading soft-serve ice cream."

Tasti D-Lite is found mostly in the New York metro areas, but now has locations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and Texas, as well as Syracuse and Ithaca in upstate New York.

Tasti D-Lite is not for vegans or those with dairy protein allergies, obviously, but it sounds like a fine alternative for those of us who are mildly lactose intolerant.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Homeopathy = Lactose PIlls

Homeopathy is bunk. It's a fraud, a scam, a hoax, a means to make money from people in need. Spare me your letters about how studies have proved that homeopathic medicines work: those studies have been discredited.

The reason I tackle it here is lactose–related. Turns out that homeopathic pills don't have any medicine in them, but they do have lactose. Nearly pure lactose at that.

From Alternative Medicine and the Laws of Physics, by Robert L. Park, which first appeared in the September/October 1997 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer.

I recently examined the dilutions listed on the labels of dozens of standard homeopathic remedies sold over the counter in health stores, and increasingly in drug stores, as remedies for everything from nervousness to flu. These remedies are normally in the form of lactose tablets on which a single drop of the "diluted" medication has been placed. …

The notation 30X means the 1:10 dilution, followed by succussion, is repeated thirty times. That results in one part in 1030, or 1 followed by thirty zeroes. I don't know what the name for that number is, but let me put it this way: you would need to take some two billion pills, a total of about a thousand tons of lactose, to expect to get even one molecule of the medication. In other words, the pills contain nothing but lactose and the inevitable impurities. This is literally no-medicine medicine.

No-medicine medicine. A good name for it. For those of us with lactose intolerance, however, a better name would be Lactose Pills.

Avoid them at all costs.


(If anyone can show that the practices of the homeopathic industry with regards to lactose have changed since 1997, that's information I'll be happy to post.)

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Monday, August 07, 2006

200 Best Lactose-Free Recipes

There are only a dozen or so cookbooks featuring lactose-free recipes. I know them all. I have them listed on my website, in my Milk-Free Bookstore on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books page.

You could have knocked me over with a cow full of soy milk, therefore, when I walked into a library and found a book I had never heard of.

The book was 200 Best Lactose-Free Recipes, by Jan Main. She doesn't actually have lactose intolerance herself, but she does suffer from dairy allergies, so the dairy-free concept is important to her. It's got the latest and trendiest recipes. Back in 1978, when I first learned I was lactose intolerant I wouldn't have had any idea what in the world to do with a recipe called "Kale Tart with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts." And health info is all over the place. Each recipe has its nutritional value calculations, along with percentage of calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Most of the recipes aren't too hard to figure out: you substitute lactose-free milk or soy milk for regular milk. Well, it's a little more complicated than that. Main writes:

Tofu and soy milk both have a bland, flat flavor. When I worked with them in the recipes, I found it necessary to add more spices or herbs than I would have if I had been using a milk product. If you try to adapt some of your own recipes, remember that you cannot substitute soy milk or tofu directly for milk or milk products and expect exactly the same taste results. The soy foods seem to absorb flavorings. However, once additional flavoring is added, the recipe should be tasty.

In the case of soy milk, it may be necessary to add ingredients with more color or to add a garnish to compensate for the beige color of the dishes.


That's the kind of insight that makes lactose-free cookbooks invaluable.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

PCRM Loses Nutty Anti-Milk Case in Court

The rabidly anti-milk activist group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is back in the news, but not in a way they like.

Last year I wrote this blog entry about them.

Hey, here's an idea. If you're LI and don't like it, sue. Sue who? Why not sue the dairy industry?

Nutty? Of course. But as a publicity stunt it's top notch, if you're a group with an agenda.

The group is the rabidly pro-animal rights and militantly vegan Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Since they're based in the District of Columbia, they plan to file suit against dairy producers on behalf of D.C. residents who are lactose intolerant. They're asking for compensation for lactose intolerant children, along with adults who've learned that they're LI in the past three years. The other part of the suit – and the obvious real goal, as the compensation issue stands no chance – is a court order mandating that warning labels about lactose intolerance be placed on milk sold in the city.

For more publicity they've plastered the Metro rail and subway system with spoof ads of the Got Milk? campaign. The Got Lactose Intolerance? ads picture a multi-ethnic group of sufferers knocking on the door of an in-use bathroom, needing desperately to get in. And let's face it, which of us with LI hasn't been there?

One problem is that there's a big difference between choosing to avoid or limit the use of dairy products and suing the dairy industry because milk is inherently evil. Another problem is trying to take sides with two groups which are both pushing agendas using misleading data and false claims.

Oops. The Washington Post reported that:
U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. ruled that federal law on food labeling would preclude the action that the plaintiffs were seeking in the District.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit. PCRM issued a statement that they will appeal the ruling.

My prediction? That will get dismissed as well.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Stop Breastfeeding After Seven Months?

A quick follow-up to last Friday's post, Breastfed Babies Avoid Allergies.

In that post I reported on research that said that breastfeeding a baby for the first six months reduced the chance of later allergies.

However, an article, Breast Is best, but watch out for the allergies by Matt Kaplan in the August 5, 2006 issue of New Scientist adds an unusual caveat.

Researchers at the Helsinki Skin and Allergy Hospital in Finland have been conducting a twenty-year-long study of mothers who breastfed their babies as long as possible. The children were assessed for allergies at ages 5, 11 and 20.

Exclusive breastfeeding for nine months or more actually appeared to increase the chances of a baby developing allergic conditions such as eczema and food hypersensitivity. At age 5, 56 per cent of children with a family history of allergy who had been breastfed for nine months or more had allergic symptoms, compared with 20 per cent of those who had been breastfed for between two and six months.

The researchers noticed that children who developed allergies after prolonged exclusive breastfeeding were most likely to do so during the first years of life, suggesting that environmental factors such as pollen exposure, diet and disease are the more important factors in the onset of allergies in later childhood and early adulthood.

"A beautiful hypothesis is that there is a time window when the immune system needs to be exposed to external antigens for it to develop properly," says team member Maria Pesonen, although more research is needed to be sure.

Until more research is done, mothers may want to think about stopping exclusive breastfeeding at about the seventh month and start introducing solid foods.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tofutti Summer and Year Round

Oh to be in Michigan now that summer's here.

Battle Creek, more specifically. Ice Cream Ecstasy, to be precise. The Battle Creek Enquirer tells us that the store carries Tofutti brand non-dairy "ice cream" for those of us who are lactose intolerant.

Tofutti is one of the granddaddies of non-dairy products. Started by David Mintz in 1982 to give those who kept kosher a neutral, pareve, product to have with meat, Tofutti has grown over the years to have possibly the largest range of non-dairy products of any company in the market.

Clicking the "Our Products" link at www.tofutti.com takes you to a page that has a dozen categories to click on: Pints / Cuties / Too Too’s / Sticks / Cakes, Cookies, Pastries / Better Than Cream Cheese / Non Hydrogenated / Sour Supreme / Low Carb / Hard Cheese / Entrees / Egg Watchers. There are five varieties of Tofutti "ice cream" in pints alone.

Tofutti uses soy as its base, so people with soy allergies do need to avoid it. However, those with dairy allergies or are vegans, along with those who have lactose intolerance or are looking for pareve foods, can feast. And Tofutti products are available at most supermarkets, so there's no need to make a special trip to find them.

Contact info:
TOFUTTI BRANDS, INC.
50 Jackson Drive
Cranford, NJ.07016
Phone: 908-272-2400
Fax: 908-272-9492
Info@tofutti.com
Frequently Asked Questions

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