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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

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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