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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Article Scam

You - yes, you - can be paid for what you know! Even for stuff you don't know! It's easy! Just write an article for us! On anything! Anything at all! Then watch the money roll in!

When I put it that way, it's obviously a scam, a snare, a trap for the delusional and desperate. Yet it works. Probably for the same reason that you keep getting spam in your in-box that is so poorly done that you wonder who could possibly be stupid enough to fall for it. Somebody does. (I saw an article that estimated that 8 people out of every million respond to spam.)

Article scammers continue to function because everybody thinks they know something. Even when they don't.

Take Lonad, which stands for Lon's Article Directory. There's a name that screams quality. This is what Lon advertises:

Lonad Now Offers Article Writing Services
400-500 word articles for $20.00
Ivy League author educated at the Masters level. SEO optimized.

You can be sure that articles from Lonad are unique and of the highest quality. Simply email us today we’ll get started on any subject you may like.[sic]

This is the reality which you get.
Do not bother if you are suffering from a bloated stomach. Others too are facing the same problem. Bloated stomach is not a disease, but just a nuisance. Before treating this nuisance, understand what causes it. This will aid them to avert it from occurring again. One of the main reasons behind bloated stomach is poor indigestion....

[A] number of other symptoms indicate that one is anguishing from a bloated stomach and body swelling is one of them. However, bad food habits are the basic reason for bloated stomach and if one is able to mend it, they shall no longer suffer....

Remove buffalo milk from your diet The reason behind it is that this type of milk contains a low amount of lactose, a substance that facilitates digestion of milk.

Other than reading as if put through a bad internet translator, the article is no more than a shill for a website selling hugely expensive digestive aids.

Times are tough for almost everyone. People will try to take advantage of you when you're down. Don't fall for it.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Lactaid's New Lactose-Free Half-and-Half

Some true dairy products just can't be found in lactose-free form. Lactose-free dry milk powder is one. Lactose-free half-and-half used to be another.

Here comes the breaking news. Lactaid has just introduced a true dairy lactose-free half-and-half supermarket product. "LACTAID® Half & Half is the first lactose-free half & half made from 100% farm-fresh milk and cream, so you can enjoy the rich smoothness of real half & half in your coffee or tea."

What's the bad news? For now they are only available in New England and Upstate New York. Why? Other than how special and wonderful and deserving we are here in Upstate New York, I don't know.

The rest of you can start bugging your supermarket managers to get the product in as soon as it becomes available. Check Lactaid's half-and-half page for details.

Want more hot scoop?

There's also the new "LACTAID® Plastic Single Serve Milk [that]
is delicious 100% lactose-free milk with all of the vitamins and minerals of real milk in a handy, 12-ounce bottle." Available at universities and convenience stores.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals,
by Silvana Nardone.

Silvana Nardone is the founding Editor in Chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray, where she has been honored with the magazine industry's top awards since its launch in 2005. She is the magazine's "No-Recipe Zone" and "Sweet Spot" columnist. A writer, editor, cooking instructor, and food consultant, she is the coauthor of Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian. She was profiled by Big Apple Parent and for her focus on gluten-free and dairy- free cooking. Silvana owned an Italian bakery, Fanciulla, when Rachael Ray hired her to launch her magazine. Visit her blog at

Product Description
"The cornbread was flavorful, moist and light with a deliciously tender crumb. My only hope with this recipe was that Isaiah would love it... And then Isaiah took a bite. The look on his face was pure heaven."

Cooking for Isaiah is a love story of Silvana Nardone's journey to develop great-tasting meals for her son, Isaiah, after he was diagnosed with food intolerances to gluten and dairy. The results of her efforts are found in the pages of this book, through 135 recipes that are not only easy to make, but taste and look delicious.

From "S'mores Pancakes with Marshmallow Sauce" to "Double-Decker Toasted Cornbread and Spicy Greens Stack," and "Chicken and Waffles with Maple Bacon Gravy" to "Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting," all of the recipes in Cooking for Isaiah are entirely free of gluten and dairy. Crafted with a variety of cooks in mind, an ingredient substitution chart shows you what to swap if, for example, you need to cook without gluten, but dairy is okay. You'll also find Silvana's tried-and-tested all-purpose flour and pancake mix recipes, sure to make gluten-free cooking and baking accessible to all. Written by Silvana Nardone, Editor in Chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, this charming, personal cookbook belongs on every cook's shelf.

Readers Digest hardcover
224 pages
List price: $24.95

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boost Energy Drink: Lactose-Free But Not Casein-Free

I found this article - which is as close to a press release as I've ever seen; let's not pretend this is real journalism - that touts the wonderful benefits of Boost nutritional energy drink.

What caught my attention was the claim that Boost is lactose-free.

People who are at risk for osteoporosis or bone loss include older adults, non-ambulatory people who have difficulty exercising, post-menopausal women, and people who are on chronic steroid therapy for medical conditions. Older adults who are lactose-intolerant or allergic to milk are also at risk for calcium deficiency. Now, BOOST® comes with CalciLock® to help maintain bone health. Each BOOST® drink contains just as much calcium as an 8-ounce glass of milk, but it’s lactose-free.

OK, sounds good. I check everything, especially press releases. That's my mission. So I went to the Boost website to search for ingredients.
Water, corn syrup solids, sugar, vegetable oil, (canola, high oleic sunflower, corn oils) milk protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, and less than 0.5% of potassium citrate, magnesium chloride, soy lecithin, calcium phosphate, salt, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, beta-carotene, biotin, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine, hydrochloride, folic acid, potassium iodide, magnesium phosphate, natural and artificial flavor, choline chloride, vitamin E acetate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, vitamin K1, carrageenan, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cupric sulfate, chromic chloride, sodium molybdate, sodium selenite, ferrous sulfate. Contains milk protein and soy.

Contains milk protein. So people with milk protein allergies, beware.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grana Padano Lactose-Free Cheese

The process of aging cheese drives the lactose out. Aged cheeses are mostly or even entirely lactose-free, and the longer a cheese is aged the lower lactose it is.

This is true for all aged cheeses, but only a few manufacturers are smart enough to make it a selling point. I'm happy to give recognition to one who make a big deal of it.

That cheese is Grana Padano.

Grana Padano has been an integral part of Italy's gastronomic tradition for almost 1,000 years. Now, more and more American consumers know that 'Grana' refers to the grainy, crumbly texture of the cheese and 'Padano' refers to its area of origin in the Po River Valley of Northern Italy. This cow's milk cheese is produced in Lombardia, Emilia Romagna (only the province of Piazenza), Veneto, Piemonte and Trentino (only the province of Trento) and is strictly linked to the areas and territories in which it is made.

This deep straw yellow colored cheese, when mature, has a sweet, nutty flavored taste that can be grated over pasta or shaved on carpaccio or salad while never overpowering other ingredients and flavors in a dish. Aged from nine months to 24 and up, Grana Padano pairs well with a variety of cuisines and makes an ideal part of a healthy diet.

"Low in fat compared to other cheeses, Grana Padano serves as an excellent source of protein and calcium, and is lactose-free," said Elisabetta Serraiotto, who is responsible for Marketing and Communications at the Grana Padano Consortium. "Easy to digest, it's not only perfect for active people, but it is also a great addition to the diet of children, elderly and pregnant women. Moreover, Grana Padano can be served in many different ways, even as part of a light, healthy summer meal."

What is Grana Padano cheese like?
About Grana Padano—

Grana Padano has been part of Italy's gastronomic tradition and culture since 1135 when it was created by the monks in the Po River Valley in Northern Italy. Based in Desenzano del Garda in the province of Brescia, the Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano cheese was founded in 1954 by a group of businessmen who shared one common goal—to produce a top-quality cheese based on the traditional recipe. Today this company encompasses more than 200 Grana Padano producers, maturers and retailers. "Grana" refers the grainy and crumby texture of the cheese and "Padano" refers to its origin on the Po River Valley in Northern Italy. Grana Padano is a registered trademark around the world, and since 1996 is a D.O.P Denominazione di Origine Protetta (P.D.O. in English) cheese awarded by the European Community in Brussels.

Grana Padano cheese can be matured for anything from 9 to over 24 months. This variance in maturity leads to dramatic differences in the flavor and texture of the cheese.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tofurky Pizza with Daiya "Cheese"

Hokey smoke, Rock, it's Daiya week here at Planet Lactose.

Yesterday, I posted Daiya Expands Its Vegan "Cheese" Alternative Availability. But that's just the beginning of the big Daiya news.

Tofurky is starting a line of pizzas made with Daiya vegan cheese alternative.

Tofurky® Pizza

Tofurky brought vegetarians back to the Thanksgiving table by providing a high protein, cholesterol free option to people who had been left out of the celebration. Today we continue that mission by offering delicious, nutritious vegan pizzas in three bold flavors: Cheese, Pepperoni and Italian Sausage with Fire Roasted Veggies. You might say our goal is: "No pizza eater left behind!"

Ingredients: Ingredients: Crust: Whole wheat flour,
enriched wheat flour (niacin, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid), potato flour, water, expeller pressed non-GMO canola oil, yeast, organic sugar, salt, malt (malted barley, wheat flour, dextrose). Sauce: Water, tomato paste, garlic, expeller pressed non-GMO canola oil, salt, oregano, basil.

Tofurky Italian Sausage: Organic tofu (water, organic soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride), vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed non-genetically modified canola oil, water, shoyu soy sauce (water, non-genetically engineered soybeans, wheat, salt, culture), sun dried tomatoes, textured wheat protein, basil, black pepper, spices, granulated garlic, salt, chili pepper. Fire Roasted Veggies: Zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, red bell peppers, poblano peppers, green bell peppers, olive oil.

Vegan Cheese: Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flour, non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil and/or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, calcium citrate, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), annatto.

Contains: Soy and wheat.

I found a review from a Hollywood socialite with Ph.D..
My verdict: Not bad! The whole wheat crust tasted especially impressive for a frozen pizza — a perfect crispiness after 12 minutes in the oven — and the sweetener-free tomato sauce had a nice natural flavor.

The toppings were just okay — though faux meat lovers will likely have a more enthusiastic response. The somewhat synthetic tastes of fake cheeses and meats seems to rankle me more than others. I appreciate how Daiya cheese melts unlike most faux cheeses, but the stuff always tastes vaguely soapy to me. And while I do enjoy Tofurky on occasion, the sausage on the pizza dried out too much in the oven heat, ending up little, light dehydrated squares atop the otherwise well-cooked pizza.

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Daiya Expands Its Vegan "Cheese" Alternative Availability

I posted about the introduction of Daiya vegan "cheese" almost a year ago. I said, "It's big distinction is that instead of soy or rice or the usual bases, Daiya uses tapioca* and/or arrowroot flours."

The vegan cheese world can't sit still for long. Daiya, a Canadian product, is finally busting out all over. All over Canada, at least. Naturally, there's a press release.

Daiya Foods has been called "the holy grail of vegan cheese". says "Daiya is one brand that stands out from the rest. Based on its excellent taste, texture, and ingredients, Daiya truly is a delicious and healthy vegan product."

Daiya Foods originated in Vancouver, BC. The Naam restaurant on W. 4th Ave was one of their first customers and Canadian consumers have been asking for the last year when they can buy the product in Canada. The day is on the horizon, the labeling issues holding Daiya Foods back have been overcome, and the packages are at the printers! We will start shipping to distributors Oct 1st, and you will see the product in stores by the end of the month!

Over the last year the only way to purchase Daiya products in Canada was to order 5lb foodservice packages from online retailers like Karmavore or Viva Granola; many supportive Canadian consumers waited patiently for their shipment of Daiya style shreds to arrive at their front door. Now everyone will find the retail packages exploding onto shelves in early fall, plus the foodservice and prepared foods sections in markets will be ramping up over the next 4 weeks.

Enjoy Daiya products on your pizza, nachos, and comforting macaroni. Daiya products are a healthy choice that offers all of the taste, melt, and stretch without the guilt! It's a perfect option for any diet need, whether you have a common food allergy, are lactose intolerant or vegan, or your [sic] just watching cholesterol and trans fat intake!

Positive feedback is already coming in from the foodservice market; Boon's Burger Café in Manitoba says "Thanks Daiya, we’ve got new customers coming in the door… just because we are carrying your "cheese"! With a powerful, fast moving national launch in the US Whole Foods and the continued trends in vegetarian and health eating, Daiya Foods expects the same excitement in Canada. Check back often to see where you can purchase or enjoy Daiya products at

Product information: Daiya products are a revolutionary new dairy-free vegan option that tastes, shreds, melts, and stretches perfectly for any of your favorite recipes. Daiya is free of many of the common allergens including; dairy (casein and lactose), soy, gluten, egg, peanuts and tree nuts (excluding coconuts). Daiya is also free of animal products, cholesterol, trans fats, and preservatives. To find out more visit

To spare you, I edited the release to create paragraphs and I added some proper punctuation. I complain all the time about how badly written press releases are, but this one is close to the bottom.

Hi, Daiya! I'm available!

*UPDATE: That used to say cassava flour, but the ingredients lists now [11/27/11] read tapioca flour instead.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cooking Lactose-Free Blog

I told you a couple of years ago that Mandy Kocevar and Monika B. Pis had teamed up to produce a cookbook, Lactose Free and Loving It: Learn to Enjoy Dairy Again!

They've used the book as a springboard to a whole blog experience, Cooking Lactose-Free: Home of the Lactose-Free and Loving It Cookbook. You're coming right in at the start.

They alternate recipes like Super Simple Hummus, Sun Dried Tomato Scramble, Beet and Feta Mixed Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, and Pecan Encrusted Tilapia with Remoulade Sauce, with simple general information piece on lactose intolerance. Not all the recipes are repeats from the book, so you can stop over there and find dishes that are brand new.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tofutti to Announce Three Innovative Products

Tofutti sent out a bit of a downbeat press release, revealing that they lost gross and net revenue since last year at this time.

The good news is that they are expanding their product line into firsts, not just for them, but for the industry.

As announced at our annual meeting in June, we have developed three new dairy-free food products. We will soon release the first commercially available nondairy and gluten-free ricotta cheese product, which is expected to reach grocers' shelves in the fourth quarter of this year. We also intend to release what we believe will be the first dairy-free, sugar-free, frozen dessert than incorporates Stevia as the sweetening agent and a newly re-formulated frozen pizza with a dairy-free, trans fat-free cheese topping. We expect that the latter two products will be commercially available around the new year."

Go to for more information on all their current products.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Korean Cheese Pizza Dance Goes Viral

I've been writing for years that dairy products were finding a new home in Asia, traditionally a series of cultures that avoided using milk in their cuisines. The same genetics are involved that make America a dairy culture. Many people with mild lactose intolerance can have some dairy without symptoms.

Even back when I wrote Milk Is Not for Every Body I mentioned that Pizza Hut was putting up cheese factories in Thailand to meet a growing demand. Now Asia is poised to take over the world with their catchy pizza commercials. Let's see. Cute young girls, lots of bare leg, robotic dancing with instructions, and backwards pizza eating. Don Draper would eat his fedora to have done this.

Just so you know, Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza has 350 calories and 13 grams of fat per slice without any toppings. So if you want to look anything like the girls in the commercials, stop at one slice.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dairy-Free Chocolate Protein Pudding

I'm a copyright fanatic. Most people don't understand copyright and think that either everything can be freely reprinted or that nothing can be. It's really somewhere in the middle because of a concept called "fair use." Fair use is not defined precisely anywhere in the copyright law, which is why it causes so many problems.

The way I interpret it is that short excepts of articles can be reprinted to make a point, images that were intended to be advertisements of themselves - like book covers or food packages - can be freely used, material put under a Creative Commons license - like anything at Wikipedia - can be reused in its entirety if attribution is given, and press releases are inherently designed to be spread widely.

That's why I don't normally reprint recipes. You can't copyright a list of ingredients or basic instructions but you certainly can copyright expression. Therefore you can rewrite a recipe in your own words but you can't simply copy somebody else's words.

Unless it's been put out in a press release for everyone to use.

And I found one that seems useful for you.

Here's the press release:

Even when you're watching what you eat, you don't have to give up chocolate or dessert! Columbus-based fitness and nutrition trainer Jason Yun offers up a healthy and easy recipe for a delicious protein-filled dessert. You can fix it in your blender or food processor in a matter of minutes to enjoy an indulgent snack you don't have to feel guilty about.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Protein Pudding

1 avocado
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
A dash of cinnamon
A pinch of Sea salt
3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 banana
2 tbsp almond or coconut milk
1 scoop whey protein

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and the peel. Place it in the blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Makes 2-3 servings.

To watch Jason Yun make this dessert, visit Yun Training's YouTube channel. The video can be found at this link.

Enjoy a delicious, healthy dessert, and remember to let your nutrition work for you!

Jason Yun is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Nutritionist. He owns Yun Strength and Fitness Systems, LLC, and runs Yun Fitness Boot Camps in Columbus, Ohio.

I am the owner of Yun Strength and Fitness Systems, LLC. I Instruct Fitness Boot Camps for teens and adults in the Greater Columbus, Ohio area. I also teach the 12-week Metabolism Makeover Course. I am a body transformation expert who has helped many people reach their body and health goals. To learn more about me and to pick up a copy of your FREE Fat Loss Starter Kit, please visit the websites:

If you're wondering that I'm mentioning a recipe with whey protein, remember that many whey protein powders (and drink) are lactose-free. If you still have qualms then substitute soy protein powder.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Foods Bloat - and Not Just Dairy

A fitness columnist on the Chicago Now blogs reminds us that plenty of foods can cause bloating besides just dairy. That's a good thing to remember when you look at your diet and try to determine what's causing the problems.

What are some of the typical bloaters out there in the food world?

Grease! It's quite obvious, really. Greasy burgers, fries, pizza, tots, and anything else that fits into the category of "bar food" is probably going to make you bloat. Not only that, but it's going to cause a war on your digestive track. ...

Fizzy beverages. This includes things like beer, soda, and anything carbonated. Yes, even DIET sodas are included on this list. It's quite simply really... the fizz is air. Air makes you bloat.

Sodium. Too much sodium can be a problem, and most of us eat way too much of it because it's hidden in things that we may not even realize (read your labels). You may think you are helping yourself by eating those freezer dinners, but they are packed with sodium. So, despite being low in calories, they could still be bloating you up! Limit your sodium intake. ...

Other culprits... as healthy as they are for you, veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, as well as legumes and beans, can also cause bloating.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whole Foods Almond Milk

Using nuts as the basis for a white, milk-like liquid is apparently as old as milking itself. Nut "milks" haven't had as much success in the market as soy "milks," though. That appears to be changing.

Whole Foods Market, the upscale supermarket chain, announced "the expansion of its all organic and domestically sourced non-dairy beverage line as it launches the company's first almond milk line –including the industry's first-ever private label refrigerated organic almond milk– and light soymilk in Original and Vanilla varieties under its value-priced 365 Organic Everyday Value brand– available now in Whole Foods Market stores nationwide."

The company will continue to offer shoppers its popular high quality 365 Organic Everyday Value Soy and Rice Milk in Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Unsweetened varieties, with new graphics to streamline the package design across the category. Soy and almond milk options will be sold in both refrigerated and shelf-stable varieties. ...

To taste the new non-dairy beverages, visit any Whole Foods Market store across the U.S. In-store sampling demonstrations will be held throughout August.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Gluten-Free... Nail Polish. What?

Case #1874 from the files of mothers who develop allergen-free products for their kids involves Natalie Bauss and Katy Scheffler. "Scheffler has to pay close attention to ingredients because her family has a wide range of food allergies, including lactose, gluten and yeast," wrote Shandra Martinez of The Grand Rapids Press in an article found on

So they "channeled their passion for organic ingredients and concerns about food allergies into the Keeki Pure and Simple line of products: lip balm, nail polish and polish remover."

Wait. What? Why does nail polish or polish remover have to be gluten-free? (Is there any nail polish that isn't?) Even lip balm. There are some allergens that could produce a reaction from single touching, but I don't believe that even licking all the lip balm off one's lips could provide enough gluten to have a reaction. Even assuming that lip balm contains gluten normally.

And that raises an interesting question. Does any lip balm contain gluten?

You can quickly find sites that say yes.

Suite101: A Gluten Free Diet: There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten

Also, cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balm, and chapsticks may contain gluten.

Hidden sources of gluten
Lip stick and lip balm contain gluten.

But what kind of lip balm? Which brands?

Searching brings up dozens of brands that claim to be gluten-free. Blistex, no. Carmex, no. Burt's Bees, no. Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner, no. ChapStick, no. Ecolips, no. The Merry Hempsters, no. Nivea, no. Savonnerie, no. Badger Balm, no. Boston America, no. Some of these contain warnings that the ingredients may come into contract with gluten or other allergens in the manufacturing process.

Remember, however, that skin contact with gluten is not an issue. Only swallowing a sufficient quantity of gluten is.

So that brings me to Bonne Bell. Most of its brands contain no gluten. However, some do. Here is the list that was given on the Gluten Free Betsy website of gluten-containing products.
Original Lip Smackers
Sun Smackers (Including Clip N Go)
Megastar Lip Smackers
Kool Aid Lip Smackers
F’lip Styles
F’lip Glosses
Lip Lites Glossy Tints Balms
M&M Lip Smacker Balms (New Formula with Castor Oil)
Dasani Balms
Pinky Lip Smackers Balms
Skittles Lip Balms (New Formula with Castor Oil)
DPSU Lip Smackers
All Starburst Lip Balms
Color Kiss Lip Balms
Lip Smackers w/SPF

The Savvy Celiac blog reported a study that states that "The smallest amount of gluten which has been shown by a biopsy to cause damage to a celiac is 0.1 gram per day (Catassi et al.)." On the other hand, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center sets a higher risk standard,"As little as 1/8 of a teaspoon of flour is enough to set off this abnormal response." That's about 0.3 grams. Both those numbers, while small, are likely larger than the amount of gluten in any one application of lip balm, especially if you don't swallow it all.

The point is a subtle one. Most cosmetics that are applied to skin don't matter if they contain gluten. Gluten does not get absorbed through skin. It must go through the digestive system. Nail polish shouldn't be any worry unless you lick and suck all the polish off.

Lip sticks, or lip balms, or lip glosses, or lip conditioners are more likely to be licked and swallowed. Many brands can be found with no gluten at all. Of the brands that do contain gluten, an occasional application shouldn't be cause for worry, especially if you allow them to flake off.

Gluten-free is mostly a gimmick, selling you products by announcing that they don't claim an ingredient that very few contain in the first place. But that's marketing for you. Making a virtue out of something you never had is an ancient sales technique. Green vendors may be rediscovering its effectiveness, but it's really an evergreen, old as the hills.

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Paleolithic Restaurant Discovered in Arizona

Wow, remember The Stone Age Diet, also known as the Paleolithic Diet or the Cave Man Diet? The idea behind the diet is that humanity evolved to eat fruits, vegetables, and lean meats rather than dairy, grains, sugar, and processed foods. Therefore, the best diet for us today is a copy of that limited menu.

Guessing what humanity ate over tens or hundreds of thousands of years in varying climates and settings is a bit harder than knowing exactly what was eaten, so the various claims for the diets wobble all over the place. I have more references in the link given above.

I hadn't heard of this fad for several years. (And it is a fad diet. There is no necessary reason or scientific backing for it, other than the common sense claims that are sometimes made.) But an Arizona chef has opened a Paleolithic Diet restaurant in trendy Scottsdale.

An article by Carey Sweet of the Arizona Republic splashes a few details.

Some chefs try to predict future trends for their cooking inspiration. Calistro California Bistro chef-owner Devin Walsh is looking back. By about 2.5 million years....

It celebrates foods people ate prior to agriculture and animal husbandry (such as wild game or grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, shellfish, eggs, tree-nut oils, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries and mushrooms). Not allowed are Neolithic Era foods that evolved from our manipulation (grains, sugar, dairy, beans, and processed foods).

You wouldn't be grazing on mostly dozens of species of plant material with some scavenged raw meat, though. Perish forbid.
For appetizers, Walsh offers chicken or lamb meatballs blended with prosciutto and tomato jam on an almond-meal tortilla. Entrees include salmon over fresh crab and organic-vegetable hash with citrus beets and a dollop of tarragon-mustard or chimichurri pork roast atop sweet-potato mash.

Bees are found everywhere, so "Desserts are sweetened with honey, including poached fruit with house-made granola."

Wait, granola? Isn't granola made with grains?

Never mind. Our Paleo ancestors would find every bit of food in that description odd. And would love, love, love to have the luxury of eating grains, sugar, dairy, beans, and processed foods. Authenticity is a luxury given to the decadent. Enjoy.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Allergic? Try Donkey Milk.

Each mammal's milk is different from every other mammal's milk. They vary in the amount and the composition of the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins they contain. That last is extremely important. It's not just that milk contains two main types of proteins, casein and whey, but that each are whole families of related proteins. Allergies, however, can be extremely specific. A reaction can occur to one type of casein but not another.

And that means that people who are allergic to the specific protein variations (technically known as protein fractions) in cow's milk may not be allergic to the different set of proteins in another mammal's milk.

In Italy, the researchers went to a showing of Shrek 3 and had an aha! moment. Maybe not, but they decided to investigate the allergenicity of donkey milk anyway.

And it worked.

"Adequacy and tolerance to ass's milk in an Italian cohort of children with cow's milk allergy," by Riccardina Tesse, Claudia Paglialunga, Serena Braccio and Lucio Armenio. Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2009, 35:19doi:10.1186/1824-7288-35-19

I found an article about it on (Horsetalk? Donkeys? Makes perfect sense to me.)

Thirty children with a suspected cow's milk allergy, aged six months to 11 years, were enrolled in the study.

They underwent skin-prick tests and a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge to confirm their cow's milk allergy.

Testing confirmed the existence of an allergic response in 25 of the children.

Each was then openly given fresh donkey's milk.

Specific biomarkers were checked to evaluate the health of the children before including donkey milk in their diet. The participants were checked again 4-6 months after going on to donkey's milk.

The researchers found that 24 out of 25 subjects (96%) tolerated donkey milk, with their blood biomarkers unchanged after incorporating it in their diet.

The children in the study had no more than moderate allergy. None of the test subjects with severe allergy agreed to take part in the study.

Where you would get donkey milk here is hard to say. I suppose you could talk to your local Democratic Party headquarters, but that's just a joke. I will hope that elephant milk will be tested next, for proper bipartisanship.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Experts Sort Out the Confusion Over Milk Substitutes

Articles on the many and varied array of milk substitutes and alternatives are a perennial in the newspaper business. But I haven't reported on one in a year, since "Milks" Galore: Soy, Rice, Almond, and Hemp.

Here's one by Betsy Friauf of the McClatchy Newspapers syndicate, found here, that covers even more alternatives (almond, hemp, rice, soy, oat, and coconut, along with real milks, including lactose-free, fat-free, and fortified.

And here's something I love: it gets goat milk right. Wa-hoo!

Dietitian says: Despite claims, it's unlikely to ease intolerance, as goat's milk is nutritionally very similar to cow's milk.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Vegan Cruises

Vegan has gone mainstream and nothing is more mainstream than cruises, which are apparently nothing more than 10,000 calories a day with ocean breezes.

Chari Suri wrote about vegan cruises on The Huffington Post.

The chefs on board were more aware of my dietary needs than I had given them credit for. Before long, I was feasting on Indian dishes, delicately-flavored al dente pasta and crisp, almost "farm to table" quality salads. Navigating the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu was a lot less pedestrian that I thought it would be. Noticing the absence of generous vegan options in the dessert department (how long can the "sorbet with fruits and berries" song possibly go on for?), I resorted to the biblical "ask and you shall receive" approach and requested the head waiter to give me some variations on what was becoming an increasingly boring theme. The very next day, I had a soy ice cream sundae with warm apple turnover. It really does pay to be a pest.

She goes on to talk about options available from several cruise companies.

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Battle of the Best Vegetarian-Friendly Cities

Which cities are friendliest to vegetarians? You got choices. has three lists, large American cities, small American cities, and Canadian cities.

America's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Large Cities
1. Portland, Oregon
2. Seattle, Washington
3. San Francisco, California
4. New York, New York
5. Atlanta, Georgia
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Minneapolis, Minnesota
8. Austin, Texas
9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10. Chicago, Illinois

America's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small Cities
1. Asheville, North Carolina
2. Eugene, Oregon
3. Salt Lake City, Utah
4. Norfolk, Virginia
5. Santa Monica, California
6. Santa Cruz, California
7. Boulder, Colorado
8. Madison, Wisconsin
9. Athens, Georgia
10. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Canada's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Cities
1. Vancouver, British Columbia
2. Victoria, British Columbia
3. Toronto, Ontario
4. Montréal, Québec
5. Calgary, Alberta
6. Ottawa, Ontario

You can find more about each of those cities' vegetarian delights by clicking on the links at the page.

PETA has a list that's similar in concept but limited to ten large North American cities.
1.Washington, D.C.
2.Portland, Oregon
3.Albuquerque, New Mexico
4.Atlanta, Georgia
5.Seattle, Washington
6.Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
7.San Francisco, California
8.Los Angeles, California
9.New York, New York
10.Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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