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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Guidelines Issued for Treating Atopic Eczema in Children

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued clinical guidelines for all healthcare clinicians for the treatment of atopic eczema in children. The new guidelines are reviewed in the April 1 Online First issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Dr. Laurie Barclay gave a summary on Medscape. She lists a number of major points there. I'll excerpt the ones relating to dairy allergies and replacement foods.

• Food allergy should be considered in children with eczema in whom immediate symptoms developed after they ingest a certain food. Food allergy should also be considered in infants and young children in whom moderate or severe uncontrolled eczema persists despite optimum management, particularly if there is associated gut dysmotility (colic, vomiting, or changes in bowel habits) or failure to thrive.

• Bottle-fed infants younger than 6 months of age with moderate or severe eczema uncontrolled by optimal treatment with emollients and mild topical corticosteroids should undergo a 6- to 8-week trial of replacing cow's milk formula with an extensively hydrolyzed protein formula or amino acid formula.

• Children following a cow's milk–free diet for longer than 8 weeks, for whatever reason, should be referred for specialist dietary advice.

• Children with eczema and suspected cow's milk allergy should not be given diets based on unmodified proteins of other species' milk (eg, goat or sheep milk) or partially hydrolyzed formulas.

• With specialist dietary advice, children at least 6 months of age may be offered diets including soya protein.

• Women who are breast-feeding children with eczema should be counseled because it is not known whether changing the mother's diet may reduce the severity of eczema. If food allergy is strongly suspected, a trial of an allergen-specific exclusion diet in the mother may be attempted, with dietary supervision.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Upscale Meets Fast Food for Safer Dining

"The allergic reactions of the people are not going to go away in six months."

That's Dominique Tougne, executive chef at Bistro 110 in Chicago talking. It's part of an interesting article by Radha Chitale of ABC News on how chefs at good restaurants are beginning to learn what many chain restaurants already know. A huge audience for allergen-safe food and information about every bite people put into their mouths already exists, and the ever-increasing number of allergic children will ensure that the demand will continue to grow for the next generation.

Sloane Miller, president of the advocacy group Allergic Girl Resources Inc. in New York, has severe nut and salmon allergies as well as allergies to some fruits and vegetables. When she goes out to eat, she plans ahead carefully.

On a recent night out, Miller arrived at a steak restaurant for dinner, having called beforehand and being told that they would be happy to accommodate her. That evening, the staff was ready and waiting for her.

"The chef came out and walked me through the menu, step by step, dish by dish," Miller said. "I ordered with ease, the food came out. ... The chef came by to see that everything was prepped to the specifications, and I called the next day to thank the general manager."

Miller said she enjoyed the meal all the more because she was relaxed and confident that her food was safe.

"It's a hospitality business," Miller said. "That's what they want for everyone."

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Visit the First 'Allergy-Friendly Community'

Baabe lies about as far northeast as you can go in Germany, a seaside resort town on the island of Rügen in an archipelago sticking out from the mainland into the Baltic Sea near the Polish border.

It has a pretty, if shallow, white-sand beach that must be nice in the summertime. Winters probably get blustery, though.

I'm sure it's a pleasant vacation spot if you live in Hamburg, Germany, about 200 miles away, the closest city I can find whose name I recognize. By why should anyone else pay attention to it?

Because next week it'll named the world’s first "allergy-friendly community" by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF).

An article in The Local (Germany's News in English) gives us the details.

[Uta Donner, the town’s marketing director] said that so far 180 beds in rental homes, hotels and pensions, furnished with special mite-free mattress covers, have been certified allergy-friendly by ECARF. Restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries will also take part, selling allergy-sensitive products like gluten-free bread and milk-free ice cream. Even some hair salons will sell allergy-sensitive products and services.

Pollen-rich trees will no longer be planted in the town, and a special pollen-catching net is under construction so scientists can analyze the town’s pollen quantities, German news agency DDP reports.

Other amenities for the über-sensitive include specific food allergy provisions, special vacuum cleaners to reduce dust, and nickel-free cooking implements.

The article says that 30% of Germans suffer from allergies, a number that seems high to me, even if you add up every type of allergy in existence, even the extremely mild generalized dust/pollen allergy that I have. A high number is good for scaring, er, luring tourists to the tiny town, though.

And how can I argue with the easy availability of allergen-free food?

Now to persuade American tourist traps to set out their lures.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Silk Soymilk Recalled

I don't usually post news of recalls of food items because they may contain traces of milk. There are other sites that cover this in detail.

In fact, I took the news of this case directly off the Food and Drug Administration website.

Mount Crawford, Virginia -- April 23, 2008 --- WhiteWave Foods Company is voluntarily recalling 11-ounce plastic single serve bottles of Silk Soymilk Chocolate Flavor because it may contain undeclared milk protein. The individual bottles are printed with both a "use by" date of May 7, 2008 (printed as 05 07 08) and a Universal Product Code (UPC) of 2529360028. Consumers can find this information on the back of the individual bottle.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk protein run the risk of a health problem or illness if they consume this product. Some reactions have been reported.

This affected product was distributed nationwide and reached consumers through retail and foodservice outlets. WhiteWave's sales team is working with distributors to actively recover any affected product remaining on store shelves.


This recall includes only 11-ounce single serve plastic bottles of Silk Soymilk Chocolate Flavor with both a "use by" date of May 7, 2008 (printed as 05 07 08) and a UPC code of 2529360028. Consumers should look for this information on the back of the bottle.

The Company apologizes for any inconvenience to its customers. Consumers who purchased the product may return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions can contact the Company at 1-800-587-2259.

The Food and Drug Administration has been notified of this recall.

Milk contamination in any food is a serious issue. Milk contamination in soymilk gets right to the heart of the milk alternative community. Some reports of reactions have been collected in various areas nationwide, although none appears to be serious.

Because few firms can afford to dedicate plants to absolute non-dairy use, most foods are susceptible to cross-contamination in industrial processes. It's an important reminder that even vigilance in reading labels and trusting brand names can't always protect you or your families.

You can't go through life mistrusting every bite of food either. The best course is to regularly check the FDA (click on Recalls & Safety Alerts) or allergy sites that follow recalls or create a news alert through Google or Yahoo or one of the other services to flag recall announcements. And if you are dangerously anaphylactic, always carry an Epipen or the equivalent.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Kozy Shack Soy Pudding

Kozy Shack, a "company known for its convenient, ready-to-eat desserts" has just introduced its first soy puddings.

The press release says:

There's sweet news for those who crave a rich and creamy dessert, but are lactose intolerant. Thanks to a new twist on a favorite treat, everyone can indulge and enjoy delicious, all-natural pudding made with soy.

That's because there's a new certified-organic version of a popular, ready-to-eat refrigerated dessert that can be enjoyed anytime.

The product, Kozy Shack Soy Pudding, comes in two flavors- chocolate and vanilla. In addition to great taste, it contains no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives and 0g trans fat. It's also cholesterol, lactose and caffeine free and is considered suitable for a vegan diet.

And of course they tell you to get more information at their website, And of course, there's not one word up there yet about soy puddings.

I'll give a nickel to any marketer who can explain this to me.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pinkberry Scandal!

You remember Pinkberry, the yogurty frozen yogurt concoction that was so addicitively delicious that people compared it to "frozen heroic juice."

And it was supposed to be good for you, too. Fresh fruits. Organic ingredients. And that buzzword of buzzwords, natural.


Out of sheer coincidence, Pinkberry finally posted its ingredients on its website just after it settled a court suit about deceptive advertising. (No connection between the two events, says Pinkberry.)

And as The New York Times writer Julia Moskin wrote:

The ingredients list for Original Pinkberry has 23 items. Skim milk and nonfat yogurt are listed first, then three kinds of sugar: sucrose, fructose and dextrose. Fructose and maltodextrin, another ingredient, are both laboratory-produced ingredients extracted from corn syrup.

The list includes at least five additives defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as emulsifiers (propylene glycol esters, lactoglycerides, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono- and diglycerides); four acidifiers (magnesium oxide, calcium fumarate, citric acid, sodium citrate); tocopherol, a natural preservative; and two ingredients — starch and maltodextrin — that were characterized as fillers by Dr. Gary A. Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota and an expert in food additives.

And that "all natural" claim? Well, the yogurt was natural. The others? Not so much.
Some of them can be characterized as natural, while others are clearly not, he said.

"Isn't it amazing how many additives it takes to make something taste natural?" Dr. Reineccius said.

Many of the ingredients give Pinkberry qualities that nonfat frozen yogurt would not have naturally, Dr. Reineccius said.

"They are there to make something smooth, sweet and tangy that would otherwise be gritty and flavorless in a frozen state," he said.

So how good for you is Pinkberry (or their competitor, Red Mango)?
Pinkberry and Red Mango now enjoy the Live and Active Cultures seal of the National Yogurt Association, certifying that their frozen yogurt contains at least 10 million live cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.

But the specific health effects of live cultures — now called probiotics — and how many of them are needed to provide a beneficial effect have not been determined.

In January another yogurt-related class action lawsuit was filed, against Dannon, challenging the company’s claims that the benefits of its trademarked probiotics were "clinically" and "scientifically" proven.

Pinkberry announced its certification two weeks ago, just as a preliminary settlement was reached in the class action suit. While saying it had done nothing wrong, Pinkberry agreed to donate $750,000 to hunger and children’s charities, and to pay the plaintiff’s legal costs.

Look. In moderation Pinkberry is fine. So is ice cream, even the super-premium kind, if you can tolerate it. The key word is "moderation."

If you can't keep it down to a scoop or less, then any of these fancy desserts will pack on the pounds. Loading them up with added candy and other bits of pure sugar won't help any.

If you are sensitive to artificial colors and additives, however, then Pinkberry ought to go onto your forbidden list.

And "natural" gets another big black eye from a careless - or worse - marketer.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lactose and Fermentation

If there is a nation whose understanding of food, nutrition, and digestion is even worse than Britain's, it is India. Although the British influence could be showing it's hand there too, I suppose.

Case in point, "Fermented delicacies" by Vibha Varshney on the website.

Other fermented foods also have medicinal uses. Dahi is said to check diarrhoea. Nutritionists say it regenerates damaged gut epithelium. “Fermentation converts lactose into glucose and galactose, which is easily digestible by even the lactose- intolerant. Also, milk does not have essential vitamins like B1, which bacteria in the curd provide,” says P R Sinha, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal.

First, dahi.
Strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese, labneh (Arabic لبنة), or Greek yoghurt is yoghurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter, traditionally made of muslin, to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yoghurt and cheese, while preserving yoghurt's distinctive sour taste. Like many yoghurts, strained yoghurt is often made from milk which has been enriched by boiling off some of the water content, or by adding extra butterfat and powdered milk.

Now. It's digestion that splits the compound sugar, lactose, into the simple sugars glucose and galactose.

Fermentation turns the lactose into lactic acid, which accounts for the sour taste of most unprocessed commercial yogurts. Fermentation is produced by various bacteria and yeasts, which produce the lactic acid as a waste product. It is the lowered lactose content that makes yogurts and other fermented foods well tolerated by the lactose intolerant.

Could you say that the bacteria split the lactose into glucose and galactose and then produce the lactic acid as a secondary step? This is not the way it's usually described. In fact, the bacteria in your colon are normally considered to be either lactose fermenters or lactose digesters. The fermenting bacteria are the ones that create the gas that so plagues those of us who eat lactose-containing products.

And wait a second. Milk doesn't have vitamin B1? The U.S. National Dairy Council begs to differ.
Significant quantities of this vitamin are found in milk with an average of 0.04 mg per 100g. AS the RDA for thiamin [vitamin B1] varies between 1.0 and 1.5 mg for the adults, two glasses of milk per day would supply about 12 to 19 percent.

Nope, I'd say this is a confusing mistake. I don't know whether the man from the National Dairy Research Institute is to blame or, more likely, whether the reporter garbled the account. Either way, don't take it as read.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lactose Not Associated with Fertility

A study of the role that dairy plays in causing infertility has been getting a lot of press attention.

"A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility."
J.E. Chavarro, J.W. Rich-Edwards, B. Rosner, and W.C. Willett.
Advance Access published online on February 28, 2007
Human Reproduction, doi:10.1093/humrep/dem019

According to

Drinking whole fat milk and eating ice cream appears to be better for women trying to become pregnant than a diet consisting of low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk and yoghurt, according to new research published in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal, Human Reproduction.

Researchers in the United States have found a link between a low-fat dairy diet and increased risk of infertility due to lack of ovulation (anovulatory infertility). Their study showed that if women ate two or more servings of low-fat dairy foods a day, they increased their risk of ovulation-related infertility by more than four fifths (85%) compared to women who ate less than one serving of low-fat dairy food a week. On the other hand, if women ate at least one serving of high-fat dairy food a day, they reduced their risk of anovulatory infertility by more than a quarter (27%) compared to women who consumed one or fewer high-fat dairy serving a week.

Interesting, but not something I would normally bring to your attention.

However, the last sentence in the article took me by complete surprise:
Previous studies had suggested that lactose (a sugar found in milk) might be associated with anovulatory infertility, but Dr Chavarro's study found neither a positive nor negative association for this, and nor was there any association between intake of calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D and anovulatory infertility.

I wasn't familiar with any such studies. Even after a search I'm not finding any studies claiming this.

The closest association between lactose and infertility I found was a weak possibility that since low-fat milk products affected fertility more than high-fat milk products, lactose was the cause, since low-fat milk products tend to be slightly higher in lactose.

But if you take a look at my Lactose Percentages page on my website, you'll see that the difference is extremely small and probably completely meaningless. Why they didn't blame the fat instead baffles me.

If this weren't a study from a respected medical journal, I'd think that the use of "lactose" was a typo for "galactose." Galactose is another sugar. It's produced when lactose is digested. And galactose is known to affect fertility.

See Adult Hypolactasia, Milk Consumption, and Age-specific Fertility by Daniel W. Cramer, Huijuan Xu and Timo Sahi. American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 139, No. 3: 282-289

Their conclusions about lactose is that lactose tolerance, the ability to digest lactose, leads people to drink more milk and more milk leads to greater infertility. That's the opposite of lactose causing infertility.

Whatever the previous thinking, this new study is an indication that consumption of lactose is irrelevant to those trying to get pregnant.

Don't go out and eat buckets of high-fat ice cream, though. That's as bad an idea for your health as it is tasty to your tongue.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Lactose Intolerant Hedgehogs

Greenish diarrhea.

As if it's not bad enough that I have to, er, that's I'm privileged to read all those emails of yours about your adventures with diarrhea, I now stumble upon diarrhea in the wonderful world of hedgehogs.

My day is complete.

I blame Kurt Knebusch of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. He writes an ask-it column - Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick[!] - that I found, in of all places, the North Texas e-News.

A reader asked:

Hedgehogs are lactose-intolerant. I read that in a book. How would anyone know that?

You're all smart enough to know that, especially if you've been reading my blog for any length of time. You know that all adult mammals are lactose intolerant, and that would include hedgehogs.

But Knebusch can't leave it at that. He wrote:
"Greenish diarrhoea," Wildlife Online ( colorfully points out, "has been documented in captive (hedgehogs) fed on a diet of cow's milk and bread."

And documenting greenish diarrhoea, of course, is something you’d notice and learn from, I bet. Especially if you were the hedgehog. Or a scientist. Or a scientist who was a hedgehog who had greenish diarrhoea.

OK, so now you're all panting to know why in the world anyone would feed milk to hedgehogs. Even our old friends the British, who as a nation famously know nothing about proper nutrition.

Hedgehog lactose-intolerance comes up, so to speak, is an issue, you could say, in at least two ways: First, when people raise pet or abandoned wild baby hedgehogs; experts suggest giving them sheep's milk, goat's milk or soy-based formula for human babies instead of cow's milk.

Second, people in England sometimes put out bowls of bread and cow’s milk to feed wild backyard hedgehogs (which don't live in North America, you might remember). It's a traditional thing. A kind thing. But also, alas, it can give them the wind. "Put out clean water, but never milk," says the Wildlives Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, U.K.

We may not have hedgehogs in the U.S, but we do have badgers and possums and all sorts of critters that somebody might want to rescue. If you do, keep this good advice in mind. It's OK, even necessary, to give milk to baby animals. Adults should get water, though, and not milk of any kind. Unless you're a fan of greenish diarrhea. Or brown, black, white, or possibly rainbow diarrhea.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Clear Lake Lactose-Free, Gluten-Free Vegan Cookies

Clear Lake makes the kind of cookies you want.

We cater to your to our customers needs by providing healthy, delicious, vegan, wheat free, refined sugar-free cookies to our customers who demand this. Clear Lake Specialty Products gluten free, dairy free and casein free cookies are made with all natural ingredients straight from the heartland. We have the ability to produce Gluten Free and Vegan cookies that are suitable for the Wheat intolerant, Lactose and Gluten Intolerant community– more commonly referenced as those people with Celiac Disease and Lactose intolerance. Any of these products can be produced in Organic or Non-Organic varieties.

What's different about them is that they don't sell directly to you. Instead, you can order their cookies to sell as fundraisers for your organization.

From their press release:
Clear Lake Specialty Products, Inc., an organically certified food product manufacturer in Clear Lake, IA that distributes products nationally, offers organic -- -- and gluten free / vegan products to their fundraising, foodservice, and retail customers.

Organic and gluten free / vegan products available include baked cookies, pre-portioned cookie dough, and pail cookie dough.

Clear Lake Specialty Products, Inc. -- -- is a division of Joe Corbi's Fundraising -- -- a national food fundraising company based in Baltimore, MD that develops fundraising programs for community organizations through sale of pizza kits, cookie products, calzones, and baked goods. Like Joe Corbi's, Clear Lake is committed to nutrition and has the ability to make gluten free and vegan cookies -- -- that the lactose intolerant, wheat intolerant, and gluten intolerant community can consume. Thus, people who have lactose intolerance and celiac disease can enjoy the products at Clear Lake. Clear Lake's dairy free, gluten free, and casein free cookies are made with 0 trans fat, all natural ingredients.

Clear Lake sells its wheat free, vegan, and refined sugar-free cookie products to the retail, private label, fundraising, and food service industries and can assist with product development, formulation, and packaging design.

Customers include businesses looking for private label products, fundraising distributors, schools, retail stores, restaurants, supermarkets, and others.

Tim Hartnett
General Manager
Clear Lake Specialty Products

The Clear Lake website has much mope information.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vegan Mac 'n' "Cheese" for Kids

Jennie Geisler has a home cooking column in the Erie Times-News newspaper and a two-year-old son with a dairy allergy. That's a recipe for non-dairy dishes to appear regularly in her column. ("That's a recipe," get it? Newspaper columns and headlines are full of these cheapest of all puns. Why oh why oh why? I thank Geisler for writing straight.)

Anyway, she borrows a recipe, Macaroni and 'Cheese' from V Cuisine: The Art of New Vegan Cooking, by Angeline Linardis. Not only is is dairy-free, but cheese-free. Soy milk makes the milky substitute.

Geisler adds a couple of cooking notes that are relevant.

The recipe called for either carrots or red bell peppers as the puree base for the "cheese" sauce. I went ahead and used both. I chopped them up, put them in a big cereal bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, and steamed them in the microwave for 5 minutes or so. Then I poured them into the blender, splashed them with soy milk and gave it a good whirl. That and a few seasonings, and we were ready to rock.

Nutritional yeast is a flaky yellowish substance that's different from regular yeast in that it will not help in leavening. It adds nutrition and flavor to whatever contains it. You can find nutritional yeast at the Whole Foods Cooperative, 1341 W. 26th St., in bulk. All you need is a quarter cup.

Nutritional yeast is also known as brewer's yeast. You can add it to any baked good at a proportion of 1 to 3 teaspoons per cup of flour. It offers protein, fiber and potassium to anything that contains it. The yeast is included here, according to the cookbook, because it has a fermented taste that suggests the flavor of real cheese.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Solving the Mystery of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a mystery disease. Or not a disease. A syndrome, after all, is technically a collection of symptoms grouped together by hope and desperation more than logic. Maybe one thing causes them. Maybe not.

With IBS, the causes are many and deeply disputed. At least doctors (good ones, at any rate) have stopped telling patients it's all about stress. Researchers are pretty sure than someone real is going wrong deep inside the digestive tract.

There is also a disease called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which, despite the name and the similarity of symptoms, was thought not to be the same thing as IBS. That might be wrong as well.

The British science magazine The New Scientist had a small article on a research study on IBS, "Getting to the bottom of irritable bowels, by Ken Boroom in their 13 April 2008 issue.

In the article, Boroom talks about an article, "Role for protease activity in visceral pain in irritable bowel syndrome", by Nicolas Cenac. It's from the Journal of Clinical Investigation 117(3): 636-647 (2007). doi:10.1172/JCI29255.

That issue was published on Feb. 15, 2007. The New Scientist is a weekly magazine that normally gives the latest breaking news. Why did they wait over a year to report this? Probably it took Boroom a year to figure out what the heck the report says. It would me.

To take his word for it, there is some really important news buried in the jargon.

You see, people with IBS can have seemingly contradictory symptoms. Some have diarrhea; some have constipation. So far researchers hadn't come up with a common link for both sets of symptoms. Cenac's group has.

They found increased activity of a group of enzymes called serine proteases in all the IBS patients and at double the levels of healthy patients. Not just that, IBD patients also had raised protease activity.

Activity in this case means that a receptor called PAR2, found on nerve cells, epithelial cells, and smooth muscle cells, is activated. Boroom wrote:

If these cells are being overstimulated in IBS patients, it may explain why they complain of widespread pain and hypersensitivity as well as abdominal symptoms.

The natural next step is to look for a protease inhibitor. And in fact one is in trials in Japan as a treatment for IBS, with what Boroom called "promising results."

Many people with IBS also have lactose intolerance (LI). I'm one of them. It's never been clear exactly what the relationship between LI and IBS might be exactly, but it's a major problem for the LI community. A way to stamp out IBS would go a long way toward treating what is probably an underlying condition in the unusual level of suffering that people with LI get that really can't be explained by LI reactions alone.

Good news, even if tangible results are probably still years away.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lactose Is a Booming Market

You think lactose is found is too many items today? Just wait.

Global Industry Analysts, Inc., a market trend analysis firm that writes fact-heavy reports and peddles them at extremely high prices to those who positively, absolutely have to be first to know what the financial weather is going to be like tomorrow, has just published "Lactose: A Global Strategic Business Report."

It's $3850.

Tell you what. If 3850 of you donate a dollar each, I'll buy the report and tell you all its secrets.

In the meantime, you'll have to be satisfied with these tidbits from the press release.

Lactose is produced from whey, a by-product of the cheese-making process. Lactose finds application in pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, confectionery and animal feed industries. Edible grade lactose is utilized in fine chemical applications, production of infant formulae, confectionery and food products. Pharmaceutical grade lactose is employed as a pharmaceutical excipient. Inhalation-grade lactose, which accounts for a minor share of the pharmaceutical lactose market, is expected to receive a boost as pharma companies increasingly develop new inhaled drug delivery therapies.

Lactose market in United States is estimated at $192 million for 2008, as stated by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. North America, Europe and Asia, collectively account for 92 percent of the global lactose market. Global consumption of lactose in food industry is estimated at $286 million for 2008. Lactose consumption in confectionery industry is projected to register a CAGR [Compound Annual Growth Rate] of over 4% through 2010.

Those of you who keep writing to me complaining about the use of lactose in medications are going to have to start making your complaints direct to the pharmaceutical industry. Looks like lactose will be in far more products rather than fewer.

Now, as a aside: The weird part, for those few of you who notice when the math in an article is wrong, is the prediction that:
Backed by consistent demand from end-use industries such as food, beverages, confectionery, pharmaceuticals and animal feed, market for lactose is projected to reach a value of $762.7 million by 2012.

What market? The U.S. market? The global market? Even if you assume the latter, that's a 167% increase in only four years, or 27.79% compounded annually. Why talk about a measly 4% increase per year if you have that kind of growth happening?

And what's with the lack of articles in the article? Lactose market is... market for lactose is... Was this translated from Russian?

Incompetence, illiteracy, innumeracy, and bad news, all rolled up into a single press release. You know, it's been that kind of week.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stomach Gas? Not From Lactose.

I thought The Independent was supposed to be one of Britain's better papers. Apparently the dread and mysterious brain illness that affects everyone who writes about health and nutrition in the UK has infiltrated even the highest levels of journalism. And medicine.

Dr. Fred Kavalier, a real live experienced geneticist, answers the inquiries in the paper's A Question of Health column.

Last summer I developed pain and discomfort just below the rib-cage and started producing large amounts of stomach gas... Nine months on the symptoms are still there. My GP seems baffled. Any suggestions on what is wrong and how to cure it?

You could be lactose intolerant. Lactose is the natural sugar that is present in milk products. People who are lactose intolerant cannot digest it because they are lacking an enzyme called lactase, which breaks lactose down into glucose and galactose. Undigested lactose ferments in the stomach, causing a build-up of gas.

It's hard to translate medical terminology and specialist jargon for the public. Sometimes the temptation to make things simpler than they ought to be is irresistible.

But lactose ferments in the stomach? Really? You think anybody would be confused if you said, correctly, large intestine instead? Or colon. Either one will do. Most people have heard the words before.

Stomach is flat wrong. True stomach gas will produce heartburn and comes from an entirely different set of foods and ailments than lactose intolerance, and must be attacked with different medications.

Confusion is already ripe in the world. Why add more?

Or don't you really know the different, Dr. Fred?

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Pure Fun Candies

Pure Fun candies come with a pile of "no"s.

NO GMO'S, NO FD&C Colors, NO Casein,
NO Gluten, NO Dairy, NO artificial flavors,
NO dyes, NO Chemicals, NO Pesticides

They have a no's for news, apparently, because they sent out a press release about the company.
Pure Fun Confections offers an unusually wide choice of candy items for a healthy, ethical lifestyle. They make organic, natural, eco-friendly candy products that will satisfy your sweet tooth without any chemicals or additives!

The company is located at 490 Midwest Road in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada with distribution capabilities throughout Canada, U.S.A., U.K., Europe, Australia, Israel, and Asian markets. They work with state of the art QA labs, maintain in-house R & D, and hold many certifications including organic and kosher.

Pure Fun™'s comprehensive range includes organic, kosher and vegan candies made primarily from brown rice syrup organic cane juice for the wellbeing of children and adults. The lollipops, candy canes and hard candies are made in Canada or the U.S. under strict supervision of organic certification bodies.

What do they use?
Pure Fun™ 's low GI (Glycemic Index), Certified Organic Brown Rice Syrup is one of the best alternatives to tame the roller coaster ride of your blood-sugar levels while continuing to pamper your sweet tooth. These are organic natural sweeteners produced by steeping brown rice with a special enzyme preparation. Following this method the broken whole grains or brown rice are converted into a smooth-flavored and pleasantly sweet liquid extract. Organic Brown Rice Syrup is quite healthy and mild with a buttery flavor and delicate sweetness, which makes it an ideal choice for making Pure Fun™ Organic candy.

Pure Fun™ Organic Evaporated Cane Juice is a healthy alternative to refined sugar. The term Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (OECJ) denotes that it is a "first crystallization sugar" made directly from fresh organic juice that is extracted within 24 hours of harvesting. Organic cane retains more of the original flavor and nutrients of sun-sweetened sugar cane.

Check their website at

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thoughts on Bestsellers

For the past week-and-a-half, I've been listing the ten books that sold the most copies through my Milk-Free Bookstore since the start of 2006.

For the record, here's the complete list.

Milk Is Not for Every Body, by Steve Carper
The Milk Free Kitchen, by Beth Kidder
101 Fabulous Dairy-Free Desserts, by Annette Pia Hall
Secrets of Lactose Free Cooking, by Arlene Burlant
Totally Dairy Free Cooking, by Louis Lanza with Laura Morton
The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, by Cybele Pascal
The Gluten, Wheat and Dairy Free Cookbook, by Nicola Graimes
The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, by Jo Stepaniak
The Complete Vegan Cookbook, by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay
Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free Dairy-Free Guide, by Ellen Abraham

OK, no surprise that my book came out on top. My site, after all. And not much of a surprise that the top five books were all lactose-free or dairy-free books. My site is a specialty lactose intolerance site, one of the first and one of the biggest.

No, what surprised me was that the books that made the list are so old. They're classics, and there are good reasons they're classics.

But where are the new books aimed at those of us who are lactose intolerant? We spent so many years being ignored. Have we returned to that era? Or is it just that all purpose allergy books fill the need as well if not better?

If you know of good new dairy-free or lactose-free cookbooks being published, send me an email at stevecarper . com.

In the meantime, congratulations to all those whose books made the list. You're the top of well over 100 titles sold over the last couple of years, and you appealed to a tough specialty audience. You most certainly did something right, and very well.

I'll change the Top Ten Bestsellers page on the bookstore site just as soon as possible.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #1

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living With Lactose Intolerance
by Steve Carper

Facts on File (December 1995)
330 pages


Milk Is Not for Every Body is a practical and authoritative guide that:

• Provides a history of lactose intolerance and describes its biological impact on the human body
• Answers such questions as: How much lactose can be consumed safely? Do lactose pills or does lactose-reduced milk work? And what about non-dairy products such as Tofutti and Dairy Ease?
• Offers advice on a wide range of topics including the lactose intolerant infant and child; how to eat out; what to look for on the new nutrition labels; and the latest in diagnostic testing.

• None better.

• By Far the Most Complete Book on the Subject.

Find it on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #2

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

The Milk-Free Kitchen: Living Well Without Dairy Products
by Beth Kidder

Holt Paperbacks (September 15, 1991)
480 pages
List price: $19.95

From Publishers Weekly
For people afflicted with either dairy allergies or lactose intolerance, substitution has long been the buzzword in cooking. Here Kidder, a biological researcher, shows readers how to use fruit juices, soy milk and tofu in place of dairy products. The result: tasty and satisfying dips and main courses (although many home cooks may not take kindly to some of the soups, which employ canned condensed soups as bases). The biggest challenge is posed by dairy-free baked goods, and Kidder offers many nominations: dairy-free Sacher torte, carrot cake, chocolate mousse, pancakes, waffles, puddings and frostings. She also gives advice on ordering meals in restaurants and on plane trips, and provides a list of food products to avoid, from the most obvious--milk--to the much less so. It would have been helpful to include food breakdowns and calorie counts, as well as a discussion of how to get dietary calcium often lacking in people who follow dairy-free diets. Because some lactose-intolerant folks can tolerate cheeses made from goat's and sheep's milk, several recipes call for these ingredients.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author
Beth Kidder lives in central Illinois and has worked as a research technician. She is the mother of two grown children, both of whom are allergic to milk.

• No longer have to wonder "What's for Dinner?"

• I've used this book for four years!!!

• Great book if you like to bake!

• The Best of the Milk-Free Cookbooks

Find it on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #3

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

101 Fabulous Dairy-Free Desserts Everyone Will Love: For the Lactose Intolerant, the Dairy-Allergic, and Their Friends and Families
by Annette Pia Hall

Station Hill Press; New edition (September 1998)
208 pages
List price: $14.95

Book Description
50,000,000 Americans suffer from lactose intolerance (the inability to digest milk sugar). Millions more suffer from an allergy to dairy products. And many more are deciding to reduce or eliminate dairy products from their diet. For all such people, there has been no way to enjoy desserts that normally call for milk or butter - until now! These recipes, using only naturally low saturated-fat, zero-cholesterol vegetable oils retain the richness and flavor of the most delicious desserts. The book is designed for anyone who wishes to make their own fabulous dairy free desserts. It features "lay-flat binding" for your convenience. The directions & ingredients are printed on facing pages so you will not have to turn pages while you prepare a recipe. Each recipe intentionally uses common ingredients and ordinary equipment to ensure that all these desserts are easy for everyone to prepare.

Brownies & Squares - Cakes & Tortes - Cookies & Candies - Muffins & Breads - Pies & Tarts & Cobblers - Puddings & Mousse - Frostings & Toppings & Fillings

Easy to prepare recipes using common ingredients and basic equipment.

About the Author
The author began creating her desserts when she met her husband who is lactose intolerant.

• Easy and Delicious

• A great new find for the lactose-intolerant dessert eater!

• Fantastic - great tasting recipes!

Find it on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #4

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

Secrets of Lactose-free Cooking
by Arlene Burlant

Avery (February 1, 1996)
192 pages
List price: $13.95

From Publishers Weekly
Millions of other Americans have difficulty digesting milk and milk products. For them, dietician Arlene Burlant has compiled Secrets of Lactose-Free Cooking. Such soy products as soymilk, tofu and soy oil are frequent stand-ins for dairy products in the 150 recipes, some of which are lactose-free and some of which call for "reduced-lactose milk." Tips on brandname products and substitutions are included in a brief introduction.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

• Informative, thoroughly researched recipes

Find it on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #5

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

Totally Dairy-Free Cooking
by Louis Lanza with Laura Morton

William Morrow & Co Hardback, 2000
288 pages
List price: $25.00

Book Description
The latest statistics show that as many as 30 to 50 million Americans may be lactose-intolerant. Totally Dairy-Free Cooking offers lactose-intolerant people an alternative to medication--delicious, contemporary recipes made without any dairy products. This isn't "health" food--imagine rich, creamy pastas, savory soups, mashed potatoes, even ice "creams" so delicious you won't miss the dairy. Author Louis Lanza, chef at Josie's, New York's premier dairy-free restaurant, is one of the leading authorities on the subject. In his new cookbook, Louis explains exactly how to use ingredients like soy milk and soy cheeses, now available in supermarkets everywhere.

Totally Dairy-Free Cooking is absolutely the best cookbook on the subject. The recipes are so delicious, anyone--lactose-intolerant or not--will enjoy them. For people who are trying to cope, medication-free, without dairy products in their diet, this cookbook is an essential purchase.

About the Author
Louis Lanza is the co-owner and executive chef at Josie's, Citrus Bar & Grill, and Josephina, all located in New York City. His healthy dairy-free recipes have recently been featured in two bestselling books, Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover and Marilu Henner, The 30-Day Total Health Makeover. A native of California, he now lives and works in New York City.

Laura Morton is the coauthor of three bestselling books on health and fitness, including Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking and Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover. She lives in New York City.

• This is an Awesome Cookbook!

• Incredible book!!!

• Healthy recipes that taste great.

Find it on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008


In the Dallas News opinion section, Beverly Biehl wrote:

Acupuncture, through a specialized treatment called NAET, totally eliminated the lactose intolerance I had struggled with for more than 14 years, nearly all of my children’s food and environmental allergies, and has kept us antibiotic-free for four years. Acupuncture even fixed my hot flashes and PMS.

Emotional Freedom Technique is an offshoot of this ancient wisdom, and I’m even losing weight by simply tapping certain points while saying health-inducing affirmations.

I also made liberal use of homeopathy, high-frequency flower essences, aromatherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, yoga, meditation, Electro-Dermal Screening, Quantum Energy Clearing, Reconnective Healing and detoxifying footbaths. All of these had some type of positive impact on my health, though some more noticeable than others.

On the Huffington Post, bloggers Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent wrote:
We are so weirded out by this - Dannon and some other companies are now adding laxatives to their yogurt. Dannon Activia contains Bifidus Regularis: "a natural probiotic culture that can help regulate your digestive system by helping reduce long intestinal transit time." Excuse us; did they say that it speeds up intestinal transit time? Oh, we get it - kind of like that Alli pill or Olean. If your personal transit time is too long, try eating real food with real fiber, like apples and nuts and spinach and berries and oatmeal. But mixing laxatives with yogurt is just gross.

What's the difference between the two?

Beverly Biehl was writing a humor piece on the need to believe in treatments to get them to work.

Lipper and Vincent try for a humorous tone in their over-the-top rants against fake food, but their facts are just as fake.

Reducing long transit time can mean helps with constipation rather than promotes diarrhea. And in any case that's not how either Alli or Olean work. (They reduce fat absoption and so don't contribute to calories. Diarrhea can be a side effect in some, although one study showed that diarrhea was a reported side effect in 28% of the people taking the placebo!)

I've written myself that commercial yogurts in America are often loaded with extra milk powder, sugar, and other nutritionally unnecessary additives. But you can say that without going off about "chemicals" - everything's a chemical, you chuckleheads! - and getting my science wrong.

Eating right doesn't mean writing stupid.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #6

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

by Cybele Pascal

Vital Health Publishing (December 15, 2005)
213 pages
List price: $18.95

Book Description
The First Cookbook to Eliminate ALL Eight Allergens Responsible for Ninety Percent of Food Allergies

200 gourmet and homestyle recipes your whole family will absolutely love! - All recipes are free of the top eight allergens: dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish or shellfish and also refined sugar! - Baked goods are all vegan. - Guide to gluten-free recipes. - Shopping Guide for hard-to-find items. - Food Allergy Information Resource Guide.

Pineapple Banana Granola * Sweet Potato Cranberry Muffins * Curried Pumpkin Soup * Frisee with Figs, Pear, and Crispy Bacon * Quinoa Tabouli * Polenta Radiatore with Prosciutto, Shitake Mushrooms, and Spinach * Grilled Chicken Breast with Mango Salsa * Creamy Avocado Dressing

From the Publisher
Delicious, healthy and what a relief for those of us who cook for our children with food allergies! We are so glad to be publishing this book.

About the Author
Cybele’s eclectic food background has inspired a love of a wide range of cuisines, and in addition to recipes she learned during her fifteen years spent working in restaurants, she is constantly expanding her repertoire. She has traveled the world extensively, making local food the focus of her trips. Food is her passion, and cooking fresh, delicious and healthy meals for her family and friends is a daily pleasure. Cybele learned about hypoallergenic cooking first hand when her son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, and made turning it into a delicacy her priority. She lives in Westchester, NY with her husband, Broadway leading man Adam Pascal, and their sons Lennon and Montgomery.

• A very thorough, well-researched and thoughtful book.

• *The* best food allergy cookbook out there!

• Meals for food allergic kids that even adults will want to eat!!,

• I would save this book in a fire!!!

Find it on the Allergy Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #7

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

The Gluten, Wheat and Dairy Free Cookbook
by Nicola Graimes

Parragon (December 2004)
96 pages

Book Description
Many people have food allergies. The Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free Cookbook offers advice on which foods to avoid and which foods to eat. All recipes are completely free of gluten, wheat and dairy products and offer nutritional information on calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

• Great Recipes for Restricted Diets!

Find it on the Wheat- and Gluten-Free Books page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #8

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Delicious Dairy-Free Cheeses and Classic "Uncheese" Dishes
by Jo Stepaniak

Book Publishing Company (TN); 10 Anv edition (December 2003)
192 pages
List price: $18.95

Book Description
If you’re a cheese-lover who is lactose intolerant, a vegan who misses dairy cheese, or just someone who loves cheese but not the fat and sodium, this cookbook is for you. For this tenth anniversary edition of the popular classic, The Uncheese Cookbook, author Jo Stepaniak added a bevy of new dishes and honed the original recipes to perfection.

Uncheeses can be made into spreads, dips, sauces, and blocks. Pasta lovers will delight in Baked Stuffed Shells, Macaroni and Cheez fans will be completely satisfied, and cheesecake lovers will find deceptively healthful and decadently delicious desserts. Relatively simple recipes yield amazing results. Color photos provide visual inspiration.

Renowned dietitian Vesanto Melina provides the latest research findings about dairy and health. Tables and charts show sources for protein, calcium and other nutrients so you can safely replace dairy in your diet. All food sensitivities are recognized in an allergen-free index that makes it easy to choose recipes according to dietary needs.

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook serves up cutting-edge cuisine that expands the repertoire of food choices available for dairy-free lifestyles.

About the Author
Jo Stepaniak, MSEd, is an author and educator who has been involved with vegetarian- and vegan-related issues for nearly four decades. Jo has been a frequent guest presenter, lecturer, and workshop leader throughout North America and is the author or co-author of almost a dozen books on vegetarian cooking or books on vegan living and philosophy.

• Cured my dairy withdrawal! Highly recommended! :-)

• A Culinary Breakthrough - Pure Genius!

• Great food and Cheeze Cake to Die For.

• Scrumptiously delicious...

• The Cookbook I Was Always Waiting For!

Find it on the Milk- and Lactose-Free Books and Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #9

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

The Complete Vegan Cookbook: Over 200 Tantalizing Recipes, Plus Plenty of Kitchen Wisdom for Beginners and Experienced Cooks
by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay

Three Rivers Press (May 10, 2001)
352 pages
List price: $19.95


Now vegan means vitality and vibrant taste!

A simple definition—
The vegan diet consists exclusively of foods from the vegetable kingdom and excludes all animal products—meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, and honey—as well as products which are processed using animal ingredients.

Good health and great flavor have finally come together! Whether you're a full-time vegan or simply looking for an occasional "ideal" meal—one low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in health-enhancing nutrients and great taste—here is your definitive source for easy and innovative vegan cooking.

It's proven that eating an abundance of foods from the vegetable kingdom leads to a healthier—and perhaps longer—life. But healthful eating doesn't have to be bland and boring! The Complete Vegan Cookbook is your step-by-step guide to creating delicious and satisfying vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. You'll discover more than 200 tempting recipes as well as exciting meal plans for special family meals and entertaining. Now you can experience the health benefits of the vegan diet while enjoying hearty meals and mouthwatering flavor!

Enticing recipes include:
·Southwest Corn, Chard, and Potato Soup
·Yellow Beet and Arugula Salad with Dried Cranberries
·Bulgur and Red Lentil Pilaf with Kale and Olives
·Eggplant Enchiladas with Almond Mole
·Spaghetti with Artichoke-Pistachio Pesto
·Arborio Rice Pudding with Pears
·Oat and Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
·And many, many more

About the Author

Susann Geiskopf-Hadler is a long-time recipe developer and food writer who has coauthored numerous books, including The Vegan Gourmet and The Complete Vegan Cookbook. She lives in Sacramento, California.


• A "must" for the vegetarian bookshelf.

• Budget-friendly recipes with familiar ingredients

• Informative, innovative, inspiring

Find it on the Vegan Books page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Top Ten Bestsellers - #10

(For more info, see The Milk-Free Bookstore's Top Ten Bestsellers.)

Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to Scrumptious Baked Goods
by Ellen Abraham.

Book Publishing Company (TN) (March 2003)
128 pages
List price: $14.95

Book Description
Simple Treats was created for anyone interested in making a change to nutritious, wheat-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free goodies. If you have food allergies, food restrictions, or know someone who does, you are part of that change. These recipes are easy to follow, straightforward, and delightfully delicious.

About the Author
Ellen Abraham, together with her sister Jill, developed a line of wheat- and dairy-free pastries that they sold at their bakery, Simple Treats, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These products are now sold commercially.


•I use this cookbook at least once a week.


•YUM! the greatest vegan desserts ever!

•Perfect to read, enjoy, understand, laugh!

Find it on the Wheat- and Gluten-Free Books page in my Milk-Free Bookstore.

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