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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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

Friday, November 19, 2010

So, What Can I Eat Now?! Cookbook

Remember the interrobang?! A combination of a exclamation point and question mark, it was the missing piece of punctuation that all keyboards leave off. There's a whole Facebook page devoted to Bringing Back The Interrobang. And they're right. We need the interrobang and we need it now. Proof? Rhonda Peters just wrote the So, What Can I Eat Now?! cookbook and badly, sadly misses the useful interrobang.

So, What Can I Eat Now?! is subtitled Living Without Dairy, Soy, Eggs, and Wheat, which makes it just right for me to feature here.

Guess what? There's a press release.

Ms. Peters' decision to write a cookbook which focused on low sodium, gluten free, soy free, egg free and dairy free ingredients stems from her own battle with thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis and her inability to consume foods with gluten, soy, dairy and eggs due to multiple food allergies. Ms. Peters' 15 year struggle with these chronic health issues and her desire to continue to enjoy the Southern style of cooking which she had enjoyed as a child propelled her to study and dissect traditional Southern and holiday recipes in search of healthy, flavorful alternatives. The result of Ms. Peters' laborious efforts is an exciting new approach to holiday cooking. So if you’re searching for the perfect holiday brunch menu or if you’re trying to prepare a full spread for your family’s holiday gathering, order your copy of So, What Can I Eat Now?!, as it is destined to become the premier holiday cookbook for people with dietary restrictions.

Instead of the links in that press release, try this one:

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review of The Kosher Baker

Rabbi Rebecca Joseph is founder and owner of 12 Tribes Kosher Foods in San Francisco and creator of the Parve Baker, a dairy-free baking blog.

I got very excited when I read that, because it sounded like a great thing to share with you. I'm somewhat less excited when I saw that no new posts have been made in over a year. Still, check out what's there.

Rabbi Rebecca is still writing, though. I found her via a review of The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy by Paula Shoyer. You may remember that I posted about it two months ago. Yes, I'm that far ahead of the curve.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from her review.

The real test was the whole wheat challah. I regularly make challah in several varieties, but have never found a whole wheat recipe that I wanted to use again. That is, until now. This one balances white and whole flours, honey, sugar, yeast and eggs perfectly in a bread that looks beautiful as a crown or braid, tastes good, and has a substantial, but delicate texture. The dough rises three times so this is a not project that can be rushed. When you can plan ahead, the time is worth it.

There is so much to like about “The Kosher Baker,” including the many practical tips and attention given to special diets. With her sensitivity to dietary restrictions and commitment to expansion of the parve baker’s repertoire, the only disappointment is that Shoyer does not offer much advice to people who are generally concerned about making desserts and other baked goods more nutritious or are soy-sensitive.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Gluten-Free Mall

The Gluten-Free Mall has been around since 1998. It's been on my list of LI Links since forever, but I've never devoted a blog post to it.

The Gluten-Free Mall has the best prices and selection of gluten-free, wheat-free, casein-free and other allergy-related health foods and special dietary products on the Internet! All of our gluten-free products are specifically designed for people who need to eat gluten-free foods due to celiac disease, autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD, ADHD) or other health reasons. The Gluten-Free Mall offers you low product and shipping costs, and the convenience of being able to choose from hundreds of gluten-free products and have them shipped to your door. Unlike other companies, 98% of our orders of gluten free food are shipped on the next business day.

Our state-of-the-art Gluten-Free Mall warehouse is centrally located and contains hundreds of hand-selected gluten-free foods from dozens of special dietary food manufacturers so that you can, in only minutes, browse through our products and place a single, secure order. To make it into our warehouse, each gluten-free food manufacturing company must demonstrate its total commitment to high quality and excellent tasting gluten-free products. We are truly a "one-stop shop" for your gluten-free and other special dietary needs!

The Gluten-Free Mall was created by Scott Adams, who is better known in the celiac/gluten-free community for founding

You can also search for lactose-free products on their site.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Shabtai Bakery Wins Again

Shabtai Gourmet is a "dedicated gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, soy free, lactose free, casein free, corn free, and kosher bakery." If that isn't amazing enough, it manages to make its desserts tasty with whatever ingredients are left. It just won the Kosherfest Best New Passover Product Competition for the fourth time, for their Gluten-Free Yidels Mini Swiss Chocolate Rolls.

I alerted you to Shabtai last year. But their new press release has even more info.

In past Years Shabtai Gourmet has won best new product with some of their other items, such as their Gluten Free Devils Food Ring Ting Cupcakes, Gluten Free Bell Ring Cakes, & their unforgettable Marzipan Sushi.

Some other delectable allergen friendly desserts baked by Shabtai are his: Gluten Free Honey Cakes, Gluten Free Rainbow Cookies, Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cakes, Gluten Free Jelly Rolls, Gluten Free Brownie Bites, Sponge Loaf Cakes & so much more.

Many of Shabtai's baked goods contain no-hydrogenated oils, no trans fats, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, are all natural, and baked with organic ingredients.

Shabtai Gourmet Gluten-Free baked goods are available at fine health food stores and supermarkets all year round and for Passover as well. Shop for Shabtai Gluten-Free items @ or @

Use their store locator to find the nearest retail location to you.

Look for Shabtai products at Wegmans, Shoprite, ACME, King Kullen, DAG NYC, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Woodmans, Mrs. Greens, Key Food, & Best Yet Markets.

Shabtai Gluten Free Baked goods are now available at select Bloomingdale's stores on the East Coast.

In the weeks prior & during the passover holidays you can find Shabtai Gourmet baked goods at over 35 Supermarket Chains throughout the country. Look for the Kosher for passover symbols listed on their packaging.

Shabtai Gourmet supports various celiac & autism support groups all over the country. Contact them to get involved in your local gluten free event -
(516) 374-7976.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Health Professional Quality Answers on Food Allergies

Pulse is a UK site intended for health professionals only. That's code for saying that they use medical terms and expect their readers to understand them.

That's okay. The answers are pretty straightforward, and most people with food allergies have already encountered these terms over the years.

The current topic is Key questions on food allergies. "Allergy GPSI Dr Adrian Morris answers GP Dr Mandy Fry’s questions on diagnosing cow’s milk allergy, prescribing Epipens and the value of allergen avoidance in pregnancy."

Here are some excerpts that are of concern to those with dairy allergies.

2. How can you confirm a diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy?

Cow’s milk allergy is relatively common in infants (1:50) and rarely develops after one year of age. Symptom improvement on a cow’s milk-free diet and recurrence of symptoms with reintroduction of cow’s milk formula is the most accurate diagnostic method.

Skin prick tests using fresh cow’s milk and RAST blood tests for cow’s milk protein IgE antibodies are the only reliable tests and have 60-90% accuracy. The higher the milk-specific IgE, the more likely there is to be a clinically relevant milk allergy. On the other hand, IgG antibody testing for cow’s milk proteins (casein and b-lactoglobulin) is of no diagnostic use.

The clinical history and observation of the infant feeding are very helpful, and a family history of atopy increases the likelihood of a food allergy. Cow’s milk allergy can manifest with immediate urticaria and facial angioedema and respiratory, oral and laryngeal symptoms, as well as deteriorating eczema in addition to typical symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, persistent reflux, food refusal and even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Mildly milk-allergic infants will tolerate small amounts of processed dairy produce such as yoghurt and cheese. Infants with severe cow’s milk allergy will react to traces of milk protein in partially hydrolysed formula, and even breast milk, as well as any skin contact.

3. What are the best formula alternatives and what role do other milks play?

Cow’s milk-free formulas are expensive - £8 to £20 per 400g. Amino acid-based formulas such as Neocate and Pepdite are best because they are completely free of cow’s milk protein, but are more expensive than extensively hydrolysed formulas such as Nutramigen and Pregestimil, which are the current preferred cow’s milk-free formulas. Exquisitely sensitive infants may react to traces of cow’s milk protein even in extensively hydrolysed formulae.

An amino acid-based formula provides a good therapeutic trial for initial diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy, after which it would be cheaper to switch to an extensively hydrolysed formula – if it can be tolerated.

Although soy milk is the cheapest alternative formula available at around £4 per 400g, 20% of cow’s milk allergic infants will develop a concomitant soy allergy. The fear that soy milk phyto-oestrogens can feminise male infants is without scientific foundation.

Goat’s milk is inappropriate as it contains many of the allergenic proteins found in cow’s milk, so should not be recommended. Comminuted chicken meat suspensions are another alternative, particularly if there is associated carbohydrate intolerance.

4. How many affected infants will grow out of a cow’s milk allergy?

Half will outgrow their cow’s milk allergy within one year, 75% by two years and 90% within three years. Cow’s milk protein intolerant infants with problematic gastro-oesophageal reflux and colic usually spontaneously recover by the end of the first year. This represents a delayed hypersensitivity to the cow’s milk protein resulting in oesophageal inflammation and eosinophilic infultrates. Depending on severity it makes sense to rechallenge cow’s milk allergic children after one year and then every six months thereafter. In severe cow’s milk allergy challenge testing should not be contemplated outside a hospital setting.

The rest of the article is way too long to repost, but contains a lot of good general information for parents of kids with food allergies. Please take the time to read it.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yogurt Good for Lactose Intolerance

I know that headline has a bit of "sun rises in the east" obviousness. I've been telling you for 20 years that yogurt is the best tolerated dairy product even for people with lactose intolerance.

The news is who is saying it. The European Food Safety Authority. And they're backing it up with science. Science!

Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to live yoghurt cultures and improved lactose digestion (ID 1143, 2976) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to provide a scientific opinion on a list of health claims pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. This opinion addresses the scientific substantiation of health claims in relation to live yoghurt cultures and improved lactose digestion. The scientific substantiation is based on the information provided by the Member States in the consolidated list of Article 13 health claims and references that EFSA has received from Member States or directly from stakeholders.

The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is “yoghurt cultures (live)”, which contain the starter micro-organisms “Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus” as specified by Codex Alimentarius Standard No. 243/2003. The Panel considers that live yoghurt cultures which are the subject of the health claim are sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effect.

The claimed effect is “lactose digestion”. The target population is individuals with lactose maldigestion. The Panel considers that improved lactose digestion is a beneficial physiological effect for individuals with lactose maldigestion.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into consideration that thirteen of fourteen human studies showed enhanced lactose digestion in lactose maldigesters, when live yoghurt starter cultures were ingested in yoghurt, that the one study which did not show such effect reported reduced symptoms and that there was strong evidence for the biological plausibility of the effect.

The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of live yoghurt cultures in yoghurt and improved lactose digestion in individuals with lactose maldigestion.

In order to bear the claim, the yoghurt should contain at least 108 CFU per serving live starter microorganisms (i.e. Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus). The target population is individuals with lactose maldigestion.

Before you lift that spoon to your mouth, remember one small caveat. Many American yogurts aren't really yogurt, but sweet candy concoctions that have lots of extra milk powder added. They're about as healthy as french fries. Real yogurt is slightly sour, and doesn't have much added to it. A bit of flavoring or fruit, maybe. Food companies love to take healthy products and "adapt" them to American tastes by bypassing or even wiping out all the stuff that makes them healthy. A bit of candy is okay, but don't think that candied yogurt is a health food. It's just candy.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

FoodGizmo Recipe Search Engine

Whenever you get large number of sites on a popular subject, somebody always comes up with a way of doing a meta-search on all of them at once. One example I use so often that the URL is burned into my brain is, a meta-search engine that searches all the major used book sites and returns every copy of a book out there.

There are bunches of major recipe sites on the Internet. Ergo, somebody will create a recipe meta-search engine. And that somebody seems to be foodGizmo. Naturally, they brag all about it in a press release.

Denver-based foodGizmo, LLC, has launched a free website, simplifying the way people find and manage their online recipes. For the first time, using foodGizmo’s recipe search engine, users are able to simultaneously search from dozens of the top recipe sites, including,,,,,, and ...

Going beyond the basic search filters of recipe source, rating, preparation time, and cooking time, foodGizmo has added additional filters that include:

Ingredient Search: Users can enter up to 3 items they have in their pantry and find recipes that meet their needs from across multiple websites.

Nutrition Search: Users can search for recipes by calories, low-fat, low-carb, as well as, Gluten Free and Dairy Free recipes.

Online Recipe Boxes: Users can store their recipes and also share them with friends.

Online Meal Planner: Helps users plan and organize their meals for the day, week or month.

Grocery List: Members can quickly and easily create grocery lists from the recipes they find on foodGizmo.

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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Study Confirms That Raw Milk Doesn't Work for Lactose Intolerance

News flash! Ball dropped from hand hits ground! News flash! Sun rises in east! News flash! Raw milk is no different from pasteurized milk!

Nobody in the world should be surprised by any of these. Even so, there somehow exists a large community of people who think that for some reason - usually a scientifically illiterate one - people with lactose intolerance who can't drink pasteurized milk can drink raw milk.

A lot of these people get paid by the Weston A. Price Foundation to put out propaganda touting the wondrous properties of raw milk. They even released a "study" in 2008 in which they surveyed a group of raw milk advocates and guess what they found? Amazingly, the people who buy and drink raw milk say that they can drink raw milk. The "study" was never published in a peer-reviewed journal so it wasn't checked by actual scientists. The FDA took one look at the methodology of the study and metaphorically walked out of the room.

I talk about that study and a magazine article by raw milk propagandist David Gumpert in Raw Milk Article Long but Flawed.

Gumpert is back with another article, this one for Grist Magazine.

The folks at the Weston A. Price Foundation, apparently having found out that no one who is not already a True Believer will swallow a fake "study" having as much scientific validity as one of those online "test your own IQ" sites. They hired Christopher Gardner, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford Medical School to do a real, controlled study.

Here's the result you get when you conduct a real study.

"The data fail to support our hypothesis that Raw Milk confers some benefit over Pasteurized Milk in the form of an improvement in the experience of symptoms of lactose intolerant adults."

Man, I would have loved, loved, loved to have seen their faces as Weston A. Price when they got that piece of news.

The study findings came out exactly the way any sensible person would have expected, given the known science:
[P]articipants went through three eight-day phases during which they consumed pasteurized milk, raw milk, and soy milk. Gardner notes that "the severity of the symptoms was virtually identical for the raw vs. pasteurized milk, while the symptoms of the soy milk were quite a bit, and statistically significantly, lower."

Raw milk = pasteurized milk in producing symptoms of lactose intolerance. Science!

Gumpert desperately backpedals to find reasons to discount the study as much as possible. It was small, only of 16 people. Gardner responded, "However, despite the small sample size, the results are remarkably consistent. I do not think the sample size proved to be a problem for the study, and that a larger study would have generated the same overall finding, just more strongly."

Gardner attributes the small size of his study to exactly the same problem I spent a whole month writing about in my series of posts about the NIH State of the Science Conference on LI. It's really, really hard to find people who show symptoms to lactose in the laboratory, no matter how horrible they claim their symptoms are in daily life. It's a mystery why this should be. That's the Phase 2 that really needs to happen, not yet another study on why raw milk turns out to contain exactly the same amount of lactose as um, milk.

I realize this won't stop the craziness. A Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Company, another raw milk advocate who co-sponsored the study, was already being quoted by Gumpert babbling something scientifically incoherent. Raw Milk is a religious belief. True Believers are not susceptible to facts that contradict their beliefs.

I have a True Belief of my own. That those of you who follow this blog regularly have learned enough about science to dismiss the irrational beliefs of advocates.

So repeat after me today's science lesson: Raw milk contains exactly as much lactose as pasteurized milk. It will produce the same symptoms ounce for ounce in those who are LI. It contains no magical properties that neutralize the lactose. If you get symptoms from pasteurized milk, you will get the same symptoms for an equal quantity of raw milk.

Simple and scientific. Spread the word.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

LI and Pregnancy

Megan sent me the following email and said I could share it with you.

I am 27 and pregnant. And I recently discovered something I think is amazing and not very well known. I wanted to share in hopes of informing other pregnant women. Nearly half of women who are LI prior to pregnancy do not suffer from symptoms during pregnancy. I have done a little research on the topic and can't seem to find too much of a scientific explanation other than the slowed digestion that takes place. It seems as though the body recognizes the need for calcium in order to grow a healthy fetus and acts accordingly. I have been severely LI for 10 years and during this pregnancy I have been able to eat and drink ALL kinds of dairy with only slight discomfort a handful of times (and it's entirely possible I over did it those times due to my new found freedom. Lol)

I've written about this before over at my website. Many women have written to me. Some, like Megan, found that their LI symptoms went away during pregnancy. Others became LI during pregnancy but saw their symptoms go away later.

What gives? Well, Megan also sent a very good link to a pregnancy advice page featuring a response by Joanne Saab, RD. Saab "is a registered dietitian who practices in pediatrics at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario." And she writes:
This is actually a very common phenomenon during pregnancy. Many women find they experience an improvement in lactose tolerance when they get pregnant and, for some, this ability to digest lactose remains after they deliver, but for others their lactose intolerance returns or even becomes worse.

Healthcare professionals often talk about a "rule of thirds" during pregnancy. The "rule of thirds" means that approximately one third of pregnant women will see an improvement in their symptoms, one third will remain the same, and one third will see their symptoms worsen. This rule of thirds can occur with many conditions, including: migraine headaches, eczema, asthma and lactose intolerance. Researchers still don't completely understand why this happens, although some attribute it to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Yep, yet another thing about lactose intolerance that doctors don't understand. (Remember my million-part series on the State of the Science Lactose Intolerance Conference at the National Institutes of Health? Here's a summary to start with.)

All I can suggest is that you experiment with small amounts of easily digestible dairy products like yogurt and hard cheeses first and then progress onto to other types of dairy if you can tolerate those. You may be part of the lucky third.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Kitchen Chemistry - Dairy Division

I received an email from Emma Taylor of Accredited Online Colleges. On their blog they have a list of links they call Kitchen Chemistry: 100 Cool Food Science Experiments for Kids (and Cooks).

Science is awesome. Food is awesome. Blending the two together rocks faces off. Teachers and parents looking for some projects to introduce their students to the basic principles of chemistry, physics, biology and more can easily turn to the kitchen for inspiration. The following experiments vary when it comes to materials, difficulty levels and cost, so read them over thoroughly before making any commitments. Always practice proper safety precautions as well, most especially when tooling around with fire and acids and other lovely things.

The first 20 links go to experiments on Milk, Yogurt & Cheese. They include "DIY Yogurt: Making yogurt at home or in class makes for an excellent way to illustrate how helpful bacteria work — and all the good things they can do for the human body." and "Milk Glue: A brew of milk, vinegar and baking soda makes for a viable, sustainable adhesive for minor projects."

True, except for the yogurt one, the page is not really relevant to lactose intolerance, let alone avoiding milk. Well, tough. I like science. And the more you know about all aspects of milk, the better off you are. Besides, most kids and most people with LI can have most forms of dairy.

I'm going to reinforce the statement in the quoted paragraph. Because the links go to other websites, the quality, the presentation, and the age range of the experiments varies considerably. Check them out first before getting your kids involved. I haven't tried any of them and I can't vouch for their accuracy or practicality.

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