The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at 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 or or 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.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lactose-Free Girl Scout Cookies

I try to avoid all human contact, emerging only into the light of the phosphors as I type, but by the jokes on the Internet it must be Girl Scout Cookie selling time again.

So which cookies are safe for those who are trying to avoid dairy?

The very prepared Girl Scouts have a nutritional information page that gives all the details about ingredients and allergens.

Four cookies are dairy-free:

Thanks-a-Lot - A shortbread cookie with a layer of fudge on the bottom and the words "Thank You" in English, French, Chinese, Swahili or Spanish embossed on the top. Thanks-A-Lots™ have been made by ABC Bakers since 2006 and were preceded by a similar cookie called the Animal Treasure.

Reduced Fat Daisy-Go-Rounds - Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds™ make it easy to snack by doing the calorie counting for you! Each carton contains five ready-to-grab-and-go snack packs full of crispy cinnamon flowers blooming with flavor in every bite. They are made by ABC Bakers.

Lemonades - Introduced in 2006, these shortbread cookies are stamped in the shape of a sliced lemon with a tangy lemon icing. They are made by ABC Bakers and come in a yellow box.

Peanut Butter Patties - These are round cookies with a layer of peanut butter on top, and covered in chocolate. These cookies come in a red box. Little Brownie Bakers calls them Tagalongs®, ABC Bakers call them Peanut Butter Patties®.

UPDATE: Although they are supposed to be the same cookie, the nutritional information page shows that Tagalongs have a different recipe and a different set of ingredients. Specifically, Tagalongs contain whey, a milk protein that also contains lactose. The Peanut Butter Patties do not. However, Peanut Butter Patties has a footnote saying that it is manufactured on equipment that processes products containing milk and coconut.

This appears to be a variation introduced by having two separate bakers supply the Scouts in different parts of the country.

Please note: Not all cookies are available in all areas. Girl Scout Councils work with one of the two bakers and carry that line of cookies only. Use "Find cookies now!" to get in touch with your local council.

In addition, all four also carry the OU-D label (a capital U contained in a circle, as shown on the right, followed by the letter D) from the kosher certification group, The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. On its website that group states:
An ‘OU-D’ symbol indicates:
The product is a Kosher dairy product (but not necessarily Kosher for Passover),
The product contains a dairy ingredient or a dairy derivative.
Alternatively, the product, while not containing dairy ingredients itself, was made on equipment also used for making dairy products.

Why the double warning for only one cookie? Perhaps it is made in a separate plant from the others.

In either case, this warning is not of any concern to those with lactose intolerance. Those with severe milk anaphylaxis should pay close attention, however.

Thanks to Eleanor Newman of The Chocolate Emporium for catching the discrepancy between Tagalongs and Peanut Butter Patties that I missed the first time around. I relied on the material on the Girl Scouts website. Sadly, you can't doublecheck even the original source too often.

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