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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chelsea's Vegan Wedding Cake

Every media outlet in the known universe has an article on Chelsea Clinton's wedding today. How can I say this? Because even The Hill, a specialty, small-circulation, insider's paper that doesn't cover anything but Congress has an article on Chelsea's wedding.

I don't want to break media law, so I need to have a Chelsea article too.

And I'll quote from The Hill to do it, completing the loop.

Chelsea Clinton is a vegan, so guests can expect a dairy-free wedding cake, as well as other non-vegan choices.

Oh, and the news doesn't stop there, my friends. The cake is also gluten-free! From the bridal site,
Our sources tell us that the bride's gluten allergy is making it difficult to find a wedding baker. Calls to three top bakers in New York state, including family favorite Lulu's in Scarsdale, have not confirmed who will be making the couple's wedding cake but a gluten-free cake is sure to be on the wedding menu.

Old news. Lulu's logo was spotted!

Lulu's cake gallery. The cake has been widely reported to cost $11,000.

Look, if you're upset that the daughter of a president has had an elaborate wedding, get over yourself and study some history. President's daughters - whether their fathers happen to be in office or not - have always had fairytale weddings.

And Chelsea appears to be a model for all. Bright, modest, educated, unspoiled by fame, and utterly untouched by scandal. If you can't be happy for someone like her then look inward for your faults.

Mazel tov, Chelsea and Marc. May a dairy-free, gluten-free life of happiness await you both. (Or dairy-, gluten-, and meat-filled if you, Marc, are none of the above.)

Dianna Mardar of has the latest on Chelsea's cake. Seems that all the early reports were severely deficient in the fact department.

First, the baker was wrong. The cake was "a triumph for Frances and Maarten Steenman of La Tulipe Desserts in New York's Westchester County."

And while Chelsea is a vegan, the cake itself wasn't. Gluten-free to be sure, but filled with dairy. Or at least chocolate mousse. And butter, according to other reports. Not to mention eggs.
Some media outlets speculated that the wedding cake was also dairy-free because the bride is a vegetarian of long standing. But Frances Steenman said that was not the case.

"Instead of flour, we used a special brown rice blend that contains no barley, rye, oats, or wheat," she said. "But no, it was not a vegan cake."

Honestly, do reporters at major outlets not understand the difference between vegan and vegetarian? I admit that despite the number of stories referring to her as a vegan, there are also reports saying that she is a vegetarian instead. Chelsea has stayed far enough off the radar that not knowing this bit of info about her isn't surprising.

Either way, I'm sure all of you understand the distinction: vegetarians often have dairy and eggs; vegans do not. Vegan cookbooks are fine for those looking for dairy-free recipes; vegetarian cookbooks are often problematic. How can there still be people who don't get it?


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Divvies Bakery Cookbook

I've written about Divvies many times before. Over the past few years they've become hugely famous for their kosher, vegan, dairy-free, and other allergen-free cupcakes and baked goods. And they manage to get national television attention for their products, even though - or maybe because - they are available only at the most upscale locations.

Now Lori Sandler of Divvies has a cookbook available. The Divvies Bakery Cookbook: No Nuts. No Eggs. No Dairy. Just Delicious!

Product Description
The Divvies Bakery Cookbook is an opportunity for the millions of people who are dealing with serious food allergies to put the sweet back in their kitchens. With an assortment of delicious recipes, free of the four major food allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and eggs (all vegan!), Lori Sandler offers sweet treats that everyone can enjoy and share ANY time: at birthday parties, snack time, bake sales, holidays, picnics, dessert time, and just because. What ingredients are left out have been replaced by double dollops of the good and the gooey – like chocolate, oatmeal, and molasses, – making the confections not only safe to eat, but absolutely delicious for everyone, even those without food allergies.

Divvies, an irresistible "fun-foods" company devoted to baking safe-to-eat, tasty treats for people with life-threatening food allergies, has been featured on Good Morning America and The Martha Stewart Show, as well as in the New York Times, New York Post, Gourmet Magazine, Vogue, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Daily Candy, and Urban Baby. All of their products are made in a dedicated facility where no nuts, eggs, milk, or ingredients that may have been exposed to these allergens are allowed in the door.

Some of the tasty recipes featured in THE DIVVIES BAKERY COOKBOOK include:

Divvies Famous Chocolate Cupcakes (featured on the Martha Stewart Show!)
Benjamin’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pick-Your-Berry Muffins
Extra Thick, Treasured-Filled Marshmallow Treats
“Ice Cream” Hash
Movie Night Popcorn

With the degree of "divviculty" indicated for each recipe, tips for the best birthday parties, perfect picnic baskets, cool cupcake towers, snacks in a cinch, tasty travel treats, and bonus gluten-free recipes, THE DIVVIES BAKERY COOKBOOK is the essential allergen-free cookbook for beginners and kitchen experts alike.

St. Martin's Hardback
List Price: $25.99
176 pages

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Denunciation of Raw Milk recently had a long article on the history of raw milk advocacy, "The Raw-Milk Deal: Pure-food worshippers put their health at risk—especially when they drink unpasteurized milk," by Deborah Blum.

Today, just about 0.5 percent of all the milk consumed in this country is unpasteurized. Yet from 1998 to 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received reports of 85 infectious disease outbreaks linked to raw milk. In the past few months, physicians have treated salmonella in Utah, brucellosis in Delaware, campylobacter in Colorado and Pennsylvania, and an ugly outbreak of E. coli O157-H7 in Minnesota, which sickened eight people in June. Epidemiologists not only identified a rare strain of the bacteria but matched its DNA to those stricken, the cows on the farm that supplied them with raw milk, and manure smearing the milking equipment and even the animals themselves. When regulators shut down the dairy farm, supporters promptly charged them with belonging to a government conspiracy to smear the reputation of a hallowed food.

Some, like Wisconsin raw-milk champion Max Kane, dismiss infectious disease altogether: "The bacteria theory's a total myth," Kane told one interviewer. "It allows us to have an enemy to go after similar to how it is with terrorism. It's food terrorism."

After a dairy in Washington state was linked to an E. coli outbreak last December, the farmer himself put it like this in an interview with the Seattle Times. Scientists were wrong to malign his milk because "everything God designed is good for you."


My position on raw milk is that its safety is as good as the farm that sells it. The farm has to be pretty near perfect to keep cattle from being infected. If the farm's standards are supremely high, there is nothing wrong with raw milk. However, it is extremely difficult to keep standards that high, and the more cattle the harder it is to do.

The flip side is that there is nothing special about raw milk, although it very well might taste better. It is not healthier for you. For sure it has no special properties that make it drinkable for those who are lactose intolerant. Sometimes it seems like every raw milk advocate spews forth this nonsense about LI and I have to admit that it prejudices me against their case. If they are that wrong on this crucial point, what else might they be wrong about?

For those who advocate raw milk, the comments on that article contain many passionate defenses. The conflicting claims about statistics are a problem. Here's my take. The raw, pardon the pun, numbers of illnesses from raw milk are small, but since so few people have access to raw milk, there are a disproportionate number of illnesses per capita. That worries me.

I'll also fault Deborah Blum on one side issue. Yes, it's true that organic foods aren't more nutritious and that people who say that are simply ignorant. But most knowledgeable proponents of organic foods make the different claim that they taste better. You can test objectively for nutrition; you can't test for taste. That's subjective. We do know, however, that many foods have been bred to travel well so that they can be shipped to market in better condition, often better-looking condition, but that this affects taste. If you want to argue in favor of organics for taste then you have a much better case, and one that Blum should have mentioned.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Disolact Lactase Drops

When I wrote yesterday about a new source of lactase drops, it reminded that a year or so ago I told you of a source of Lacteeze drops from Canada available through eBay.

Don't bother going back and finding that post. The link is dead and you can't get Lacteeze through eBay. But Pat Gilbers, the same entrepreneur who sold the Lacteeze is back with a different foreign lactase drop product, Disolact.

Gilbers (a Ben Gilbers is actually the contact listed there) has a minimalist web site at And if you go to eBay and enter in "lactase drops" you'll see two hits, one of which is for Disolact. (The other is for Lactaid lactase drops from a Canadian seller.)

Disolact is made by Disolut, a Dutch firm. Fortunately, their lactase drops page is in English.

With DISOLACT® lactase drops you can make 56 litres of ordinary milk lactase arm. But also whipped cream and custard!

DISOLACT® lactase drops are packed per 14 ml. in a drop-bottle.

How to use DISOLACT® lactase drops?

DISOLACT® lactase drops (standard 5 drops per litre of milk) have to be added to the milk (product). Shake so that the lactase mixes with the milk (product). After this you place the milk (product) in the refrigerator, after 24 hours more than 92% of the lactose has been digested.

If you go to any of Pat Gilbers' pages, the shipping will be from St. Louis.

Those of you in Europe who want to buy Disolact, it is available in Euros from their website.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

New Source of Lactase Drops

The coming and going of lactase drops in the U.S. has been an ongoing saga for many years. The last news I had was bad. I had to inform you that Pharmax Liquid Lactase Drops were no longer being available.

That meant that while lactase could still be imported from Canada, where the Lacteeze and Lactaid brands are available from a number of internet retailers, the convenience of not needing to get mail across borders was lacking.

Then Benjamin Lynch sent me a welcome email.

I used to provide the Liquid Lactase by Pharmax but, as you may know, it no longer exists.

No one has access to Liquid Lactase anymore which is why I manufactured our own Lactase Drops.

It arrived last week at our distribution center.

Lactase Drops took me months to develop as I was strict in ensuring its effectiveness and purity. We had to redo the formula a few times in order to get it strong and effective. I found it is very difficult to make but we got it.

You may find it here:

There are quite a few Q and A there already which I have answered. Please read them as they should answer quite a few of your questions.

Here's a partial quote from that page.
Lactase Drops digests lactose so you may enjoy dairy once again. Only $0.29 to make a pint of lactose-free milk. Makes up to 94 pints, 45 liters or 12 gallons of lactose-free milk. Laboratory tested for effectiveness and purity. Made in a GMP Certified facility in Canada according to the strict rules of Health Canada.

The product appears to be repackaged Lacteeze drops. I've always had great admiration for Gelda Scientific, the company that makes Lacteeze drops and which waged a campaign to keep them available in America through mail order after Lactaid stopped making them here. I'd be happy to recommend any company that offers Lacteeze.

So I'm going to give a very cautious recommendation that you purchase these lactase drops if you don't want any hassle in getting them from Canada.

I dislike the general tone of the HealthE Goods site. You can't cure all those dozens of ailments or alleviate all those symptoms with over-the-counter remedies. But you can say exactly the same thing of a GNC store or any pharmacy. I'm old fashioned that way. And I have to admit that I do buy certain products at pharmacies or GNC and all the similar stores. The secret is to pick your products and stick to them.

So with that said, it's good to see lactase drops easily available in the U.S. once more.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

A Better Way to Use Lactose

Are you lactose-intolerant? Do you turn up your nose at milk? Are you so contemptuous of dairy that you feel you'd rather stick your foot in it rather than drinking it?

Go ahead. That may be a good idea.

Erin Andrews, the ESPN reporter, had an article on talking about the best way to get a spa-quality pedicure at home.

Erin Andrews photo courtesy of Drew Shealy via Wikipedia

Point number three:
3. Soak feet in a flat-bottomed tub filled with warm water. To create a spa-like experience, add in bath salts, aromatherapy oil or epsom salt, then soak for 10 minutes. Try adding one-half cup of milk to your foot bath; the lactose will help loosen dead skin.

Is this true? Why should this work? What's the mechanism?

I can't imagine any answers to these questions. Frankly, I think it's totally insane quackery.

It can't hurt you in any way I can think of, though, so if you want to have fun with milk you can't drink, be my guest.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Turtle Mountain's Dairy-Free Giveaway

Turtle Mountain has been promoting its coconut milk dairy-free alternative as a major product since its introduction.

It wants you to try it so badly that the company is giving it away free.

Oh, not to you, of course. Unless you happen to live in Eugene, OR. Still, it's kinda cool.

The press release has this to say.

Turtle Mountain’s 2nd Annual Dairy-Free Ice Cream Giveaway will be held at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, OR, on Sunday, July 25, 2010. The festival is free to the public, and those who attend will receive So Delicious Dairy Free® made with Coconut Milk frozen confections.

Family-friendly games and prizes will be offered. The company expects to give out several thousand So Delicious Dairy Free® Made with Coconut Milk ice cream sandwiches and stick-bars. The event will also feature live musical performances by popular local artists and bands, including The Blair Street Mugwumps, Soulicious, and Michael Conley. A drawing will be held for prizes, including t-shirts, iPod shuffles, grocery gift certificates for Market of Choice, a year’s supply of ice cream, and a grand prize of a new hybrid bicycle, courtesy of Simply Cycle. Winners will be selected at 3 p.m.

Additionally, in an effort to support Turtle Mountain’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, anyone who rides a bike to the event will receive a free product coupon for So Delicious Dairy Free® frozen or refrigerated items which are widely available in the Eugene/Springfield area.

Coupons are also available at the Turtle Mountain website.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Hain Dreams - Dairy-Free Multitudes

The Hain-Celestial Group is so gigantic that they're almost too big to see. I talk about new firms that enter the non-dairy and dairy alternative market because they're easy to spot when I walk by the shelves. Hain products are always there and it's hard to keep track of what's new. I've had them on my website product list forever, of course.

How big are they? Gape at this list:

Hain Celestial participates in almost all natural food categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings®, Terra®, Garden of Eatin’®, Health Valley®, WestSoy®, Earth’s Best®, Arrowhead Mills®, DeBoles®, Hain Pure Foods®, FreeBird™, Hollywood®, Spectrum Naturals®, Spectrum Essentials®, Walnut Acres Organic™, Imagine Foods™, Rice Dream®, Soy Dream®, Rosetto®, Ethnic Gourmet®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®, Linda McCartney®, Realeat®, Lima®, Grains Noirs®, Natumi®, JASON®, Zia® Natural Skincare, Avalon Organics®, Alba Botanica® and Queen Helene®.

The one, or ones, I want to talk about today are the Dream lines of dairy-free drinks and frozen desserts. They are all found at Taste the Dream.

There are four Dreams, Rice, Soy, Hemp, and Almond, each obviously named after the ingredient that is used as the base. Kidz Dream is soymilk and fruit juice smoothies.

The newest line is Chocolate Dream bars.
New Chocolate Dream dairy free candy bars are premium all-natural, solid chocolate bars crafted from cocoa that will satisfy everyone’s chocolate dream.

Available in five decadent varieties, they contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or refined sugars making them truly a dairy free and gluten free dream come true.

The five flavors are Dark Chocolate in Almond, Pure Dark, Rice Crunch, and Raspberry, and Sweet Chocolate in Creamy Sweet.

If you think you remember the Dream lines under another name, you're right.
The roots of RICE DREAM and SOY DREAM go back to 1971, when Robert Nissenbaum, one of the original founders, had opened Morning Dew Organic Food Market in St. Louis, MO. It was one of the first organic/natural food stores in the United States. Robert was very passionate about the relationship between diet, health and well being, as well as very concerned for the environment. He explored the natural vegetarian diet, macrobiotics, yoga, and organic gardening. He used his store as the vehicle to share his ideas and inform others about the benefits of this new way of living.

In 1982, Robert and another partner founded Imagine Foods in the Missouri countryside. Things really took off when he and his partner took some of their products including soy tempeh, an early version of RICE DREAM beverage, and RICE DREAM Frozen Dessert to a natural food industry trade show. The distributors were crazy about the RICE DREAM Frozen Dessert. The orders kept coming, and the company kept growing and changing, to offer the highest quality, most delicious all-natural foods.

In December of 2002, Imagine foods was made part of The Hain Celestial Group- the country’s largest and most respected natural and organic foods company. Imagine Foods is proud to be part of The Hain Celestial Group’s family of brands that provide delicious “better for you” foods loved by people of all ages.

Taste The Dream Consumer Relations
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
4600 Sleepytime Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Or call us at:
1-800-434-4246, Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm Mountain Time

If you would like more information about The Hain Celestial Group, go to

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wholly Wholesome Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

I don't normally list dairy-free baked goods, because lots and lots of very ordinary products turn out to be dairy free. But a dairy-free frozen pumpkin pie? That's unusual.

Wholly Wholesome makes a line of goods that has the claims that you come to expect from "natural" foods. No:

• Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives or Additives
• Hydrogenated Fats, Oils or Trans Fatty Acids
• Conventionally Refined Sugars or Synthetic Sweeteners
• Bleached or Bromated Flours
• Irradiated Ingredients

Their Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie has the following ingredients and warnings:

INGREDIENTS: Pumpkin, Organic Cane Sugar, Water, Organic Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil (Palm Oil, Soybean Oil), Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Tapioca Starch, Soy Flour, Rice Flour, Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Calcium Sulfate.

CONTAINS: Wheat and Soy.

Made in a facility that uses dairy products and tree nuts.

Wholly Wholesome
General Nathan Cooper House (1866)
401 Route 24
Chester, New Jersey 07930

800-247-6580 (within the US)
908-879-0880 (phone)
908-879-0710 (fax)

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Truwhip Whipped Topping Alternative

Truwhip is a lactose-free whipped cream alternative with an unusual list of ingredients.

INGREDIENTS: Water, organic tapioca syrup, expeller-pressed palm kernel oil, organic cane sugar, organic palm kernel oil, contains less than 2% of each of the following: organic soy protein concentrate, sodium caseinate (milk protein), organic tapioca starch, natural flavors, organic soy lecithin, xanthan gum, guar gum. contains milk and soy.

Note that while Truwhip is lactose-free, it still has the milk protein casein, so it can't be considered dairy-free. But it's 100% natural and 70% organic and free of a long list of other items:

•no GMOs
•no hydrogenated oils
•trans fat free
•gluten free
•no high fructose corn syrup
•no polysorbate 60

It's found mostly at natural food stores.

Peak Foods Boise Sales Office
877 W. Main St. Ste 700
Boise, ID 83702
Toll Free (800) 727-9939

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Ian's Natural Foods - Dairy and Gluten-Free Kid's Meals

Ian's Natural Foods has an allergen-free line of kid's foods that are all "made without wheat, gluten, casein, milk, eggs or nuts".

Three of the meals are of special interest to dairy-free families as true alternatives to normally dairy-laden products.

Mac & No Cheese - WF/GF Recipe

Kids with food allergies can now enjoy another American classic - macaroni and cheese! Ian’s combined brown rice pasta with a rich ’no cheese’ sauce to create a delicious macaroni and cheese dish made without wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, nuts or soy.

Mac & Meat Sauce - WF/GF Recipe

Tender brown rice pasta, ground chicken and flavorful marinara sauce are combined to create the perfect Italian-style dinner for kids with food allergies! Ian’s WF/GF Recipe Mac & Meat Sauce is made without wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, nuts or soy.

French Bread Pizza - WF/GF Recipe

Ian’s French Bread Pizza is a great-tasting meal for anyone with allergies! Don’t limit yourself to homemade pizza; enjoy the taste of thick, hearty wheat and gluten-free French bread with a zesty Italian sauce, plus nutritious dairy and casein-free mozzarella cheese. French Bread Pizza is made without wheat, gluten, milk, casein, nuts or eggs. Contains soy.

Ian's Natural Foods, Inc.
360 Merrimack Street
Building 9, Suite 320
Lawrence, MA 01843

Phone: 800.54.FOODS (36637)
Fax: 978.989.0602

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Follow Your Heart Dairy Alternatives

It's been four years since I posted about Follow Your Heart and in that time they introduced new soy-based dairy alternatives.

They now have a sour cream alternative and a cream cheese alternative.


Thick and creamy, this non-dairy delight tastes just like the old-fashioned favorite. Our fresh sour cream is a perfect topping for Mexican food, a rich base for dips, and the finishing touch on top of a steaming baked potato.


Our cream cheese alternative has the smooth, buttery taste of the diary version with the same velvety texture. Made with organic ingredients, this cream cheese gives richness to cheesecakes, frostings and desserts, and naturally, nothing is better on a bagel!

They also have several vegan, dairy-free, cheese alternatives, which they claim can melt like real cheese even though they don't contain the milk protein casein.
Leave your perceptions of soy cheese behind. Vegan Gourmet® Cheese Alternatives taste great, and they melt! Yes, it's true! It's a non-dairy cheese revolution! Our heart healthy "cheeses" contain no cholesterol or gluten, are lower in fat than dairy cheese, and contain no lactose or other dairy products.

Flavors: Cheddar Cheese; Monterey Jack; Mozzarella; Nacho

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lisanatti Foods Cheese Alternatives

I went shopping today at a natural foods store, and found some brands that are new to me.

The first is Lisanatti Foods.

Lisanatti® Foods, family owned and operated in Oregon since 1977, produces several varieties of high quality cheese alternatives: THE ORIGINAL Almond®, Senora Lupe®, PREMIUM Soy-Sation®, RiceCheeze®, and MUNCHEEZE® Snack Sticks. We have been using organic and non-GMO ingredients for many years and source the finest ingredients commercially available.

Lisanatti® cheese alternatives are easy to use in favorite recipes as a cholesterol-free, gluten-free substitute for traditional dairy cheese. For dietary changes to improve health, our vegetarian cheese alternatives contain no Trans fats or saturated fats, are low in sodium and good sources of calcium and protein.

Let's break those down into flavors:

The Original ALMOND
Cheddar Style Chunks
Mozzarella Style Chunks
Garlic-Herb Style Chunks
Jalapeno Jack Style Chunks

SoySation® Chunks
SoySation® Slices
SoySation® Shreds

RiceCheeze® Cheddar Style Chunks
RiceCheeze® Mozzarella Style Chunks
RiceCheeze® Pepper Jack Style Chunks
MUNCHEEZE™ Mozzarella Style Snack Sticks
MUNCHEEZE™ American Style Snack Sticks

Senora Lupe (soy-based)
Chipotle Style Chunks
Jalapeno Mild Style Chunks
Manchego Style Chunks
Quesadilla Style Chunks

All the different styles and flavors appear to contain the milk protein casein. That makes them melt like regular cheese but are not recommend for people with milk protein allergies, though they are find for those of us with lactose intolerance and for vegetarians (but not vegans).

Lisanatti Foods
1815 Red Soils Court
Oregon City, OR 97045

(866)864-3922 Toll Free
(503)652-1988 Local
(503)653-1979 Fax

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

UK Overrun By Lactose-Intolerant Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are not native to North America, but they're so common in England that Monty Python included them in a skit. Dinsdale Piranha, the crime boss, had an imaginary hedgehog enemy named Spiny Norman that grew bigger and bigger the more depressed Dinsdale got. At worst, Norman could be up to 800 feet long.

I don't know what an 800-foot hedgehog would eat (first person to say "anything it wants" gets bounced from the internet) but I know what not to feed him: milk. Yes, adult hedgehogs, just like the adults of every other mammalian species, are lactose intolerant. Which makes them like the majority of adult humans.

It's also true that a majority of adult humans try to rescue distressed animals and apparently feed them the first thing that comes into their heads, which is - you guessed it - milk. So every year I have to run a story about Brits being warned not to serve their hedgehogs milk. Last year it was Yes, Hedgehogs Are Lactose Intolerant Too. Two years ago Lactose Intolerant Hedgehogs with greenish diarrhea. Ew.

And this year it's a twofer. Lorena Higgins of The Irish Times found an Irish family who adopted five abandoned baby hedgehogs but had sense enough to talk to a veterinarian before they started feeding them:

Mr Thomas is using a heat lamp to provide warmth, and the animals are being fed lamb’s colostrum, which is normally given to young lambs in springtime.

Mr Thomas said that this was on the advice of a vet and pharmacist, as the hedgehogs cannot tolerate lactose found in milk. He has also been using a syringe to feed vitamin supplements.

Somewhat less sensible was the writer and/or editor of The Malvern Gazette, who couldn't be bothered to proofread their article.
Wildlife lover Viv Smith, who runs Malvern Hedgehog Rescue, has seen a marked increase in the number of distressed animals being reported and brought in this summer.

"It is a red alert situation really," she explained. "Hedgehogs and other wildlife are so emaciated and dehydrated at the moment because they cannot find their natural sources of food and water.

"The ground is so hard that they are not able to dig for food."

Mrs Smith is calling on members of the public to help out by putting out food and water for hedgehogs.

Mrs Smith also spelled out what not to put out:
Bread and water should not be put down for hedgehogs as they are lactose intolerant and gain no nutritional value from the bread.

Uh, no. That makes no sense. What that was supposed to read was:
Bread and milk should not be put down for hedgehogs as they are lactose intolerant and gain no nutritional value from the bread.

Still. Two article about lactose-intolerant hedgehogs. No wonder England got bounced out of the World Cup.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Taste Test of Silk's PureAlmond

Silk, the noted maker of soy milks, introduced its PureAlmond nut-based milk alternative just a few months ago.

The Florida Times-Union assigned Ann J. Kelley to conduct a taste test.

Both lactose- and soy-free, Silk Pure Almond Almondmilk can be purchased in Original or Vanilla, and while it's lower in calories than regular milk, it still provides the same amount of calcium and vitamin D.

We wondered if the average milk drinker, with no lactose problems, would find the almondmilk appealing, so we had members of the Times-Union Consumer Panel put it to the test. All of them gave it high marks.

Comments included:
"If you don't like it, you're nuts! It's really good and has more fiber and fewer calories, sugar and carbs."

"It's not at all sweet like I expected and has a nice rich taste without the fat."

"My husband thought it was OK, but it's a little too rich and sweet for me."

"It isn't quite as cold or refreshing as 2 percent milk."

The panel's biggest problem other than the sweetness was the price. At $3.00 for a half-gallon, the taste wasn't near good enough to overcome the cost. Remember, though, these are milk drinkers who have the option to buy cow's milk. Those of us who don't have lots more incentive.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Droppa and Droppa Expand Through Bread Factory

Droppa and Droppa started their gluten- and dairy-free baking business in the traditional way, because Joslyn Droppa had coeliac disease. They wanted to do food that was so fresh it didn't even have the presevatives and additives that some people are sensitive to. Their little business is based in Bideford, North Devon, in the U.K.

They're getting bigger, though. The industry newsletter Conveying News reported that:

Droppa & Droppa has agreed a deal to supply its range of products to The Bread Factory.

Droppa & Droppa make a range of 'free-from' goods including gluten, wheat and dairy-free breads which will be provided to London-based The Bread Factory's customers, reports

The move will increase the production of specialist breads – news which will be welcomed by those in the baking industry.

Jocelyn Droppa, joint-owner of the company, expressed her belief that the deal would help those suffering from allergies to enjoy a wider range of food.

"By supplying The Bread Factory we hope that coeliacs and those who are wheat and/or dairy intolerant can enjoy good baked goods as much as the next person," she told the website.

The Bread factory has six retail shops in London, operating under the Gail's chain, and supplies goods to several of the capital's top restaurants and hotels.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Your Symptoms Aren't Always Coming from Lactose

One point made frequently in the NIH state-of-the-science conference on Lactose Intolerance (LI) was that people often misinterpreted the symptoms they got from food. Having symptoms, even when having dairy products, didn't necessarily mean that lactose was the cause.

Another larger and better test of this notion just appeared in the medical journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. "Subjective Perception of Lactose Intolerance Does Not Always Indicate Lactose Malabsorption," by Francesc Casellas et al., Volume 8, Issue 7 , Pages 581-586, July 2010.


Background & Aims
Symptomatic lactose intolerance is common; however, abdominal symptoms that patients experience after ingestion of lactose-containing foods can have causes beyond lactose malabsorption. We aimed to determine whether symptoms that patients usually attribute to lactose intolerance are comparable to symptoms provoked by a controlled lactose challenge and whether these symptoms are related to lactose absorption capacity.

We performed an observational, prospective, transverse study of 353 patients referred for a lactose hydrogen breath test (HBT). Patients completed a validated questionnaire about symptoms associated with consumption of dairy products at home (home symptoms). After a 50-g lactose breath test, they completed the same questionnaire again (lactose challenge symptoms). Patients were assigned to groups of absorbers or malabsorbers according to HBT results and tolerants or intolerants according to the results of the questionnaire.

The total symptom score was significantly higher for home symptoms than for the lactose challenge (16 vs 8, P < .01). Symptoms perceived at home were reported to be more intense than those that followed the lactose challenge for lactose absorbers compared with malabsorbers (16 vs 4, P < .01) and lactose tolerants compared with intolerants (12 vs 2, P < .05). Overperception of lactose intolerance at home was similar in men and women.

Daily life symptoms that patients associate with lactose intolerance are often unrelated to lactose malabsorption. Even among true lactose malabsorbers, symptom recall tends to be amplified by the patient. Thus, conventional anamnesis is a highly unreliable tool to establish symptomatic lactose malabsorption.

A 50 gram lactose challenge is enormous. That's the amount of lactose in four 8-ounce glasses of milk, more than almost anybody normally gets from food. So much lactose should create enormous and violent symptoms in anyone who is truly LI.

Yet the symptoms reported at home from normal food intake were more numerous and more severe than the symptoms reported from the lactose challenge. That's impossible to explain except subjectively. People either are getting their symptoms at home from foods other than lactose (or non-food reasons entirely) or else they simply report symptoms worse than they really are.

LI is real and people do get symptoms from it. But it's not the fault of the most or the worst symptoms for most people. Hard as that may be to believe, here's another test - and of a large number of patients - that replicates that claim.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Healthy Voyager

Continuing the travel theme as we approach the big Fourth of July weekend - I'll be traveling so I don't know whether I'll be posting - check out The Healthy Voyager.

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