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, December 19, 2008

Divvies Holiday Allergy-Free Tips

Divvies is a dedicated nut- and dairy-free gourmet bakery. Owners Lori and Mark Sandler are masters of promotion and publicity as well, putting out press releases with amazing frequency. Fortunately, their releases have more meat to them than most. Like this long list of " simple ideas to help make the Holiday's [sic] more palatable for children with food allergies."

1. R.S.V.P. as soon as your family receives an invitation. You want to make sure you give your hosts (and yourself!) plenty of time to comfortably work out allergy-free solutions. This gives them the opportunity to purchase "safe" foods (like those offered by Divvies.com) or prepare foods using allergen-free ingredients.

2. Bring an allergy-safe and delicious dessert that everyone will enjoy. Make sure the dessert you bring not only tastes great but looks intriguing and festive. And that means serving platter included. Don’t bring over something the hostess has to scrounge around for a platter to put it on. She’s busy, don’t add to her work.

3. When home baked foods show up at your home as gifts and you are not sure of the ingredients, have alternative "safe" foods available for your child, so she doesn't feel left out of the celebration. These should be special treats, not the usual fare.

4. Ingredients in packaged goods sometimes change due to the season or recipe changes by the manufacturer. Always check ingredient lists and manufacturing practices on packaging to make sure that foods are still safe.

5. If you are the host for a large gathering where there are a lot of children and close supervision of what is being eaten might be difficult, steer clear of offering any items known to be highly allergic (e.g. peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, etc.). Make the whole table largely allergy-safe so everyone can relax and enjoy.

6. If you are a host for a smaller gathering where close supervision is less of an issue, serve a variety of food, but make sure the items, that are free of common allergens, are well-marked.

7. When hosting parties, know your guests and don’t be afraid to ask if anyone planning to attend your party has any allergies. Find out ahead of time and avoid making guests feel self-conscious about their allergies during the party.

8. Say, "Thank you!". After the party make sure to express your appreciation for all that your host did to make the event a safe, fun and inclusive occasion.

My tip: hire PR firms that are literate or at least can hire someone to proofread their releases.

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