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.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Consumers Are Getting Smarter

Who says? James King, for one.

James King, customer development controller for Danone, says: “While historically 'healthy eating' has meant eating products with reduced levels of fat or sugar, we are seeing a slow shift away from this rather simplistic approach.

“Consumers are becoming more discerning around 'good' fats and 'bad' fats, and even 'good' and 'bad' sugars.

“They are also looking more to wholesome and natural foods, hence the continued growth of bottled water in contrast to carbonates, continued growth in organic foods, and the recent resurgence in fruit, spurred on by the 5-a-day campaign.” King continues: “Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly open to products that offer functional benefits such as digestive support or cholesterol reduction.

“The rise of 'superfoods' and 'superfruits', natural foods that purport to above-average health benefits, could be seen as a combination of these trends.”

The quote comes from a length article by Sheetal Mehta at TalkingRetail.com. The article talks about the many ways that foods targeted at specific audiences have appeal beyond those core audiences because they may be, or may be perceived as, healthier than regular foods.

Soy, soya in the UK, is an example:
Alpro, for example, recently launched the first ever chilled organic soya milk with Soil Association approval, and this followed the launch in 2006 of dairy-free probiotic soya yogurt.

John Allaway, Alpro commercial director, says: “In terms of soya, over recent years, the consumer profile has changed considerably, as well-being and healthy eating become increasingly significant to consumers, and substantial positive research about the benefits of including soya in our diet continues to be published.

“As a result, soya products are no longer just used as a dairy replacement by vegans, vegetarians and lactose intolerant consumers – they are now consumed alongside dairy products because of their health benefits.”


Yogurt has historically carried this distinction as a healthy food with value for all.
At Müller, new product development manager, Chris McDonough, says: “Our npd programme is much more about getting back to basics and focusing on the wholesome nutritional values intrinsic in yogurt itself rather than pursuing an overtly scientific route. In fact, our research shows that there is increasing scepticism and confusion surrounding food science claims, which is leading to a lack of credibility amongst consumers.

“We're moving in a 'more is less' direction, with the emphasis being placed on natural ingredients with added value functionality derived from the dairy product itself. This is embodied in our recent new product developments such as Müller One A Day yogurt and yogurt drinks, on which the packaging clearly states that each serving contains one fruit portion.”

Similarly, David Rapkins, sales director at Fage UK, the company behind the Total Greek yogurt brand, says: “Products that are pure and natural have seen an increase in popularity as health-conscious consumers switch to brands which contain no artificial ingredients or added sugars. There is a growing band of shoppers who are trying to avoid such additives which are often perceived to be potentially detrimental to health.”

And new styles of healthy eating are gaining popularity from the knowledge that diets don't work because people don't like to deprive themselves. Instead they should learn to alter their entire food preferences toward healthier eating, even if that means rewarding themselves once in a while. Bernard Matthews' marketing director, Matt Pullen argues that:
'Doing the right thing' is perceived as 'healthier', even if only indirectly, than just buying whatever is cheapest or most convenient. The widely reported debit/credit lifestyle which seeks to balance 'health' and 'indulgence' squares with this need for well-being rather than purely health: to be healthy we need to be happy, and the occasional indulgence has a role to play.

Fascinating article about a change in attitudes that is healthy in every sense.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Best New "Free-From" Foods

Here's an event to plan your vacations around. The Mintel International product tasting sessions at the annual Institute for Food Technologists (IFT) expo. Held in Chicago this year, the winners include some old favorites and some new delights.

From the press release from Mintel:

In the free-from food category the three top products were all reworks of traditional American favorites.

Taking the top spot was Breyer’s lactose-free, all natural vanilla ice cream. In second place was Great Value Peanut Free Smooth Soy Butter from Wal-Mart, which as well as being peanut free, has no trans fats and is free from cholesterol and gluten. In third place is that cannot-live-without condiment: ketchup. Soma‘s Nomato in the UK is a tomato-free ketchup made from ingredients including carrots, concentrated apple and beetroot juices.

“We are increasingly seeing everyday foods modified appropriately for a wide variety of allergy sufferers,” comments Lynn Dornblaser, Senior Consultant for Mintel Custom Solutions.

“Free-from foods are often seen as better for you and in the future these products will undoubtedly benefit from general health and wellness trends. We could even see them become part of the cultural fabric, in the same way that vegetarianism has done in Europe,” she concludes.


Yoplait Kids low-fat yogurts with Omega-3 DHA also took first place in the Brain Function category, since Omega-3 is reputed to help brain development.

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Rising Milk Prices Require More Subsidies?

What's the most powerful special interest group in America? Probably not Big Oil, or the pharmaceutical industry, or the NRA. My guess is the farm block. Government subsidies to farmers have distorted both the national and the international food markets for decades.

Rising milk prices have been a issue in the headlines all year, as I noted in Milk Prices at Record High. This is not just a U.S. problem: it's global.

An opinion piece in The Guardian by French writer Agnès Poirier notes the increase in milk consumption by the Chinese.

China alone shows a 25% year-on-year increase of its consumption of diary products. ... The Asian demand for milk has set the market alight. The problem is that the European Union is the world's biggest producer of milk, but our production has been decreasing, while the next biggest producers, Australia and New Zealand, have seen production stall because of droughts. Besides, we have no more reserves. With the introduction of quotas in 1984, reserves have shrunk from a gargantuan 1.28 million tonnes in 1986, to a laughable 16,000 tonnes this year. As a result, in the last few months the price of milk has rocketed by more than 50% on the world market (and that of butter by 40%).

...

To make matters worse, with the moves to cut subsidies to milk and butter producers over the last few years (they were removed all together last May), the number of milk producers has begun to dry up: in France they have gone from 928,000 in 1969 to 103,000 last year. The situation looks even worse in Britain, with only 13,000 milk producers today. We could of course produce more, but to do this Brussels would need to scrap milk quotas, and reintroduce subsidies to farmers which were ended in 2003.

Wait a minute? Prices are rising so you need subsidies to get farmers to produce more milk? Isn't this the exact opposite of what economic theory would suggest?

Yes it is. And fortunately a host of comments on that article make that point forcefully, along with correcting a great many other mistakes Poirier makes. She does respond with a comment that EU quotas disrupt normal supply and demand economics, which may be true but she offers no figures to back her up. And she doesn't explain at all why subsidies would be necessary if quotas were scrapped, as she suggested.

The growing demand for milk is a worldwide issue. Governments will need to cope with increased demand for exports. It's an opportunity, however, not a crisis. I wish Poirier could understand that.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Allergy-Free Cookbook


Here's another new cookbook for people facing multiple allergy problems. Allergy-Free Cooking, by Alice Sherwood, tries to eliminate gluten, eggs, dairy, and nuts from her recipes, usually more than one at a time.

Victoria McGinley writes in the San Francisco Chronicle that:

Writer Alice Sherwood experienced firsthand the frustration of deadly food allergies when her oldest son was diagnosed with severe allergies to eggs and nuts. Driven by her desire to create delicious, safe recipes for her family, and with a little help from her chemistry degree, Sherwood wrote "Allergy-free Cookbook."

...

With charts that provide good substitutes for items like eggs and baking powder, the book is useful for allergy sufferers and anyone else who needs to adapt recipes. Some substitutes, such as using soy or rice milk in place of regular milk, are obvious, but Sherwood also gives surprising and interesting suggestions, like using potato flour as a binder instead of eggs.

Some recipes, like egg-less bacon and onion quiche, rely heavily on interesting substitutes and food science-y techniques. Others, such as Leek & Butternut Squash Soup, are built around the omission of allergens, and offer inspiration to allergy-conscious or even vegan cooks.

According to the book description:
Packed with tasty and healthy family recipes that can be made without the "big four" allergens-gluten, eggs, nuts and dairy-this reassuring cookbook explains how to adapt classic recipes to avoid harmful ingredients and how to create a healthy, balanced diet for the entire family. Alice Sherwood also offers advice on party planning for those with food allergies. AUTHOR BIO: Alice Sherwood is a former-BBC producer whose husband and son have serious food allergies. Dissatisfied with the existing cookbooks for people with food allergies, she used her degree in chemistry and love of delicious and nutritions to write her own.

You can find the book on the Allergy Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk Free Bookstore.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lactose-Free Milk Powder and Butter from Valio


Valio, the big Finnish dairy company, has announced a new "Zero Lactose" line of ingredients. From the press release:

Valio, the leading Finnish dairy company, now offers lactose free ingredients for sale worldwide.

Valio's new Zero Lactose range of ingredients includes skimmed milk powder and butter, which are lactose free. Zero Lactose ingredients are ideal for the production of lactose free products by bakeries, confectionaries, dairy companies and other industries that rely on dairy products as ingredients. By using Valio Zero Lactose ingredients these companies can expand their offering and sell products that appeal to lactose intolerant customers as well.

In addition, Valio's lactose free technology is now more widely available for licensing, worldwide. Valio's lactose free technology produces a milk drink that contains less than 0.01% lactose and still tastes exactly like fresh milk. Valio's lactose free products have been hugely popular in Finland, bringing new growth to the milk market. Lactose free products using Valio's technology have also been successfully launched in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, South Korea and Belgium.

Contact person:
Valio Ltd
Terhi Sinkko
Marketing Manager
Tel. +358 10 381 2322
terhi.sinkko@valio.fi

These are the first true lactose-free milk powders and butters that I am aware of anywhere in the world. A great advance for lactose-free baking.

Now let's hope that the products soon come to the U.S. and to retail stores.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

A2 Milk Update: Warning to LI Readers

A2 milk is milk that contains more of the A2 beta casein protein. This raises the possibility that people with casein allergies to regular cow's milk might have lessened reactions. Developed in New Zealand and Australia, The original Foods Company started marketing A2 milk through Hy-Vee stores in the midwest, as I reported in A2 Milk Hits America.

Only the protein content of the milk has changed, so I was horrified to read Nebraska Farm Produces Milk For Lactose Intolerant, which Omaha ABC affiliate KETV sent out as a press release and was picked up by dozens of websites.

A Nebraska farm has made a breakthrough in providing milk for the lactose intolerant.

Studies suggest that more 30 million Americans are lactose intolerant, but some Firth dairy farmers said they have a product that many of those people will be able to digest.

It's called A-2 milk, and is made by special cows that produce a unique kind of protein. These cows are pinpointed through DNA testing. About 30 percent of the animals produce the protein exclusively.

The mistake does not appear to be a reporting error on the part of the station as I first believed. Amazingly, a spokesman for The Original Foods Company makes the lactose intolerance claim on the video news segment that first reported the piece.

I know of absolutely nothing in any of the claims or studies about A2 milk that would justify telling people with lactose intolerance that they can tolerate this milk better in any way than any other cow's milk. Its lactose content is presumably identical. I am warning people in the strongest possible terms not to believe this claim.

The home site of A2 milk, a2australia.com.au says straightforwardly:
Q. Does A2 Milk™ contain Lactose?
A. Yes, A2 Milk™ contains Lactose.


The only evidence I can find for the effect A2 milk has on lactose intolerance is anecdotal, from a question and answer forum on abc.net.au, an Australian television network that is nor affiliated with the U.S. network ABC. Dr Corrie McLachlan, chief executive of the A2 Corporation, was a panelist on a show about A2 milk, and later wrote in an online Q and A session:
Interestingly we have had in e-mails from several mothers whose children are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant. They had no such effects with A2 milk.

...

We also have evidence coming in that what is called lactose intolerance may be associated with A1 protein rather than lactose.

He provides no substance for this astonishing claim. I'm not surprised because I have never heard this claim before. It would contradict every piece of medical evidence we have about the etiology (cause) of lactose intolerance.

Despite repeating the claim several times, Dr. McLachlan's words are not even backed up by the website of A2 milk's official Australian licensee, Fairbrae Farms:
It does however appear quite likely, that many people who have previously been diagnosed as lactose intolerant may actually have been protein intolerant, in particular, to a1 beta casein.

This is certainly a possible mistake of diagnosis, as it is easy to mistake the gastrointestinal effects of a milk protein allergy for the gastrointestinal effects of lactose intolerance. I know of no study that suggests how widespread a mistaken diagnosis, or belief in the case of self-diagnosis, this might be, but it is possible. It is not, however, in any way the same claim made by Dr. McLachlan.

I must note that the online forum I referred to above took place in 2003. Since that time Dr. McLachlan has died from cancer and can no longer defend his words. However, in those four years apparently not a single other source has emerged in the medical literature that would give credence to his claim that lactose intolerance is caused by protein, or that A2 milk is well-tolerated by those with lactose intolerance.

Please approach A2 milk with the caution you would any other milk. Until and unless proven otherwise, A2 milk is a source of as much lactose as any other milk and should be treated - or avoided - accordingly.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Soy Scone Recipe

Soy Scone. Didn't he have hits with "Dance to the Music" and "Everyday People"?

Sorry. Scones are those biscuity goodies, somewhat similar to the base for a strawberry shortcake, that are one of the few Scottish contributions to our everyday diet. You can find particularly luscious-looking scones at JoyOfBaking.com, where they provide this sconish history:

There are two ways to pronounce scone; "Skon" and "Skoan". Scones are believed to have originated in Scotland and are closely related to the griddle baked flatbread, known as bannock. They were first made with oats, shaped into a large round, scored into four to six triangles, and cooked on a griddle either over an open fire or on top of the stove.

The origin of the name 'scone' is just as unclear as where it came from. Some say the name comes from where the Kings of Scotland were crowned, the Stone (Scone) of Destiny. Others believe the name is derived from the Dutch word "schoonbrot" meaning fine white bread or from the German word "sconbrot" meaning 'fine or beautiful bread'. Still others say it comes from the Gaelic 'sgonn' a shapeless mass or large mouthful.

This small cake is a quick bread, similar to an American biscuit, made of wheat flour (white or wholemeal), sugar, baking powder/baking soda, butter, milk (whole, half and half, light cream, heavy cream, buttermilk, yogurt, etc.), and sometimes eggs. This produces a soft and sticky dough that has the ratio one part liquid to three parts wheat flour. It needs to be baked in a moderate to hot oven so the dough sets quickly thereby producing a light scone with a light to golden brown floury top and bottom with white sides. The texture of the interior of the scone should be light and soft, and white in color.

Authentic scones call for cream as an ingredient. However, I found a recipe at Canada.com that uses soymilk especially to make scones available to the lactose intolerant or others avoiding dairy. I've changed the recipe to eliminate some other ingredients which the writer evidently forgot were made with milk.
LEMON-PISTACHIO SCONES

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
6 tbsps. cold unsalted dairy-free margarine
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup soy beverage
2 tsps. fresh lemon juice
2 tsps. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Favourite tomato chutney or jam

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, soy drink, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme and rosemary.

Add the soy beverage mixture to dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened. Fold in pistachios.

For small scones, drop by tablespoons full of batter onto prepared baking sheets, or use a large soup spoon or ice-cream scoop to make 12 larger scones.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Literary LI

Lactose intolerance is often used as a cheap joke in popular culture.

The Valerie Block novel, Don't Make a Scene, features a single woman whose love life is "lately a series of blind dates with bores in the grip of various obsessions -- rock climbing, lactose intolerance, the Second Amendment," according to reviewer Diane White.

Or the talent broker who is looking for true talent. “No cheese, I’m lactose intolerant,” he joked, wrote Bill Hess.

The strangest one comes from Drew Turney, reviewing the movie License to Wed.

Reverend Frank isn't the idiot you expect from such a set-up, and with his sidekick – a kid who looks like a lactose intolerant Damien Thorne, you expect their kooky program to actually be a very smart way of rooting out a problem Sadie and Ben don’t even know they have.

Madness.

So it's nice to report on someone using LI in a sensitive way.

That someone is Anne Tyler, whose 18th novel, Digging to America, has just come out in paperback.

Jamie Memon reviewed it for TheStar.com.
This book provides a fascinating, in-depth look into the world of cross-cultural adoptions, seen through the lives of two childless American couples who cross paths while awaiting the arrival of their new infant daughters from Korea.

From a chance encounter in the Baltimore airport starts a long, intense, if sometimes awkward, friendship between the quintessentially middle-class white Americans, Bitsy and Dave Donaldson, and Sami and Ziba Yazdan, a young Iranian American couple, with nothing in common except their children. ...

American mom Bitsy provides some of the novel’s golden moments, managing to compel both annoyance and empathy at the same time, despite her intensely overbearing ways and disregard for personal boundaries. ...

Chiding Ziba for her lack of cultural sensitivity, she sagely shares her remedy for lactose intolerance: “You might want to give her (Susan) soy milk. Soy is more culturally appropriate.”

Yes. Perfect.

A nice grace note from a major author.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

More Uses for Whey and Lactose May Be Coming

Whey is a cheap by-product, effectively what the cheese industry used to throw away. Naturally, food scientists saw whey as an opportunity. Sure enough, whey started to be added to a million packaged food products.

Since lactose is most easily refined from whey, whey is the source of the lactose used in food products and also in medications.

Good for the food industry, bad for us.

Now the food scientists, who can't seem to let anything alone, are interested in finding a new use for whey and lactose. Microencapsulating aerogels.

Stephen Daniells pays that into English for us at FoodNavigator.com, discussing an article, "Use of whey proteins for encapsulation and controlled delivery applications," by S. Gunasekaran, S. Koa and L. Xiao in Journal of Food Engineering (Elsevier), Volume 83, Issue 1, Pages 31-40.

Whey proteins hydrogels - 3D networks with the ability retain water in its structure when dissolved - have the potential to encapsulate sensitive ingredients, suggests a new study.

"The advantages of using whey protein-based gels as potential devices for controlled release of bioactives is that they are entirely biodegradable and there is no need for any chemical cross-linking agents in their preparation," wrote the authors.

...

They also report that the swelling and release behaviour could be easily slowed by coating the gels with alginate, a result that could lead to targeted release of bioactives at specific points in the gastrointestinal tract.

So the idea is that a drug, a vitamin, a nutrient, or whatever is needed could be encapsulated like time-release capsules, only much, much smaller, and delivered to the exact point in the intestines where it is needed. Actually, that sounds pretty good. Much better than just swallowing a pill, hoping the medication survives the acid bath of the stomach, and assuming that the right dosage will be absorbed before the whole mess is pushed out of the system.

The question for us, as yet unanswered, is whether the whey protein - or possibly lactose - would create symptoms in those who are susceptible to the proteins or milk sugar.

Too soon to tell, I suppose. As Daniells wrote:

More research is needed to further explore the potential of whey protein hydrogels, and whether other bioactives, both lipid and water soluble, could be encapsulated in this way.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kellogg/Lactaid Partner to Test for LI

Hispanics are now the largest "minority" group in the U.S. and mainstream companies have increasingly been attempting to target the Hispanic market with products and to promote Hispanic products within the more general market.

An article by Karlene Lukovitz on MediaPost's Marketing Daily website covers the subject in good detail.

A couple of bits were especially fascinating from our perspective.

Recognizing U.S. Hispanics' high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and lactose intolerance, Kellogg has created a mobile tour in partnership with Lactaid that will visit 125 locations to offer tests for such medical conditions. Bilingual nurses will administer the tests, and participants will learn about the program through a brochure that was created in Spanish, and receive a bilingual magazine offering advice on healthful eating.

In addition, the California Milk Processor Board, who are the geniuses behind the Got Milk? campaign, are marketing a spinoff of that called "Got Licuados?" Licuado just means "blended" but it's become a name for a milk and fruit combo.

Natalie Haughton of the Los Angeles Daily News wrote:
Looking for a cool, frothy, fresh fruit drink to start the day? Opt for a licuado -- a blended fruit drink that's popular and traditional in Mexico and throughout Latin American countries.

Typically made with milk, fresh or frozen fruits and granulated sugar or honey, licuados take only minutes to whir up in a blender at home...

Although licuados are most often associated with fresh fruits and milk, juice or water can be used instead of milk, if desired, says Erik Perez, director of food services for Vallarta Supermarkets, where licuado sales average 500 to 700 per week per store with strawberry or banana or a combination of the two the most popular flavors.

"Licuado means blended. It's anything people like to blend with or without milk," adds Perez, who was raised on licuados in Guatemala. He describes them as "fruit taste without taking a bite into the fruit." Although he moved to this country 20 years ago, Perez still consumes them. "It's part of my culture. A licuado can be a breakfast replacement." Or it can be consumed later in the morning or in the afternoon as a pick-me-up snack. ...

Don't confuse licuados with smoothies. "I think of licuados as healthier, lighter and thinner (in consistency) than a regular smoothie -- and they don't have as much sugar," says Molly Ireland of Topanga Canyon, spokeswoman for the Berkeley-based California Milk Processor Board. Licuados also have less ice and a frothiness not found in smoothies.

Right. The California Milk Processor Board. See how smoothly I tie this all together?

On their Got Milk website, they now have a licuados section. Here's a recipe for a licuado you can make for yourself:
Berry Me Alive Licuado (serves 2)

1 1/2 cups milk*
1 cup fresh or frozen berries, such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
1 ripe banana, sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
3 teaspoons sugar or artificial sweetener
1 cup ice

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor canister. Blend until smooth. Serve chilled. Extra portions can be refrigerated, or frozen for a fast, healthy snack.

[*Remember the advice given above. You can substitute lactose-free milk, soymilk, juice or water for the licuado base.]

And you can print out a guide to California's Best Licuados directly from a page there.

Or if you'd rather purchase a full-color printed version of the guide, send a $4.00 check (payable to "RLPR") to:

LICUADO GUIDE
c/o RLPR
1900 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 288
Century City, CA 90067

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Top Nondairy Frozen Desserts

The Tasters Choice panel in the San Francisco Chronicle put their taste buds to work on eight vanilla-flavored frozen desserts, five of them soy-based, two rice-based and even one cashew-based.

The results were the so-so "it's good for what it is" that milk alternatives seldom rise above.

Overall, though, the tasting panel didn't like these desserts much more than they did the last time around. Many were too sweet, or had odd textures or flavors. ...

The top desserts were all soy-based. The winner was Whole Soy Co. The panel commented on its "coconut" flavor, saying they liked it "but it's supposed to be vanilla."


On a scale of 100 being perfect, the panel's scores were:

Whole Soy 65
Tofutti 61
Soy Delicious 55
Fruit-Sweetened Soy Cream 51
Freezees 32
Soy Delicious Purely Decadent 31
Soy Dream 26
Organic Rice Dream 22
So Delicious 20
Good Karma Organic Rice Divine 18

Freezees is the cashew-based dessert, one that's new to me. It "came in fifth and scored poorly, but drew a lot of interest because of its distinctly nutty flavor, as if slightly salty nuts had been mixed into vanilla ice cream."

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Goat's Milk Allergy

Goat's milk contains about the same amount of lactose as does cow's milk, so it is not a good substitute for those with lactose intolerance. This remains true no matter how many times goat's milk advocates make the claim.

However, goat's milk does contain a somewhat different set of proteins than does cow's milk, so some people who can't drink cow's milk because they have allergies to casein proteins can drink goat's milk instead.

That doesn't mean that goat's milk is hypoallergenic. People can indeed be allergic to the proteins in goat's milk.

A study, Goat's milk allergy, by B. Tavares et al. (Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2007 May;35(3):113-116.) has the following abstract:

BACKGROUND: Goat's milk (GM) allergy not associated with allergy to cow's milk (CM) is a rare disorder. Caseins have been implicated as the major allergens eliciting symptoms.

METHODS: We report the case of a 27 years-old female patient that experienced two episodes of urticaria [hives] related to ingestion of goat's cheese (GC). She tolerated CM, dairy products and sheep cheese. Skin prick tests were performed with GM, CM, bovine casein and alpha-lactalbumin and fresh milk and GC. Serum specific IgE to GM, CM and its fractions, and GM and CM immunobloting assays with inhibition were also evaluated. RESULTS: Skin tests were positive to GM and GC and negative to CM. GM immunoblot showed an IgE-binding 14 kDa band that was totally inhibited after serum pre-incubation with GM.

CONCLUSIONS: Allergens other than casein can be involved in allergy to GM. Even small quantities of protein can elicit symptoms.

Rare, but possible. Goat's milk allergy is not a serious problem, but as the popularity of goat's milk grows in the U.S. it seems likely that the incidence of people finding themselves allergic to it will also grow.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Food Allergies for Dummies

When you search Amazon for books on multiple allergies, the newest one that comes up is Food Allergies For Dummies, by Robert A. Wood and Joe Kraynak.



The reviews for it are all five-star. And the contents look to be just what people need.

Book Description

Are you constantly worrying about what you or your loved ones eat? Is every dining experience an episode of anxiety for you? Being allergic to different types of food not only ruins the experience of eating, it can lead to dangerous, sometimes lethal, consequences.

With Food Allergies for Dummies, you can feel safer about what you eat. This concise guide shows you how to identify and avoid food that triggers reactions. This guide covers how to care for a child with food allergies, such as getting involved with his/her school’s allergy policies, packing safe lunches, and empowering him/her to take responsibility for his allergy. You will also discover:

▪ The signs and symptoms of food allergies
▪ How to determine the severity of your allergy
▪ Ways to eat out and travel with allergies
▪ How to create your own avoidance diet
▪ Ways to enjoy your meal without allergic symptoms
▪ How to prevent food allergies from affecting your child
▪ The latest research being done to treat food allergies




And Joe Kraynak wrote on his Amazon blog:
In the article we wrote for Kids With Food Allergies called "Debunking Alternative Tests and Therapies," we reveal the truth behind the claims that practitioners of these tests and treatments often make, and we warn you to be careful of what you read on the Internet. Some sites offer excellent information, while others can lead you down a very frustrating, expensive, and even dangerous path.

In Food Allergies For Dummies, we devote an entire chapter to this important topic.

Debunking nonsense alternative therapies. That's what I like to hear.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Drink & Shrink Lactose-Free Diet Shakes

I saw this press release today:

With more than half the women in the US defined as overweight and one-third characterized as clinically obese, Scientific Response is introducing Drink & Shrink, the first hoodia-enhanced dietary shake, nationally.

Available in 2 flavors, Deep Dark Dutch Chocolate and Creamy Chocolate Almond, the shakes will be available nationally in GNC stores and in Duane Reade stores in the New York area. "We expect excellent reception in the marketplace for retail chains that are looking to upgrade their product lines and expect it will soon be available in many more major chains from coast to coast," says Arthur Low, Vice President, Marketing Communications, Scientific Response.

The shakes contain pure Hoodia Gordonii, the cactus from the Kalahari Desert South Africa, and reported to contain a molecule that suppresses appetite. With 80 calories, the shake contains no added sugar, trans fat or lactose.

Alarm bells started ringing. Normally I wouldn't pass on a product like this, but I did a bit more research and a second press release, this one from the Cornell University New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY.

That's different. The Ag Station, as it's known locally, is one of the country's most prestigious centers for new crop development. And:
In developing the processing for the diet drink, [Boo] Grace received assistance from Cornell University food scientists Andy Rao, Herb Cooley, and Olga Padilla-Zakour at the Experiment Station. Grace has offered to donate five percent of the royalties her group receives to the Experiment Station, in appreciation for the work done on her behalf.
...

"On TV we will introduce the powdered mix in 15 oz. cans, individual serving packets and snack/meal bars," said Pearl. "Premixed cans will be added to the line when retail distribution begins. Plans are for four flavors to start and then four additional flavors will be added later."

The four introductory flavors are vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and berry. The drink, whose formula has received a U.S. patent, contains important vitamins and minerals as well as protein and fiber. [The Tobo Marketing Group] expects to go head to head with the current market leader in diet drinks. "Drink & Shrink" has half the calories of the leading brand.

You mix the powder with water, juice or other liquid.

It might be a while before you see the mix in many stores, but you might find an infomercial for it on late-night television.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Answers to Questions from Readers, part 9

Q. Do you think taking lactase artificially in tablet form would induce the body's natural mechanism to decrease its natural production. In other words do I become dependent on this tablet forever?

There is no evidence that using (or not using) lactase tablets has any effect whatsoever on the body's natural supply of lactase. For most people, the lactase-making ability declines with age. Nothing is known that will slow it down; nothing (other than actual damage to the intestines) is known that will speed it up.

You may need to use lactase tablets forever, but that is only because your natural amount of lactase will be forever insufficient.



Q. What mutations if any cause lactose intolerance and what chromosome are they on?

Sorry, you have it the wrong way around. No mutations cause LI. LI is the normal state of humanity. It is the ability to continue to produce the enzyme lactase all one's life that is the mutation. The gene is on chromosome 2.



Q. I may need to soon begin taking a medicine that contains lactose. Would this be a problem for my son since it is dairy? Or maybe not because breast milk already has lactose?

If your son can tolerate your breast milk, he should be able to tolerate anything you eat containing lactose. Lactose does not travel to breast milk in any case; it's only the milk proteins (which are not found in pills) that you have to worry about.

And the amount of lactose in any given pill is so small that only a tiny few exceptionally sensitive people ever react. However, a lactase tablet will help even those.



Q. Does being allergic to mother's milk necessarily mean being allergic to cow milk? What's the best way to tell if a 5 month old is allergic?

As far as I know, no infants are ever allergic to mother's milk itself. The allergy is to something in the milk. It is possible, if the mother is drinking cow's milk, for some of the proteins to filter through into the milk. The cow's milk itself is the true culprit. Of course, some other contaminant may be to blame, anything from corn to onions or about a zillion others.

The way to tell if an infant is allergic depends very much on the specifics of the allergy. However, in many cases an allergic infant will react with a rash or welt if you simply put a few drops of milk on an arm. In other cases, you will have to notice a pattern of reactions to drinking the milk itself. If you're really concerned, a formal allergy test can be done.




Q. Do lactose intolerant people get their reactions with an hour of eating the food that they are intolerant to or are the cramping and diarrhea a much longer-delayed reaction?

I wish I could give you a better answer, but I'm stuck with "it depends." Some people seem to feel the effects right away. At other times, and in other people, it can be delayed several hours.

However, if you regularly have cramping and diarrhea an hour after every meal with lactose and not after meals that have none, then I'd have to say lactose intolerance is a good bet. In any case, I'm glad you're seeing your doctor. There is a very accurate test for lactose intolerance that your doctor can arrange. Of course, most doctors will try to rule out the more serious diseases with similar symptoms first, so don't be surprised if you're asked to take other tests in the beginning.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Whose Responsibility Is It When You Bite Into Cheese?

According to a $10 million lawsuit filed against McDonald's on July 17, a man named Jeromy Jackson walked into a West Virginia McDonald's and ordered two Quarter Pounders without cheese. He claims that he asked employees several times to ensure that no cheese would be put on the burgers. His attorney says he "took at least five independent steps to make sure that thing had no cheese on it."

Of course, the Quarter Pounders had cheese on them.

Jackson did not discover this until he was in a darkened room watching a movie, at which point he bit into the sandwich.

Jackson is allergic to cheese. He had a reaction and needed to go to a hospital.

According to a West Virginia newspaper, this lawsuit is fueling a debate on responsibility across the internet.

They quote some random responses:

* Conservative radio host Sean Hannity discussed the case on his show, and his Web site, citing the suit as a reason the country needs tort reform. A person commenting on the thread said, "I won't go so far as to say that the lawsuit itself is wrong. The McDonald's [sic] did screw up his order in a way that they were made aware could pose a health risk. But this negligence is mitigated by the contributory negligence of the customer when he didn't even bother to check the burger himself."

* Bob Parks, senior editor of the New Media Journal, said this on his blog, Black and Right, "Let's be real. There are a lot of good people working at fast food joints, but they are also not highly paid and some really don't give a damn. If I was awarded $10 million for every time I got a tomato on my Whopper or fried egg on a Sausage McMuffin after asking for them not to be included, I'd own a few franchises and I'd always get it my way."

* Jonathan David Morris, of Renew America, had this to say, "I am not lactose intolerant, but I sympathize with Jackson. Moreover, I have no sympathy whatsoever for McDonald's here. True, had he lifted his bun and checked before biting, Jackson could have saved himself from harm. But at what point do we say enough is enough already? McDonald's 'mistake' was no honest error. These fast food chains have been pushing cheese on us for years."

* One moderator on the blog iraqnow.blogspot.com said, "It's hard for me to imagine why it should be more important for McDonald's workers to ensure he got a no-cheese burger than it would be for him. If he can't be bothered to take some responsibility and look for himself, then why should anyone else be expected to do so?"

Who's right? Well, first, we need to get past the ignorance factor. Take Morris' comment. Lactose intolerance is not dairy allergy. Nobody is anaphylactic to lactose. But allergy sufferers can literally die from a reaction. That's also why Parks' comments are irrelevant. Something that can kill you is not equivalent to an extra slice of tomato.

Ironically, another lawsuit against McDonald's was also recently filed in West Virginia. The same newspaper reports that:
Arden Carte, and his wife, Donna Carte, filed a suit Aug. 2 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the fast-food chain after he bit into his biscuit and found a bandage. ...

He discovered it was a bandage that "had been negligently inserted" into his biscuit. Carte claims he suffered a severe allergic reaction due to the latex in the bandage and went into anaphylactic shock.

What's the response to this? Is a bandage in food inartistically more disgusting? Is there a line that people can draw to say that anaphylactic shock from a bandage is more of an issue than anaphylactic shock from unwanted food because no one could expect the bandage?

I know that I spent many years doublechecking all food products for lactose when I first learned I was lactose intolerant. In those days there were no such things as lactose pills, no ingredient lists that gave specific warnings about milk, no handy lists of lactose percentages to guide me in what I could eat. I approached lactose as a computer would, as a simple yes/no variable. Very few people had ever even heard of lactose intolerance in those days. Getting restaurant employees to find out what ingredients were in food was a continuing battle. There were times when I ate food that contained lactose, but in forms not as easily noticeable as a melted cheese slice.

So who is to blame? Must all the responsibility be placed on the person with the ailment to check and doublecheck and never take any food for granted? When should the restaurant take responsibility for its mistakes after having been warned? Where's the line?

A poll on that newspaper site asked readers who held the responsibility. They voted about 8 to 1 for the man with the dairy allergy. I bet that a poll taken on an allergy site would show very different results.

I don't think this is an easy question, with a clear answer, in this case or for such cases in general. Nor do I think this is a frivolous lawsuit. When lines are fuzzy, the courts are often asked to step in and make a determination.

My sympathies are certainly for Jackson. Why should people have to put up with incompetence that could kill them? It does not take much training to deliver an order of "without cheese" nor much experience to leave the cheese off an order.

At the same time, I've always advised people never to assume. That people should always read ingredients lists on foods and medicines, carefully read descriptions on menus, ask whenever there is some doubt.

Perhaps the current recalls of Chinese toys and other products will make the situation clearer for those who don't have allergies of their own. Why should you have to doublecheck your toys to be sure they are free of lead paint, or your toothpaste to be free of toxins? Shouldn't you be able to take that for granted?

Where do you draw the line?

It's not an easy question. I hope some of you will decide to debate it.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ignorance Kills. Soy Milk Not Replacement for Soy Formula

Way back in the 90s, when I wrote Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance, I included this warning.

Soy milk is NOT the nutritional equivalent of the specially fortified soy-based infant formulas. Prolonged exclusive use of soy milk by very young infants will lead to malnutrition and even death.

I wrote that because there had been a number of infant deaths from the use of soy milk, either because of ignorance or because soy formula was so much more expensive. In 1990, the FDA started a warning campaign against the practice, and ran a series of articles in its magazine, the FDA Consumer. That magazine is still around, BTW, and is usually a source of solid information about food.

I thought ever responsible vegan organization taught this information routinely. I've certainly seen numerous sites, articles, and books saying this.

However, this Associated Press article appeared on a number of sites recently, and I just ran across it.
A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.

...

Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.

Since the child weighed only 3 1/2 pounds when he died, the notion that the parents couldn't realize he was seriously malnourished is ludicrous. Other articles say that the couple did not take the baby to a doctor. A newsgroup message claimed that the couple relied on the FAQ from a raw foods website. I cannot confirm the last two claims.

I rail against ignorance on a regular basis in this blog. Ignorance kills. Sometimes people get lucky and are spared, but as a general principle ignorance kills.

There are numerous responsible vegan websites, organizations, and books. It is possible for an adult, with proper supplements, to live on a raw food vegan diet. It is not the lifestyle I am attacking in any way.

It is the notion that what's suitable for adults is also suitable for infants. It is the notion that random websites have good enough information to guide your infant's diet. It is the notion that the medical profession is to be so feared and shunned that you give birth a child at home and then refuse to take him to any medical facility when it is clear he is ill. It is the notion that beliefs based on ignorance are a basis for action.

Ignorance kills. These parents were irresponsible. If they indeed were told by a website that soy milk and juice are an adequate substitute for baby formula, then that website is irresponsible.

Good nutritional advice is widely available. I have a page in my Milk Free Bookstore titled Parenting, Kids and Special Diets. The books listed there include such titles as Raising Vegetarian Children: A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony, by Joanne Stepaniak and Vesanto Melina; The Vegetarian Child: A Complete Guide for Parents, by Lucy Moll; Vegetarian Children: A Supportive Guide for Parents, by Sharon Yntema; and even Vegetarian Pregnancy: The Definitive Nutritional Guide to Having a Healthy Baby, by Sharon Yntema.

Proper information could have saved that baby's life. Ignorance kills.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Milk Allergy Advice from the Mayo Clinic

A few months ago, I posted information about Preventing food allergy in children from an article on the Mayo Clinic website.

Today's article is just as useful. It's called simply Milk allergy.

Here's just a very brief excerpt:

Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of milk allergy differ from person to person and occur within a few minutes to a few hours after ingesting milk. In some cases, reactions to a milk allergy develop after exposure to milk for an extended period of time. Rarely, infants have an allergic reaction to small amounts of cow's milk protein passed through their mother's breast milk.

Signs of a milk allergy that may occur immediately after consuming milk include:

Wheezing
Vomiting
Hives
Signs and symptoms that may take more time to develop include:

Loose stools (which may contain blood or mucus)
Diarrhea
Abdominal cramps
Coughing or wheezing
Runny nose
Skin rash

Milk allergy or milk intolerance?
It's important to differentiate a true milk allergy from milk protein intolerance or lactose intolerance. Unlike a milk allergy, intolerance doesn't involve the immune system. Milk intolerance causes different symptoms and requires different treatment than does a true milk allergy. Common signs and symptoms of milk protein or lactose intolerance include digestive problems, such as bloating, gas or diarrhea, after consuming milk.

There are many pages more information, including more anaphylaxis Signs and Symptoms, and:

▪ Causes
▪ Risk factors
▪ When to seek medical advice
▪ Screening and diagnosis
▪ Complications
▪ Treatment
▪ Prevention

By all means, check this out.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Nutritionists Blast Nonsense

Sometimes people are so stupid they make my teeth ache.

Nancy Coale Zippe's "What's Cooking" column from August 8 on DelawareOnline.com had the promising title of "Omitting wheat and dairy products improved health." Little did I know the depths the column would sink to.

Apparently, Zippe had been a long-time sufferer of adult-onset asthma. She wanted to get off the regimen of shots and medications because "I should not have to infuse my body with chemicals to breathe. That should be a natural birthright." This should be a clue to anyone with a lick of sense that nonsense is on its way. Unfortunately, the word "natural" is now used by people to mean anti-science, as I showed recently in my post on Mike Adams, It's No Secret. You're A Moron.

You body can go wrong completely "naturally" in any of a thousand different ways. "Chemicals" have nothing to do with it. All food is made of chemicals.

Primed and ready for nonsense to cloud her already murky thoughts, the stars misaligned in a cosmic coincidence of catastrophe. Zippe was assigned to a lecture by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, author of Eat Right 4 Your Type. Your blood type, that is.

This hilarious bit of quackery began in Japan in 1979 with the publication of what became in English, You Are Your Blood Type, by Toshitaka Nomi and Alexander Besher. Adamo, who is a naturopathic physician, not an M.D., appears to be one of Nomi's major disciples. Needless to say, no reputable mainstream physician gives a corpuscle's amount of credence to this notion.

His beliefs, well, I should let Zippe fill you in:

Anyone with kitchen experience knows that combining flour with liquid makes paste. That happens in your digestive tract as well, "gunking up" the walls of your intestines, and prohibiting much of the good nutrition from being assimilated into the body. That's why we need fiber to scrape off the mess, or we'd become totally blocked.

Dairy products tend to act as glue and do their own clogging, affecting breathing and blood flow. Our choir director always warned against any dairy items before singing. And I can't help but wonder if my dear uncle's congestive heart failure was attributed to the fact that he owned a cheese shop and ate huge quantities of cheese.

Yes, that's exactly what fiber does. Swallowing paint scrapers is probably even better for you, given this view of our intestines.

Fortunately, I don't need to rail at this nonsense all by myself. The letters to the editor page on August 11 contained a pair of outraged missives from outraged nutritionists.

[P]lease be aware that you do your readers a disservice by printing information derived from nonprofessional individuals who purport to know effective treatments for complex diseases.

Nutrition is biochemistry, and so is medicine. Recommending a diet not proven to be effective is a form of malpractice, and there are laws regarding who can and cannot practice as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist in Delaware.

Dr. Adamo's Blood Type Diet is about as far from what we call "evidence-based" medicine as it gets -- a form of dietary snake oil. -- Rick Weissinger, MS, RD.



[T]here is absolutely no evidence that the "Eat Right 4 Your Type Diet," a weight-loss program developed over a decade ago, benefits allergy and asthma sufferers.

The author's premise that blood-type populations have specific problematic foods in common has no scientific basis or associated research.

Zippe's statement that dairy products cause mucous, "clog" our systems, and affect breathing and blood flow is erroneous.

Before making drastic dietary changes, readers are encouraged to seek the advice of state-certified nutritionists or registered dietitians. -- Marianne Carter, MS, RD, Delaware Dietetic Association

Thank you both.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mustard Allergy?

I've never heard of mustard allergy. I bet you never have either. Neither had Carol Evans.

Carol Evans knew her daughter had a peanut allergy. When Emily was 10 months old, she developed hives after touching peanut butter. What the mother of three never expected was that her youngest was also deathly allergic to mustard. Like many Americans, Evans never heard of a mustard allergy. That was until Emily almost died.

The story at the Boston Globe site by John Guilfoil gives some background information.
"Mustard allergy is just as dangerous as any food allergy," said Dr. Michael Young, assistant professor at Harvard Medical school who specializes in food allergy. "Mustard, peanut, egg -- these are all allergies that have to be carefully managed."

...


Mustard allergy is a growing concern in Europe. A 2003 article in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology claimed mustard was the fourth most prevalent food allergen in children, behind eggs, peanuts, and milk. Exposure can lead to anaphylaxis; the best "treatment" is to avoid mustard altogether.

Since 2005, European countries have required manufacturers to clearly label foods that contain mustard, according to the British Food Standards Agency website. No such requirement exists in the United States.

"The FDA makes the [labeling] decision, and they've chosen to label the eight most common food allergies: milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish," Young said. "I think it's a shame... but they feel they have to draw the line somewhere."

The only way the FDA will change the labeling is if enough people make it known to them that the lack of information is a problem. You can also contact your representatives in Congress - by mail is best - to alert them to issues.

You can find out the current state of the laws and issues concerning allergens and foods at the FDA's Information about Food Allergens page.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rising Milk Prices May Mean Less Lactose

Milk prices are rising globally, reported Emma Vandore of the Associated Press.

In China and elsewhere in Asia, chains such as McDonald's and Starbucks are introducing unfamiliar taste buds to cheeseburgers and lattes, increasing the region's demand for dairy.

Rising costs of animal feed, shrinking European production and long-standing drought in Australia and New Zealand, the world's largest milk-exporting region, are also pushing up the price.

Paying more for milk is causing an uproar in Germany, where families consider providing children with an affordable glass of milk a fundamental right.

While farmers see this as a boon after years of low prices, manufacturers have to cope with the costs. They have the traditional alternatives: raise prices or cut product. And that can have a fortuitous effect for those of us who are lactose intolerant.
Hershey's chief executive officer, Richard Lenny, said America's largest candy maker may adjust its formula to use less lactose because of rising milk costs.

Dark chocolate bars are already usually lactose-free. I don't really recommend having milk chocolate candy bars or other milk chocolate candies, but I know that some of us do. If milk chocolate bars have to adjust their recipes so that less lactose is used, so much the better.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Soy Nondairy Alternatives

The Soyfoods Association of North America has a nifty page on Soy Non-Dairy Alternatives. The page features basic information, kitchen tips, and nutrition facts.

From there you can visit their Soy Retailers List that gives product lists, contact information, and links to websites of makers of Soymilks, Soy Cheeses, Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts, Soy Yogurts and other direct nondairy alternatives.

The site has numbers of other useful pages as well. Worth searching all the way through.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's No Secret. You're A Moron.

Now that The Secret has been Oprahcized, millions of people around the world are using the power of nonsense to cure them of their ills until the next quack bestseller comes along.

Nonsense? Quack? How dare he?

Heck, I don't have to say anything. I can let the believers damn themselves with their own words.

Case in point, Mike Adams, who has a line of books of his own that he's trying to push. (Most of them have the word "natural" in the title, always a red warning flag to those who believe in, you know, science and medicine.)

You can find the line of hooey he spouts on NewsTarget.com, a site in which Adams spouts so much quackery that feathers come out of the screen. This one is particularly despicable:

The bottom line is that conventional cancer treatments are a sham and they do nothing to help the patient overcome the causes of cancer.

He suggests cleansing your liver with Amazon Herbs, which he also recommends that you become a pusher of yourself, in what he admits is a "network marketing model" or in more common terms, the dread multi-level marketing (MLM) scam.

So what does Mike Adams have to say about the secret behind The Secret? Let's select his comment on dairy, since that's our subject.
Vegetarian foods: Avoiding the consumption of meat and dairy products is also an important way to keep your system clear and lend power to your intention. Meat and dairy products stagnate the flow of energy throughout your mind and body, blocking the intention. To get the best results, go completely dairy free (except for raw, unprocessed milk, which qualifies as a raw food) and meat free.

Standard-class hooey, nothing new or different, except for the now faddish insistence that raw milk somehow behaves differently in the body than does pasteurized milk. (Well, yes, it does: it doesn't give you essential vitamin D, which is added to all processed milks. But I don't think that's what Adams means.)

My intention is pretty obvious. I intend to stand up for science and medicine whenever possible (and chastise them for any lapses of integrity or clarity) while simultaneously blasting those whose notions of "natural" include magic and nonsense.

I do that pretty well for someone who eats cooked meat. And has the occasional dairy product. And never, ever, ever buys any of the products recommended by the like of the Mike Adamses of the world. I intend to keep doing so for a long, long time.

And that's no secret.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tempation Vegan Ice Cream


I know vegan ice cream is an oxymoron. Sounds better than "vegan nondairy alternative ice cream substitute," though, doesn't it?

Putting vegan ice cream into Google and clicking on "I'm Feeling Lucky" brings up Temptation Vegan Ice Cream.

They say:

From popular vote Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to calming Fair Trade Green Tea to our newest Peach Cobbler (with chunks of spiced cobbler dough!), we think we make some pretty fun flavors of non-dairy ice cream. We know you'll have fun trying them all, and we hope you have trouble picking your favorite.

Of course, we're the only one that's made in a dedicated VEGAN FACILITY! (All others are made at dairies... and that's just brutal.)

Hopefully, our products are in a store near you. [Store Lister]

All products are made on dedicated dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free equipment in a cRc certified kosher facility.


They also have a special note for those who are looking for gluten-free foods.
We use GLUTEN in two of our products (CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH and PEACH COBBLER), but they are not made on the same production equipment. Celiacs and gluten-intolerants can eat the remainder of our products without worry.

GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS

French Vanilla
Fair Trade Chocolate (with fair trade organic cocoa)
Mint Chocolate chip
Strawberry
Fair Trade Coffee (with fair trade organic coffee)
Green Tea

PLEASE NOTE: (some of our containers say "contains soy and wheat" for the allergen declaration on these flavors. This is a misprint. They should ONLY say "contains soy". We are really sorry about that, but you can trust that they're actually wheat-free!


Other contact info:

We Love Soy, Inc.
P.O. Box 666
Glen Ellyn, IL 60138-0666

630.629.9667

www.welovesoy.com
info@welovesoy.com
MySpace.com/ChicagoSoydairy

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Answers to Questions from Readers, part 8

Q.a. Some years ago a doctor told me citrus fruits contain milk sugar, which experience tells me is the case. Is this information well known? I have never seen any reference to it in the literature.

Q.b. A girlfriend who is LI claims that chicken contains lactose and causes the exact same symptoms for her as a nice big glass of milk. I think she's whacked. Is she?

a. This information is missing from the literature because there is no foundation to it. Milk sugar is found in milk and nowhere else in nature. The sugar in citrus fruits is fructose.

b. You bet she is. Lactose comes from milk. Period. But people with LI often have problems with other foods and confuse the symptoms.



Q. If I take lactose pills or lactose-reduced milk, is this depriving the baby of any needed nutrients during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Absolutely not. All that happens is that the lactose, the sugar in milk, is broken down to its parts. This is exactly what occurs in digestion. Your body gets exactly the other nutrients it would otherwise get.

If lactase pills work for you, then take them as often as needed. If you are still bothered by symptoms, then you may want to try less milk and either increase your consumption of other foods high in calcium or take calcium supplements. But LI will be the least of your concerns.



Q. Other than cost, is there a problem with using lactase tablets at every meal (or every lunch)? Is there a limit on how many one should take?

No problems and no limits, although after the first few you're probably not going to get much additional help by taking more.

For more information on everything lactase, see the Lactase page in the LI Basics section of my web site.



Q. Is burping a symptom of LI?

Not normally. The gas almost always comes out the other end. You should have your doctor look at stomach-related problems rather than intestine-related problems like LI.



Q. I'm at the end of my first week of eating no dairy products to see if I am LI. Can I simplify this work a bit and assume that if the nutrition breakdown shows 0% calcium, that there is no lactose in the product?

Nope, sorry. Lactose is milk sugar. It has absolutely nothing to do with calcium.

The only way to tell whether a product is lactose free is to study the ingredients list and make sure that there are no milk products on it. If you aren't sure what all the names for milk products are (and many people don't know that whey is mostly lactose) you should check the Dairy Facts section of my web site and take a look at the various pages there.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

MimicCreme: Nondairy Substitute for Heavy Cream

Many nondairy products don't work well with heat.

"A creamy soy milk will tend to curdle," said David Sudarsky, president of The Vegetarian Site, an online site for vegans that includes health and cooking tips.

Finding a heavy cream substitute that works equally well when heated and when frozen to make an ice cream substitute has always been a real challenge.

MimicCreme may be the answer.

An article by Eric Anderson at the TimesUnion.com site, talks about Rose Anne Jarrett's hunt for good milk substitutes when her husbands illness prevented him from having dairy. The results were good enough that she's going into business.

Last month:

MimicCreme won the "Best of the Best" award for consumables at the annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference in Boston.


MimicCreme fills a real need in the culinary products industry:
Susan Hatalsky, an associate professor in the hotel and culinary department at Schenectady County Community College, said she wasn't familiar with any heavy cream substitutes on the market.

"Certainly, it could fill a gap if someone has a lactose issue," she said.


MimicCreme is nut (almond and walnut) based and both soy- and dairy-free. It comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties and it's both vegan and kosher.

There are two problems. One is that it doesn't whip, although Jarrett is working on that. The other is that it's not yet available in stores, only from their website www.mimiccreme.com.

You can also contact them the old-fashioned way:

MimicCreme
1177 New Scotland Road
Albany, New York 12208

Live assistance:
518.391.2824
1.866.486.5495 (toll free US only)

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lactase Can Help. Tell Your Doctor

It never ceases to amaze me how much misinformation doctors still have about lactose intolerance.

You say you want an example? Here's one.

A reader wrote this letter to the Dr. Peter H. Gott medical advice column. Except this time, the reader is the one giving the advice.

After increasingly painful bouts of intestinal cramps and diarrhea, I realized the common denominator was milk.

I discussed the issue with my general practitioner, who confirmed the diagnosis of lactose intolerance. She advised me to read labels.

When I asked what she thought of lactase enzyme tablets, she said her patients hadn't had any luck with them. She dismissed the idea, so I asked whether they were dangerous, and she said no. I told her I was going to try them. It's been more than a month since I started them, and I haven't had a single incident.

I have been reading labels and am shocked at how many products contain milk, including vitamins and antibiotics that I couldn't tolerate previously.

My doctor didn't consider the possibility of lactose intolerance as the source of my antibiotic problems, so she just kept switching medications. I found out about the presence of lactose in my medications with one phone call to my pharmacist.

Pardon me while I boggle. Lactase tablets not helping patients? Lactase might be the single most helpful aid ever put forth as a solution to the symptoms of any problem. Out of the hundreds of people who have written me over the years about lactase, not more than a handful have ever complained that it did not help. And most of them just needed to change the brand they were taking.

I hesitate to call lactase a wonder drug, because technically it is not a drug or medication at all. It merely supplies the enzyme that those of us with lactose intolerance are missing. But since I had years of being lactose intolerant before lactase pills came on the market, I can safely say that lactase is the closest equivalent to a wonder drug ever marketed. It helps the highest percentage of people to the highest percentage of symptom relief.

Doctor, heal thyself.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Fewer Mothers Breastfeed for Six Months

The weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report put out by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not make for light reading.

The topics covered are still of crucial interest to those that they concern, and the current week has one that has widespread interest indeed, Breastfeeding Trends and Updated National Health Objectives for Exclusive Breastfeeding --- United States, Birth Years 2000--2004.

Fortunately, I can let the Associated Press summarize it for us.

Nearly three-quarters of new U.S. mothers are breastfeeding their babies, but they are quitting too soon and resorting to infant formula too often, federal health officials said Thursday.

A government survey found that only about 30 percent of new mothers were feeding their babies breast milk alone three months after birth. At six months, only 11 percent were breastfeeding exclusively.

Formula is not as good at protecting babies against diseases, eczema and childhood obesity. Ideally, nearly all mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months or more, said David Paige, a Johns Hopkins University reproductive health expert.

...

The CDC study found that rates of exclusive breastfeeding were lowest among black women and among those who were unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and had a high school education or less. Those findings are consistent with earlier studies.

This year the government announced goals for 2010: getting 60 percent of women to breastfeed exclusively for the first three months and 25 percent through six months.

Breastfeeding is generally acknowledged to be particularly helpful in immunizing infants against dairy allergies. Mothers who do breastfeed the full six months recommended find that they children suffer less from dairy allergy symptoms.

Which is also a call for people to drop their opposition to breastfeeding in public. You can actually find those whose justify their opposition by saying that while breastfeeding may be natural, so is pissing and shitting, and nobody wants to see you do that in public.

The equation of a beautiful and life-giving bounty with the elimination of waste says much more about the psyches of the opponents that anything about breastfeeding. It must be terribly dark and disturbed inside their brains, frighteningly so.

Please support breastfeeding. Make it easier for women to do so. Allow them the space and freedom to do it at work. Stop embarrassing them by harassing them in public. End the sometimes all too literal old wives' tales about the havoc breastfeeding supposedly wreaks on breasts. Breastfeeding will create healthier babies and that's good for them and for everyone else in the long run.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Answers to Questions from Readers, part 7

Q. Is vomiting sometimes a symptom of lactose intolerance?

Normally, no. Vomiting is only associated with LI in extremely young children. Unfortunately, it's impossible to say anything about a single instance of vomiting. It could be caused by almost anything.



Q. Am I wrong but isn't lactose not listed as an ingredient on food packages? Do soft drinks such as Coke, Pepsi etc contain lactose?

Fortunately, you are wrong. If lactose is an ingredient it must be listed. "Sugar" as an ingredient means sucrose and sucrose only. Every other sugar must be listed by name. So Coke and Pepsi do not contain any lactose.



Q. How does Imodium A-D work inside your body?

According to the Physician's Desk Reference, Imodium (whose active ingredient is loperamide hydrochloride) acts by slowing intestinal motility and by affecting water and electrolyte movement through the bowel. It inhibits peristaltic activity by a direct effect on the circular and longitudinal muscles in the intestinal wall, prolonging the transit time of the intestinal contents. It reduces the daily fecal content, increases the viscosity and bulk density, and diminishes the loss of fluid and electrolytes.

Translated, Imodium calms the muscles so that they stop spasming. So instead of your feeling a slurry of water and fecal material straining to get out, your insides have a chance to do their jobs properly. The result is that the material has time to bulk up into a single proper bowel movement instead of lots of little watery ones.



Q. Is lactose intolerance caused by a gene or chromosome? If so, which one? Is lactose intolerance dominant or recessive? Can this be diagnosed through genetic screening or other mechanism?

Production of Lactase (the enzyme that digests lactose) appears to be controlled by a single gene on chromosome 2. It either stops lactase production with aging or it doesn't, depending upon which version of the gene a person has. The gene that allows a person to continue producing lactase forever is dominant. I would assume that genetic screening could test which version of the gene a person has; I don't know if anyone has ever done so.



Q. Are bananas considered dairy? I have some of the same symptoms as with milk with them.

No, nothing that doesn't come from a cow should be considered dairy. But you can have a reaction to almost anything; being LI doesn't make you immune from any of that.

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