Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or 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.

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.


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
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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