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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Puppermint Lactose-Free Ice Cream

You're a mammal. Also mammals are naturally lactose intolerant after weaning. That means your pet dogs and cats should have milk products. Really. They aren't little furry people.

I remind people of this every once in a while. Just as I'm reminded every once in a while that some other people make lactose-free treats for their pets. I wrote about Ice Cream Sandwiches for Dogs a few years ago.

And today it's Pup Ice. Pup Ice is one of the products of Cold Nose Creamery. It comes in four flavors, Puppernilla, Puppernutter, Pup o' Latte, and of course Puppermint. All use lactose-free milk (made by adding the lactase enzyme) and soy milk.

At the moment Pup Ice is only sold in a few stores in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. They're trying to get a wider distribution, though.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook:

How convenient. I didn't have to look farther than my local paper for a posting topic. And a favorable one at that.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has been running a cake recipe of the month series all year. This time Karen Miltner responded to readers' requests to provide a gluten-free cake recipe. Although the recipe is for Gluten-free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Miltner also gives directions for the proper substitutions to make the cake dairy-free. And along the way she gives explanations of the ways that the various substitute flours work and combine to replace wheat.

The recipe is taken from a recently published cookbook, Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook: More than 100 Easy and Delicious Recipes from the Gluten-Free Chef, by Robert Landolphi.

Product Description
Gluten free doesn't have to mean taste free, and chef Robert Landolphi proves it with his new work, Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook.
Landolphi is the up and coming gluten-free cookbook author. His dishes aren't just delicious, they're also quick and easy, and take living without wheat from endurable to enjoyable.

It's lots of flavor without the fuss. This cookbook includes more than 100 recipes for contemporary dishes ranging from main courses and sides, to soups and chowders, biscuits and muffins, pies and puddings, and cookies and sweetbars.

About the Author
Robert M. Landolphi is a gluten-free chef and graduate of the prestigious Johnson and Wales University culinary school. He is currently a Certified Culinary Arts Instructor and Culinary Operations Manager at the University of Connecticut. Robert also writes for a variety of print media, and he has appeared on both radio and TV. His home is in Hampton, CT.

I'll add this book to the Wheat- and Gluten-Free Cookbooks page in my Milk-Free Bookstore shortly.

Andrews McMeel Publishing
184 pages
list price: $16.99

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcome to Organicville

Naomi Wise in the San Diego Weekly Reader alerted me to Organicville, makers of products that "are USDA certified organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and contain no added sugar."

The person behind them is Rachel Kruse, a third-generation vegetarian from the Midwest. She invented this line of foods because she didn’t like the available organic bottled dressings. (I hear ya, sister!) Her products don’t have that awful “good for you” bad-tasting flavor of virtue.

The ketchup enticed me. ... The other Organicville products I’ve tried have been gentle tasting, a bit flowerchildish. Products include salad dressings, sauces (barbecue, teriyaki), and salsas. The Herbes de Provence Vinaigrette is much closer to a Frenchwoman’s homemade dressing than mainstream brands are — delicate, mild, no childishly sweet undertones. Use on mild lettuces like Bibb, ripe tomatoes, and summertime salade niçoise. The Miso Ginger looks like a winner for Asian-style salads — I can already taste it on ready-shredded bagged “cole slaw mix” from the salad case. The Sun Dried Tomato Dressing obviously gravitates toward Italian greens — and green beans. ...

Organicville’s Pineapple Salsa: Instant faux-Hawaii, great on fish or simple grilled pork — it livened up a hopeless hunk of leftover farm-raised supermarket salmon. (Trader Joe’s refrigerated papaya-mango salsa is a good alternative.) The tomato-based Mexican-style salsas are fresh-tasting but not extraordinary.

Tangy BBQ Sauce proves very different from smoky, tomatoe-y Texas-style bottled supermarket brands. It’s light and bright, and to my delight, it’s not all that far from a Memphis-style pulled-pork sauce. It would be fine with chicken or game hens, too. Play with it. Mopped on leftover pork ribs reheated under the broiler, it made a great, crunchy caramelized coating, without any nasty burned flavor. The Original BBQ Sauce, described as “sweet and smoky,” is certainly sweet and molasses-y, but I’d add a few drops of Liquid Smoke and hot sauce. (The inventor’s a midwesterner, remember? And she’s probably barbecuing tofu.) I haven’t tried any of the teriyakis (I don’t really love the saltiness of teri), but apparently they double as Asian stir-fry sauces.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Warning About Gluten-Free Cookbook

I often include information about gluten-free foods and gluten-free cookbooks in this blog because so many people with celiac disease are also lactose intolerant because of the damage that the disease causes to their intestines.

Elizabeth Barbone apparently didn't get this message when she wrote her new cookbook, Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

Ironically, the warning was delivered as a compliment, by a reporter who also was missing this important detail. In his story on the cookbook, Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle wrote:

Most of the delicious foundations for good baking — butter, sugar, eggs, cream, chocolate — can be found in Elizabeth Barbone’s new cookbook, except for one: flours that contain gluten.

Cream and butter? True, these can always be substituted for, but you can do that with any recipe.

Now, for those readers who do need gluten-free recipes and who don't care about ingredients with lactose, Easy Gluten-Free Baking might be a good buy.
Barbone promises simple and economical recipes that provide light, moist and tasty baked goods.

Be warned. And informed.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reason 12,765,876,761 to Avoid Chiropractors

I know some of you out there believe in chiropractic medicine. I have friends who swear that a chiropractor has helped relieve their pain. It's high on the list of alternative medicines.

It's nuttier than a gluten-free non-dairy fruitcake.

Take this article by Stephanie Sandoval, who does the Your Health column for ABC15 News in Phoenix. Sandoval of course has no health credentials of any kind.

She interviewed Dr. Tony Rodriguez of the Infinite Healing Center, someone who insists that chiropractic "adjustments" can help with digestive diseases and allergies.

Digestion problems
In the case of digestive disorders such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers and constipation there can be a direct link to a spinal problem as the cause.

Dr. Rodriguez says in the mid back the 5th thoracic vertebra relays information to the stomach.

Adjusting a fixed or subluxated vertebra in this area can directly improve symptoms.

Additionally, the 1st lumbar vertebra connects to the large intestine, which if irritated can create diarrhea or constipation.

A second and just as important cause of digestive problems is reaction to irritants and foods.

This inflammation of the gut can lead to a whole host of problems stemming from poor gut function.

Improper digestion and absorption of food can lead to bacterial overgrowth and an inability for the gut lining to keep out bad guys.

A chiropractor can order tests that can point out irritants in foods and bacterial imbalance that may be a part of the problem.

Allergies are estimated to affect 30 million Americans. An allergic response is an over protective response from the immune system to an allergen: pollen, dust, milk, dog or cat dander.

For most, these allergens don't create a negative response. But, for many of those that do suffer from allergies, the reaction may not directly be related to the offending allergen.

Dr. Rodriguez says in the spine, the 3rd cervical vertebra directly correlates with the sinuses.

Relieving pressure in the neck can help clear sinuses and reduce allergy symptoms. He adds, food is one of the most common types of allergies.

The guts inability to filter can create fatigue, congestion and outright allergic reactions.

This is not medicine. This is not science. Nothing in medical literature supports this.

What it is is quackery. Gibberish. Moonshine.

Alternative medicine? The alternative to medicine is crackpottery. Don't go there.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Vegan Brunch

The preposterously prolific Isa Chandra Moskowitz makes life easier for bloggers hungry for content. Every time I look up she has a new cookbook out. First I posted about Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Then there was Veganomicon. And a mention of Vegan with a Vengeance. And a shout-out to her site, the Post-Punk Kitchen.

If it's 2009 it must be time for another Moskowitz vegan cookbook. This time it's Vegan Brunch.

Product Description

Omelets. French toast. Bacon. Brunch has always been about comfort, calories—and for vegans everywhere, a feast of foods they can’t touch. Until now! Bestselling vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz unleashes her signature flair and ingenuity to give readers breakfast they won’t find anywhere else, whether welcoming you from a late night on the town or waking you up for a meal you won’t want to forget.

Recipes range from the classic (Pancakes and Waffles) to the inspired (Banana Rabanada) to the decadent (Pain au Chocolat) to the essential (Bloody Marys).

The book also includes gluten-free and soy-free recipes. With over 75 recipes suitable for one or to wow a crowd, and gorgeous color photos throughout, Vegan Brunch is the ultimate cookbook for the most important meal of the day.

Moskowitz's Post-Punk Kitchen site naturally has a page on it along with a page of recipes from the book.

Good work, Isa. Please make sure I have a 2010 post ready and waiting as well.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Delight, New Gluten-Free Magazine Debuts

For all the millions of us in the country who try to follow special diets, there's a definite paucity of magazines that cater to our needs.

One magazine caters to people with multiple allergies. Living Without: the magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities provides recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free. I did a post about it a couple of months ago.

There's also Gluten-Free Living, "the only national, full-color magazine completely devoted to helping you lead a happy, healthy gluten-free life."

Gluten-Free Living is a leader in providing practical, reliable information about the gluten-free diet.

Editor/publisher Ann Whelan brings together first-hand knowledge of celiac disease and extensive experience in journalism and publishing. She has worked for health-related magazines, helping to launch five publications before she founded Gluten-Free Living. Ann, who was diagnosed with celiac disease 15 years ago, received a Master's in journalism from Temple University and a BA in English literature from Hunter College. A voracious reader and yoga enthusiast, she has two grown children, Andrew and Caryn, and five of the world's most perfect grandchildren.

Associate editor Amy Ratner was a newspaper reporter, magazine editor and freelance writer before joining GFL. She received her BA in journalism from Pennsylvania State University and has won several newspaper writing awards. Her daughter, Amanda, was diagnosed with celiac disease 15 years ago. Amy and her husband Andrew also have two sons, Alexander and Austin. Yes, it's a family of five A's.

Marketing Manager Kendall Egan brings previous sales and marketing experience with CBS and Liz Claiborne, Inc. She received her MBA in finance from New York University and her BA in political science from Boston College. Kendall was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago, followed by her son, Brett, five years later. She and her husband Ken also have a son Troy, and two daughters, Dana and Rachel. Ken is known to make a mean loaf of gluten-free bread - a good thing because Kendall's mother and two nieces also have celiac disease.

GFL has a medical advisory board made up of physicians who are experts in treating those with celiac disease, and cutting edge researchers. The dietitian advisory board includes nutritionists specializing in the gluten-free diet.

GFL, published for more than a decade, is known for extensive and reliable research into ingredients and the gluten-free diet. The editors use their journalism experience to investigate and clear-up misinformation about the gluten-free diet.

Now a third contender bravely enters the circulation race at a time when magazines are dying in droves. Delight Gluten-Free positions itself somewhere between the other two, with gluten-free in the name but doing a variety of recipes aimed at the general allergy audience. Here's what Julie Ann Luse, Editor & Publisher has to say.
Years after my husband and son were diagnosed, I became discouraged with all the negativity surrounding Celiac Disease and the struggles of people with food allergies. A researching journalist at heart, I began meeting with lots of other people struggling with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and other food allergies. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who was discouraged. The common complaints were, "There is nothing for me to eat," "I’ll never enjoy food again," and “This lifestyle is just too hard!” After committing to the gluten-free lifestyle myself, I began to see it from a new perspective.

It became my quest to seek out the most delicious food recipes and take amazing recipes already out there and tweak them for the right person. I found a passion for showing others dealing with food allergies and intolerances that it could be a beautiful thing. I was delighted that a simple diagnosis could cause people to take charge of their health; to look closer at the foods they eat and to read labels for their own safety. These are the attributes severely lacking in the mainstream American diet today.

After eliminating other food allergies, I found the gluten-free diet to give me energy, clarity, migraine-free, better mood, healthier days, and I want the whole world to experience just how delicious a gluten-free diet can be.

In our issues you will find gourmet, scrumptious, easy SemiHomemade, GF on a budget, Healthy and Fresh, fully illustrated recipes that will suite [sic] the gluten-free, casein-free dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free and rice-free diets. I hope you enjoy!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Silly Season: News for a Slow Weekend

As always, the straight-faced weird stuff comes via press release.

San Diego (PRWEB) May 22, 2009 -- Two Robots named W-E and E.V.E. are among the 170 registered attendees for San Diego Mensa Regional Gathering, which is being held at the Hilton Mission Valley over the memorial day weekend.

"Mensa regulations permit non-members to attend a regional gathering as guests," said LaRae Bakerink, president of San Diego Mensa. "W-E and E.V.E. were registered for the RG as guests by a local member. Mensa takes no stand on politics, religion or social issues, including any stand on legal rights of intelligent robots."

"I am still very confused on what food arrangements I need to make for these robots," said Joan Johnson, the hospitality chair for the San Diego Mensa Regional Gathering. "As is, we have challenges with all those specialized diet needs we need to cater to -- vegetarians, vegans, diabetics, lactose or gluten intolerant, those who hate mayonnaise, and now I need to worry about robots."

You feed mechanical men oil, of course, which is plant-based. Robots are therefore vegans. See how easy that was?

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Friday, May 22, 2009

BabyCakes: Vegan, But Is It Gluten-Free?

The hot, new vegan cookbook, at least for the next 17 seconds until the even-newer and ever-hotter vegan cookbooks come out, is BabyCakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery, by Erin McKenna. She's the cupcake queen from the fantastically hip BabyCakes NYC Bakery in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and an outlier in L.A. to whet the appetites of the stars.

Product Description
Forget everything you’ve heard about health-conscious baking.

Simply, BabyCakes is your key to an enlightened, indulgent, sweets-filled future. This is important news not only for parents whose children have allergies, for vegans, and for others who struggle with food sensitivities, but also for all you sugar-loving traditionalists. The recipes in these pages prove that there is a healthy alternative to recklessly made desserts, one that doesn't sacrifice taste or texture.

Having experimented endlessly with alternative, health-conscious sweeteners, flours, and thickeners, Erin McKenna, the proprietress of beloved bakery BabyCakes NYC, developed these recipes–most are gluten-free, all are without refined sugar–in hopes of combating her own wheat, dairy, and sugar sensitivities. In BabyCakes, she shares detailed information about the ingredients she uses (coconut flour, xanthan gum, and agave nectar, for example) and how to substitute them properly for common ones–all the while guiding you safely through techniques she’s spent years perfecting.

When BabyCakes NYC opened on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2005, it helped propel the gluten-free and vegan baking movement into a new stratosphere. Suddenly there was a destination for those with wheat allergies and other dietary restrictions–and, soon enough, celebrities and dessert lovers of every kind–to indulge freely in delectable muffins and teacakes, brownies and cookies, pies and cobblers.

Enclosed within these pages are all the “secrets” you’ll need to bring the greatness of BabyCakes NYC into your own home as well as raves and recommendations from devotees such as Natalie Portman, Jason Schwartzman, Mary-Louise Parker, Zooey Deschanel, and Pamela Anderson.

For confectionists of all kinds, delicious alternatives lie within: Red Velvet Cupcakes, Chocolate Shortbread Scones with Caramelized Bananas, Strawberry Shortcake, and BabyCakes NYC’s celebrated frosting (so delicious it has fans tipping back frosting shots!), to name just a few. Finally, Erin’s blissful desserts are yours for the baking!

It all sounds wonderful. Except for one tiny little problem. Most of the recipes are not - despite the title - gluten free. They're wheat-free, to be sure, every one of them. But a large number of the recipes contain spelt. And spelt contains gluten.
Spelt is similar to wheat in appearance. However, spelt has a tougher husk than wheat, which may help protect the nutrients in spelt. Spelt flour has a somewhat nuttier and slightly sweeter flavor than whole wheat flour. Spelt contains more protein than wheat, and the protein in spelt is easier to digest. This means that some people who are allergic to wheat may be able to tolerate spelt. Spelt has gluten, just like wheat, so spelt is not suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Because the book is vegan and therefore dairy-free, it may be of use to the vast majority of you. However, if you are avoiding dairy because you have a true gluten intolerance, then you should avoid the book even if some of the recipes are spelt-free as well.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fiber for Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Diets

Katherine Hobson writes the "On Fitness" column for U. S. News & World Report. That particular linked column answered a question of considerable interest to us.

Q. What are the most effective sources of dietary fiber for those who are on gluten-free and lactose-free diets?

A. Beans and legumes would probably be the most effective. You might also consider cooked or stewed vegetables, which are easier to consume. Generally, fruits are low in fiber and relatively high in calories and sugar, so they're not a great fiber source.

She got the answer from Joanne Slavin, a professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota and author of the American Dietetic Association's 2008 position paper on dietary fiber.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pure Dairy-Free Delights

Pure Dairy Free is a major UK brand of dairy free products. Free of many things, in fact:

The Pure brand was developed for people with food sensitivities in mind, particularly those who have an allergy or intolerance to dairy. In the early 1990s, Pure Sunflower was developed and launched into health food stores throughout the UK. It's free from:

•Artificial colourings & preservatives
•Added flavourings
•Hydrogenated oils
•GM ingredients

Pure also does two other dairy-free spreads, Pure Soya and Pure Organic, both of which do contain soy.

And now a press release I found on the site announced that Pure is branching out to other dairy-free alternatives.

Pure Dairy Free Soya Soft & Creamy Spread (RRP £1.69) and Pure Dairy Free Soya Slices (RRP £1.69), have launched nationwide to provide dairy free alternatives to mainstream cream cheese and cheese slices. ...

The Pure brand, part of the Kerry Foods stable, is currently worth £7m and has experienced a 20% YOY value growth. Extending the range to encompass healthy cheese alternatives will reinforce Pure's position as the choice brand for consumers, with commercial promise for yet another profitable year for the brand and its retailers.

Launch of Pure Dairy Free Soya Soft & Creamy Spread and Pure Dairy Free Soya Slices will be supported by a multi-faceted marketing campaign.

This will include in-store promotions, online and press advertising, PR and a 50p money off coupon placed onto packs of Pure spreads to drive trial.

The Pure website will also be revamped providing consumers with recipes for cooking and baking with the new soya alternative to cheese products. ...

Pure Dairy Free Soya Soft & Creamy Spread and Pure Dairy Free Soya Slices are free from all dairy products, also making them suitable for vegans. They are also gluten and cholesterol free, as well as free from all GM ingredients.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Secondary Lactose Intolerance

Most people in the world have what is known as primary lactose intolerance. That means they are genetically destined to lose the ability to manufacture the lactase enzyme that digests lactose as they grow older.

That's not the only route to LI, though. Anybody of any genetic heritage can lose the ability to manufacture lactase if surgery, disease, drugs, or other catastrophic events disrupt the intestines.

Here's an example taken from an article written by Ellen Rowland in the Hagerstown MD Herald-Mail.

Since my bariatric surgery Feb. 20, I have lost 50 pounds. I am very happy with that. Most people tell me that they can see a difference. ...

Do I have any regrets having this surgery done? No. I am pleased with the way things have turned out. If you were to ask me early in April, my answer might have been different because I was getting nauseated and didn't know why. Now, I feel great. ...

I am eating solid foods, and for the most part, I digest them well, as long as I chew thoroughly and eat slowly. I know when my stomach is full and I just push the plate away, because if I were to continue eating I'd just throw up. It's not worth it. ...

I also discovered that I am now lactose intolerant. I became sick to my stomach after I would drink my protein shake and sometimes whatever I ate. But I do not drink milk much anyway, so that is not a great loss.

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Kill Me Now

Offered without further comment.

From the mUmBRELLA website.

Dr Mumbo wishes he’d been in the meeting when Brisbane agency BCM pitched its idea to milk client Pauls Zymil.

Not to put to fine a point on it, the Tummy Tuner website is a means of turning your keyboard into a fart and burp generator.

Accordign to the BCM press release: “The Tummy Tuner recognises and plays on the idea that upset tummies caused by lactose sensitivities an mean unavoidable belching and flatulence. It’s a novelty viral musical instrument which replicates these sounds in a fun and amusing way.”

But frankly, who cares? It makes great farting noises.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Digestive Advantage Free Sample

The economy may be imitating the Wacky Wave at a Waterworld Theme Park but there are benefits to be had. Everyone giving out free samples, for one.

I mentioned Lactaid's free samples a few days ago.

Now the folks at Ganeden Biotech have let me know that they're giving away a free 30-day supply of Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance formula (or Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Gas Defense Formula) with a $4.95 shipping and handling charge.

Go to their special offer page for all the details.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sweet Freedom from Allergies

Sweet Freedom is a great name for a cookbook featuring recipes that

are appropriate for those with food sensitivities or allergies (such as lactose intolerance, allergy to casein, sensitivity to refined sugar); vegans; those on kosher diets; or moms who simply want to create healthy, all-natural desserts for their kids.

The cookbook, full name Sweet Freedom: Desserts You'll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar, is by Ricki Heller. An article by in Canada's National Post by Meghan Telpner manages to misspell the book title in the headline. (Making Love in the Kitchen: Reading and... Baking: Sweet Freedome. Sigh. Please remember that editors, not writers, are responsible for headlines.)

The book's homepage is Diet, Dessert, and Dogs.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Non-Dairy Pie Recipes

I wrote about Silken Creations from Nasoya in First Non-Dairy Starter for Smoothies and Desserts.

The first ever non-dairy "dessert starter", new Silken Creations from Nasoya is naturally flavored, dairy free, low in fat and calories, has no cholesterol and is gluten free. It comes in the three most popular flavors for smoothies and desserts: Dark Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry.

They sent out another press release which I thought at first was announcing a new product. Nope. Same Silken Creations. But this time their touting its wonderfulness for pies.

They didn't mention pies in the last press release. I don't know if they're just cleverly claiming yet another use or whether people weren't buying it to make mousse and cake with so they're trying to shift course.

In any case, what leads me to mention them again is that they give several recipes in the press release. And that means I can legitimately reprint them here and pass them along to you. Of course, you need Silken Creations to make the pies.
Nasoya Chocolate Silken Pie

1 pkg Nasoya(R) Silken Creations Dark Chocolate
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
1 bar of dark chocolate, shaved (optional)
2 tbsp water

Preparation Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water into a medium bowl. Blend the Nasoya(R) Silken Creations Dark Chocolate into the bowl. Pour the mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust and bake for 45 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, refrigerator uncovered for 2 hours or until cooled completely. Sprinkle chocolate shaving on top.

Key Lime Pie

1 pkg Nasoya(R) Silken Creations Vanilla
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
2 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp freshly squeezed key lime juice (approximately 1/2 lb key limes)
2 tbsp water

Preparation Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water into a medium bowl. Blend the Nasoya(R) Silken Creations Vanilla and key lime juice into the bowl. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Strawberry Silken Pie

1 pkg Nasoya(R) Silken Creations Strawberry
2 tbsp corn starch
1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
1-1/2 c strawberries, halved
1/4 c strawberry jelly
2 tbsp water

Preparation Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water into a medium bowl. Blend the Nasoya(R) Silken Creations Strawberry into the bowl. Pour into the prepared graham cracker crust and bake for 45 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and refrigerate uncovered until cooled completely. Top with sliced strawberries. Heat jelly in the microwave until it reaches a thin consistency and brush onto the strawberries. Cool in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

More information about the product at their website or at parent company Vitasoy.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lactaid Free Sample

I get it when a company decides to cross-promote its products. That makes sense.


Benecol Spread is a functional food, one that adds plane sterol esters to reduce cholesterol. I mean, how many other butter substitutes are made by multinational pharmaceutical firms, in this case McNeil Nutritionals.

You know what else is made by McNeil Nutritionals? Lactaid. And Benecol is running a promotion in which you can get a free sample of Lactaid just by filling in the request form on that page.

But the weird thing for me is that Benecol is a lactose-free spread. Check this page.

• Zero Carbs
• No Trans Fat
• Lactose-Free
• Gluten-Free
• Kosher

OK, if you're avoiding lactose you may look for Benecol. Or if you trying for health you'll take Lactaid. Or something like that. It all makes perfect sense.

I'll stop making fun of them now. McNeil is one of the good guys. Lots of products aimed at us. Just remember that you don't need to take Lactaid when you have Benecol.

McNeil Nutritonals.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lactose Tolerance Makes You Fat

The European Human Genetics Conference will be held later this month in Vienna. Excited yet? No? Here are some titles of papers to be delivered there:

• Phylogeography of human Y chromosome haplogroup R1b1b2 (R-M269) in Europe.

• The genetic position of Western Brittany (Finistère, France) in the Celtic Y chromosome landscape.

• Mitochondrial Genome Diversity in Tungusic-speaking Populations (Even and Evenki) and Resettlement of Arctic Siberia After the Last Glacial Maximum.

Still not psyched?

Then let me play my trump card.

European Lactase Persistence Allele is Associated With Increase in Body Mass Index

J. A. Kettunen et al.

The global prevalence of obesity, usually indexed by body mass index (BMI) cut-offs, has increased significantly in the recent decades, mainly due to positive energy balance. However, the impact of a selection for specific genes cannot be excluded. Here we have tested the association between BMI and one of the best known genetic variants showing strong selective pressure: the functional variant in the cis-regulatory element of the lactase gene. We tested this variant since it is presumed to provide nutritional advantage in specific physical and cultural environments. We found that the variant responsible for lactase persistence among Europeans was also associated with higher BMI in a Nordic population sample (p = 1.3*10-5) of 15,209 individuals, the size of the effect being close to that of FTO*. We tested the effect of population stratification and concluded that the association was not due to population substructure.

* FTO is a gene that appears to be correlated with obesity.

Let me attempt to translate that.

Europeans tend to have the highest rates of lactase persistence, also known as lactose tolerance, in the world. (Since the majority of white Americans are descendants of European immigrants, most American adults can also drink milk without suffering symptoms.) We know that lactose tolerance is a simple mutation on chromosome 2. And it is a dominant mutation. So the ability to drink milk as an adult will show up unexpectedly but spread through a population because it conveys at least a small advantage in survival and in having more children survive. That helps account for the European dairy culture.

Why does the ability to drink milk convey an advantage? Milk is an excellent food, with high nutrition in a compact and good tasting source. This study goes beyond that to suggest that milk drinkers will be heavier than non-milk drinkers. In olden times, when starvation was a very real possibility, this was an advantage. Today it may lead instead to obesity, or at least greater weight.

You can find an interesting discussion of this abstract led by Razib at the Gene Expression blog.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

GoDairyFree News Roundup is the big site maintained by Alisa Fleming. I try to mention it every few months to make sure that people know about it and its resources. Any posts she makes on the same subjects or products I mention are coincidences, BTW, caused probably because we read the same press releases and news articles.

News and information is the name of the game, though, so when I saw her News Bits and Bites for May I knew I had to point you over there.

This issue offers about 20 short pieces with links, including Dairy-Free AND Soy-Free "Butter" Has Arrived; Lick It! Make Your Own Creamy, Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams; and Save 30% at the Allergy Apparel Clearance Sale.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

UK Also Marks National Allergy Week

The U.S. has a national Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Nadine Stewart of Lactofree wrote me to tell me that the U.K. has a similar National Allergy Week, starting today.

She also sent me a press release which, like most press releases, was mostly a commercial for the company. Part of it had some objective information, and that part I'm happy to share. For the commercial, just click on the link and go to the Lactofree site.

So what is lactose intolerance? It is thought to affect up to 15 per cent of the population and is the body’s inability to produce enough of the enzyme lactase in the digestive tract. Without it, lactose (the natural sugar in milk and other dairy products) cannot be digested properly, so suffers can feel bloated or experience vomiting and stomach pains after consuming milk or milk-based products.

However, because these symptoms are not limited to lactose intolerance the condition is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Furthermore, some people who experience symptoms of lactose intolerance cut out dairy entirely, believing they are dairy intolerant, without realising that lactose is present in other products.

What’s the difference between lactose intolerance and milk allergy?

Milk protein allergy is when the immune system overreacts to one or more of the proteins found in milk. Milk allergy can be severe and in some cases can cause an extreme and severe reaction know as anaphylaxis (the whole body is affected, often within minutes of exposure to the allergen). When someone has an allergy to milk they can experience symptoms in addition to digestive discomfort, such as skin rashes, eczema, nasal congestions and coughing and the swelling of the lips, mouth and tongue.

In the past these were sometimes called ‘milk intolerances’, but an intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system so it is important to distinguish between them. While lactose intolerance can cause a great deal of discomfort, it won’t usually produce a sudden or dangerous reaction.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

12th Annual Food Allergy Awareness Week Starts Today

This year's Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) runs from May 10 through May 16. The theme is "Take Action, Prevent Reactions."

FAAW is organized by FAAN, the Food Awareness & Anaphylaxis Network.

The site suggests:

Mark the week by increasing awareness at schools, talking to your elected representatives, or planning a fundraiser. You can hand out fliers, put up posters, or display educational materials. Download materials to get involved!

Our goal for 2009 is to receive proclamations from all 50 states. We already have proclamations from: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Judge Rules Out Class Action in McDonald's Suit

The law is for people with long memories. Most of you probably don't remember a post I made three full years ago, Dairy Derivatives in McDonald's Fries.

To remind you, here's the beginning of that post.

McDonald's has always claimed that it had no dairy in its fries. Good.

McDonald's has decided to disclose the presence of common allergens in its foods in response to the new labeling laws even though it doesn't legally have to. Good.

Oops. It turns out that they've slapped a milk label on those dairy-free fries. Bad.

Here's the story as it is being reported by the Associated Press.

McDonald’s director of global nutrition, Cathy Kapica, said its potato suppliers remove all wheat and dairy proteins, such as gluten, which can cause allergic reactions. But the flavoring agent in the cooking oil is a derivative of wheat and dairy ingredients, and the company decided to note their presence because of the FDA’s stipulation that potential allergens be disclosed.

It took all of three days for the first lawsuit to be filed.
McDonald's Sued Over Fries Announcement.

In that one I said:
No doubt some federal judge will put these into a class-action lawsuit somewhere down the line. At that time we'll find out a lot more info about what was in those fries and whether they ever held any danger for the milk allergic.

Since then the various people suing McDonald's did try to get a class action going against the company. But they didn't success. Today U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo called the proposed class "too broad" and "unmanageable."

The story, as reported by Bridgett Freeland of the Courthouse News Service, said that:
The putative class claimed that McDonald's failed to properly list allergen information for its french fries and hash browns until February 2006, when it adjusted the nutritional facts to reflect that the products were partially fried by the supplier in an oil containing small amounts of wheat bran and casein. McDonald's had previously stated that the products were gluten- and dairy-free.

Judge Bucklo wrote that the proposed class was "over-inclusive:" anyone who purchased the fried potatoes from McDonald's between Feb. 27, 2002 and Feb. 7, 2006, and who had been diagnosed with "celiac disease, galactosemia, autism and/or wheat, gluten or dairy allergies," regardless of whether they bought the products in the belief that they were allergen-free.

Bucklo wrote that there appears to be no physical harm caused by the consumption of these products among the named plaintiffs, and that if there is such evidence, delving into such proof would be far too time-consuming for such nominally priced items.

I'm assuming that individual suits can continue, but if there is no proof of physical harm then they have a greatly diminished chance.

In the meantime McDonald's has greatly improved its nutrition labeling. This is what it now gives for French Fries.
Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*), citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). *
CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

You can search for labeling of individual foods at their Nutrition Info page.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

One Third of Canadian Toddlers Are Vitamin D Deficient

I've posted that teens and adults are not getting sufficient vitamin D. But toddlers? Don't toddlers, you know, drink milk?

Apparently not enough, according to the TARGet Kids! (Toronto Area Research Group) study, a cross-sectional population-based dietary survey and clinical examination of Canadian toddlers. Medscape reporter Martha Kerr wrote that the study found 82% of the toddlers had vitamin D insufficiency and 32% were outright deficient.

You'd never guess what the risk factors were. OK, you'd probably guess if you've been awake at any time in the past decade. Snacking while tv watching and not enough milk drinking are the major culprits.

Low milk consumption "was independently associated with low vitamin D levels," Dr. [Jonathon Maguire, MD, a Fellow in the Division of Pediatric Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto in Ontario] told Medscape Pediatrics. There was a 1 nmol/L increase in 25-OH vitamin D level for every ounce of milk consumed (P = .006).

High body mass index (BMI) was associated with vitamin D deficiency, with a 4.7 nmol/L decrease in 25-OH vitamin D level per BMI unit (P = .0009). "This may be associated with a higher fat content of the body," he commented. "Drinking more milk is not associated with a higher BMI, as some people think. In fact, the opposite is true."

TV viewing while snacking was also associated with vitamin D deficiency; the level is 9.6 nmol/L lower if the child watches TV while snacking (P = .022). "This might be related to more time spent indoors, a poorer nutritional intake, low levels of physical exercise ... or a combination of such factors, indicating an unhealthy lifestyle," Dr. Maguire commented.

Doctors are encouraged to screen children for these health risks, especially for drinking less than 12 ounces of a milk a day.

The study doesn't say, but for the sake of vegans I'd recommend a milk alternative that gives the equivalent calcium and vitamin to regular cow's milk.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Ice Dream Cookbook

A few months ago I posted on the amazing run of agave-sweetened coconut milk products that suddenly entered the market in the past year.

Now there's also a cookbook that will help you make your own coconut milk treats at home, sweetened with agave, or honey, or what you will.

Chef Raquel alerted me to her cookbook, The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces by Rachel Albert-Matesz, The Healthy Cooking Coach.

You can find it on her The Garden Of Eating Diet website. $25 paperback, 7x10, illustrated, indexed, w/charts, appendices, 300 pages.

The first cookbook to feature delicious, naturally sweetened dairy-free frozen desserts made from coconut milk along with wheat- and gluten- free, naturally sweetened cookies, fruit compotes, and sauces. Provides information about the health benefits of coconut; tips for using a non-caloric herbal sweetener; charts to help you modify your favorite dessert recipes; a guide to buying ice cream makers and other kitchen tools; ingredient glossary; 80 recipes with more than 200 variations; clear and detailed instructions; nutrition breakdowns, four appendices, index, illustrations, and 300 total pages.

For more about the author and sample recipes visit her blog at:


Planetary Press
P.O. Box 97040
Phoenix, AZ 85060-7040 USA
Phone: (602) 840-4556

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Vegan. Not By Choice.

How do supply food for an army of a million men while at the same time providing civilians with an adequate diet and no rationing?

That was the dilemma facing the U.S. as it prepared to enter World War One.

Herbert Hoover took over the U.S. Food Administration in 1917, coming back from a position as a food relief administrator in Europe. His success in dealing with these major crises were instrumental in his becoming Secretary of Commerce in 1921 and later President. The Depression required different skills, but at the time Hoover was greatly admired.

An article by Gina Murray on the Eat. Drink. Better. site lays out Hoover's plan. It called for voluntary compliance with a series of meatless and wheatless days. (Fish and poultry were still allowed on "meatless" days.)

Murray reprints a Vegetable Patties entrée recipe on that page that was designed for meatless and wheatless days. It's also dairy-free and corn-free.


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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sorry, No Dairy-Free Ice Cream at Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins sent out a press release to talk about its new spring line of soft serve ice creams. Nothing unusual there and normally not anything I'd pay attention to.

But a line in the release caught my eye.

The introduction of Baskin-Robbins new Soft Serve products also follows the recent launch of the company's BRight Choices(TM) treats. BRight Choices are better-for-you options that have all the great taste and quality customers expect from Baskin-Robbins. BRight Choices menu options include fat-free, dairy-free, no-sugar-added and light ice cream offerings.

Wait. Baskin-Robbins has a dairy-free ice cream? Wouldn't that be news?

It would be, if it were true. The BRight Choices menu options do include no-sugar-added ice cream offerings and light ice cream offerings. So by all the logic of the English language it should include fat-free ice cream offerings and dairy-free ice cream offerings.

Well, here's their BRight Choices products page. As you can see there, the fat-free choice is frozen yogurt. And the dairy-free offerings are two flavors of sorbet.

Nothing wrong with sorbet, which is fruit and ice and normally tasty. But its not ice cream, not even imitation ice cream, not even a "creme" frozen dessert. It shouldn't be on the same list with real ice creams or with frozen yogurt, a dairy product that is much closer to ice cream than sorbet is.

The Baskin-Robbins web site is careful to call their BRight Choice options "treats" rather than ice creams. Their press releases should be equally careful. And somebody who knows the business should be reading them before they go out the door.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Lactose-Free Whey Protein Drinks

When I researched my book, Milk Is Not for Every Body, in the 1990s, I went to the whey manufacturers for guidance. I learned that whey protein concentrate was normally a high-lactose product, with as much as a 55% lactose content. Whey protein isolate, though, was a very low lactose product, with no more than 0.5% lactose. See my Lactose Percentages page for these and many other numbers.

Sometime in the 2000s, this began to change. I started seeing products containing whey protein concentrate labeling themselves as lactose free. This disturbed me because I didn't see how it was possible.

The FAQ page on the website of the Whey Protein Institute would seem to confirm this:

Q: If I'm lactose intolerant should I avoid whey protein?

A: Individuals with lactose intolerance should select a pure whey protein isolate, which has less than 0.1 gram of lactose per tablespoon (20 grams). This is less lactose than the amount found in a cup of yogurt and research has shown that most people with lactose intolerance have no trouble taking this very small amount of lactose. Individuals with lactose intolerance should avoid whey protein concentrates as they usually contain lactose and the amount can vary greatly from product to product.

Yet, entering lactose-free whey protein concentrate into Google yields numerous hits. And federal regulations require that any product that labels itself as lactose free must be completely lactose free.

So how is this possible? A new manufacturing process. Take a look at this Product Bulletin pdf from Hilmar Ingredients. The site is protected so I can't copy directly, but here's a captured image of the relevant section if you don't want to click over:

The cross-flow microfiltration process is mentioned in various websites. I doubt if Hilmar is the only company to use it but the other hits I've seen have been to end users rather than manufacturers.

Anyone who is allergic to dairy proteins should of course stay away from these products despite their being lactose-free. They do give another option to those of us who are only lactose intolerant.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lactic Acidosis Not a Dairy Problem

"Lact" comes from the Latin word for milk. It's used all the times by chemists, too often for comfort for those who look to avoid dairy. Unfortunately, any chemical derived from a dairy product, originally found in a dairy product, or merely a white liquid in form might have a "lact" in its name. Many, probably most, of these chemicals are in no way related to dairy in the modern world.

One such example is the disease named lactic acidosis. This Peter Gott Ask the Doctor column I found on reassures a questioner.

Lactic acidosis occurs when lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream faster than it can be broken down by the liver.

Despite the name, lactic acid is not related to milk. It is, however, produced when blood oxygen levels drop too low. Most people, especially those new to exercise, will experience muscle pain after strenuous exercise.

This is due to lactic-acid buildup in the muscles. After normal breathing resumes, levels return to normal and the pain generally subsides (and may be replaced with muscle ache due to overuse).

Symptoms of lactic acidosis include rapid breathing, sweet-smelling breath, excessive sweating, cool/clammy skin, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Treatment is aimed at identifying the underlying cause.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Tofutti Founder David Mintz

I write frequently about Tofutti, the manufacturer of 50 to 60 dairy-free milk alternative products.

For many more words about Tofutti and its founder, David Mintz, you need to turn to The man who gave the world Tofutti, the cover story by Warren Boroson in the latest New Jersey Jewish Standard.

Apparently we have a new Tofutti something - a flavor? a frozen dessert? a "crackberry" clone? - coming soon. One that made Boroson, a Tofutti virgin and not exactly a convert, rave.

Later, another employee gave our daring and resourceful reporter a spoonful of a new Tofutti product, called Flowers, made from the nectar of flowers that hummingbirds love.

I can't find another reference to Tofutti Flowers anywhere. Whet our appetites, why don't you?

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