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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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, December 30, 2009

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Ginger Cookies

The Florida Naples News is having a cookie countdown for the holidays.

Did we mention that we love ginger? We've tried a number of ginger cookie recipes, and because we have dairy allergies in the family, we're always looking for one that doesn't require eggs or milk. This one came out of the oven fragrant and tasty, and after we let them sit overnight, the flavor was even richer and deeper. It's a perfect coffee or milk partner, with or without the sugar glaze.

Check out the full recipe at the site. And click here for a page of links to the full list of cookie recipes from the countdown.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yoghurt Dog Food?

You know, I hope, that all adult dogs are lactose intolerant. Just like all adults cats. And like 70% of adult humans. You can probably get away with giving your pets some milk but too much and you'll be scraping up the evidence that they are lactose intolerant.

So putting yogurt - or yoghurt, British style - into dog food would be a problem. Unless it's lactose-free yoghurt.

And that's what Yoghurt Plus contains, according to this press release.

Yoghurt Plus is a world-first in pet food delivering a number of unique benefits to dogs. It has a holistic, symbiotic blend of pro and pre biotics, lactose free yoghurt and enzymes that work together to give dogs a complete and balanced feed. Just like yoghurt creates inner health for humans, through the use of beneficial bacteria, Yoghurt Plus creates the same benefits for your pet. ...

Yoghurt Plus has been developed by John Gould, former Australian Rules Footballer, who played half back for two Carlton premiership sides in the 1960s. John, who resides in Camperdown, VIC and today owns 10 domestic dogs and a pack of over 80 foxhounds, developed the product over five years. ...

Available in two flavours for dogs with more varieties to come, and a cat food variant on the way, Yoghurt Plus is on sale at Coles and IGA at $13.62 for a 3kg and $6.98 for a 1.25kg.

It's nice to read that Gould knew enough abut dogs to take the lactose out. I can't vouch for the rest of the product, but that's a good start.

More information is at the Yoghurt Plus website.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Almost Vegan - Except for the Bread?

Lucy Waverman's article, Lucy Waverman's top foreign cookbooks of 2009 is a mite confusing in several ways. Since the article was in Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper, foreign has a different meaning than what most Americans would think.

And then there's this description:

As vegan cooking becomes mainstream, Terry Walters, in her excellent book, makes the case for interesting recipes using the right ingredients. She is all about good health, and her thesis is that you should eat food that is nourishing, never processed and has no animal association. This is essentially a vegan cookbook (she does use a baguette in one recipe), though it is never stated. Walters emphasizes taste and easy cooking methods. The recipes we tested were relatively straightforward, pure in content and with generally available ingredients. If you are interested in the vegan movement, this is a good place to start.

Wait. It's not vegan because it uses a baguette? Is this an insult to all intelligent vegans?

Baguettes, like many breads, do normally require yeast in the recipe. Yeasts are not animals, of course. They are fungi, in the same kingdom as mushrooms. If you can possibly believe that yeasts are too alive to eat, then so are plants and you've done yourself out of all food.

Anyway, back to Terry Walters.

Clean Food
A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You

More than a cookbook, Clean Food is a feast for the senses that will nourish mind, body, soul…and the planet, too. With more than 200 fresh, seasonal, and tempting vegan recipes, it will help everyone eat the way the want: close to the source.

From the White House kitchen to fast food restaurants, everyone’s discussing "the sustainable diet." But what exactly does that mean? Terry Walters explains it all, and shows us how to eat seasonal, unprocessed, and locally-grown foods that are good for us and the environment.

Walters’s emphasizes tastes as much as ingredients in delicious recipes that include whole grains, vegetables, legumes, sea vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and range from Crispy Chickpea Fritters to Spicy Thai Tempeh with Cashews to a vegan and sugar-free Chocolate Lover's Tart that's absolutely luscious! Since they're arranged from spring to winter (with a chapter for “anytime at all”), it's easy to find the right meals for every season of the year.

Terry's dynamic personality shines through on every page, particularly in her extensive introduction to the world of whole foods (which includes a glossary of ingredients). This is certain to be the cookbook of this and every season—the one that will help us make positive, sustainable, and yet delicious changes to the way we eat every day.

Terry Walters is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor who empowers individuals to make positive physiological changes through one-on-one health and nutrition counseling, whole food cooking instruction, workshops, public speaking engagements, and programs designed to support and facilitate change to a healthier life. Terry draws from extensive educational and life experiences including training from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, The Natural Gourmet Cookery School, The Kushi Institute, and the Chopra Center. She lives in Avon, Connecticut.

Sterling Publishing
304 page hardcover
List price: $30.00 US
$35.00 Canadian

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

My latest trip to the supermarket also led me to stumble over a display of products from The company was started by - you guessed it - a mother who started baking for her child.

So, my idea was born. That night I immediately went home and started creating a recipe for Super Sugar Cookies. Why shouldn't I be able to go to a store, any store, to get delicious gluten, egg and nut free cookies for my son? Many batches and tastings of cookies later my concept was real and tangible. Cookies...FOR ME? is born!

This is not just a passion for me but a labor of love. I want anyone that might have these sensitivities to feel special and know that they can get delicious bakery cookies like anyone else. If you could have seen Matthew's face light up when he saw these decorated sugar cookies for him your heart would melt. He grabbed a cookie, took a bite then ran upstairs to wake his dad and tell him "mommy made cookies for me."

The sugar cookies are still gluten-free and are also dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free. As far as I can tell, so are all their other cookies and brownies.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Smart Balance Lactose-Free Products

Browsing around the supermarket today, I ran into Smart Beat cheese. That reminded me that I haven't talked about the company for a while, a company that has a whole range of lactose-free products.

The actual company name is Smart Balance.

Here's a list of the lactose-free products I can find at that site.

Smart Beat® Fat Free Slices
(Enjoy this lactose-free alternative to ordinary cheese and you’ll get calcium and protein – with no fat – at only 25 calories per slice. Smart Beat® Fat Free Slices are certified by the American Heart Association. They’re also certified Kosher.)

Smart Balance™ Lactose-Free Fat Free Milk, with Omega-3's & Vitamin E
(Milk is currently available in FL, ME, RI, MA, CT, NY (Metro NY and Albany), NJ, VT, NH, and GA (Publix in Atlanta).)

Smart Balance® Organic Buttery Spread
(This all-natural, certified organic, 79% vegetable oil Spread tastes and cooks like rich butter, but is 100% vegan.)

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Dairy-Free Brownies by Alicia Silverstone

First, the good stuff.

I told you about Alicia Silverstone's Kind Diet cookbook. If you want to see a luscious-looking dairy-free brownie recipe from it, get on over to ABC News, which reprints an article by Michele Kayal for The Associated Press. That features a photo of a brownie that looks about as thick and creamy as a chocolate cake. Mine never come out that way, but you're probably a better baker than I am.

Now the rant.

Don't you hate articles on the Web that make you click onto a second (or third or fourth) page, just to see one line for no other reason than it gives you more exposure to more ads? This story commits that offense. And there's not even an option to put the whole recipe onto one page. Recipes should be all on one page. Always.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Modified Milk Ingredients

Jeff sent me a nice email, citing my website as the starting point he needed to track down a mystery in the ingredients list.

Following a link I originally got from one of your pages led me eventually to the first actual explanation I have seen of what exactly “modified milk ingredients” signifies in an ingredient list. From:


What is meant by the description: Modified Milk Ingredients?


The term "Modified Milk Ingredients" can be used on a product label where the formulation call is for a blend of a dairy by-product (such as whey) with a milk-based ingredient (such as skim milk powder/whole milk powder.) Rather than list the ingredients separately, the manufacturer is able to use this generic description which also allows for changes to be made to the dairy formulation at a later date without having to re-do the label information on the packaging material. In this scenario the product has been "modified" by mechanical means.

The use of the term "Modified" in this case should not be confused with the term "Genetically Modified Organism" (GMO) which involves a product/ingredient for which the composition has been altered chemically or genetically from its original form.

Remember that this answer is taken off of a Canadian site so the technicalities may not be exactly equivalent under U.S. law. It should still be close enough to warn you that the contents will be a dried milk powder and dried milk powders are high in lactose.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Good Afternoon, Calgary

A little late, unless they do reruns or repeats, but I did a live interview with Canadian radio station CHQR today. Mike Blanchard interviewed me to get my reactions on an article that had appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail called "Is milk good for your kids?"

Hey, you know me. Try to pin me down on a complicated, contentious subject and I strike back with a forthright "Yes. And No." Which I believe strongly.

The article is mostly one sided, with eminent doctors citing studies that have shown some negative effect of milk. These articles are true but the kind of truth that results from not mentioning any studies on the other side, like those that show that low-fat milk can help control, even lower, high blood pressure and so lower hypertension. The alternative view is given by representatives of farmers groups, who unfairly are not given a chance to cite particular studies.

If you read carefully you see that even the nay-sayers are reluctant to remove milk from children's diet. They do question whether the Canadian government guidelines should proclaim it to be "essential".

I agree that milk is definitely not essential for those children and adults who are allergic to milk. A great many alternatives now can be found in stores, "milk" substitutes made from soy, rice, nuts, hemp, and coconuts. Parents need to compare the nutritional labeling to regular milk to ensure that the nutrients these "milks" contains are close to the original. With dozens of different brands and styles and market segments aimed for, ingredients often vary widely.

Those of us who are lactose intolerant can use these products as well, but we can also find ready-made lactose-free milk and other diary products or use lactase pills - several brands of which are made by Canadian companies - to reduce symptoms if you're having regular dairy products.

Dairy is well known for high calcium content in a palatable form. There is calcium in cheese and pizza and ice cream and custards and all the other delicious dairy products that are omnipresent in western food cultures. You can trying getting your kids to load up on green vegetables and fish for their calcium but many parents report that it's a harder job.

And there is a hidden danger of merely yanking milk away from a group likely to drink large quantities of it. The alternative is all too often not soy "milk" but soda. Sweet soda contains twice as much sugar per glass than milk does and has virtually none of the many nutrients milk is famous for, according to

In short:

• Know what problem you're trying to solve.
• Know both the pros and cons of the food you're concerned about and the food you want to replace it with.
• Learn whether your child will accept and adapt to the new diet.
• Learn to stop being frightened. Unless you child had a true allergy, which only affects 2-3% of children, and therefore must eliminate milk, dairy products are always an option. They may not be essential. They may not be necessary, since vegans can have perfectly healthy diet with the same kind of attention and intimate knowledge of their food that I suggest. But there is no good reason to think that they are actively harmful. The data is sketchy and limited. We need better studies all around before we start eliminating major food groups.

In the end it's a private choice for adults and a reasoned choice for parents of children. You can keep a child perfectly healthy and happy either way. Convenience, cost, and availability, especially of packaged food, restaurant meals, and eating with Friends and family, may become the determining factor.

You can find a middle course through the dueling experts. It's called common sense. Parents are good at finding that middle ground, even in a subject as contentious and poorly understood as milk and dairy.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Lactose Intolerance and Diarrhea Revisited

I received an email with a straightforward question that I may never have answered as compactly.

Steve, I am wondering if a person who gets diarrhea from being lactose intolerant would get diarrhea from other foods more readily than if you weren't LI?

So here's the short answer.
No, there is no connection between LI and other diarrhea-causing problems.

However, some diseases, like irritable bowel syndrome, may be triggered by milk and also by other foods. That's a different mechanism than LI, however.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lactose-Free Egg Nog

Lactose-free egg nog is like lactose-free everything else. You start with lactose-free milk and then proceed as per usual. All the Dairy-Free Egg Nog recipes I linked to yesterday are also lactose-free, of course, but won't have any milk in them at all.

These recipes, therefore, are just for the lactose intolerant, not the milk allergic or vegans.

The Sneaky Kitchen has a recipe that starts with regular Lactaid brand lactose-free milk, but you can use any brand of lactose-free milk in it.

Lactaid does have a premade Eggnog of its own that it rolls out during the holiday season. The Lactaid site also has a EggNog Cinnamon French Toast recipe that starts with its Eggnog. (Why the capital N in the recipe title when there isn't one in the drink? Copyeditors are expensive.)

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

Rushing into the holiday season as we are, making up batches of egg nog lacking the vital ingredients of egg and nog may the last things on the minds of most, even the vegans amongst us. But there are many different ways of whipping up a quick batch of dairy-free nog or non nog. Non nog is also the sound your tongue makes if you spike it too heavily, so beware. There's going to be a lot of snow over half the country this weekend.

(Why nog? What's in the nog portion anyway? Spikes. The "name may have come from 'noggin,' a small drinking vessel or from joining the sounds of 'egg 'n grog.'") has a vegan "eggnog" using soy or rice "milk" and no eggs.

If both dairy and soy are problems, try this recipe from the Two Foot Kitchen blog that blends almond milk with coconut milk and eggs.

The Feminine Fit Body blog has a variation using just coconut milk.

Or you could go without a base liquid at all, as in this almond-based recipe from Elana's Pantry.

For those of us for whom making two ingredients together is a challenge, or just if you're too busy to need to worry about a new recipe, the easiest way out is have the non nog already made up for you, as in Silk's seasonal soy-based Silk Nog. Vitasoy used to have two holiday nog flavors, but I can't find it on their website so they may have discontinued it.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vegan "Conscious Cook"

Tal Ronnen, who was born in Israel and grew up in New York, is "one of the most celebrated vegan chefs working today". Hey, his own website says that, so who am I to disagree?

What would a celebrated chef be these days without his own cookbook, and Chef Tal has a new one, The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.

Product Description
A former steak lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him hungry and filled with cravings for butter and meat. By applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he found that he could gratify his cravings for rich flavor and fat.

The Conscious Cook shows readers that avoiding the health risks and ethical dilemmas of eating meat and dairy does not mean sacrificing taste and appetite. This is not a cookbook of sprouts and tofu burgers, but of mouth-watering, hearty meals that keep the protein at the center of your plate. Featuring 75 original recipes that will satisfy the fussiest foodies and the most dedicated of carnivores, The Conscious Cook is a breakthrough in meatless cuisine that will revolutionize the way readers experience food.

About the Author
Chef Tal Ronnen is the most celebrated vegan chef working today. In the spring of 2008, he became known nationwide as the chef who prepared vegan meals for Oprah Winfrey's 21-day vegan cleanse. He has since catapulted to fame, catering Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's vegan wedding, Arianna Huffington's party at the Democratic National Convention, and the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate.

William Morrow hardcover
240 pages
List price: $29.99

UPDATE: January 22, 2010
Pat Tannen on has a review of this book that, while overwhelmingly positive, mentions a few flaws that people ought to know about as well.
So, you may ask, if the recipes in The Conscious Cook deliver excellent results, what are my reservations? For one, the book’s index is virtually useless. And instructions, while for the most part painstaking, can at times be sloppy. The tempeh recipe, for example, instructs the cook to reserve the broth (which is superb) after removing the tempeh. Yet it never says what to do with it. Another recipe is for Asian Tacos with Kinpira. Kinpira is never defined. (According to Wikipedia, it’s sauteed root vegetables). Another quibble: It becomes evident halfway through the book that Mr. Ronnen is hawking a meat- substitute called Gardein, which turns out to have been developed by a friend. This may, in fact, be an excellent product — I don’t know — but because he leaves it unclear as to whether he is benefiting financially from it, his advocacy made me uncomfortable.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No Gluten in Blue Cheese

As a self-educated expert I depend upon the knowledge of others, so if they're wrong I'm wrong. That forces me to have a highly developed detector for anything that sounds even slightly off. I always doublecheck those claims before I accept them.

You'd think that celebrities intruding into the field would have highly paid people to do that work for them. Far too great a percentage of the time, they amass information rather than rigorously filtering it.

Case in point: The View correspondent Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Oprah favorite Dr. Idiot Oz. Oz had Hasselbeck on his show to discuss gluten-free eating, because, wonders of wonders, she has a book out. But neither one of them seems to have done their homework.

On Chicago, Patricia Biesen wondered:

This week Dr. Oz devoted a show to celiac disease featuring Elizabeth Hasselbeck. For the record, the only thing I have in common with Ms. Hasselbeck is that we both avoid wheat in our diets. A lot of GF experts don't agree completely with her book, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide as she claims certain foods like blue cheese contain gluten. I'm not sure how moldy cheese can contain gluten but judge for yourself.

The link goes to Dr. Oz's website, which claims:
Gluten can also hide in other foods and food products like bacon bits, blue cheese, beer, flavored coffee, licorice and soy sauce.

So what do real gluten-free experts say?

I just happen to have in front of me the new issue of Gluten-Free Living. And they have an article specifically about blue cheese, which says:
You have probably heard or read that clue cheese is off limits for celiacs because moldy bread is used to produce the blue veins. That's how it was done in the past. But there is reason to believe that the process has been supplanted by one that relies on lab-grown cultures. ...

[T]he Canadian Celiac Association did extensive testing on several types of blue cheese. They used three types of tests on five samples of different blue cheeses, testing each sample three times. In all cases, no detectable gluten was found. ...

So, the facts are in on blue cheese. It would be safe for those on a gluten-free diet even when the mold the produces it has been grown on bread.

Blue cheese is often cited as one of the relatively low-lactose cheese varieties as well. That means it can be on both diets' lists, though obviously not if you're allergic to dairy protein.

Try also to be allergic to what celebrities say. Take the word of those of us who anonymously toil to get the real information and the correct facts out to you.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beautiful Sweets Gluten-Free Cookies Also Dairy Free

The Beautiful Sweets Organic Bakery has just launched a line of gluten-free cookies.

We are extremely excited to announce our new line of gluten-free cookies. We have spent many months developing and testing our gluten-free recipes and the feedback we have received from all of our testers is that they taste terrific! Our gluten-free cookies are baked in a separate and completely isolated kitchen to insure there is no cross contamination. The available flavors include vanilla, chocolate and gingerbread.

In developing our gluten-free line, we utilized the expertise of one of the leading gluten-free cooks in the country (Jean Duane - The Alternative Cook). Jean expertise with gluten-free baking was instrumental in enabling us to come up with such a great tasting line of gluten-free cookies. We also highly recommend Jean's newest gluten-free cookbook, entitled Bake Deliciously!

What you don't find out at the site is revealed by the press release they sent out.
Just in time for the holidays, Beautiful Sweets teamed up with Jean Duane, Alternative Cook to develop gluten-free (and dairy-free) cookies to add to their product line. These organic beauties are made in a brand-new separate kitchen dedicated to gluten-free baking. Gluten-free and our gluten testers unanimously agree these cookies taste delicious! Vanilla, chocolate and gingerbread cookies are available and each work-of-art cookie is handcrafted and decorated.

That's even better.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

All about Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Catherine Lewis, Alternative Health Journal Editor, wrote about acidophilus.

I always get flak whenever I write negatively about alternative medicine. Yet Lewis' article is a sound explanation of the uses of probiotics.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a homo-fermentative species in the genus Lactobacillus. Strains of this species grow naturally in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina of both humans and animals. Certain strains of Lactobacillus Acidophilus are said to have probiotics characteristics, with these strains being used in many commercial dairy products. Lactobacillus Acidophilus provides many benefits to your body including the stimulation it gives your immune system, its help with digestion, its ability to prevent infection and the way it helps manage your cholesterol levels.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus got its name from a German gastroenteritis named Ismar Isidor Boas, who founded and studied this species. The name came from “lacto” which means milk; “bacillus,” meaning rod shaped and “acidophilus” because it has acid loving properties. Because of these properties, Lactobacillus Acidophilus is also referred to as “acid-loving milk bacterium” as well as “Boas-oppler.”

Is there a "but"?

Yes, sadly. There always is.

Lewis finishes the article by saying, correctly:
Some of the best sources of L. acidophilus can be found in fermented dairy products, with the most common ones being yogurt and sweet acidophilus milk. It is also found in a number of dietary supplements. For more information on probiotic supplementation, visit the Bacteral website.

And that site is totally crackpot misinformation.

You are confronted with this banner at the top:
Toxic fecal matter in our colons is slowly killing us

“I am urging all Americans to cleanse their colons with probiotics and to take the coming health crisis seriously to fight off parasites and germs!”

There is no toxic fecal material in your colon. Cleanses and whatnot are sheer quackery. I've had four colonoscopies. That means I've had to clean out my colon of all material so that my insides would be completely visible. No toxic material ever comes out. Just normal stuff, just like every day.

What else does this site say?
Our natural barrier against viruses, germs and parasites has completely broken down and left us exposed and unprotected

That barrier is our colons. Fully 60% of our immune cells are in our intestinal tract. They’re our first line of defense against all sorts of viruses, germs, bacteria, fungi and parasites that ravage our bodies and make us ill. Thanks to food additives, pesticides, preservatives, and other chemicals, our colons are clogged up with toxic fecal waste that is leaking into our bloodstream and allowing all sorts of sicknesses to overwhelm us. They make our skin old and wrinkly. They put on 10-20 pounds of excess toxic weight….plus we compromise our immune systems…… not to mention reduced energy levels, joint discomfort, and unhealthy eyes, hair and nails.

It is an example of the bad bacteria winning the battle over the GOOD Bacteria or the Probiotics.

It’s true when they say: “Death begins in the colon.” When your bowels aren’t working, your whole body is at risk for disease and we have only a small army of Probiotics that have no chance against the enormous onslaught of germs and parasites Our Colons need to be CLEAN!

Today, the average American colon is bulging with up to 15 pounds of putrid, rotting, fecal matter. Even slender people have clogged colons. Even people who have daily bowel movements can have crusty stool parts lodged in intestinal pockets for weeks, months, even years!

I covered the nonsense that "Fully 60% of our immune cells are in our intestinal tract." before in Immune System Not in Your Gut. The rest is equally wrong.

And why does this site want you to believe this nonsense? Because it has probiotics to sell you.

Here's the simplest rule of thumb you'll ever see. If a site tries to scare you to death to sell you their products, run like hell.

That's the problem with alternative sites. Some of the information is fine. But there is seldom any discrimination. All alternatives are equal and equally fine. But they just aren't.

That's true in mainstream medicine as well, to be sure. But mainstream medicine - sometimes called allopathic medicine by the alternative community - does police itself, with strong and public arguments. The alternative community supports and defends its worst elements. That needs to end so that the best practitioners don't get tainted and ignored by the ones who are merely pushing product and trying to scare the toxic fecal matter out of you.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Planet Lactose, Another Good Thought for a Present

Thinking about Hanukkah gifts made me think about Christmas gifts and gift giving in general. Why give a gift that will be used up and thrown away in an evening. Why not something that will last, because it's something you can turn to over and over again?

OK, you caught me. A little self-promotion here. But honestly, Planet Lactose, The Best of the Blog is a terrific compilation of the best, most timeless posts I've made here so far.

You don't even have to take my word for it. I've got independent witnesses, as testified to in my press release.

You can order it from my new publishing company. Or check out the block and the website that goes along.

The book is easiest to order via PayPal. If you live outside the country or want to contact me for other reasons, here's even more info.

And now for a big, big look at the cover. Cartoon is by Dan Reynolds.

The book has a little bit, heck, a whole lot, of everything that might interest you.

Cost is a measly $16.00, with free delivery, except outside of the U.S. Just go to and go to the Purchase Books page. With PayPal everything is automated and easy.

Your friends will be amazed you could give something so obviously useful away. It'll really show how much you're thinking about them.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Entrée to Judaism

What better way to celebrate Hannukah - yes, I know the first night was yesterday, hush already - than to point you to a huge doorstop of an all-encompassing guide to Jewish cuisine, priced to be nothing other than a holiday present to someone you want to impress? And it may even be worth the price.

The Dallas Morning News profiled this Dallas author in an article by Tina Danze.

Entrée to Judaism (URJ Press, $39.95) is a vast, multiethnic survey of Jewish cooking. The diversity of recipes in this book will astound you – especially if your idea of Jewish food is stuck in the brisket and matzo ball soup vein.

Written by Dallas cooking instructor and Reform Judaism magazine food columnist Tina Wasserman, this cookbook and culinary history mines all corners of the world to explore Jewish cooking since the Diaspora (the resettling of Jews beyond Israel).

Wasserman reaches back centuries for exotic recipes prepared by Jews in ancient lands – from Asia to Africa, throughout the spice route and all across Europe. She also showcases New World and modern expressions of Jewish cooking in the Caribbean, Latin America and Wasserman's kosher kitchen in Dallas. It all adds up to 275 recipes from more than 40 countries, and scores of anecdotes explaining the dishes' cultural origins. ...

You don't have to be Jewish to appreciate this book. It's an international cookbook that would appeal to anyone who values interesting yet easy ethnic recipes. Wasserman's experience in teaching home cooks keeps it accessible.

The book is 472 large-dimension pages, and weighs in at almost 4 pounds, or 2 1/2 latkes.
Product Description
What we eat says so much about who we are and from where we come. Do you like your matzah brie sweet or savory? Is your chicken soup matzah ball or mulligatawny? Does your menu feature a cheese torta or a tofu salad? Wherever Jews have settled, they have adapted local tastes and ingredients to meet the needs of Shabbat and kashrut, creating a rich and diverse menu of flavors and styles, all still Jewish. In Entrée to Judaism , Tina Wasserman leads a culinary journey around the world and across the ages, from Spain to India, from Russia to Tunisia, sharing the histories and recipes of the great Diaspora communities and the many wonderful ways they have told their stories through food.

•Accessible, easy-to-follow recipes for the novice home cook and expert chef alike.
•Features “Tina's Tidbits,” fun facts and great cooking tips for every recipe.
•Includes over 275 recipes and dozens of full-color photos.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Top Ten New Dairy-Free Foods 2009 Countdown

Over at Alisa Fleming writes that:

Each year our review staff samples hundreds of new dairy-free products. We are constantly scouring the shelves for the latest natural goodies to challenge the myth that dairy-free living is anything less than delicious. This year we had so many new innovations to choose from that it was mind-boggling, but we finally narrowed it down to ten wonderful foods. Oh yes, and our selections are completely unbiased, unsponsored, and personally sampled, so you can bet these are foods we happily spend our own hard-earned money on …

Wait. Our review staff? Staff? I've always wanted to have staff. A flunky, even. Maybe a peon. An unpaid intern would be nice. Dear Santa...

Anyway, she's been counting down the top ten and we're finally down to number one.

But first:
10: Erewhon Strawberry Crisp Cereal
9: Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips
8: Amazing Grass Berry GREENSuperFood
7: Applegate Farms Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets
6: Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70
5: Clean Cravings Pesto Pizza
4: Amy’s Organic Cakes
3: So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage
2: Go Max Go Candy Bars

And the top choice is:

Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread - Soy-Free

Seriously, why in the world did it take so long for someone to come out with a dairy-free, soy-free butter alternative? For its versatility, ingredients, and performance, this buttery spread easily slides into our number one spot ...

As a trans fat free spread, Earth Balance Soy-Free is heads and tails above traditional old margarine in terms of ingredients, yet it performs equally well in recipes. We have trialed it in baked goodies, roasted vegetables, stove-top sauces, melted atop broccoli and green beans, whipped into frostings, and simply spread on fresh-baked bread, and I am happy to say that it easily passed all tests.

The texture of the new Earth Balance Soy-free is close to identical to your average tub margarine, the mouth feel is rich and creamy, and the flavor is spot on. My only complaint was that it tasted a touch saltier than I am used too, but my fellow reviewer thought it could use a touch more salt … so I think this is simply a matter of taste.

Not all stores are stocking the soy-free version as of yet, but when I asked my local Whole Foods and even my local mega-grocer to bring some in, both not only obliged, but were surprised when the remaining tubs from the batch they ordered flew off the shelves.

You can read more about each selection at Go Dairy Free.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Just in time for holiday buying and baking comes yet another cookbook from the ridiculously prolific ~ Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, the post-punk vegans, authors of (deep breath now) Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Veganomicon, and Vegan Brunch.

The latest is Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats.

Product Description
Don’t run. Don’t hide. Vegan cookies are going to invade your cookie jar, one delicious bite at a time. Join award-winning bakers Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (authors of the hit cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) as they continue their world-domination mission—with dairy- and egg-free batches of everyone’s favorite treats.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar includes more than 100 irresistible recipes for cookies, bars, biscotti, brownies, and more. Discover festive desserts that are sure to impress family and friends at any occasion, from birthdays to bake sales. Or simply tempt yourself with:

· Magical Coconut Cookie Bars
· Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies
· Peanut Butter Crisscrosses
· NYC Black & Whites
· Key Lime Shortbread Rounds
· Call Me Blondies
· Macadamia Lace Cookies

Throughout the book, Isa and Terry share their best mixing, baking, and decorating techniques and tackle age-old cookie conundrums. Learn the secrets of vegan-izing name-brand favorites (Nutter Betters, anyone?), whipping up gluten-free batches, and even making cookies you can eat for breakfast. When vegan cookies invade your cookie jar, it’s yummy to give in!

256 page Paperback
Da Capo Lifelong Books
List price: $17.95

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Alcohol for Vegans

I admit that I was startled the first time I heard that you could find lactose in beer. With all due modesty, that means that most people don't have any idea that beers like milk stout, liquors that are cream (not creme) liquors, and even some wines that are "fined" with milk all contain dairy. The amount of lactose and of dairy varies from significant to infinitesimal so it's next to impossible to give guidelines of whether any any individual name, brand, or type might give you problems.

And vegans as well as those keeping kosher may need to avoid products with animal-based ingredients entirely. Where do you go for a list of those? How about Barnivore: Your vegan wine and beer guide.

Barnivore compiles information on hundreds of beer, wine, and liquor companies and rates them as vegan friendly or NOT vegan friendly. The companies that get the dreaded NOT are usually ones that use animal products in the fining process. What does that mean for any individual bottle? Fortunately, the listing for each entry explains the details in more, um, detail. Animal products are not always the same as dairy products so the guide is stricter than we would need, but I don't know of any sites that concentrate solely on dairy in the same way. If you do, please let me know.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Lactose Intolerant Dairy Princess

Sports Illustrated might include this headline in their "sign of the apocalypse" series, but I see it as encouraging that this year's New Jersey State Dairy Princess is lactose intolerant.

Terry Wright's story on tells us that:

Molly Boyle, 17-year-old daughter of Marianne Andrulewich and Richard Boyle of Raritan Township, is the 2009-10 New Jersey Dairy Princess. She was crowned during the recent centennial celebration of the N.J. Holstein-Friesian Association at the Neshanic Valley Country Club.

Molly won partly by creating a 3-a-Day Puzzle for first and second graders that yielded a message on healthy living when the pieces were put together. She gave a speech on "Lactose Intolerance in the Dairy Industry" that apparently detailed how one can be lactose intolerant and still have dairy regularly. Good for her.

And boo to reporter Wright, who needs to have a long talk with Ms. Boyle. She does emphatically not have a "milk allergy." That would prohibit her from consuming dairy. I bet she knows the difference between lactose intolerance and dairy allergy. Get the facts. Get the facts straight. The Dairy Queen does.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Goat Milk Allergies Are Real

Goat milk is the current hot fashion and so most of what you read about goat milk comes from people who are trying to sell you the stuff. Objectivity isn't their goal. Money is. Some are true believers, to be sure, but I wouldn't go first to true believers for my facts.

So it's not true that goat milk is good for people with lactose intolerance. And it's not true that goat milk is good for people with cow's milk protein allergies.

What is true is that goat's milk has a somewhat different set of proteins than cow's milk, so some people, the ones who are allergic to the specific proteins that are found in cow's milk but not goat's milk, can safely drink goat's milk. You can't know for sure who you are unless you get a very sophisticated test or actually try drinking the milk and challenging yourself.

What is less obvious is that the reverse is also true. If goat's milk has a different set of proteins and people are allergic to some proteins but not others, there must be people who are allergic to goat's milk but not to cow's milk. You never hear the goat milk crowd warning anybody about this, but it must logically be true.

And here's the case that show it. A story by Conor Sharkey in the Strabane Chronicle in Ireland reported the harrowing tale of Rachel Devine, who went into a coma on a holiday trip to Turkey after eating some ice cream.

The terrifying incident occurred in August when Rachel Devine (24) was holidaying in Turkey with her boyfriend. On the second day of their break, Rachel unwittingly bought an ice-cream made from goat's milk. Within minutes the law graduate's allergy to the milk took hold, bringing on anaphylactic shock and subsequently a heart attack.

As Rachel slipped into coma, she was rushed by military escort to the nearest intensive care unit before being transferred to a specialist unit in Ismear, 40 miles away.

The following morning her parents Stephen and Sandra flew out to Ismear to be told that their daughter's future hung very much in the balance.

Ten days later, Rachel was transferred by air amubulance to Altnagelvin and then Belfast's Royal Victoria where she remained in intensive care for almost four weeks.


"She and her boyfriend Chris had gone to Turkey on holiday and on the second day she bought an ice cream. She has only recently developed this allergy to goat's milk and just didn't realise.

"She could go down and buy an ice cream over here any day of the week and would be fine but didn't realise it was goat's milk she was eating out there. It just crept up on her.

I'm glad she's recovering. And I'll bet she'll never make this mistake again.

Don't you make this mistake either. While it's possible that you may be able to have goat's milk products even with a dairy protein allergy, don't test this theory out while on vacation in a country whose language you don't speak. Know your foods.

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Milk Alternatives in Baking

Linda Cicero's Cook's Corner column in the Miami Herald had a solid tip about using soy milk as a substitute for milk in baking.

Q: I recently started using soy milk, and I've gotten used to it in coffee, but don't know if I can use it in my baking or even in something like instant pudding. Do you have suggestions?


A: Instant pudding must need dairy proteins to set up properly. I tried using less soy milk than the package calls for -- 1 ½ cups rather than 2 -- and produced a pudding-like consistency.

My vegetarian daughter says she has been making pudding -- though not instant -- with soy milk, rice milk and almond milk for years using recipes that call for cow's milk. The same goes for muffins, cakes and cookies. She notes that rice milk is a bit sweeter and almond adds a bit of flavor. She recommends soy cream, which is thicker (find it near the refrigerated coffee creamers) for sauces like alfredo or scalloped potatoes.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

LI Celebrity Alert: Howie Mandel

The world's foremost germophobe, Howie Mandel, has written a celebrity TMI bio, Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me, detailing his history of health-oriented weirdness.

Photo by Matt Ottosen from Wikipedia

Naturally that includes lactose intolerance, as told to the Toronto Globe and Mail.

"I've had a very fractured, weird career," the 54-year-old performer says from his home in Los Angeles, where he lives with his family and suffers from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. "It's very ADHD of me," Mandel says with a laugh, "my appeal being so distracted."

With the amount of press he's doing, the focus on the bald comic will be narrowed – he'll be the guy talking about his childhood, a highly awkward stage of his life that, as we learn in the first chapter of his book, involved a lactose-intolerant, colour-blind boy so unfocused that he'd forget to go to the bathroom, which resulted not only in his wetting his pants, but in his throwing himself into puddles to cover it up. He also had a fear of laundry hampers, his skin was a nesting ground for sand flies and he needed 100-per-cent attention.

Thanks, Howie. We needed that.

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iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free™

I'm on the go myself, away from home and not able to post as often as I would like, so it highly appropriate that I write about iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free™, an iPhone app from the people behind Let's Eat Out and the GlutenFree Passport site.

iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free™ dynamically customizes menu items from 15 Fast Food and Quick Service Restaurant Chains in the US based on your allergens. Quickly & discreetly, you can:

Select and personalize any combination of 9 common food allergens:
Gluten • Wheat • Eggs • Fish • Milk • Peanuts • Shellfish • Soy • Tree Nuts

Explore 15 menus from top US Fast Food & Quick Service

View almost 1,600 menu items with color coded-columns to see which items contain your concerns

Hide menu items that contain your allergens to see what you CAN eat

The fast food chains involved are: Arby’s, Boston Market, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Qdoba, Sonic, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

FAAN's New Look

I mention FAAN, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network often, because it's a major source of information. They've modernized the look of their website and made it a bit easier to find information.

Their Milk page has just a few basics on it, but it does confirm some things I've been telling people for years, like this:

Do these ingredients contain milk?
We frequently receive calls about the following ingredients. They do not contain milk protein and need not be restricted by someone avoiding milk:

•Calcium lactate
•Calcium stearoyl lactylate
•Cocoa butter
•Cream of tartar
•Lactic acid (however, lactic acid starter culture may contain milk)
•Sodium lactate
•Sodium stearoyl lactylate

The odd one out on that list is oleoresin, defined as "A naturally occurring mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir." In more than ten years on the Web nobody has ever asked me whether oleoresin is a dairy product and I've never seen any connection made in any product. Checking everything is, to be sure, a wise idea. Still, that's a strange entry on a frequent asked question list.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Instruction: Enjoy

The traffic's a hassle, the families are loud and trying, the food's a trap with every mouthful.

What to do? Surround yourself with people you want to be with over a holiday. Select a few favorite foods and make them your feast. Carry lactase pills everywhere you go. Eat light, save room for a small dessert. Get home safely. Do something fun.

Kiss whoever you love.

That's my Thanksgiving. Hope it works for you.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Indian Vegan Kitchen

With all recipes dairy-free and egg-free, Madhu Gadia's Indian Vegan Kitchen cookbook is a just-in-time find for the holiday season.

Charlyn Fargo wrote in the Jamaica, W. I. Gleaner , quoting Gaida that:

"Everyone should be eating more vegetables, and they're looking for recipes that have more flavour," said Gadia, who also authored New Indian Home Cooking and has taught cooking classes.

Don't think curry when Indian food is mentioned - that's just one of many spice blends that Gadia uses in the book, which has been featured in the October issue of Oprah's O magazine. The new book is egg-free and dairy-free with quick and healthy recipes.

"I grew up surrounded with vegetarian food," she said. "In India, being vegetarian is considered 'normal' and eating meat is an anomaly. Even meat eaters eat vegetarian meals several times a week," said Gadia. "Working as a dietitian, I have seen the traditional American diet change over the last couple of decades. I live in the Midwest, where meat and potatoes are the staple, and encouraging people to eat more vegetables is a constant challenge."

Her answer is to try Indian vegetarian dishes that are full of flavour.

Product Description:
The author of New Indian Home Cooking presents a fresh take on Indian recipes for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone who loves Southeast Asian cuisine.

Renowned nutritionist and cooking instructor Madhu Gadia delivers a wonderful new recipe collection that is perfect for vegans looking for fresh ideas, as well as anyone who savors healthy, light recipes that don't compromise on authenticity. Unlike most Indian vegetarian cookbooks, this unique collection avoids dairy and eggs, highlighting vegetables, and making use of soy products and other simple substitutions. It also offers nutritional analyses, as well as notes on serving, history, and variations.

Perigee Trade Paperback
240 pages
List price: $18.95

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking

Publisher's Weekly just gave a starred review (that's every author's dream) to Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking: More than 250 Great-tasting, From-scratch Recipes from Around the World, Perfect for Every Meal and for Anyone on a Gluten-free Diet-- and Even Those Who Aren't by Kelli Bronski and Peter Bronski.

From their website:

Featuring more than 250 great-tasting, from-scratch recipes from around the world, perfect for every meal and for anyone on a gluten-free diet...and even those who aren't! (The Experiment, 2009)

From the back cover:

Here at last is the delectable and doable gluten-free cooking so many people with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance or wheat allergy have been looking for.

Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking is based on our cooking philosophy that follows four simple rules: the food should be fresh, the recipes should be simple, the meals should be made from scratch, and the food should be delicious. Our recipes span the globe, from Italian to Indian, Belgian to Mexican, and Asian to American.

Belgian Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls, Chicken Pad Thai, Curry-glazed Pork Tenderloin, Lasagna, thin crust and deep dish pizzas, Blueberry Pie, and Zucchini Cake will delight anyone following a gluten-free diet...and even those who aren't! More than 70 recipes - including breads, pastas, pizzas, and more than 20 desserts, from Chocolate Chip Cookies to Carrot Cake - showcase our intensively developed gluten-free flour blend. This is food so flavorful and enjoyable to eat that no one will know it's gluten-free. (Unless, of course, you tell them!)

The Experiment paperback
256 pages
List price: $18.95

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipes

What's Thanksgiving without a good old fashioned pumpkin pie? Hollow. Unfulfilling. Cool Whip-less. And what's the problem with pumpkin pie? Traditionally, the best recipes call for a can of evaporated milk, the thick concentrate made by removing most of the water from milk. That gives evaporated milk a lactose percentage about twice that of ordinary milk.

For years I sublimated my cravings with a wonderful dairy-free pumpkin pie made by Malek's Bakery in Rochester (technically in the suburb of Brighton), a kosher bakery that knows when and how to carefully remove all the dairy from a dessert. I've been avoiding dessert entirely for the past few weeks so I'm foregoing the pleasure this year. But that means the longing for the pie is all the greater.

It's not easy to substitute for evaporated milk. Most dairy-free pumpkin pie recipes will tell you to toss in low-fat lactose-free milk or soy milk or almond milk or just about anything that's liquid and lactose- or dairy-free. It's hard to imagine that these all can be made to march in lockstep in a recipe as delicate as pumpkin pie.

So I did a search to find recipes that specified one particular type of substitute, with the assumption that naming names means that the recipe has been successfully taste-tested.

The wonderfully named site has a recipe by a doctor, Robert Latkany, that manages to do away with the need for a dairy substitute liquid entirely, filling the hole with coconut oil and water.

The Teens With Crohn's Disease Website has a more straightforward version using vanilla Edensoy, a soy "milk." uses coconut milk, a substitute that is the most commonly named alternative for evaporated milk.

One more. On the My Kid's Allergies blog, the author adapts a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook recipe with rice milk and suggests using a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust because it contains neither dairy nor soy. There is, of course, wheat.

Those are all the major alternatives for evaporated milk so among them you should find one that will suit your special needs. Enjoy.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oprah's Favorite Vegan Cookbook

The news has taken the nation by storm, leaving a trail of broken hearts, weeping,a nd gnashing of teeth. No, not that Oprah Winfrey will be ending her show in 2011, but that Oprah won't be doing her annual Favorite Things show this year.

And yet, Oprah has been spending all year announcing favorites, so maybe we won't have to make do on scraps of hope. Huliq News has spent every waking hour parsing Oprah's every word to produce a list of Favorites.

And what's on that list? Nothing less than Oprah's Favorite Vegan Cookbook. Which is - ta, da! - The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat by Tal Ronnen.

Product Description
A former steak lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him hungry and filled with cravings for butter and meat. By applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he found that he could gratify his cravings for rich flavor and fat.

The Conscious Cook shows readers that avoiding the health risks and ethical dilemmas of eating meat and dairy does not mean sacrificing taste and appetite. This is not a cookbook of sprouts and tofu burgers, but of mouth-watering, hearty meals that keep the protein at the center of your plate. Featuring 75 original recipes that will satisfy the fussiest foodies and the most dedicated of carnivores, The Conscious Cook is a breakthrough in meatless cuisine that will revolutionize the way readers experience food.

About the Author
Chef Tal Ronnen is the most celebrated vegan chef working today. In the spring of 2008, he became known nationwide as the chef who prepared vegan meals for Oprah Winfrey's 21-day vegan cleanse. He has since catapulted to fame, catering Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's vegan wedding, Arianna Huffington's party at the Democratic National Convention, and the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dietitian Sylvia Melendez-Klinger Spanish Video on a Lactose-Free Holiday

Lactaid, which has pitched its lactose-free milks to the African-Americana and Latino communities regularly in the past, has a new pitch to the Spanish-speaking segment of the market.

In a press release that appears in both English and Spanish versions, Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer as well as founder of Hispanic Food Communications, gives tips for a high-calcium, lactose-free holiday season in a Spanish-language video.

Some tips in English:

•Include dark leafy greens such as kale and mustard, collard, broccoli and turnip greens or beans into your favorite, traditional dishes. These foods are not only good sources of calcium, but also low in fat.

•To boost your calcium intake, use canned fish such as salmon, in festive salads or pastas.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Predicting Dairy Allergies -- With a Pendulum?

Some people are so many standard deviations removed from the norm that mockery is less the proper response than a simple dropping of the jaw in disbelief.

Take Betty Meyler, president of Ireland's UFO Society. While yesterday I noted that Allergy N I has established a clinic for allergies in Ireland, Meyler scoffs at such mainstream and scientific methods of gaining information.

In an interview with Matt Gregg of the University Observer, Meyler had this to say:

"Are you familiar with pendulums?" she suddenly interjected. ... "I have a rose quartz pendulum on a little silver chain," she continued. "For me, if I ask it a question and the answer’s 'yes', it will go round and round. If the answer’s 'no', it will go up and down. ... I can use it for anything," she explains, "from discovering if I had a milk allergy to predicting where the next UFO sighting would be. My source of information is wherever I wish it to come from. For example, if I’m doing UFO stuff, I’ll call on Commander Ashta. Commander Ashta is the commander-in-chief of the intergalactic forces."

Too bad the rest of the world didn't know about this sooner. Allergy N I could have been spared all that tiresome research. Instead we could watch the pendulum go round and round or up and down or over under sideways down.
Over under sideways down,
Backwards forwards square and round.
Over under sideways down,
Backwards forwards square and round.
When will it end, when will it end,
When will it end, when will it end.

When will it end? Please, could someone tell me?

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

First UK/Ireland Allergy Support Center

The Allergy N I Support Centre has opened in Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is the first center or even centre of its kind in the UK.
"Allergy N I is a local charity formed in 2005, to support individuals and families with serious and potentially life threatening allergies by providing education, information, support and campaigning on their behalf."

What We Do

The following activities will be held at various venues throughout N. Ireland:
Workshops for parents/carers: covering concerns and issues relevent to you and finding a way forward.

Workshops for children aged 6-10 years: brothers and sisters of the allergic child can also participate in this fun way of finding out more about allergies.

Workshops for young people aged 11-18 years: covering topical issues for allergic teens.

Meetings with relevant speakers: we extend a warm welcome to members and non-members at all of our meetings.

'Nut-Free' Halloween party for children aged 3-10 years: this is a chance for all nut allergic children to feel part of and enjoy Halloween activities in a safer environment. (As with all our activities involving younger children, at least one parent/child will be asked to remain with their child).

Regional Newsletter for members: a quarterly edition will keep everyone up-to-date with what's happening around the Province. Members are encouraged to contribute via articles, Children's Joke corner, eating out and holiday experiences etc.

Raising awareness of allergies: this wil be carried out via the media, posters, leaflets, speaking to staff and students in schools, colleges etc as well as lobbying for improved allergy services in N. Ireland.

Putting parents in touch with each other to share experiences: if you would like to speak to someone with similar experiences to you, let us know and this can be arranged.

Provide advice and support to members: This is undertaken in various ways as part of our wide range of activities.

Fundraising: as well as a means of financing our many activities this can also be used to raise awareness.

They also sell a cookbook, Parties, Picnics, and Packed Lunches.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vance's DariFree - From Here to Lagos

Although I've had it listed in my Product Clearinghouse for many years, I've never mentioned Vance's DariFree here in the Planet Lactose blog.

DariFree is a powder made without dairy or soy or rice or any of the more commonly found milk alternatives. Instead it's based on maltodextrin, a polysaccharide or long-chained sugar, that is derived from potato starch. This makes it unusually allergen-free.

DariFree™ is not only Fat-free and Cholesterol-free, it is also free of Gluten, Casein, Soy, Rice and contains no MSG.

DariFree™ is available in 19.5 oz. cans (6 quarts) and economical 25 lb. boxes (115 quarts). If you can not find DariFree™ at your favorite health or specialty food store, you can ask them to order it, or you can search for a store near you at our Retail Store Locator. You may also purchase DariFree™ from our Online Store.

DariFree™ is in powder form and ideal for pantry storage. Simply mix with water and enjoy. Once mixed, DariFree™ remains fresh at least a week with refrigeration. We recommend using our unique mixer/server/pitcher when preparing DariFree™. You can purchase the mixer/server/pitcher from our Online Store.

Vance's also has a large number of International Distributors around the world since they can only ship to customers in the United States and Puerto Rico.

And that's how DariFree came back into my consciousness, through this article from Yemisi Ogbe of Lagos on
How do I know that this was a good year for Obudu Delight? Because this year, I gained a new food obsession; homemade Guinea corn gruel also known as Oka Baba or very commonly and plainly called Ogi, served with unrestrained lashings of Obudu delight. Ogi is never ever referred to at our house as "pap" because frankly, the word sounds disgusting.

OK, I'll admit I didn't understand a word of that paragraph. It doesn't even help when the author explains that "Obudu Delight by the way, is the name of the honey produced in deep cloud layers in Obudu cattle ranch." Honey produced in deep cloud layers?

Anyway, here's where DariFree comes in:
My Ogi is not only served with Obudu honey, but also a generous sprinkling of some strange milk substitute called Darifree. Darifree is only probably familiar to the lactose intolerant. And I call it strange because it is almost like an illusion...this free, that free...It is allegedly free of everything bad for the sensitive constitution yet tastes quite good.

And it can be purchased at Okoli supermarket in Dolphin Estate.

Who says we're not all connected on Planet Lactose?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

LI Celebrity Alert: John Cleese

Every fanatical Monty Python enthusiast knows that the family surname of John Cleese was changed from "Cheese" when his father went off to fight in WWI. A good thing, to be sure. Who would believe a comic actor by the name of John Cheese? And if he did have that name, would he have dared emphasize it in his work? The world might have lost the Cheese Shop sketch, a member of the pantheon of comedy.

So it's ironic on several levels that John Cleese is himself lactose intolerant, as revealed in this interview with Kerry Lengel of The Arizona Republic.

I love a little chocolate, but unfortunately, as I am lactose-intolerant, I have to get dark chocolate, and so much of that ends up having milk fat in it, too. I also have a problem with gluten, so it's amazing how little I can eat these days. Or rather, how careful I have to be.

John, Mr. Cleese, that's good advice on dark chocolate. But don't worry yourself with milk fat as in ingredient. It is essentially lactose-free.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cooking for Food Allergies Everyday & Gourmet

Libby Avery announced her new egg-free diary-free cookbook, Cooking for Food Allergies Everyday & Gourmet via a press release.

Libby Avery is a mother who for over 30 years has created recipes for her daughter who suffers from severe egg and dairy food allergies. Libby’s love of cooking turned into a passion to solve the dietary needs of her daughter. She wanted her daughter to experience all the things everyone else could, like birthday cakes, waffles, muffins, meatloaf, appetizers and main dishes. This cookbook offers recipes that taste like the real thing so that people suffering from these allergies don’t have to miss out on great tasting meals.

Libby experimented with ingredients and substitutions until each recipe tasted like the real thing. People living with these particular food allergies are left with one option, to eliminate egg and dairy from their diet, which ultimately eliminates many rich, creamy and “cheesy” tastes and sensations. This cookbook gives families who are dealing with egg and dairy food allergies the option to create the kind of meals they may have thought were going to be eliminated forever.

Family Friendly Publishing
257 pages
List price:$24.95

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Webber Naturals Lactase Enzyme

WN Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. is another Canadian firm that makes a lactase enzyme product. It's called webber naturals lactase enzyme. It comes in blister packs, meaning that you pop each one out of a flat package individually. Apparently, it comes only in the triple strength 9000 FCC units. Inert ingredients are cellulose and magnesium stearate.

Wikipedia states that:

Magnesium stearate melts at about 88 °C, is not soluble in water, and is generally considered safe for human consumption[citation needed]. Because it is widely regarded as harmless, it is often used as a diluent in the manufacture of medical tablets, capsules and powders (E470b). In this regard, the substance is also useful because it has lubricating properties, preventing ingredients from sticking to manufacturing equipment during the compression of chemical powders into solid tablets; magnesium stearate is the most commonly used lubricant for tablets.

When used as a filling agent in the manufacture of capsules and tablets, such as vitamins, the source of this ingredient is typically bovine.[citation needed] However, there is an increasing number of vegetarian options in which the product specifically indicates it contains magnesium stearate from vegetable sources.

You can read a product monograph .pdf about webber naturals lactase enzyme online.

It is available from many of the same online sources as SteriMax's Dairy Free lactase enzyme so it may be orderable in the U.S. in addition to Canada.

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SteriMax's Dairy Free Brand Lactase Pills

SteriMax Inc., a Canadian pharmaceutical firm, makes Dairy Free lactase enzyme, in regular strength - 3000 FCC units - and extra strength - 4500 FCC units.

Each white, round, biconvex tablet contains 3000 FCC lactase units of ß-D-galactosidase derived from Aspergillus oryzae Non-medicinal ingredients: cellulose, colloidal silicon dioxide, povidone and magnesium stearate Store at room temperature, away from heat Available in bottles of 100

Lactase Enzyme is for you when you suffer from GAS, CRAMPS, BLOATING, or DIARRHEA caused by milk or dairy products

Dairy Free is certified Kosher
Dairy Free is listed on the Quebec Formulary

Povidone is something most of you would probably not recognize. It is a synthetic polymer used as a dispersing and suspending agent. I found on Wikipedia that:
references state that as polyvinyl pyrrolidone and its derivatives are fully from mineral synthetic origin. Therefore, its use in the production should not be a problem for vegans.

The Extra Strength tablets are available only in bottles of 80.

Dairy Free Lactase Enzyme is available though a number of online Canadian suppliers. Some of them may ship to the U.S.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

LI Links - US

I've updated my LI Links page in my Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse. I've culled the dead links, so all the links are currently live. Many are new to the page.

The links go to pages that deal with every topic that I cover on this blog, so they include not just pages on lactose intolerance, but also ones on allergies, dairy-free foods, other diseases, getting calcium int your diet, and much more.

For your convenience I'm also listing them here. This post is for links that apply to the US, although a few go farther afield than that. If you have others to suggest that I've missed please put them in a comment. I'll try to update the LI Links page more regularly in the future.

U.S. Links

American Gastroenterological Association - Lactose Intolerance>

Avoiding Milk Protein/Cooking without milk


Calcium Counseling Resource

Calcium Metabolism

Calcium Supplements

Celiac Support Page

Choosing an Infant Formula

Chronic Constipation and Encopresis in Children

The Cooks Thesaurus: Non-dairy Milks & Creams

Dairy-Free Market

Dairy-free (and Lactose-free) Products

Dairy-Free Recipes

Dairy-Free Equivalents Recipes

Dairy-Free Recipes for Kids

Dodging Dairy: Handling Food Allergies

Eating Without Casein


Food Allergies and Intolerances in Babies and Children

Food Allergy - MedlinePlus

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Galactosemia Resources and Information

A Gluten & Casein Free Diet: An Experimental Intervention For Autism

Gluten Free & Casein Free Diet [Autism diet]

Go Dairy

The Gluten-Free Mall

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Kirsten's Non-Dairy 100% Lactose Free Web Page

Kosher Supermarket

Lactose-Free Recipes

Lactose Intolerance - MedicineNet

Lactose Intolerance - National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Lactose Intolerance - Wikipedia

Milk Allergy in Infants

Milk Allergy Resources Frequently Asked Questions – Allergies and Asthma

National Osteoporosis Foundation

NoMilk Mall: Dairy-Free Products

The No Milk Page

Non-Dairy Foods for Toddlers,10338,166592_105312,00.html

Osteoporosis - Mayo Clinic

Parve/Pareve FAQs

Soyfoods Directory - US

Vegan Recipe Collection

Why Does Milk Bother Me?

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LI Links - World

I've updated my LI Links page in my Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse. I've culled the dead links, so all the links are currently live. Many are new to the page.

The links go to pages that deal with every topic that I cover on this blog, so they include not just pages on lactose intolerance, but also ones on allergies, dairy-free foods, other diseases, getting calcium into your diet, and much more.

For your convenience I'm also listing them here. This post is for Multi-country and travel to multiple country links. If you have others to suggest that I've missed please put them in a comment. I'll try to update the LI Links page more regularly in the future.

World Links

Gluten Free Product Sources - Multi-Country

Travel Links

Food Allergy Translation Cards

Vegetarian Travel and Restaurants FAQ

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