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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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, May 14, 2008

Chef's Mission to Educate on Allergies

Another in the series of posts on Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Chef Ming Tsai took up the cause a few years ago when his son David, now 8, was diagnosed with being allergic to seven of the most common food allergens. "Of the eight -- like eggs, wheat, soy, dairy and nuts -- the only one he isn't allergic to is fish," said the chef.

That's from the Staten Island Advance, one of a series of articles on Chef Tsai, this one by Jane Milza.

Because of the raised awareness brought about by his son's allergies, Chef Tsai is now a national spokesperson for The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN).
"When you go into a retail store and buy a jar of food, every ingredient is listed. Why shouldn't every restaurant be just as safe," asked Chef Tsai. "It is the responsibility of the restaurant owner and chef to know what is on the menu -- any danger his customers might experience. It's the right of every American to know, to be told."

"We have to get past the small language barriers -- they want to exempt restaurants with 50 seats or less from having to list ingredients. But all the big boys do it, all the chains list everything," said Che Tsai. "It's not so hard for management or a chef to hand-write everything on the menu. It's not rocket science."


An Emmy Award was conferred on "Simply Ming" in its early years and since then the show has twice been awarded the CINE Golden Eagle Award. In the intervening time, the chef has segued away from the Blue Ginger restaurant long enough to author three cookbooks: Blue Ginger, Simply Ming and Ming's Master Recipes as well as to launch a Blue Ginger line of products in partnership with Target stores. Featured is Ming's quick-cooking, frozen dim sum, noodle bowls, rice bowls and stir-fry kits as well as flavored chips and sauces.

With the increase in allergy awareness, the wait staff at Blue Ginger comes in contact with 15 to 20 patrons per night who ask for assistance in ordering, said Chef Tsai, adding, "We've worked with them, and now we've developed a reputation for being an allergy-friendly restaurant."

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